Question: Certain groups of people are taking every possible opportunity to fabricate allegations and slander about the Hizmet volunteers in an effort to distract people from the reality of the situation and to raise their suspicions. How should we react to this?
Answer: First, I’ll begin with my general opinion on this matter. Most of the time it is unnecessary to answer the allegations made against the (Hizmet) Movement because when you give an answer, some people become aware of the allegations for the first time and the fact you are making a defense raises the possibility that the allegations could be true. People may wonder why you feel the need to defend yourself if there is no truth in the matter. In these instances, trying to defend yourself against allegations, which otherwise would instantly be dismissed as impossible by those with reason and conscience, may not be the correct conduct.
It is up to those making the claims to prove them
In law, there is an essential principle of “innocent until proven guilty;” in other words, “It is up to the person making a claim to prove it, and it is up to the denier to take an oath.” Anyone making allegations against the Movement has the duty to prove their claims. We declare that all of these allegations and slanders are untrue. If we are required to swear an oath on whatever sacred concept they choose, we will comfortably say, “God Almighty is our witness that we have nothing to do with these allegations.”
Additionally, those who have devoted themselves to glorifying God’s religion have no other purpose than to gain His good pleasure. On the other hand, in my opinion, those who spout streams of invective against them only succeed in debasing themselves. Although, on the one hand, I see myself as more worthless than anybody, as a person who has been honored with being a servant of God, at the same time, I consider it disrespectful towards God to reduce myself to their level while answering the allegations. Likewise, as a follower of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, answering such casually fabricated slanders which are abhorrent to anyone with sound reason, logic and conscience, poses the danger of debasing oneself to the level of those people, and this to me is disrespectful to the blessed Messenger.
Another point to consider is, if you try to answer every allegation made against you, it will keep you seriously busy and waste your time which is as precious as gold. Rather than using your time valuably, you will be detained from doing those things that you need to do. Moreover, as those who commit slander and make allegations against you adopt demagogy and dialectics as their way of life, they communicate a distorted account of your answers, which may cause new questions to arise in others’ minds. For these reasons, I don’t consider it necessary to answer those who casually throw out slanders against us; I prefer to “give it a miss” as they say.
The craze of brutal power
In the case that the slanders being thrown around begin to mislead the masses, and if the oft-repetition of these makes even sound-minded people inclined to see them as probable in the long-run, I believe that it becomes necessary to offer explanatory answers to give clarification. I would like to begin by drawing attention to a few points in order to prevent possible misunderstandings.
There have been many times when charitable groups who work for the good of the people, like the Hizmet volunteers, have been attacked. In particular, those motivated by personal or political objectives did whatever they could to subjugate the groups they could not freely manipulate. A time came when those who favor brutal force came to power with the blasphemous and unacceptable idea, “might is right” as their sole criterion. Despite this happening at a time when the Turkish Parliament declared, “Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the nation,” the individuals elected by the people were denied, and even eliminated.
It is important to understand both the background and the main cause that led to all these events. A certain group adopted the discourse; “Now I have the power, I can do whatever I like without it being considered injustice. I can claim certain “heads” if necessary. Let these “heads” be sacrificed for the system I wish to establish in accordance with my own worldview.” and some people even pronounced such thoughts. As opposed to natural selection, this can be called “governmental” or “deliberate” selection.
In fact, the underlying factor here is the ever-continuing struggle between faith and unbelief, or faith and hypocrisy. There has always been a struggle between satanic whispers and Prophetic inspiration; between the path of God and the path of the devil. The henchmen of Satan have always used different forms and appearances to show their animosity towards those who walk on the path of the Prophets. However, while some conducted this Faust-Mephisto struggle directly by targeting religion and religious people, others did the same thing by assuming a religious identity. Although the methods of these two groups are different, their struggle and aims are the same.
Even if you build a stairway to heaven...
With God’s permission and grace, very important and good works are being realized in our time through the hands of those devoted souls who have migrated to the four corners of the world. God willing, the seeds of goodness sown by the people of Anatolia will flourish in some ten to twenty years’ time. Today, with God’s grace and benevolence, islands of serenity where love and peace prevail are being formed.
People with an intolerant and pro-conflict attitude have been disturbed by these developments and are fixated with envy and hatred. They will use all means possible, not for goodness, but against those who have dedicated themselves to realizing a new spring for humanity, to make them forsake this path. With the psychological war they have orchestrated, they will try to break the spirit of the Anatolian people. They will besmirch you with the logic that “mud sticks!” and try to pull the wool over the eyes of the “masses” by fabricating so many slanders that are objectionable to those with sound reason.
No matter what you do, you cannot please them or prevent their slanders, as their intentions and thoughts are corrupt; so much so that they will try to raise doubts in minds about the most innocent and reasonable activities of yours. Even if you build a stairway in order to elevate people to Paradise and help some people reach it, they will still find a point of criticism with their demagogy and dialectics. For example, they will say; “Why are you troubling people to enter Paradise by making them use a stairway? Surely it would have been more comfortable had you built a launch pad and boarded people in a shuttle to get there!”
Abased when weak, cruel when strong
When the conditions were not suitable for them, these people (who fabricate slanders) tried to appear democratic and neutral. However, when they attained power they did whatever they could to do away with any group they saw as opposition. We should not forget that so far, it is the people who have antagonized those who walk on the path of God who are beset by troubles. Those who have said, “It is necessary to do away with this one and that one,” actually became the ones who were done away with. God willing, in the same way, He will protect those who walk on the path of righteousness, who try to revive the values of the people, who try to share the values distilled from their spiritual heritage with the entire world, and He will punish the ones who antagonize the volunteers instead.
So, no matter what other people do, those with deep faith in God should never make concessions from their own character. I personally petition God Almighty in this way: “O Lord! Give me the opportunity to do goodness to those who wish to do evil to me. Let me help them when we come face-to-face. When they ask me the reason, let me say, ‘Everyone acts in accordance with their character. You acted as you are. This is how my character requires me to behave.’” Despite all the oppression, injustice, wrongdoing and affront, I gain the opportunity to make a sacrifice for the sake of God in order to maintain a spirit of unity and togetherness.
This article has originally been published in Turkish on 04/01/2016.