those European philosophers. And in Istanbul six months before the proclamation of the Second Constitution, he invited both the religious scholars and scholars of modern science to debate, and himself asking no questions answered completely correctly without exception all questions posed to him.1 Those who have caused most distress to this scholar and teacher – who has devoted all his life to the happiness of this nation, and publishing hundreds of treatises in the people’s own language of Turkish has illuminated them, and is both a fellow-citizen and a co-religionist and friend and brother – those who have nurtured enmity towards him, and indeed been disrespectful towards him, have been certain members of the educational establishment as well as a few official hojas.
What have you got to say to this? Is this civilization? Is it encouraging education? Is it patriotism? Is it love of the nation? Is it republicanism? God forbid! It is nothing at all! It is rather that divine determining showed hostility where this scholar and teacher hoped for friendship so that hypocrisy would not become mixed with his learning due to respect, and he might gain sincerity.
An assault which in my view was astonishing,
but was the cause of thanks
‘The worldly,’ who are extraordinarily egotistical, are so sensitive in their egotism that if it had been conscious, it would have reached the degree of wonder-working or of great genius. The matter in question was this:
With the sensitive balance of their egotism, they perceive in me a little hypocritical egotism which I had not perceived with my soul and mind, and in violent fashion confront it. This eight or nine years I have experienced the following eight or nine times: after they have treated me wrongfully and unjustly, I have considered divine determining and searched out the tricks of my soul, asking why they been set to pester me. Each time I have understood that my soul has unconsciously and naturally inclined to egotism, or else has knowingly deceived me. So then I have said that divine determining has acted justly towards me within those tyrants’ injustice.
The New Said says: I do not concur with the words uttered here proudly by the Old Said, but I cannot silence him since I gave him say in this treatise. Thinking, Let him display a bit of egotism before the egotists, I am silent.