the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.
I would like to welcome the honorable participants and the dear brothers and sisters, the brothers and sisters from Ahlul Bayt World Assembly, the brothers and sisters from the Islamic Radio and Television Union and the honorable families of martyrs who are present in the meeting. I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings on all of you.
I would like to raise a few points about the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly and the Islamic Radio and Television Union. As for the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly, its significance originates from the Holy Prophet’s (a.s.) household. Allah the Exalted says something – in a very explicit manner – about the Holy Prophet’s household (a.s.) in the Holy Quran: “And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the Family, and to make you pure and immaculate” [The Holy Quran, 33: 33]. This description has been used for few groups of people in the Holy Quran. The Ahlul Bayt’s understanding and knowledge lies in their divine purity. Well, this purity has many dimensions. If a group of people associate themselves with the Holy Prophet’s household (a.s.), they should observe certain criteria. This is what we want to say: these groups should observe certain criteria. The efforts of the Holy Prophet’s household (greetings be upon them) revolved around these pivots- first, reviving the original teachings of Islam. They wanted to keep Islamic principles alive. Oppressive governments and taghuts always tried to destroy or change and distort Islamic teachings. One of the most important moves of the Holy Prophet’s household was to resist this attempt. They wanted to preserve and revive Islamic teachings. This was one of their tasks.
Another task that the Holy Prophet’s household (greetings be upon them) did was to implement divine laws. They did so whether during the time when they ruled or during the time when they were removed from government. Their efforts were focused on implementing divine laws in society. This was another task. Another task that they carried out was to engage in jihad in the way of God. You read in the ziarat of the Imams, “I testify that you strove [jihad] in the way of God, such a striving is due to him.” This means that they did not show any negligence in fighting in the way of God. They engaged in jihad in the way of God with all their power and capability. This was another task.
An important part of this jihad – which is a separate chapter in itself – was fighting against oppression and oppressors. The lives of the Holy Prophet’s household (a.s.) were imbued with fighting against oppression and oppressors. The reason behind all those pressures and poisoning attempts and all that martyrdom was this- they fought against oppression and oppressors. This is the life of the Holy Prophet’s household. Now, we want to be their followers. Therefore, we should observe these things. These things should be observed. We should promote Islamic teachings. We should consider implementing divine laws as one of our goals. We should engage in jihad in the way of God with all our power. We should fight against oppressors. We should fight against and confront oppressors. This is our responsibility.
Well, jihad is not confined to a military war. Jihad includes all kinds of fighting, ranging from cultural to political and economic fighting. All these kinds of fighting are included in jihad. Our minds should not only switch to a military war. Sometimes, it is possible that a military war breaks out, but jihad is not only this.
In our opinion, today, the manifestation of jihad for us Muslims and followers of the Holy Prophet’s household is fighting against the plots of arrogance in this Islamic region. Today, this is the greatest form of jihad. We should fight against the plots of arrogance. First, we should identify these plots and study the enemy’s thoughts so that we know what he is going to do. After that, we should plan on how we want to fight against his goals. And this is not confined to defense. Fighting includes both defense and offense. Sometimes, it is necessary for us to adopt a defensive position and sometimes, it is necessary to adopt an offensive position. In both cases, the goal is fighting against the plans of arrogance – which is the main enemy – in the region.
This fighting should take place in the entire Islamic region – particularly in this region which is West Asia. The Europeans insist on referring to this region as the Middle East region. In other words, they locate east on the basis of Europe. To them, a region is Far East, another is Middle East and another region is Near East. Because of the Europeans’ arrogance, this region has been called, “the Middle East” from the beginning. “The Middle East” is a wrong name. This is West Asia. This is Asia – a large continent – and we are in West Asia. This region is a very sensitive region. It is a very important region in terms of strategy, military power, important underground resources and connection between three continents – Asia, Europe and Africa. It is an important region for which they have certain plans. We should see what these plans are and then we should confront them. This is jihad. The Holy Quran says to us, “And strive hard in the way of Allah, such a striving is due to Him” [The Holy Quran, 22: 78]. Today, this is jihad in the way of God.
Hatching plots against the world of Islam and this region in particular is not a new development. Since many years ago – since 100 years ago: since World War I until today – this region has been exposed to many pressures by arrogant powers. One day, it was England, one day it was America and one day it was France. It is 100 years or more now that arrogant powers have been pursuing their goals here. However, these pressures, plans and plots have been reinforced since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. This is because the victory of Islam in an important, great and sensitive country like Iran was confusing for arrogance. In the beginning, they lost the power to analyze events. We used to pursue events and we were witness to this. In the beginning, they were confused. Later on, when they collected themselves, they began to exert pressure and the pivot of this pressure was the Islamic Republic of Iran. First, they focused their efforts on preventing this experience from being repeated in other countries. They were after this. This was why they thought of increasing pressures on Iran. It is 35 years now that we have gotten used to the enemy’s pressures. The people of Iran have gotten used to pressures. It is 35 years now that we have been facing threats, sanctions, security pressures, different political plots and all kinds of pressures.
This began with the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. However, after the emergence of Islamic Awakening – that began four, five years ago in North African countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and other African countries – the enemies increased their pressures. That is to say, the enemy became anxious and uneasy in the real sense of the word. They adopted many measures that are continuing in the present time. Of course, they think that they have suppressed Islamic Awakening, but this humble person believes that Islamic Awakening is not suppressible. Although they have adopted some measures, this movement exists and it will find its true position sooner or later. In any case, they have increased their efforts in the recent years. They have adopted many measures and they have brought new elements into the equation.
The enemy’s plans are based on two things. First, I will tell you that when we say, “the enemy” we do not refer to an imaginary and fictional creature. By “enemy” we mean global arrogance and arrogant powers: powers whose existence depends on dominating others, interfering in their affairs and possessing their financial and vital resources. These are arrogant powers or in other words, the leaders of global arrogance. We have a term in our political literature which is global arrogance. It means the division of the world into “the oppressor” and “the oppressed”. This is global arrogance. Those who are the leaders of this system are enemies.
If we want to give an example of who this enemy is in the outside world, we should refer to the regime of the United States of America. This regime is the epitome of global arrogance. Of course, others are part of global arrogance as well, but the clearest and the most obvious example is the regime of the United States of America. It knows nothing about human morality and it is not ashamed of committing any crime – of any nature. It covers these crimes, pressures and violent acts behind its smiles and its good and beautiful words. The manifestation of global arrogance is this regime. Therefore, when we say, “the enemy”, it means this.
This enemy’s plan in the region is mainly based on two things. Of course, it has many branches, but these are the main two. One is creating discord and the second it exerting influence. This is the basis of the enemy’s plan in the region. They want to create discord between governments and – after that – between nations which is more dangerous than discord between governments. They want to make peoples bear grudge against each other and establish biased groups with different names. One day, it was “pan-Iranism”, “pan-Arabism”, “pan-Turkism” and other such orientations and today, it is the issue of Shia and Sunni, takfirism and other such things. They create discord with anything they can. This is only item of their measures and they are working on it in a very serious way. Of course, the English were the first experts of this measure. They have expertise in creating religious discord. The Americans have learned this from them and they are working on it today with all their power.
All the takfiri groups that you see are their handicraft. Of course, we have been saying this for several years, but some people had doubts. Today, the Americans themselves are acknowledging this. They are acknowledging that it was they who created DAESH, al-Nusra Front and other takfiri groups. A bunch of simple-minded – although sincere – Muslims were deceived by them. This is the important point. What is very instructive to us and what we should pay attention to is that sometimes well-intentioned individuals work inside the enemy’s plan because of lack of vigilance. This has happened. One clear example of this is the issue of Syria. When taghuti governments were overthrown in Tunisia and Egypt with Islamic slogans, all of a sudden the Americans and the Zionists decided to use this formula for destroying resistant governments and countries. Therefore, they turned to Syria and as a result, a group of simple-minded and naïve individuals became the target of this plan. They made Syria reach the current situation. It is four, five years now that Syria has been experiencing this tumultuous situation and it is not clear when it will come to an end.
This was what the enemy did and simple-minded individuals were incorporated in this plan. They filled in the enemy’s puzzle. This happens in many cases. It was they who created takfiri groups. It was they who created thuggish and violent groups and set them on the Islamic Ummah. They pretend that this is a denominational war. I will tell you that the conflicts that they are trying to label as denominational conflicts in Iraq, Syria and other countries are not denominational at all. They are of a political nature. The war in Yemen is a political war, not a religious one. They falsely claim that the issue is about Shia and Sunni while this is not the case. Some of those people who are losing their children, women, infants and their hospitals and schools in Yemen under the bombardment of the Saudis are Shafi’i and some of them are Zaidi . So, the issue is not about Shia and Sunni. The conflict is a political conflict, the conflict between policies. Today, they are creating such a situation in the region. It was they who created discord.
We should try to eliminate these differences and conflicts. We have said to everyone in an outspoken way that we extend the hand of friendship to all regional and Muslim governments. We have no problems with Muslim governments. Of course in the present time, our relations with many of our neighbors are already friendly and brotherly. The countries to the north, south, east and west of the Islamic Republic of Iran have good relations with us. Of course, some countries – near and far away – have certain differences with us. They behave in an obstinate way and show malevolence. This exists as well, but our principle is based on establishing good relations with neighboring countries, governments and – particularly – peoples. Our country has very good relations with peoples.
Of course, we believe that we should be committed to principles. We say that principles should be preserved. It was with commitment to principles that our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) managed to achieve victory, preserve the Revolution and give stability to the Islamic Republic. He was committed to principles. One of these principles is “They are strong against unbelievers, compassionate amongst each other” [The Holy Quran, 48: 29]. This is one of the principles. We do not make peace with our enemies – with arrogance – and we do not show enmity towards our Muslim brothers, rather we behave in a friendly and brotherly manner towards them because we believe that we should be “strong against unbelievers, compassionate amongst each other.”
This is the lesson of our magnanimous Imam (r.a.). This is the clear line of the Islamic Republic. In supporting the oppressed, we do not look, have not looked and will not look at the other side’s religion and denomination. This is our magnanimous Imam’s (r.a.) guideline. Imam behaved towards Shia resistance in Lebanon in the same way that he behaved towards Sunni resistance in Palestine. He behaved towards them without any difference. We supported our brothers in Lebanon in the same way that we supported our brothers in Gaza without any difference. The former were Sunnis and the latter were Shias. The main issue for us is defending Islamic identity and supporting the oppressed. The main issue for us is the issue of Palestine which is the main issue for Muslims in the present time. This is the main issue for us.
We behave in the same way towards our enemies. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) fought against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was apparently a Shia. Likewise, he fought against Saddam Hussein who was apparently a Sunni. Of course, the former was not a true Shia and the latter was not a true Sunni either. Both of them were separate from Islam, but the former was apparently a Shia and the latter was apparently a Sunni. Imam (r.a.) fought against them in the same way. Therefore, the issue for us is not the issue of Sunni, Shia, denominational bias and other such things. The issue is the issue of Islam’s principles: “Be an enemy of the oppressor and helper of the oppressed” [Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 47]. This is Islam’s command. This is our path. This is our line.
Intensifying discord in the world of Islam is forbidden. We are opposed to the behavior of some Shia groups, as it leads to discord. We have said outspokenly that we are opposed to insulting the holy beliefs of Sunnis. Some people from both sides intensify and fuel the fire of enmities. Many of them have good intentions, but they do not have foresight. Foresight is necessary. We should see what the enemy’s plan is. The enemy’s first plan is creating discord and his second plan is exerting influence. They want to have decade-long influence in Islamic and regional countries. Today in the region, America does not enjoy the reputation that it did in the past and therefore, it wants to retrieve it. They have the same intention in our country. They have the same intention in Iran. They thought that they could use the nuclear negotiations to exert influence inside our country. Now, the fate of this nuclear agreement is not clear either in Iran or in America. It is not clear whether it will be approved or not in both countries. They wanted to use it as a means to exert influence in our country, but we blocked their path and we will definitely block their path in the future as well [audience chant “Allahu Akbar”].
We will not allow the Americans to have economic or political influence in our country, nor will we allow them to have a political presence and cultural influence in our country. We will confront them with all our power which is thankfully great in the present time. The same is true of the region. In the region too, they want to exert influence, have an excuse to show their presence and pursue their goals. By Allah’s favor and grace, we will do our best to prevent this. Our policies in the region are the exact opposite of the Americans. The territorial integrity of regional countries is very important to us. The territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria is very important to us. On the contrary, they are after dismembering these countries. I have said before that the Americans are after dismembering Iraq, but some people expressed surprise. Recently, the Americans themselves have acknowledged that they are after dismembering Iraq. They want to dismembering Iraq. If they can, they want to dismember Syria as well.
Their purpose of doing this is to create small and obedient countries, but by Allah’s favor and grace, this will not happen [audience chant “Allahu Akbar”]. We will defend the Resistance in the region. We will defend the Palestinian Resistance which is one of the most prominent chapters in the history of the Islamic Ummah throughout these years. We will defend this group. We will support anyone who fights against Israel, who condemns the Zionist regime and who approves of the Palestinian Resistance. We will offer all kinds of support, within the scope of our capabilities, to such people. We will offer all kinds of possible support to anyone who confronts the Zionist regime. We will support the Resistance. We will support the territorial integrity of countries. We will support all those individuals who resist the divisive policies of America. We confront all those people who create discord.
We do not approve of the kind of Shia whose headquarters are in London [audience chant “Allahu Akbar”] because it is not the kind of Shia that the Holy Prophet’s household (greetings be upon them) promoted. The kind of Shia that is based on creating discord and on clearing the road for the presence of the enemies of Islam is not real Shia, rather it is deviation. Shia is the epitome of original Islam and the Holy Quran. We will support all those people who help unity and we will oppose all those who act against unity. We will support all the oppressed. We will not leave the arena just because they say that we interfered in the affairs of Bahrain and other countries. We did not interfere at all, but we will support them. We feel for the oppressed people of Bahrain and Yemen. We pray for them and we will offer any kind of help we can.
Today, the people of Yemen are really oppressed. They are destroying a country just because of some arrogant and political polices which are pursued in a foolish manner. They could have pursued political goals in a different manner, but they are pursuing them foolishly. The events of Yemen and many other events in the world of Islam – in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other such countries – are really painful for us. And these events are too many and they are really painful. The world of Islam should cure such problems with vigilance and foresight.
As for the Islamic Radio and Television Union, I want to say that this union is very important. The task that you have begun – that is to say, establishing this union – is a very important task. Notice that in the present time, at least 70, 80 percent of the people in Muslim countries are committed to religious principles and beliefs. If you take a look at Islamic countries, you will see that the people are committed to and believe in their religion. To what extent are the radio and television networks in such countries – which should be the representatives of the people’s wishes and demands – committed to religion? There is a shocking gap and rift. Seventy, eighty percent of the people are religious, but radio and television networks in such countries do not move in a religious direction and they do not reflect the people’s demands. This is very strange. They reflect the same things that the dangerous media empire of arrogance wants. Today, arrogance has created a great media empire. They distort and cover up news and they tell lies. This way, they promote their policies. This is while they constantly say that they take an impartial position. The English radio claims that it is impartial, but they are lying. They are not impartial at all. They move in the exact direction of arrogant and colonialist policies – whether American or English policies.
Audio and print media, news agencies and the complicated means of mass communication that exist today are all at the service of their policies. They are at the service of arrogance, Zionism and their goals. We should do something in the face of this dangerous empire and this large media mafia that is in the hands of American and Zionist capitalists and cartels. What you are doing is the beginning of a movement and therefore, it should be pursued and strengthened on a daily basis. You should bring your partners and colleagues into the arena as well.
By Allah’s favor, a good future is awaiting us. I will tell you that despite the boastful behavior of arrogance and the great efforts that arrogance and its allies and followers are carrying out in financial, military, political and security areas, the future belongs to Islam in the region and in the entire world of Islam. By Allah’s favor, Islam’s dignity and power will increase on a daily basis. Of course, it is necessary to show diligence. Thankfully, there are many mujahid men, women and youth in the entire world of Islam. Therefore, we should appreciate their value and we should use our slogans, our moves, our words and our activities in this direction. If we do so, Allah the Exalted will definitely help: “If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet” [The Holy Quran, 47: 7].