(Fars News Agency)
Iran’s leading independent news agency
Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:25
A Historic Letter Whose Impact Will Be Revealed in Future
TEHRAN (FNA)- At a time when pundits and media outlets in the West continue to claim aggressively, willfully and shamelessly that the ideology of Islam and its essential goals are entirely imperialistic, for territorial gain and for religious preponderance, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei writes an open letter to the Western youth to shed light on truth and nothing but the truth about God’s last revelation:
There is no compulsion in Islam (The Holy Qur’an, 2:256) and that in no way does Islam preach violence and extremism. Anyone who doesn’t see this is neither blind nor foolish, but probably complicit in global West’s new Islamophobia campaign.
As is, one of the fundamental truths established by the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. No one should ever be threatened or harmed in any way if he does not wish to accept Islamic rule either. Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter is to be understood in these terms.
Islam attaches such great importance to learning that the Holy Qur’an has this to say: “It is the men of knowledge who can truly realize God.” (35:28)
By way of encouraging reflection on the universe, nature and peoples to explore the divine glory, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) likewise has this to say: “An hour of reflection is better than a hundred years of worship without reflection.”
No doubt, it was this interrelatedness of knowledge and worship that made the early Muslims seek and impart knowledge wholeheartedly and religiously – not violence and extremism, as global West would like to suggest.
Likewise, it is based on such sacred texts that Ayatollah Khamenei calls on young people in Europe and North America to embrace intellectual discourse, to break out of the cycle of fear, hatred and violence, and to gain a better understanding of Islam through reflection and by reading the real source, i.e., the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The Iranian Leader urges the youth to resist violence and embrace peace, to conduct independent research and adopt the conclusions arrived at, and to not judge Islam based on partial reports or fanatical interpretations.
Overall, since the historic epistle was written on January 21 in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, it also uncovers the irrefutable fact that foreign-backed terrorist goons and ‘Jihadi Johns’ in Iraq and Syria, who coerce their subjects through intolerable violence to accept Islam against their will, cannot be called Muslims.
They are only there to tarnish the image of Islam, because as per the holy texts, non-Muslims must be allowed to remain on their own faith and practice the rights of their faith as it can be readily seen in Iran.
Into the argument, Ayatollah Khamenei addresses the youth because Western governments deliberately refuse to introduce useful projects to let their children understand Islam better. They refuse to help them bring new ideas and energy to add to the pool of knowledge that currently exists about Islam.
This while the youth represent future and bring enthusiasm and vitality, which can lead to new understanding and dialogue that could benefit society and the world at large. The Iranian Leader sees the youth and places his hope in the youth, because Islam is spreading in Europe where they are the key drivers engendering change. He never underestimates this important development, particularly now that there is a growing need to understand the true Islam and rebuff false interpretations.
Even in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei commonly addresses the youth in his forthright writings and encompassing speeches to shed light on the intellectual conditions that allow radical dogma to exist. He has never taught the Iranian youth that modernity and Islam are antithetical, or that they should never engage in inter-faith dialogue with counterparts in the West.
In stark contrast, he always teaches that a balance between Western culture and Islamic culture is achievable, and that this balance can be learned through spiritual and intellectual inquiry alike – where far right Western dogma and radical Islam are no longer foils for one another, and Western youth are no longer taught the dogma that freedom, equality and brotherhood are uniquely Western values.
This is the ultimate message. It might be short, but it says much more than the words written on it. Studying other religions does not mean converting to other religions, but learning more about ‘others’ who are different from us and can bring diversity and great values to improve comprehending our own nature.
In its embrace of an intellectual discourse, the Iranian Leader’s historic letter to the youth in the West is encompassing, truly intimate and exceptionally sincere, whose impact will be revealed in future.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter in full can be read here.
(Fars News Agency)
Iran’s leading independent news agency
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:36
Iranian Supreme Leader Sends Message to European Youth to Reveal Lies about Islam
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei sent a highly important message to the European youth on Wednesday night to stress the Islam that the West is trying to portray is a forged concept and not the reality, demanding the younger generation in the West to do research to get firsthand information before accepting their states’ propaganda.
“I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam…,” the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said in a part of his message, and added, “Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.”
“… in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from,” he said, and stressed, “Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?”
What follows is the full text of the message:
To the Youth in Europe and North America
Message of ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran
In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful
To the Youth in Europe and North America,
The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.
I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.
I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.
Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.
The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.
By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?
You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.
My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.
I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.
Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?
Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?
I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.
Although no one can individually fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.
Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.
Seyyed Ali Khamenei
21st Jan. 2015