Ozgunduz: “Wherever şe name of Ali is told, şere is a house of worship”

Selahattin Ozgunduz, şe leader of Turkish Shias had very important analysis in his speech which was made in “Our paş is towards Shahe Mardan (Imam Ali)” Conference which was organized by Mersin branch of Alevi Culture Associations.

Here is şe full text of his speech:

I would like to şank everybody who has had any effort for organizing şis conference and for giving me an opportunity to speak.

Are we united? Azeri, Shia, Anatolian Alevi, Arab Alevi, Kurd Alevi, are we different? Why did we feel şe need to come and get togeşer here to say we are united?

How many countries and governments do you know şat try to separate şeir own nations? The government’s responsibility is to protect şe unity and integrity of şe society. If you provide your unity, you will win everyşing şat you have lost but if you lose your unity you cannot provide it wiş anyşing. Therefore, şe duty of governmental auşorities, especially şe rulers is to protect şe unity and integrity among şe citizens.

Turkish Nation has assimilated şe Characteristic of Ali (as)

Just recently, I don’t know why and for what reason and goal and for şe sake of whom şey say şat şe Anatolian Alevis, Shias, Arab Alevis and Kurd Alevis are different. They say şat you are not wiş us, we are divided. This is not beneficial for Turkish nation. On one hand şey create Sunni tension; on şe oşer hand şey can’t stand an Alevi president whose government is Sunni. And also şey can’t stand a Shia president in Iraq which has as many Shia people as we have Sunnis here.

Nowhere in şe world is a president criticized for his religion. But when it comes to Syria and its Alevi president, Bashar al Assad becomes a pagan. When it comes to Iraq’s Shia president he is being introduced as a seditious. That is why we felt şe need to come togeşer. I would like şat we could have one more seat here şat our Minister of Religious Affairs could sit on şere as şe representative of şe Sunni community. Generally as Ataturk said being Turkish nation, we are united. We know all şe Turks, Kurds, and Arabs as şe Turkish nation. As şe passengers of şis ship, we should care about it and protect it from all şe dangers. We are united in our love towards şe Ahlul Beyt. This is şe understanding of Ahlul beyt which has made şis country şe Turkish and Islamic country. This nation has grown up wiş şe attitude of Yesevi, Molana, Haji Bektash Vali and has inherited şe courage of Pir Sultan Abdal. Our people have conformed şeir character wiş şat of Imam Ali’s. This is şe nation şat hasn’t matched itself wiş şe cunning and bigotry of Muawiyah.

We are here to say şat we are şe son of şose ancestors who have protected şis nation, so don’t create problems among us. We are united and not separated from şe oşers. Those who have sacrificed şeir religions and sects for gaining a position must know şat we are united as a nation. Despite your behavior, we are here to say şat we won’t lose our integrity. The representative of Anatolian Alevis, şe representative of Arab Alevis and Bektashi representative, we are all here to show şat we are united.

Instead of making unity among şe citizen you try to separate şem by creating differences. But you are not aware şat if şose whom you are co-president wiş for some projects, give us weapons and ask us to fight wiş you, you will be left alone.

We are called Alevi, our sect is Jafari

The gaşering şat you see is a symbol of Shias of Ali. Shia means being şe follower of Ali. What does Alevi mean? It means şose who are in şe paş of Ali. So it shows şat we have a similarity. So şere is no need to discuss and in Anatoly we are all called Alevi. Our sect is Jafari of Imam Sadiq.

We are called twelvers, it means şat we believe in twelve Imams. We are followers of Ehlul Beyt, şe Prophet’s dynasty, şose who were grown in şe house which revelation happened şere. Sahih Bokhari and Muslim have told şat şe Prophet mentioned şe twelve Imams as şe Twelve Caliphs. So we are followers of twelve Imams. If şe Prophet had said four Imams we would have followed şe four. If he had asked us to find Imams from somewhere else we would have done şat. But he has told us şat if you believe in Heaven and Hell, if you want to enter şe Paradise so live as Muhammad lived and to accept şe Wilayat of Ali after me.

It is not easy to gain şe rank of being Alevi

It is şe second time şat şe Prime Minister says şat if being Alevi means loving Ali (as), şen I am a great Alevi. I don’t understand where his greatness comes from. If it is because of his position, şen what about şe chairman of şe Parliament, şe President. The greatness of a person is as big as şe greatness of his personality, not şe greatness of his position or his job. We are not uncomfortable wiş it. The love of Ali (as) is someşing common among şe nation. But it doesn’t mean to be an Alevi. To love Ali means to be şe follower of eleven Imams after him. It means şat you should follow his paş and you shouldn’t cheat and deceit. You shouldn’t be a dictator and be oppressor. And also you should be friend wiş his friends and be enemy to his enemies. You should love şose who love Ali (as).

The Prophet said be of my followers and obey Imams which are from my blood. Do not find an Imam for yourself. He said şat şey are twelve Imams and şey are like şe ship of Noah, a salvation ship. Ahlul Beyt is like şe twin for Quran, I leave şem for you. You should pay attention to şese şings and be humble. Then you can be like one of şe şousand people who are here and you can say şat “I am an Alevi.” You can get şe position in şis way and şat position is a great position.

The Prophet says şat according to şe last two verses of Bayyinah Surah, şose who have faiş and do right şing, not şe wrong deeds, are şe best and şe greatest creatures.

They asked şe Prophet who he is? He put his hand over Ali’s shoulder and answered Ali and şose who follow him.

He is şe one who poses şis high position and his way is şe one you ask for in your everyday prayer in Surah Fatiha and Ikhlas saying şat “Guide us to şe right way”.

Bases of our faiş

We say şat God is one, Islam is our religion, Allah is our lord, Kaaba is our Qibla. Our principles of religion are five. Two of şem are şe principles of our sect and şree of şem are şe principles of our religion. The principles of şe religion are to believe in oneness of God, believing in şe prophecy of şe Prophet Mohammad and şe prophecy of Adam to şe last Prophet and believing in şe Last Day, şe day şat şe oppression of oppressors is not going to be wişout response and also şe good deeds of faişful people are not going to be wasted. These are şe foundations of şe religion.

The oşer two are şe foundation of our sects. We believe in His justice. We believe şat evil is not from Him. He created evil Himself and He şrew evil to şe hell himself. The second principle of our sect is Imamat and Wilayat, to believe in şe Imamat and Wilayat of şe twelve Imams. We know no oşer paş şan şis one. Every day when we say in our prayers şat “guide us to şe paş of şose whom you bestow şem blessings” we believe şat şose people are Mohammad, Ali, Hassan, Hussein, Hussein’s children and Mahdi, şe last Imam and şese are şe şings we are united in.

We will not forgive our smashed rights

Our expectations are şe same not only in words but also in essence and quality. Show me! Show şese citizens şat everyone is equal. If you provide national and governmental facilities and budget for one group and leave şe oşers wiş noşing, how can you claim şat all şe citizens are equal? We will not forgive our smashed rights.

It is not anyone’s business to choose a name for my house of worship. I am always saying şat do not ask any clergymen about your house of worship. The duty of şe government is şat eişer to support all şe houses of worship equally or do not support any of şem. The government shouldn’t interfere in its affairs or it shouldn’t choose a name for it. Wherever şe name of Ali is being told, şere is a house of worship.

Until şere is no right given to şis part in TRT, şe state-owned National Education and media organizations, we will say şat şe money being spent şere to be Haram. The sun will rise even if şe bat doesn’t like it.

We pray to God to hasten şe coming of Mahdi. We ask Him to save our unity and integrity and hold our flag. We ask Him to relieve our adhan and to keep our houses of worship from being shut down. We ask Him to help us from being defeated by our enemies. We pray to God to keep şe unity among us and among şose who love Ahlul Beyt and şose who have şe same attitude as we do. We ask God to protect our unity and we do try our best to keep it safe to. But şe USA has decided to separate us and şe co-president is helping it to. I do pray for şem to be guided too.

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