A self-proclaimed prophet in Turkey has had five of his websites blocked following a complaint by the country’s top Islamic body, state news has reported.
A magistrate ruled against religious cleric Iskender Evrenesoglu after a complaint from Turkey’s religious affairs directorate (Diyanet).
Evrenesoglu had declared himself to be a prophet and the Islamic “Mahdi” – an end times figure in Islamic eschatology who many Muslims believe will come to rule the world.
He also claimed to have received prophetic revelation which he compiled in a book enitled The Lights of Prophecy.
The magistrates’ ruling followed a recent presidential decree granting the Diyanet the power to review and censor unlicensed exegesis of the Quran.
In its decision, the 3rd Criminal Magistrate of Peace in Ankara cited the Diyanet’s conclusion that the websites were “harmful, considering the basic qualities of Islam”.
Throughout history, a number of Muslims have claimed the station of Mahdi, with some garnering followings of thousands, while others simply faded into obscurity.
Notable figures include the 19th century Sudanese military leader and mystic Muhammad Ahmad, as well as Mirza Ghulam Ahmed – an Indian religious leader from the same century who founded the Ahmadi Muslim movement.