One of the main aspects of that has attracted me towards the Shiite school of thought was the intellectual aspect of Shiite religion.
One of the main aspects of that has attracted me towards the Shiite school of thought was the intellectual aspect of Shiite religion.
An Exclusive Interview of a Revert to Islam from Czech Republic, Mr. Ali Scott Vitkovic by Tina Baradaran and Rahyafte Radio Team.
Ali Scott Vitkovic was born in the Czech Republic, he is former medical science student of Harvard University and follower of nehzat Emam Khomeyni.
Welcome to interview.
How did you become familiar with Islam? And what drove you to convert to Islam?
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate
I seek refuge in Allah from cursed
Peace be upon Mohammad and his followers
Thank you for welcoming me to your interview. I’m here to answer your questions. So please feel free to ask anything that is of your interest and pray that we all benefit from this interview in this world and in the hereafter Insha’Allah.
Before I accepted the religion of Islam, I was a Christian and I studied the Christian religion since I was about twelve years old. In 2006, I lived in the United States in the state of Massachusetts in Boston where I attended Harvard University. At that time, the United States was involved in wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq and other parts of the world. And I wanted to know why the United States is attacking predominantly countries these predominant Moslem populations. So I began studying Islam and I have discovered that the United States was the biggest criminal and biggest aggressor in the world. But besides that I was interested in the religious aspect of Islam, so I begin studying books, reading, doing research in the library and this is how I came to Islam.
What attracted you towards the Shia school of thought?
After careful studies, I have decided to become a Moslem. Because I have seen that the religion of Islam was the most complete religion. Namely the religion of Islam, of the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his followers) and the ahlulbeit, so I accepted Islam and I became Moslem.
One of the main aspects of that has attracted me towards the Shiite school of thought was the intellectual aspect of Shiite religion. Moslem should not take anything for granted. In Islam, we accept things because we are convinced about them and to be convinced about them, we have to understand them and to understand them, we have to have the knowledge and the effort to acquire this knowledge. We have to study and we pray for wisdom and for guidance. So that was the main aspect and the second the aspect was that the Shiite school of thought is all-inclusive. It includes all aspects of this life, all aspects of the hereafter, all aspects of the physical world and all aspects of the spiritual world. There is no question that the Shiite school of thought cannot answer, so in my opinion and in my understanding, these were the main reason why I accepted the Shiite school of thought.
You mentioned that you studied several books to understand Islam? Could you mention some of the books other than the Holy Quran which helped you better understand Islam?
When I started studying about Islam, one of the first books that I read were the writings of Imam Khomeini, Velayat Faghih. This was mainly because I was interested in the political aspect of Islam. But when I became interested also in the religious aspect of Islam, one of the most important books was Nahjol Balaghe, I kept reading Nahjol Balaghe over and over again, verse by verse and trying to understand what the verse says, I reflected on my reading very carefully. And I didn’t read it in any particular order but I more concentrated on understanding the Nahjol Balaghe, on understanding the meaning, on understanding the content what Imam Ali (peace be upon him) tried to convey to us. Other books that I have read other than Nahjol Balaghe and the Holy Quran, were books written by Imam Khomeini, Allameh Tabatabaee, Shahid Motahhari, Ayatollah Amoli, and Ayatollah Amini. Just to mention a few, I read the Islamic teachings, Shiite ontology, Resale of Velayat, vicegerency by Allameh Tabatabaee, ethics of the prophet by Langeroodi, lantern on the past, all solutions are with the prophet’s progeny, the principles of bringing of children by Allameh Amini, life within me by Ayatollah Motahari, Tabatabaee and Imam Khomeini, Fatemeh, the gracious. One of the best books that I enjoy is titled self-building by Ayatollah Amini. I also read ethics and spiritual growth, God and his attributes, prophets and his message, the Syreh of prophets, Imamate and leadership by Lari, Islamic government by Imam Khomeini, man and his destiny, fundamental of Islamic thoughts, the theory of knowledge by Ayatollah Motahhari and many other books.
One the benefits of these books is that these books are translated in all the major languages of the world and they are available from the Ansareen publications in Qom and they are also available over the internet, most of them for free download, so I think that readers and listeners around the world can easily locate these books and benefit from them as well Inshallah.
Please tell us about what was the reaction of the people around you in America after you became a Muslim? Did you experience any problems with the people who knew you?
As the listeners may know and as you know in America the only Islam that is allowed to exist is the American Islam. What is the American Islam is not Islam at all. It’s a covered service for the U.S government to destroy Islam. Unfortunately, most people still don’t know that there is no Islam in America that this American Islam has been actually created by the Zionist, United States for destruction of Islam. So when I became Muslim and when I discovered this fact, of course, I became a target of the U.S government. After about six months later when I became Muslim in spring 2006, six months later in November 2006, and the U.S government agent broke into my home at night, kidnapped me from my bed and extrajudicially imprisoned me and tortured me in the most brutal way trying to murder me. The reaction of most people was that they became scared that same fate may happen to them, too. Whether they were Muslims or whether they were American Muslims or whether they were just a form of friends or people who might have helped in the past. The first people who abandoned me ironically was my own family. But this very same thing happened when I was persecuted by the communists in Czechoslovakia as a child. The first people who abandoned me were my parents and my family. The next people who abandoned me were people who seemed to say that they are my friends. And people who might have helped who needed help with various things because I studied medical science wanting to be a doctor and so I was active in helping people who were in need. Suddenly nobody knew me. The next people to abandon me were the colleagues at the Harvard University. So in the middle of one day, going from Harvard to prison, the only one who didn’t abandon me was God. And for the next seven and half years and actually until today God has never abandoned me.
You mentioned that you read Nahjal Balagh, what sayings of Imam Ali (as) did you found the most inspiring, can you mention some of them?
Nahjol Balagheh and the words of Imam Ali was one of the main strength that kept me alive during the torture in the prison by the United States’ government. And so I knew that by understanding Imam Ali, by following his words, by following his example, it was the way to not only become victorious in this world but in the hereafter. So I always remembered Imam Ali, Imam Hossain and Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) and the words of Imam Ali. And when I was in the biggest need, that’s where I turned. One of the verses that came to my mind when I was in dire need and as you can imagine being tortured in the most brutal ways by the U.S government the Barmen Homan security agents. There were many times when I needed strength. So one of the things Imam Ali (peace be upon him) says that if the situation for you is difficult, if you feel sad or alone, just imagine, pretend that you are happy. And if you cannot be happy, just pretend and eventually, things will get better. And I can testify that this is indeed true. In the prison, I always tried to be happy, cheerful, smiling, enjoying every minute of that prison and of that torture even though it was difficult and maybe can sound as a paradox. But this is also the best weapon against the oppressor because the oppressor, the U.S government wants to destroy you, they want to destroy Islam and they use any means possible and available to them to do this. And they are very used to that both governments and individuals succumb to the U.S government just because of the treads. When threads don’t work, just because of some kind of other blackmail and if other blackmail doesn’t work, they just murder people. And when the U.S government agent see that their blackmail, their atrocities, their violence, their treads don’t work and that a person is strong not because of a physical strength but because of a spiritual strength, they recognize the limits of their power and they become scared. Actually, Imam Khamenei said this sentence in different words. He said if you fear the U.S government, the U.S government doesn’t fear you. But if the U.S government fears you, then that means you don’t fear them. So there is no reason to fear them. The U.S government today is finished. They are going very fast and they accelerate in the speed of going to hell, both in the physical hell and in the sense of eternal hell. It’s only matter of time when the complete crash is coming and anybody even a little child who has a little sense can see that the U.S has become one of the worst third world countries. This extreme poverty, extreme misery, extreme unhappiness and nothing could left to them. So, this is not a surprise, an entity that perpetuates violence, murders, crimes around the world cannot meet any other fate. But this is also a warning to the Muslims. You have to be steadfast on your path. If you become too comfortable, if you become too lazy, if you become too self-satisfied, things can quickly reverse. And you have to understand that these achievements as Imam Ali’s achievements come from God. They don’t come from ourselves. So our relationship with God is of the primary issue, of the primary purpose that’s what we strive for. And if our relationship with God and our relationship with fellow human beings is according to the plan of God, the enemy, the Satan, has no chance to succeed.
How did they finally release you from jail? Could you go back to America after that?
Once when I was in the prison and times were very difficult, I suffered many injuries inflicted by the U.S government agents and many serious medical conditions and that I was near to death, one night I felt sad and I prayed to God and eventually I fall asleep. When I fall asleep, I had a dream. In the dream, I walked in the meadows and pastures on a path. And after some time I saw a man about in his middle age walking in front of me and so I thought I will catch up with him and ask him where this path is going. As I approached him and greeted him, he said here is my house so if you like, walk in and I will come in shortly and if anybody comes to the door, please open the door and invite them in. So I went to that house, it was a little wooden house with about two rooms and a little hallway. The kind of houses that were built hundreds of years ago in the middle of pastures. I walked in and I went to the kitchen there was a stove and some dishes and people started walking in. so every time somebody knocked on the door, I opened the door and welcomed them in as the man said. Very soon the room was filled with these people. And they sat behind a big table and they were divided into three groups. And then the man, the owner of the house returned and he asked if everybody came in and the people who were there said we are still waiting for somebody. So he said in the meantime I introduce to you who these people are. And he pointed to the first group of people and they said we are your relatives, your family who have lived before you and then he pointed to the second group of people and they said we are the angels who watch over you. And then he pointed to the third group of people and he said we are the soldiers of Imam Zaman and we are the Ahlulbayt. And then somebody knocked on the door and the man opened the door and a man with two boys about the age of twelve years and a wife walked in. They said these are the third group of people. The man said sit next to me now I will explain to you why you are in this home. You said that everybody has abandoned you and that you are left lonely by yourself and God. So he pointed to the first group of people who said they were my relatives and he asked them did you abandon him? And the people said just one will speak on behalf of the whole group because our answer is the same. And he said no, we never abandoned him. We never stop praying for him. And he turned to the second group of people who were the angles and he said did you abandon him? And one of the angles said no, we never abandoned him. We always protected him. And then he turned to the third group of people to the man who walked in last and that was Imam Ali and next to him sat his sons. This man asked them “did you abandon him?” Imam Ali said, never, I never stopped fighting for him. And when I heard these words, I started crying because he showed me how little faith I had. How much I was focused on the physical aspect of life and completely forgot that all the other aspects of existence. Then the man who sat next to me, put his arm around me and said don’t worry, everything is ok. I understood he was Imam Zaman (peace be upon him). Then I woke up and I was still crying. I’m telling you this dream maybe they say it’s a dream but sometimes there is a message. So as myself maybe this would be the inspiration for you to be on the physical aspect of our family, our friends, of our houses, of our cars and mobiles and comfort of life. Because be on these there is a whole vast and endless existence of a very different and the most powerful of the world.
After I was in the prison for about seven years, people eventually started learning about the U.S government atrocities against those who were extrajudicially unjustly imprisoned. Regular Americans start gathering in front of the prison every week and begin protesting these U.S government atrocities. I was not in the prison because I was sentenced for a crime, I was in the prison because the U.S government has kidnapped me from my home and started torturing me because I have accepted Islam. In the U.S government’s own words they said: his religion, his political opinions, his education and his experience may be a threat to the United States in the future. So that’s why I was in the prison in the U.S, that’s why the U.S government tortured me. And so these Americans came in front of the prison about once a week, protested, sometimes got arrested, beaten by the police. But every week they came back again and more than them. So the U.S government became despaired because they didn’t want this publicity and start contacting to other governments wanting to transfer me to another country that would continue imprisoning and torturing me. But no other country would take me to their prison because they said we have no problem with this person and we don’t imprison and torture people because of their religion. Eventually, under threats and pressure and amounts of money the Czech government helped the Americans and allowed the U.S government to kidnap me across the international borders and hand me over to the Czech government. So this is how they brought me to the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, the Czech government refused to provide any medical care or any kind of humanitarian assistance. But thanks to God there were other people who have assisted me and helped me to reach a third country where I have been now living for some time, pursuing my studies and my life and I’m very grateful for all who have extended their help. Most of the time most of all I am grateful to the almighty who has delivered me from evil to the best place where I can now study, live and share my message with you and with the all world and their witness to the atrocities, to the crimes, to the worst of behavior, worst of destruction, the U.S government has done. I’m grateful that I can speak to you today because there are millions of people who would speak to you say to me but they can’t because the U.S government has murdered them. They are dead.
I don’t know why I ever would want to go back to the United States. There is no reason for me to come to the United States other than to help speed up the crash, the final collapse of the U.S government. But for that, I don’t need to come to the United States. The United States is finished, done. There is nothing. Nothing for the people of other countries and actually nothing for the regular Americans who themselves are being oppressed and persecuted and squeezed to their last penny by the U.S government. They have no life, no future there. So America is just a garbage place that the U.S government has created and I’m very sorry for the people who perhaps do not have the means to escape from this garbage can. And I pray that all good and honest people and their many of honest Americans who are searching and wanting to live peaceful lives will find a way to escape from this hell and they will find countries who will welcome them and where they can come to a peaceful and good life and where there will be welcomed by others who willing to help them and find them the path that will lead to their success in this world and in the hereafter.
Yesterday was the day of Arbaeen were over 20 million people went to visit Imam Hussein (as) and his brother Abul-Fadel (as),
We would like to know what did you think the first time your heard about Imam Hussain(as) and the day of Ashura? What effect did this have on your life?
When I first heard about Imam Hussain, Karbala and Arbaeen, it was from reading a book about Imam Hussain and Karbala. But from that book, I understood that this is not a historical narrative. We may think that this is a long past history. But Karbala and Imam Hussain is played over and over again in our everyday lives. This is very important. There is every day a battle going on and the enemies of Imam Hussain are coming and perpetuating Karbala again and again. We shouldn’t see Karbala and Arbaeen as an opportunity to go on a hiking trip. This is not a hiking trip. If we want to go on a hiking trip, we can go to the mountains. We go to Karbala to affirm our belief and our strength in the message of God and the message of Ahlulbayt and to demonstrate that we are the soldiers of Imam Hussain. But we should demonstrate this in our inner life and in our actions. Karbala and Arbaeen are very important every year. But it shouldn’t just be those few days a year. Karbala and Arbaeen is every day.
What do you believe is the best way to promote the message of Islam to the rest of the world?
The best way to promote the message of Islam is by action not by words. Words are cheap and anybody can say anything and most of what we hear has very little to do with any reality. So the best way to promote the message of Islam is to promote it by our own actions. You may ask which actions can I forward on behalf of myself and Islam to the world. I can tell you there are countless people today being tortured and imprisoned extrajudicially in the United States. There are even children and newborns being imprisoned extrajudicially and tortured by the United States government in the U.S. They have nobody to help them, they have no lawyer, they have no friends, they have no telephone contact, and they have nobody to even speak to. We can say down with U.S.A but this will not really help in any tangible way to those who perhaps are dying from infection or sepsis in a prison cell, because the U.S government agents inflicted wounds on them that got infected and refused to provide them with five cents worth of benzol. So there are many ways, this is just one way, but there are many ways. Other ways are to uncover and publish the actions, the evil actions of the U.S government and to help Americans themselves who are searching for truth and a better way of life to arrive at the path that they are searching. There are people who come to other countries increasingly more and more people are running away from America and they are coming to other countries trying to establish a new life. There are ways to help these people, their families, and their children. So it’s just a matter of reflecting upon the message of the Quran and the Ahlulbayt. Looking around ourselves, making ourselves strong and seeing where is the best potential that I can demonstrate with my action, the message of Islam in the world today.
What advise do you have for the Muslim youth in Iran and the rest of the world?
The youth in Iran are very active, very smart, and very intelligent and have a great potential. They are in great numbers. The best message to these youth is to learn from the Quran and the Ahlulbayt and those who carry this message of Islam in their actions every day from Imam Khamenei. Imam Khamenei lives between us today. Every day with his actions he demonstrates the message of Islam and he speaks to us with his words. He is available to us to advise us and to lead us. All we need to do is listen, reflect, think, study and imitate his way. To pray to be like Imam Khamenei and Imam Khomeini with actions not just with words.
One of the important aspects of Velayat Faghih and having Imam Khamenei living with us is that this message that he carries is not only for Iran. Islam and the Islamic revolution and the Ahlulbayt doesn’t belong to only people in Tehran or Qom. Islam, Ahlulbayt, Velayat Faghih, Imam Khamenei and all the outstanding personalities belong to the world. Imam Khomeini was born in Iran but his revolution is for the world. The Ahlulbayt is for the world. Islam is for all the people of the world, the true Islam not the American’s Islam that is the enemy of Islam, the true Islam. I pray that people in the world will be given the wisdom and the knowledge to recognize these differences and to truly find the true Islam of God that will bring peace in their lives and in the lives of their families in this world and in the hereafter.
Which aspect of Islam do you believe is more attractive to foreigners?
Which aspect of Islam did you find the most attractive?
I don’t know which aspect of the Islam is attractive to foreigners but I can speak for myself. I think its individual aspect for each individual person that is different. I have noticed that for many young Americans it’s usually the political aspect because they are fed by the U.S government with hatred towards the true Islam. But for people from other countries, it may be the spiritual aspect, it may be the intellectual aspect.
For me, the most attractive aspect was that Islam is not limited. It has no limits. It includes everything that exists. And it’s a religion based on knowledge and wisdom not based on somebody telling you to have to accept this or that. So I think since it’s a universal religion, every person coming from anywhere in the world will find something in Islam that he or she will find attractive and important Insha’Allah.
Could you please tell us who you are with in this photo above?
This picture above is from a lecture that I was invited to deliver at University of Gilan. It’s one of the most beautiful universities I have ever visited and the man on my right is Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Samiee, one the most beautiful man I have ever met in my life. He is the brother of professor Majid Samiee, the world’s most famous Neurosurgeon from the Islamic republic who practices neurosurgery both in the Islamic republic, in Germany and visits all major medical centers around the world helping people who suffer from very dangerous forms of cancer in their brain.
If you want to say some words about the beauty of Islam, the peace, the calmness you have found in this religion what would you say?
The religion of Islam gave me the ability to overcome anything in this world that may come to my path, give me the ability to learn and to try to understand anything I decide to learn, gave me the ability to know where I am going, what is my goal in my life and why has God created me and sent me to this world. It gave me peace, it gave me contentment. Now it gave me everything I need for success in this life and in the hereafter. And I pray that people who are listening to this broadcast will find the same peace that God has given me. And of course I’m here to be of any assistance to your dear listeners and your dear audience you all if I can be of assistance and help. So please feel free to contact me any time raise your questions, raise your requests. I’m a servant of God here for you Insha’Allah.
Is there anything else you would like to add on?
Thank you very much for inviting me to your program today. It’s been a great privilege to be here for you and to answer your questions. I pray that we will have the opportunity to share much more topics in the future and go into more details to some of your questions that you have asked. And depending on your interest, your questions, please submit them to the channel or to my channel and if you interested, we will work very diligently to provide you with information and answers that of your interest, your help, your guidance, and we pray for you and hope that you be successful in your life in this world and in the hereafter. And all prays belongs to our prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his followers) to the Ahlulbayt and to all whom God has chosen.
We thank brother Ali Scott Vitkovic for your time and wise words. You are an inspiration to people all around the world. Your perseverance and understanding of Islam is truly inspirational. May Allah (swt) grant you all the success in this world and the hereafter. May all your deepest prayers be accepted. We really enjoyed listening to your story and we look forward to hearing from you in the future. Also, Congratulations on your marriage and may Allah(swt) bless your family inshaAllah.
Thank you very much for your beautiful words and for your prayers. It has been a great privilege for me to speak with you today and to share my experience with you. I pray that both of us will drive benefit from today’s interview and that you will find something inspirational, something that will speak to your heart and that be beneficial to you in your own life and in your everyday life. It’s my intention to be of assistance to you and to help you as much as I’m able to with my actions, my thoughts, and my prayers and you are always in my heart. I pray for your success, for the success of those who have organized this interview and those who are working so diligently on behalf of the Almighty, the Ahlulbayt, and the believers. May God bless you, protect you and guide you always Insha’Allah.
Edited by: Faegheh Heidari
please accept this from us.
You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing.
You are The Most Forgiving.
You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful.
Allah! grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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