no such incident has been recorded by the Government, and neither the former nor the present courts have found such a incident. Whereas, had there been any such widespread, powerful propaganda, it would have become apparent within twenty days. That is to say, contrary to the principle of freedom of conscience, Article 163 of this ambiguous law,1 which embraces all who give religious counsel, is a bogus mask. Atheists deceive certain members of the Government, confuse the legal establishment, and want to crush us whatever happens.
Since the reality of the matter is this, we say with all our strength: o wretches who sell religion for the world and have fallen into absolute unbelief! Do whatever you can! Your world will be the end of you! Let our heads also be sacrificed for a truth that hundreds of millions of heads have been sacrificed for! We are ready for any penalty and for our execution! In this situation, being outside prison is a hundred times worse than being inside it. Since there is no freedom at all —neither religious freedom, nor freedom of conscience, nor scholarly freedom— under the absolute despotism that confronts us, for those with honour, the people of religion and supporters of freedom, there is no solution apart from death or entering prison. We say, To God do we belong, and to Him is our return,2 and we trust in our Sustainer.
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In His Name, be He glorified!
Chairman of the Court, Ali Riza Bey!
I have an important request in order to defend my rights: I do not know the new letters, and my handwriting in the old is very inadequate. Also, they do not allow me to meet with anyone; I am kept in what is quite simply solitary confinement. The indictment was even taken off me after fifteen minutes. I also do not have the means to employ a lawyer. I was able to obtain only one copy of part of the defence I have presented to you, in the new letters, secretly. I also had written out one or two copies of The Fruits of Belief, which is a sort of defence of the Risale-i Nur and a summary of its way, to give to the public prosecutor and to send to the departments of government in Ankara. They suddenly took them off
Article 163 of the Criminal Code: a law designed to enforce the principle of ‘secularism,’ and prevent the growth of any religious movements. [Tr.]