Badi’ al-Zaman Said Nursi

“I suffered more pain here in Turkey than my three years of as a prisoner-of-war in Russia”

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I remain silent. For in the Great War I fought as the commander of a volunteer regiment. Applauded by the Commander-in-Chief of the army and Enver Pafla, I sacrificed my valuable students and friends. I was wounded and taken prisoner. Returning from captivit y, I cast myself into danger through such works as The Seven Steps, aiming them at the heads of the British, who had occupied Istanbul. I assisted those who now hold me without reason in this torturous captivity. As for them, they punish me in this way for that help. Those friends here cause me in three months the hardship and distress I suffered in three years as a prisoner-of-war in Russia. Nor did the Russians prevent me from giving religious instruction, although they regarded me as a Kurdish militia commander, a cruel man who had slaughtered Cossacks and prisoners. I used to instruct the great majority of my ninet y fellow-officer prisoners. One time, the Russian commander came and listened. Because he did not know Turkish, he thought it was political instruction and put a stop to it. Then later he gave permission. Also, in the same barracks we made a room into a mosque and I used to lead the prayers. They did not interfere at all. They did not prevent me from mixing, or from communicating, with the others. Whereas my friends here, my fellow citizens and co-religionists and those for whose benefits in the form of religious belief I have struggled, have held me in distressing captivity not for three years but for six, for absolutely no reason and although they know I have severed all my relations with the world.
They have prevented me mixing with others. They have prevented me from giving religious instruction despite my having a certificate, and even from giving private instruction in my room. They have prevented me from communicating with others. They have even barred me from the mosque which I repaired and where I acted as prayer-leader for four years, although I had the necessary certificate. And now, to deprive me of the merit of performing the prayers in congregation, they do not accept me as prayer- leader even for three private individuals, my permanent congregation and brothers of the hereafter.

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