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A not-so-brief brief: Adnan Oktar to President Obama

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron — a highly personalized and peaceable account of the awaited Mahdi, who may according to Oktar himself already be among us ]
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I thought you might want to know the advice Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya, has for President Obama:

Yahya advises Obama re Mahdi

That’s it. But there’s more to it that that single phrase.

**

So who is the Mahdi, and how would Obama know what the system of the Mahdi was, so that he could do a reasonably good job at explaining it to the rest of us?

Should he, for instance, be reading the Ayatollah Baqir al-Sadr, who is reported to have said:

The Mahdi is not an embodiment of the Islamic belief but he is also the symbol of an aspiration cherished by mankind irrespective of its divergent religious doctrines. He is also the crystallization of an instructive inspiration through which all people, regardless of their religious affiliations, have learnt to await a day when heavenly missions, with all their implications, will achieve their final goal and the tiring march of humanity across history will culminate satisfactory in peace and tranquility. This consciousness of the expected future has not been confined to those who believe in the supernatural phenomenon but has also been reflected in the ideologies and cult which totally deny the existence of what is imperceptible. For example, the dialectical materialism which interprets history on the basis of contradiction believes that a day will come when all contradictions will disappear and complete peace and tranquility will prevail.

Somehow, I don’t think the Turkish Yahya was suggesting the President take his understanding of the Mahdi from an Ayatollah from Najaf..

**

Yahya / Oktar himself has written extensively on the Mahdi, his companion the returning Prophet, Christ, and the end times in general. Anne Ross Solberg, in her thesis The Mahdi Wears Armani: An Analysis of the Harun Yahya Enterprise, writes:

In 1987, Yahya published a brief pamphlet titled Is AIDS the Beast mentioned in the Qur’an? The first book published by Yahya on the subject of the Mahdi and the End Times was Mahdi and the Golden Age: The World Supremacy of Islam.

Solberg then lists other books subsequently published by Yahya on eschatological topics, including (in order of publication — I have omitted the Turkish titles & publication details for brevity) Jesus Will Return; Death, Resurrection, Hell: The Golden Age; The Last Days and the Beast; Signs of the End Times in Surat al-Kahf; The Glad Tidings of the Messiah; Signs of the Last Day; The Signs of Jesus’ Second Coming; The Day of Judgment; The End Times and the Mahdi; Portents and Features of the Mahdi’s Coming; The Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) Will Come This Century; Hazrat Mahdi (PBUH) Is a Descendant Of The Prophet Abraham (PBUH); How Did the Dajjal Die?; and The Prophet Jesus (as), Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the Islamic Union.

Solberg then writes:

Based on these publications, the Harun Yahya enterprise has made a number of documentaries that are available both as DVDs and online video files for download and streaming, as well as a vast number of websites devoted to the Mahdi and the End Times.

**

So putting it mildly, the arrival and “system” of the Mahdi is a major topic for Harun Yahya – pen-name of the Turkish preacher and writer Adnan Oktar — and as Solberg suggests in the title of her thesis, he may in fact understand himself as acting in that role.

Al Jazeera put the question to Yahya / Oktar directly in an interview:

Sir, from your books and speeches it appears that you believe in the Mahdi. Do you really believe in the Mahdi? And is it certain when he will appear? Around what time will he appear on Earth?

Adnan Oktar: The Mahdi should already have appeared according to the writings of Said Nursi, and according to the accounts in reliable hadith and signs have already taken place. For example, we are told that Afghanistan will be occupied at the time of the appearance of the Mahdi. That has happened. There is also the fact that Iraq will be occupied, which has also taken place. An attack on the Kaaba was predicted, and that has happened as well. The waters of the Euphrates would be cut off. And the dam has done so. We are told that during the month of Ramadhan in the year of his appearance both the Sun and Moon will be eclipsed in a space of 15 days, and that has happened as well. Approximately a hundred portents like this have already taken place. For that reason, I am convinced that the Mahdi has appeared.

Al Jazeera: Could you be the Mahdi?

Adnan Oktar: There is a rumor that has been going round for a long while that I have claimed to be the Mahdi. The reason for that is that I have written a book on that subject. I have cited all the relevant hadith in that book. They said that I had described myself, that the information about the Mahdi in the hadith was the same. As a result, [they said] you are claiming to be the Mahdi. They say that his forehead is broad, and your forehead is broad, too. That his brow is curved, and your brow is also curved. They say that the Mahdi has a small nose, and a big body. He is a Sayyid of medium height, they say. He has a mole on his cheek, and one on his back. Because you have all these characteristics, you are probably claiming to be the Mahdi.

I have borrowed those paragraphs from Tim Furnish, who quoted them in 2008 — the Al Jazeera interview is no longer available on the original website.

**

Oktar / Yahya declines to answer the question with a “yes” or “no” – but the comparisons he makes are nonetheless striking…

In a Reuters interview he makes it clear why he won’t answer that question:

Because of parallels in what I have written and the hadith (sayings) of the Prophet Mohammad, some people have thought I could be him… but in Islam it is forbidden for me to make such a claim.

Furnish has a more detailed quote from Yahya:

No claims can be made regarding the Mahdi. Nobody can claim to be the Mahdi. Nobody can say I am the Mahdi. Identification with the Mahdi can only be measured in terms of success. In other words, a figure will emerge and will be successful. From his success the conclusion may be drawn that he is the Mahdi. Even if the Mahdi were to appear, we could never say for certain that he was the Mahdi. We can only have a good perception of him. We can only say that he is probably the Mahdi. The Mahdi himself will never claim to be the Mahdi. He cannot say that. He will not say that. That is haram [not permissible]. He would be apostatized if he were to say such a thing.

**

So President Obama will necessarily have to guess the Mahdi’s identity, if he is to follow Yahya / Oktar’s advice.

Let us suppose the President comes to the conclusion that Yahya is indeed the Mahdi – what could he then deduce about the “system of the Mahdi”? For an answer, we return to Solberg’s thesis:

Yahya sums up the Mahdi’s crucial and redemptive role as follows:

During the terrible chaos of the final times, Allah will use a servant having superior morality known as the Mahdi (the guide to the truth), to invite humanity back to the right path. The Mahdi’s first task will be to wage a war of ideas within the Islamic world and to turn those Muslims who have moved away from Islam’s true essence back to true belief and morality. At this point, the Mahdi has three basic tasks:

1. Tearing down all philosophical systems that deny Allah’s Existence and support atheism.

2. Fighting superstition by freeing Islam from the yoke of those hypocritical individuals who have corrupted it, and then revealing and implementing true Islamic morality based on the rules of the Qur’an.

3. Strengthening the entire Islamic world, both politically and socially, and then bringing about peace, security and well-being in addition to solving societal problems.

These three tasks are Yahya’s interpretation of the three tasks of the Mahdi as taught by Said Nursi. Nursi’s teachings thus serve as a template for the da‘wa of the Harun Yahya enterprise. Since the late 1990s, the Harun Yahya enterprise has focused on trying to demolish thought systems of materialism, targeting in particular Darwinism, which Yahya regards as the most serious threat to faith.

**

There’s one really interesting reference in Solberg’s text that bears implications in many other realms than that of Islamic apocalyptic:

According to Snow and Benford (1988), the three core framing tasks of a movement are to identify a problem and identify who is to blame (diagnostic framing), articulate solutions (prognostic framing) and urge others to act (motivational framing).

I think those distinctions will likely serve us very well in thinking through the entire complex issue of terrorism and counterterrorism.

And here are two key points, rephrased by Solberg from Yahya’s writings, which give us Yahya’s perspective on both the caliphate and the possibility that the Mahdi will be a warrior in the literal as well as the spiritual or ideological sense:

  • According to the hadiths, claims Yahya, the Mahdi will assume leadership of the Islamic world as a caliph and rule the whole world both politically and religiously.
  • Yahya is careful to emphasize that the struggle is an ideological one, and that the Mahdi will never shed blood.
  • Those are two fascinating points at this juncture in history.

    **

    In closing..

    The Mahdi wears Armani

    Solberg’s book is subtitled An Analysis of the Harun Yahya Enterprise — is the Harun Yahya Enterprise in fact another name for the System of the Mahdi? If so, these words from her closing paragraphs give an idea of the scope of the Mahdi’s intent:

    The magnitude and span of the Harun Yahya enterprise operation suggests that this is an enterprise with very high ambitions in terms of having a major impact both in Turkey and globally. As indicated in the introduction chapter, the Harun Yahya enterprise does appear to have a considerable impact with regards to its promotion of creationism. As I have attempted to show, however, the purpose of the creationist activism of Harun Yahya is not only to convince the audience that the theory of evolution is wrong, but also to promote Adnan Oktar himself. This aspect of the Harun Yahya enterprise has, as we have seen, become more pronounced especially after 2009, with the publication of books that appear to be designed to create the impression that Adnan Oktar might be the Mahdi. One might speculate that the reason for this increasingly insistent and explicit approach is the recognition that Adnan Oktar, contrary to expectations, has not been widely recognized and affirmed as neither a Muslim authority, nor a Mahdi.

    We shall see..

    Taylor Swift online — from Bach to Infosec

    Sunday, November 30th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron — idle chit chat, I really shouldn’t ]
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    Since I recently provided evidence of Taylor Swift singing Bach‘s organ music the other day, I don’t think it’s too great a stretch to point out that she also posts on topics of interest to security geeks. Frankly, I’m a bit taken aback that Edward Snowden hasn’t been transparent about their relationship.

    Here are some of her recent tweets:

    Apocalyptic, see — you just can’t get away from it! I mean…

    **

    Come to think of it..

    That sounds good to me. Hey, and she’s self-deprecating, too:

    **

    Only Kim Kierkegaardashian is almost as clever —

    — though not half as sweet to look upon.

    **

    Don’t I have anything better to do?

    Yup, today’s the day we take son Emlyn back up to Oregon to continue his major in criminology. So I woke an hour early, and now I really should go.

    On distinguishing between radicalism and activism in words

    Saturday, November 29th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron — with an assist from the young Isaac Newton ]
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    This is one of those micro-events that crop up if you frequently read from diverse sources, haphazardly piling one thing atop another:

    SPEC DQ burne house or church

    **

    Here’s what I’m thinking. Taken at face value these two statements seem pretty similar: tidy up the archaic spellings in the first, the contemporary ellipsis in the second, and tweet them — you’d have the same basic threat in each case:

    I’ll burn you guys and the roof over your heads.

    The problem here is fundamental to our times and to the way we handle potential recruits to, and returning fighters from, IS / Daesh

    how can you tell the merely radical sounding from those who will in fact put their radical ideas into violent practice?

    **

    Verbal threats can easily indicate one state of affairs or the other. Consider these facts:

  • Whoever it was that made the threat in the lower panel over the phone to Pastor Carlton Lee of Flood Christian Church in Feruson, someone indeed made good on the church part, setting the cinder block structure ablaze and burning it to the ground on Monday.

  • Whoever it was who threatened to burn his parents’ home over their heads and them with it in the upper panel seems not to have done so, but went on to discover the law of gravitational attraction, write the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, co-discover the calculus, and hold the presidency of the Royal Society before dying at the over-ripe old age of 84.
  • **

    Newton.

    624px-Newton-WilliamBlake

    Sir Isaac, I mean, Newton. That second quote came from Sir Isaac Newton, alchemist extraordinaire, listing his youthful sins — Newton who, by the way, calculated that the beginning of the reign of Christ would not occur before 2060, writing:

    And the days of short lived Beasts being put for the years of lived [sic] kingdoms, the period of 1260 days, if dated from the complete conquest of the three kings A.C. 800, will end A.C. 2060. It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fancifull men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, & by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail. Christ comes as a thief in the night, & it is not for us to know the times & seasons wch God hath put into his own breast.

    **

    So — would you lock up the young Newton and throw away the key? Or track down whoever phoned that threat to the pastor in Ferguson? I wouldn’t send them to Cambridge and expect too much of them ..

    Words can certainly be inflammatory — in some cases they result in flames..

    An end times update, & the Islamic State

    Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron — apocalyptic date-shifting, Baghdadi as the Sufyan, and somehow that ties in with the Fatima apparitions? ]
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    Here, in frozen real time, you can witness the updating of an end times prediction:

    announcement

    **

    If you look here, you will see:

    The book reveals that the first phase of the End Times will start in late 2013 with the emergence of the first evil person (Araj, Dajjal, etc.) which triggers the emergence of the Mahdi and will end in 2022 after the emergence of the last evil person (Dajjal, Anti-Christ, etc.) which triggers the descent of Prophet Jesus Christ (p) from Heaven.

    That’s “as of June 29, 2012″. Furthermore:

    The book includes in-depth analysis of specific dates (the day, month, and year) on which important End Times events will occur, such as : (1) Beginning of the End Times and emergence of the first Dajjal and the Mahdi , (2) Destruction of New York, London, Sydney, Vancouver, (3) Bringing of Tabut Al-Sakina (Ark of Covenant) and a copy of the original Torah, (4) Dajjal’s resurrection of people of some cities, (5) Destruction of the Aqsa Mosque, (6) Discovery of a copy of the original Gospel, (7) Tariq Star and switching of the Poles of the Earth, (8) End of the U.S. and Canada, (9) Liberation of Palestine, (10) Muslims’ Conquest of Britain, (11) Muslims’ Conquest of Russia, (12) Emergence/Return of the last Dajjal, (13) Descent of Prophet Jesus (p) from Heaven, (14) The last day on which repentance and becoming a Muslim can be accepted by God., (15) End of the first phase of the End Times when people will be classified as either Believers or Unbelievers.

    Without exaggeration, this book is one of the most significant Islamic books that have ever been written.

    **

    As you’ll have noticed above, however, revisions have been necessary, and are being made as we speak.

    The current website offers these predictions:

    The beginning of the End of Time, including the emergence of the Imam Mahdi (Mehdi), will most likely be either in 2015 or 2016, while Jesus Christ (p)’s return [or second (2nd ) coming] is in 2022, in-sha-Allah (if God is willing).

    **

    What I find even more interesting, though, than the updating of one of the most significant Islamic books that have ever been written, is the updating of the real-time news invoked to include ISIS / Daesh, and specifically to suggest al Baghdadi may be the Sufiyani:

    The quick victories of the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (I.S.I.S.) in Central and Northern Iraq and its establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, headed by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi who seems to fit the characteristics of a man called the Sufyani mentioned in several Hadiths of Prophet Mohammad. However, please note that the Hadiths about the Sufyani are mostly considered weak. This means that it is possible that Prophet Mohammad did not mention these Hadiths and therefore, it is possible that there will be no Sufyani emerging.

    The Sufyani is supposed to :

    (a) seem to be a religious Muslim.
    (b) be a butcher who kills and slaughters innocent people.
    (c) be an enemy of the Mahdi.
    (d) emerge within a short period before the Mahdi.
    (e) defeat his rivals, rule Al-Sham (Greater Syria) and attack cities in Iraq.
    (f) send an army to attack the Mahdi, but his army will encounter a Khusf (land slide/collapse or a catastrophe).

    The Islamic State in Iraq (I.S.I.) was established on October 13, 2006 which is the anniversary of the last apparition (vision) of the 3 children, regarding the End Times, in Fatima, Portugal which happened on October 13, 1917.

    **

    Fatima?

    **

    And you know how I stumbled across all this? I was amused by a headline in FP that read In a New Ukraine, the Sun Rises in the West & recalled that the sun rising in the west was one of the signs of the soon coming of the Mahdi– and when I went to find an appropriate citation to back that up, I ran across this page, Rising of the Sun from the West — which had a sidebar note:

    The End Times:
    Based on Numerical Analysis of the Quran, Hadith, Arabic Words, and Historical Events.
    Imam Mahdi in 2014
    Jesus Christ (p) in 2022
    www.EndTimes2014.com

    Hey — an apocalyptic DoubleQuote: totally irresistible!

    Ahrar-ul-Hind, Ghazwa-e-Hind?

    Thursday, February 13th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron — in which the “second shoe” of Islamist eschatology will land on India ]
    .


    .

    Bill Roggio, over in Long Wars Journal a day or two ago, posted an article titled Pakistani jihadists form Ahrar-ul-Hind, vow to continue attacks. In it, he introduces the group, Ahrar-ul-Hind:

    A new global jihadist group that is unwilling to negotiate with the Pakistani government has announced its formation and vowed to continue attacks in the country despite the outcome of ongoing peace talks. The group, which is calling itself Ahrar-ul-Hind, said its goal is the establishment of sharia, or Islamic law, and that the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan are still “our brothers” despite separation from the group.

    Ahrar-ul-Hind emailed two statements to The Long War Journal on Feb. 9: one from its spokesman, and another that outlined its “aims and objectives,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which translated the communiques. Ahrar-ul-Hind has also posted both statements on its Facebook page.

    He has much more to say about it, but what caught my eye was one observation in particular:

    In the statement announcing its “aims and objectives,” Ahrar-ul-Hind threatened to wage war on the “Indian subcontinent” and beyond, with the ultimate goal of imposing sharia worldwide.

    “We aim to carry an armed struggle on the Indian subcontinent with an aim to establish Islamic Shariah in the whole world,” one bullet announced.

    A final, significant detail:

    Mansour identified Ahrar-ul-Hind’s emir as Maulana Umar Qasmi

    **

    Readers of Zenpundit will be familiar with the idea of a Pakistani jihad aiming to take over India — the Ghazwa-e-Hind, about which we have written, among other posts:

  • One hadith, one plan, one video, and two warnings
  • So many browser tabs, so little time
  • Pakistan’s Strategic Mummery
  • Khorasan to al-Quds and the Ghazwa-e-Hind
  • In the last of those I quote from a discussion Ambassador Haqqani had with Bill Roggio:

    And then the other part is this famous Ghazwa-e-Hind, and the Pakistani groups use it – actually, just as jihad is the war, a holy war or war for religious purposes, ghazwa is a battle — and there is ostensibly a saying of prophet Muhammad that before the end times, the final, biggest war between good and evil and between Islam and kufr is going to take place in Hind, which is India, which is the land east of the river Indus.

    So Khorasan takes care of what is today Afghanistan and some parts of central Asia, and all of that – it means a lot to people who believe in it, these end times prophecies etcetera. So one of the unwritten books it has been my desire to write, I wrote a piece on it once, an article I think, which said, that, you know, Americans pay a lot of attention to their own end time prophecies, but getting into that whole theater, they have totally neglected this.

    And so far as recruitment is concerned I am totally agreeing with you, that failure in Afghanistan is going to be a big boon for both. The TTP — the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — and the Pakistani groups are going to start saying, Right, now is the time to start recruiting, and fighting in that famous Ghazwa-e-Hind –let’s get ready for that. And the Arab groups are going to say, Ah, salvation is coming by joining up with the folks who are fighting in Khorasan.

    You might say there are two “shoes” to the end times jihad — one foot marching from Khorasan / Afghanistan with Jerusalem its objective, the other marching from Pakistan to take India. We have discussed the “army with Black Banners from Khorasan” theme, too, in these pages:

  • Iran or Afghanistan? The Black Flags of Khorasan…
  • Ali Soufan: AQ, Khorasan and the Black Banners
  • The matter of the Black Banners and Benghazi
  • Twitter combat, al-Shabaab, black banners, Tahrir and more
  • An army in Sham, an army in Yemen, and an army in Iraq
  • Those black banners / AQ flags, revisited
  • and pointed to Aaron Zelin, writing on al-Wasat:

  • On Flags, Islamic History, and al-Qa’ida
  • I am always on the alert for news of that second shoe…

    **

    Many people treat Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid, the loudest proponent of the Ghazwa, as a joke — there’s even a satirical blog attacking him — but our blog-friend Omar Ali put things in perspective in a comment here not so long ago:

    The major mistake of Western (and Western educated Pakistani left-liberal academics) is to regard this nonsense as so nonsensical that no sane person could possibly take it seriously.

    Manan Ahmed, a Pakistani historian blogging at Chapati Mystery, describes him as having:

    from most accounts, secured a niche similar to Glenn Beck in Pakistani media – combining ultra-nationalism with a taste for finding Zionist or Hindu involvement in the Pakistani sphere.

    And the “500 Most Influential Muslims” listing for 2013-14 includes him:

    One of the most influential television personalities in Pakistan, Zaid Hamid is a security consultant and strategic defence analyst by profession. He is also a popular political commentator, and is the founder of Brass Tacks, a Pakistani think tank on global politics. Hamid also hosts ‘BrassTacks with Zaid Hamid’ on News1 Channel Although he has been deemed by some as a conspiracy theorist, he maintains a substantial audience.

    **

    It is unlikely that Zaid Hamid would be enthusiastic about Ahrar-ul-Hind, since they are a TTP offshoot and Hamid has decried the TTP as khwarijites, ie sectarian extremists — and also because Hamid clearly sees himself as the leader of the Ghazwa, and Maulana Umar Qasmi, the emir of Ahrar-ul-Hind, is not Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid.

    Nevertheless, the appearance of a group specifically not affiliated with Hamid, but preaching the Ghazwa, may in fact represent a more serious and bdeadly version of Hamd’s vision — for as Omar Ali notes:

    What Zaid Hamid is saying is just an extreme version of the mainstream Paknationalist framework.

    **

    Also of possible note in this context is the late, brilliant, not always reliable Syed Saleem Shahzad‘s interview with Ilyas Kashmiri in Asia Times [Note: 2 pp.], in which the following exchange took place:

    “So should the world expect more Mumbai-like attacks?” I [Shahzad] asked.
    “That was nothing compared to what has already been planned for the future,” Ilyas replied.

    Once again, Bill Roggio noted this particular exchange (making this a triple hat-tip) — though his focus was more on Kashmiri’s interest in the American “far enemy” — in his report on LWJ, Asia Times interviews al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri.

    Addendum:

    Tying Ilyas Kashmiri and AQ’s 313 Brigade more closely into the “Ghazwa e-Hind” context from an Indian perspective, we have this article from Rediff News in 2009:

    Ilyas Kashmiri’s Ghazwa-e-Hind plans to spread terror in India
    Last updated on: October 16, 2009 20:47 IST

    Dreaded terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri runs Al Qaeda’s 313 Brigade. A few weeks ago the United States declared that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack. However, Kashmiri resurfaced with an interview to Asia Times this week, declaring he had survived the attack.
    In the interview Kashmiri said the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were nothing compared to what was really planned. While India has maintained that the attacks were masterminded by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Kashmiri’s statement has come as a surprise.

    Syed Saleem Shahzad, chief of Asia Times’s Pakistan bureau who interviewed Kashmiri, told rediff.com that the 313 Brigade is Al Qaeda’s commando force which trains youth for terrorist operations.

    Indian Intelligence Bureau sources suspect Kashmiri is planning terror strikes on the lines of the Mumbai attacks, but much larger in scope.

    Kashmiri’s statements indicates that the 313 Brigade was involved in the Mumbai attacks. Indian intelligence sources believe that while the Lashkar undertook a major part of the operation, including identifying the terrorists who participated in the attack, the 313 Brigade was also involved.


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