Since those explanations were written thirty or forty years ago, and decisive answers have been given in my defence and objections, which have been presented to three other courts besides yours, and to six departments of government in Ankara, and have received no criticism, surely it cannot be considered to be at variance with any law if explanations of the Hadith’s true meaning turn out to fit a faulty individual.
Also, the merits of the reforms in which that person had a part, the faults of which he was the cause, are not only his, they are also the army’s and the government’s. He only had a share of them. Just as it is surely not a crime to criticize him for his faults, so it cannot be said it is attacking the reforms. Also could it possibly be a crime not to like someone who turned the Aya Sophia Mosque into a house of idols —despite its being an eternal source of this heroic nation’s honour, and shining like a jewel in its jihad and service of the Qur’an, and being a vast and precious souvenir of the nation’s swords— and who also transformed the Shaykh al-Islam’s Office into a girls’ high school?
The Second Matter with which I am charged in the Indictment:
Three courts of law have acquitted me on this matter; and as I pointed out forty years ago when elucidating the wondrous interpretation of a Hadith, the Shaykh al-Islam of men and jinn, Zembilli ‘Ali Efendi, stated: “It is not permissible to put a brimmed hat on one’s head, even as a joke,” and all the Shaykh al-Islams and all the Islamic ‘ulama considered it impermissible. The mass of Muslims were therefore in danger when they were forced to wear such hats (that is, they either had to renounce their religion or rebel); but since in one section of the Fifth Ray, which was written forty years ago, it says “The wearing of the brimmed hat will be enforced, and prostration in prayer will be forbidden. But the faith in the heads of those wearing it will make the hat prostrate, God willing, making it Muslim,” it saved the mass of Muslims both from rebellion and revolt, and from voluntarily renouncing their religion and belief; and although no law at all can propose such a thing to those living in seclusion; and in twenty years none of six provincial authorities have forced me to wear it; and officials in their offices and women and children and people in the mosques and the majority of villagers are not compelled to wear it; and it has now been officially taken off the soldiers’ heads; and in many provinces now berets and knitted hats are not prohibited; nevertheless, it has been put forward as a reason for the conviction of myself and my brothers. Could any law in the world, any principle, any good, consider this completely meaningless charge to be a crime?