1 June 2010 Lefke, Cyprus
(Interview with German TV crew translated from Turkish)
Interviewer: We have a few questions.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Come sit here. Are you all German?
Interviewer: I'm Turkish, but I work for the German TV. The others are Australian and Israeli. They also work for the German TV. So, we've basically formed an international crew.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Where are you stationed?
Interviewer: South of Germany, in Munich. In a few days, the pope will visit Southern Cyprus, and we wanted to ask you a few questions regarding this issue.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Really? Why aren't you asking the pope, but asking me? (laughter)
Interviewer: We'll ask him later.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: You can't ask him. OK. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Now, what's your name?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Jamaal Efendi. Are you from Bosnia or Anatolia?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: OK, you could start asking your questions and we'll say what we will, inshaa'Allah. A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem.
Interviewer: Our shaykh, internationally you are very well known.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: (Jokingly.) If we were well known, they would all send us money! (laughter)
Interviewer: For many years, there has been an ongoing discussion between the Christian world and the Muslim world, especially during the coarse of the current pope.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Where did the discussion start from?
Interviewer: From the speech that the pope delivered in Regensburg, attributing Islam with violence. Upon this, arguments began. Did these arguments finally come to an end? Is Christianity and Islam close to each other now?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: OK. But now, Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, we also have a question to ask. His Holiness the Pope gave a speech in Germany, right? Was this speech made through knowledge? Was it addressing the sects, or was it made through a different purpose? If it was a discussion made through 'ilm, knowledge, then this cannot be done in public, it can only be done in a closed venue, like in a hall, to do ijtimaa, in which an arbiter from the Christian faith would be brought, and perhaps three, five, or seven people would be already there. Now, if the person they are addressing is one person, then we are not in need to bring people from our side.
Mureed: Yes. You understand, right? This is a very important answer.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Now, regarding the question this gentlemen asked us, was it the pope who made this claim?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: What did he say?
Interviewer: I cannot say exactly, but during that period he had started a discussion in which he said that Islam and violence are inseparable.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: What is being implied by "violence"?
Interviewer: Maybe the pope is talking about jihaad.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: What?
Mureed: He is saying that maybe the pope was implying jihaad, but we don't know his heart.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: No, not that. Let him answer my question. What did His Excellency the Pope say?
Interviewer: The one sentence he did say was that as long as the Muslim world does not withdraw from violence, we cannot be close with them.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: OK, then say "mashaa-Allah" to the pope! Every kind of violence came from the Christian world. For what reason is he saying this to us?
Interviewer: As you know, five years ago a big argument arose from this issue before he came to Turkey.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: It's nonsense, because the Christian world is creating the greatest violence. As a description, I may ask His Excellency the Pope, what is the teaching of `Isa (a)? What did Sayyidina `Isa (a) ordain to his people? That if someone slaps you on the cheek, then to turn the other side. All throughout history, what did the Christians do to each other?
Interviewer: Slay each other.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: For what? Did they (really) follow the path of Christianity? Are they walking on the path of Prophet `Isa (a)? All of the things they have invented were weapons, nuclear bombs, atomic bombs, missiles and so on! We didn't invent them.
Interviewer: With your permission, we would like to ask you another question.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Whatever comes to our heart, we are saying. In our faith, in Islam and in other faiths, there is a certain judgment with which even `Isa (a) agrees, that the Prophet (s) said, "All persons who give harm, whomever they may be, will undergo ruin." This means they will be slain because they give harm. The snake is slain because it harms. The scorpion is slain because it harms. Poisonous insects are slain for that reason as well. Those that harm within microbes, are slain for the same reason. Also, amongst Mankind, those who are harmful to humanity will be slain because this is needed for the order of this world. If you are not allowed to slay anything, and a snake, a centipede, or a scorpion enters your home, then you cannot touch it. How are you not going to touch it? Since it is going to harm you, then you will have to touch it. You are going to kill it and throw it away.
Say a person came and trespassed into your home, he harmed you and tried to kill you. Are you going to submit to him as the lamb submits to the butcher? It is not a reasonable thing. I don't know if His Excellency the Pope lets murderers to freely wander about without punishing them. If His Excellency the Pope allows them to kill whomever they like, then that is a different matter. In `Isa's Shari`ah, religious ruling, there is no such thing as this. When looking at history, we see the history of Christianity could fill up a whole library. Due to the dispute between the sects within Christianity, millions of people have lost their lives. And upon their popes' rulings, billions of people, without considering the young, the old, and the innocent, were all massacred. Did the Muslims commit this violence? Why don't they look at the matters involving themselves instead of attacking us, claiming that we are the one with violence? No! We are not with violence; we are a people who hold a weapon (only) against those who are harmful to humanity. It is only for this reason. We never slay a person from out of the blue (for no reason). Whatever their sect is, whatever their disposition is, we will never harm them. And if someone has harmed them, then he/she has done wrong! No such thing exists in Islamic Shari`ah. Therefore, it is not right for His Excellency the Pope to accuse Muslims of being equal to violence. It is unacceptable. After so many wars, in 1914, WWI began. During WWI, those who fought against each other were Christians or Muslims?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: So that means, Christians can also be held together with violence, whereas in Christianity there is no violence! Prophet `Isa (a) said, "If you slap me on the cheek, then I turn the other side." Is this ruling a lie? Is it wrong? Where is the practice of it? What did we do? If someone attacks us, for example, if a bear, a wolf, a beast attacks your home, would you open all your doors and let it to freely wander about, to eat and kill those inside the house? Are you going to just stare and say, "It is prohibited." No! There is only prohibition for slaying innocent people. All holy books gave permission to slay the mudhee, harmful ones, in the Old and in the New Testament. In both the Taurat and the Gospel there is a ruling that says to slay the mudhee, harmful one. If His Excellency the Pope does not know where it says it, I can show it to him. There is no need to show it in the book, because you can already see it through their actions. Why are they inventing all these weapons? To abolish the Islamic world? It may be, but at the same time they are using these weapons amongst themselves. America is using it for Russia, Russia is using it for Germany. So this means that the Christian nations are also using this violence against one another. For what reason are they accusing us? Why are they blaming us?
(Mawlana Shaykh speaks English.)
Any answer? If they have answers, let them say! We are not children. I am not a small one and I am not making my beard through mills coming on my beard flour and becoming white, no. His Holiness is like my son. I know what he knows, but he is not knowing what I know. And whole religions have spirituality. How many from saints, or popes, are giving a fatwa and killed? Even if they were living in forests and on mountains, they are catching them and killing them! Why? Now in our days only the Christian world is standing up and they are asking to kill everyone on Earth and to reach to every territory in the east and west, from north to south, for a group of people only. And His Holiness must know; if he is not knowing he must learn, and must know that the Lord of Heavens ordered our dealings with each other to be with peacefulness, and not to fight. But when a bear, a wolf, or a snake is coming to you, you are saying, "We can't touch them." Why? They are coming to give poison to you, to kill you or to eat you. How are you sitting like this?
What kind of heavenly order just granted to Jesus Christ (a)? It is a question. They are saying Jesus Christ (a) was on the cross, yes? They are saying their beliefs are on that way. We do not believe this, but they believe this. I am asking, what did they do to those who crucified Jesus Christ (a)? What was their position about that big event that they are looking and seeing that Jesus Christ (a) was carrying his cross and the Romans put him on that cross? Why? How are they defending? No one can do this.You must use, sometimes, for the security of whole people, why are we using police forces? His Holiness the Pope is not using guardians for his holy place? Everyone may get in? No. Even they are using a gate for passing under it to look who is coming with bad intentions and preventing. Why are we not saying, "Man is innocent, we may leave them to go anywhere to do this and that." They must be true ones and they must say true events. They must defend Truth! If they are not defending, we are not going to make a discussion for them, no.
May Allah (swt) forgive us. Anything else?
Interviewer: Second question. I wanted to ask you a question regarding Northern Cyprus, as well. In 2009, last year, during these months, a discussion arose. It was said that there is no religious freedom in Northern Cyprus. People took to the streets and protested. I believe, Qur'an classes were shut down.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: They were shut down!
Interviewer: Regarding this subject, I wanted to get your opinion.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: It is wrong. It is wrong! No one can mudaakhala, interfere for beliefs of people. It is not our government's authority, no. Everyone may believe as he likes. Governments can't do this. Beliefs are only coming from heavens! We are not following political people and such governments that are saying, "We are a secular system." You may do a secular system, but we are Muslims, and we are not believing in your system! Whole responsibility is on you, not on us, and we are Muslims and we are asking to teach our children as Muslim children, to learn and to grow up (in Islam)! We are not political people, we are religious people! We may be obedient to any order, except we are not happy with what is going to be against our beliefs. We are fighting, fighting with our speech, and fighting with our powers also. That is our right!
Therefore, in Cyprus, the Turkish sect of Cyprus up to today is preventing youngsters to learn their religion. Why? Who is giving to them that authority? If they are not Muslims, they must write and record, "We are not Muslims," and then we are not looking after them. But if they are saying they are Muslims, they must respect our beliefs. If not, we are unhappy with them and Allah (swt) is with us, not with them! Allah is with us, and Shaytan is with those who are preventing our beliefs. Therefore, they are coming like this (down), never standing up, finished. May Allah forgive us!
Anything else? Enough?
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar aj'al. وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ Wa fawqa kulli dhi 'l-`ilmin `aleem, "Above every knower is a (higher) knower." (12:76) There is no limit for knowledge. What you know, I may not know. What I know, you may not know.
Let them to rest, our people also.