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News > Letter of Iranian Foreign Minister to UN Secretary General

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Letter of Iranian Foreign Minister to UN Secretary General

Letter of Iranian Foreign Minister to UN Secretary General

Full text of the letter dated 29 January which has in its attachment the message dated 21 January from Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addressed to youth in Europe and North America follows:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I wish to draw your kind attention to the quite unsettling and pervasive manifestations of Islamophobia, which have further escalated in the aftermath of the recent terrorist acts in Paris. The unjustifiable killings by members of an infamous violent extremist group - whose raison detre and emergence recently as a player in our region is known to all - have been condemned by the Muslims across the globe, in clear and unequivocal terms, including governments, religious institutions and authorities, civil society and prominent individuals. The fact that such senseless resorts to violence has no place in Islam and its exalted teachings, nor acceptable to Muslims, is not in doubt;notwithstanding the campaign by the perpetrators promoters of Islamophobia try depict it otherwise.
The issue for us, in the Islamic Republic, and in the larger Muslim world, is the prevalence of double-standards when it comes to the question of the proclaimed defense of the universallyrespected principle of the ‘freedom of expression. You might find this of interest that in 2008, a cartoonist of the same magazine was instructed by the magazines editor to write a letter apology for what was perceived to be anti-Semitic; and was summarily fired once he refused. No such approach and resolve has ever been seen in the case of frequent frivolous caricatures defaming Muslim and desecrating Islamic values, which appeared in that magazine and other similar publications in Europe; leading to exacerbated tension with the Muslim community in France and the Islamic world. As we all have ruefully witnessed in recent times in various societies in the Western world, whether by political quarters and personalities, the media, or the virtual world, open assault on the religious values of Muslims, be it the person of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Holy Quran or the Islamic teachings and values has regrettably become the order of the day.
This inherently dangerous phenomenon poses serious threat to international peace and security, and the acutely needed ambiance of humane, peaceful inter-state and inter-people relations and the requisite recourse, by all, to dialogue, understanding and tolerance between and among the plurality of ethnic, religious and racial communities in our world today.
Beyondthe immediate and necessaryaction to denounce and condemnacts of verbal or physical violence, the West and Europe in particular now needs to undertake a sole searching exercise as to the underlying reasons why quite a sizeable number of individuals and groups espousing extremist ideologies and engaged in acts of brutal terror and heinous violence, in Europe and on a much bigger scale in Iraq and Syria, happen to be second generation Europeans. This rather bizarre and seemingly inexplicable phenomenon cannot be a mere coincidence, nor can it be easily dismissed or pushed under the rug; it is part and parcel of the current European political landscape. It betrays signs of a deeper socio-political malaise in the societies concerned, and especially in the policies in place as regards Muslim minorities and their values and sanctities.
Recent analyses, prompted in large measure by the high rate of terrorist recruitments in Europe and North America, point in the direction of systematic failure of these societies, which has led to marginalization, alienation and disenfranchisement of these communities and their members, most notably the second generation, born, raised and educated in Western societies. It is bewildering, and equally frightening, that Daesh terrorists,beheading innocent civilians and dangling with self-satisfying depravity the heads of the murdered hostages just happen to be speaking European languages with native accent. Pointing fingers of accusation towards others, whether Muslim countries, certain governments whose policies and politics might be found disagreeable, or much worse, Islam as a faith, even if politically-correct domestically and of instantaneous or short-term benefit, is simply unconvincing, and incapable of addressing serious problems at the societal,and now global, levels.
In writing this letter, Mr. Secretary-General, I do not intend to lament obvious manifestations of double-standards or find fault with highly-sanctioned policies by this or that Western government or society. Rather, I share this concern with you with a more serious objective in mind. Considering the institutional capabilities of the United Nations, and as a career multilateral diplomat who still believes in the substantial potentials of the Organization, I tend to remain hopeful that the UN and its capacity and mechanisms can be brought to bear on an issue of immense international impact and reverberations. Two Iranian proposals, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on Dialogue Among Civilizations (A/Res/56/6) and World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) (A/Res/68/127) can provide appropriate institutional framework for this endeavor. More recently, in a message that I have the privilege to enclose, Ayatollah Khamenei has taken the lead in initiating dialogue with the youth in the West on this cardinal issue.
I strongly believe we urgently need to draw on our collective wisdom, at the level of the entire international community, to explore practical ways and means in this regard.
Looking forward to be advised of your resolute initiative, and underlining my readiness for further exchange of views on this topicalissue, allow me, Mr. Secretary-General, to assure you of my highest consideration.

M. Javad Zarif

29 January 2015

Message dated 21 January 2015 from Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran, addressed to Youth in Europe and North America

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 dont 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 dont 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 dont 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 dont insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Dont allow this dynamic and effective reality in todays world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Dont 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 Quran and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Quran 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, dont 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, dont 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
21 January 2015 

07:36 - 9/02/2015    /    Number : 326668    /    Show Count : 805


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