Speeches & Messages 2003 / 4  
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This Is Our Islam

The following are excerpts of a speech delivered to a group of Muslim ulema and scholars from 56 different Muslim countries on December 23, 2003 by Imam Ali Khamenei (may his high shadow endure). 

Before Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei's speech Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Sadiq al-Mahdi, the former prime minister of Sudan and leader of the Ummah party also spoke.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I welcome all the participants and dear brothers. I would like to thank you for having accepted the Islamic Republic of Iran's invitation to take part in this gathering. You are among your family and brothers. Iran is the second home of Muslims all over the world.

It was necessary for such a gathering to be held at this time because today Muslims throughout the world are facing new events, threats and challenges. When a human being is being threatened, then it is logically expedient to gather his forces and employ his intellect to take the suitable and appropriate action in the face of that threat. A lively nation, such as the Islamic nation, does not sit passively and let events shape its destiny. Islam encourages and inspires the Islamic ummah, in respect of all events, to take action, stage uprisings and gather their thoughts. So, the Islamic world needed today's gathering, and you have responded to that need. We expect this gathering to be taken seriously. The issues of the Islamic world and the capabilities of the Islamic ummah must be reviewed closely; and ways of exploiting those capabilities must be clarified.

We, as the government of the Islamic Republic, are dependent on Almighty God, alhamdulillah. We also rely on our noble and vigilant nation. We are ready to play our part and do our share today as a member of the Islamic community.

It is true that the Islamic world is facing new threats today. But, on the other hand, there are new opportunities at our disposal. Such opportunities did not exist in the past. When one speaks of opportunities, the people's thoughts are drawn to financial opportunities. For instance, some people may think that I am talking about geographical location, historical background or natural resources under the ground. Some might think that the large population of the Islamic world is an opportunity. At first they think about such resources as opportunities. Of course, these are opportunities and there is no doubt about it. However, we must realize that despite having such resources in the past, the colonial powers managed to take control of the Islamic world. Their control of the Islamic world kept us backward for 150 to 200 years. As a result, Muslim nations were turned into dependent and backward people. We therefore come to the conclusion that such resources are not sufficient on their own.

Of course, remaining weak and backward at a juncture of time does not mean that e weak nation is doomed to a destiny of backwardness. No, whenever we come to our senses and fulfill the duties that Islam has prescribed for us, everything will change. And the Islamic world will begin to make progress in real terms.

In my oppinion, the biggest oppurtunity open to the Islamic world is Islam itself. We are blessed with Islam; and this is the biggest gift from Almighty God to us. Almighty God, in the Holy Quran, says that He gave us Islam as a gift. This is the biggest gift that Almighty God could give us. Whatever sort of gratitude we wish to demonstrate, we should do so by observing our Islamic faith. Islam can arm mankind's heart and can also equip the Muslims through knowledge and unity. This is the power of Islam and one should not underestimate this power.

Islam's situation today different from what it was 50 years ago Compared to 50 years ago, the world of Islam is much more lively, enthusiastic, hopeful and more in line with the expectations of the youth. There are plenty of hopes and expectations ahead of us. We must identify these and we must take them seriously.

Muslims of the world are proud of their faith today. There was a time that the Muslims were not proud of Islam at all. Many Muslim scholars in the past were proud of avoiding the faith and not observing Islamic rituals This has changed today, as all over the Islamic world the young people and scholars are proud of performing Islamic instructions and their Islamic identity. This is an immense opportunity.

The main rivals of the Islamic ideology, that is, Marxism, Communism and Socialism, have been eliminated from the arena today. In the past they were a major challenge confronting Islam. Once upon a time Islam had to defend itself and confront the godless ideology of Marxism. Today, those rivals of Islam have been defeated in the face of the realities in the world. Thanks to their removal. Islam has grown.

Today political Islam has powerfully entered the scene. That is something quite unprecedented in the world of Islam. Whatever was said about political Islam before always referred to the first centuries of Islam. Today political Islam is right at the center of affairs and has established its own capability and might. lt has shown that it can resist, construct and prove itself. That is a very great opportunity.

During the past years, some half a century ago and even before that, those who wanted to dominate Muslims' fates used to promise them western modernity. They used to say: We will offer you western modernity if you surrender to us and bow to our culture.

Today when Muslims look at that past, they see that western modernity has brought the world of Islam dependency and corruption. It has brought Muslims weaknes for their nations and governments. Generally speaking, western modernity has not turned Muslims into scientists or innovators, it has made them subservient. Therefore, today's Muslims are more aware and alert than the Muslims of the previous generation.

Today liberalism is facing contradictions even in its own birthplace. The same people who used to chant slogan in defense of freedom are today resorting to methods which contradict freedom in the birthplaces of individual freedom and liberalism and at their decision-making centers.

Today the West has no answer to the persecution of Palestinian children. Today the West has no answer to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and cannot defend itself in the face of horrendous killings in Afghanistan and Iraq. The West does not have an answer to, and cannot defend itself against the religious government of the people and the nations who voted for Islam were confronted by the Americans.

Today the West does not have any kind of answer to the insult against women's dignity. Today in the Western world, the birthplace of freedom and democracy women's dignity has been lost. Sexual corruption is reaching extreme levels and families are on the verge of destruction. Statistics on the destruction of the foundations of family life in Western countries are outrageous and shocking. These are issues by which the West, through the slogan of liberalism, was trying to convince the world, but, today they have proved to be contradictions in liberalism itself.

Today America and the arrogante are acting in a reactive manner towards Islam. You can see that America today, after dozens of years of clearly defending dictators and bringing them to power, is chanting the slogan of democracy for this region. Who does not know that the supporter of dictators and tyrants of this region was America itself? Today everyone has realized that it was America itself which supported Saddam. The green light given to Saddam to attack Iran and begin an eight-year war was given by the Americans.

Saddam had been nurtured by the Americans They were the ones who empowered him. They provided him with chemical weapons. They were the ones who were silent towards the massacre of Iragi people in Halabjah and mang of our young people

In our country, we still have many young people who have been affected by the blight of chemical weapons Every few weeks we hear the news of the death of one of these pious, mujahid and faithful people who were injured in Saddam's chemical attacks and are now dying

The West was silent when these events took place. Today it is the saure West which is chanting the Slogan of democracy in this region This shows their reactive response to the religious and Islamit government of the people.

The religious government of the people means the votes of the people, accompanied with religious logic, with the respect, which religion has reserved for the vote of the people. Religion provides dignity for people. Religion obliges governments to have serious responsibility towards people. Religion does not accept dictatorship from any ruler under any circumstances. This is our Islam. This is religious government of the people. Religious government of the people is based an a strong and clear logic with conditions that Islam has set for the rules in every society. Today this has been presented to the world, it has been practiced in reality, it is not only written in books. In the last 25 years we have had 24 elections in the Islamic Republic, people have come to ballot boxes and voted and safeguarded the System. This is a manifestation of the religious government of the people ;America is reacting to this and today is talking about the government of the people.

The enemies of Islam, led by the Zionists and America, do not want the true Islam to show its face. They want to restrict Islam to two forms. One is the backward form, similar to what has been seen in the Islam of the Taleban - empty of logic, full of strong fanaticism and void of ration, knowledge and wisdom - so that everyone hates Islam. Or they want a form of Islam which has completely lost its own identity to the West. The eclectic Islam which would accept whatever the West wants and propagates Western culture under the banner of Islam and has nothing to say for itself.

Those are the two forms which the enemies of Islam wish to have. But, they do not want the Islam which enters the scene seriously and seeks dignity, glory, power, justice, the government of the people and scientific progress for the Islamit community, the form of Islam which builds life.

Today the enemies of Islam, led by America and Zionism, know that a massive force is concentrated inside the Islamit ummah. They are scared of this and, therefore, their fight against the Islamit world is not targeted by naming Islam directly. That is, they are fighting Islam by giving other names to their adversary. For instance, they expand the meaning of terrorism so as to crush liberating movements. They intend to crush the Palestinian fighters, who are the most courageous combatants of Islam's path, by naming them as terrorists. They intend to remove from the arena the young warriors of Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and every other region of the Islamic world, who confront colonial motives and intervention of foreign forces. Their excuse to fight the Islarnic world is either to fight weapons of mass destruction, human rights or spread of democracy. Global arrogance is raising such excuses today, because it is frightened of confronting Islam as an adversary.

It is true that the Islamic world is facing new threats today. But the Islamic world has new opportunities too. Today, large numbers of Muslim youths all over the Islamic world are turning away from the West's lechery and colorful temptations so as to observe faith in their hearts and obedience to God in their deeds. There are many such young people in Iran and other regions of the world. We know about this and news reach us. There are many such young people in both eastern and western regions of the Islamic world.

Today, many scholars speak or write in support of Islam. Some exhibit their arts in Islam's name. These are the opportunities of the Islamic world. Today, the Islamic world has realized its rnight to a large extent. It knows that it can be powerful. We have this opportunity at our disposal. The threat may be big, but so is the opportunity. It is up to us to endeavor.

There is a narrative attributed to the noble prophet of Islam which says "Muslims resemble a sturdy plant which may be flattened by the gale force wind of events, but they rise again as soon as the slightest opportunity arises". The Holy Quran says the same thing, that is a Muslim resernbles a tough tree whose roots are stable and whose branches spread into the sky. It is up to us to make sure that this tree bears fruit. This is possible.

We in Iran, in the Islamic Republic, have concentrated all our efforts to strengthen the foundations of the following principles. We shall not abandon government of the poeple which has been extracted from Islam. It is an Islamic instruction. Islam, in some of its instructions, has clarified giving bai'ah to the rulers. We accept this wholeheartedly. This is an Islamic instruction and we have not gotten it from the West. We remain committed to this principle.

The next principle is that we shall stand firm against the infiltration and interference by foreign powers. We have no problem in exchanging science, knowledge and experience with the rest of the world. We can engage in transaction of material and spiritual commodities, but we shall not submit to foreign infiltration, interference and domination under any circumstances. Our enernies, the serious opponents of the Islamic Iran, are not very happy with this matter. We have demonstrated that we remain committed to this issue and we have the capability to do so. We believe that the entire Islamic World can do so.

The next principle is promotion of justice. This is the most dernanding task facing us. It is very difficult to implement social justice in society. We intend to promote justice and we have taken some steps in this direction. However, a huge gap remains before meeting Islam's expectations from us. There is a need for endeavor. We must concentrate our efforts an this issue, Insha Allah.

The next principle is that we believe in the progress of science. We have advanced a great deal in pursuit of this principle. We believe that the Islamic world in view of its historical record of cultural and scientific achievernents, can take bigger steps in the arena of science and knowledge. The Islamic world was kept backward deliberately. We have recomrnended that our young people and scholars must be innovative in the field of science.

We believe that the danger of division poses the biggest threat in the Islamic world. We have become distant from each other. We have not joined our hands in unity. As a result, the enemy coveted our resources. This is what happens when we are not united. Our proposal to the Islamic world and to all governments of Muslims is to unite and come closer. We must abandon our differences. Some of the differences and disagreements can be resolved. We must resolve such disagreements. Other disagreements may not be soluble in the short term, they should therefore be overlooked. This is precisely the point which undermines the interests of the Zionists and Americans. They have therefore concentrated all their efforts against this point.

Tribal differences, religious and clan disputes, political disputes and differences in opinion are all acts of provocation by the enemies. The grounds for those differences existed among us already, but we were neglectful and did not remove those grounds. They exploited this oversight of the Islamic urnmah and intensified the differences. They turned us against one another. And how we have wasted our spiritual and material resources an various tribal, civil, religious and clan disputes and wars. We believe that this issue must be pursued in earnest

I believe that today in the Islamic world, the enemies of Islam and the Islamic ummah are using two main weapons: one is the weapon of intimidation, and the other bribes. Sometimes they intimidate governments and intellectuals, elite and individuals, and sometimes they corrupt them with bribes. Both these are networks of Satan. We should not fear their intimidation. 'Those to whom the people said. Surely men have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this increased their faith, and they said Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector. So they returned with favor from Allah and (His) grace. no evil touched them and they followed the pleasure of Allah: and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.' (The Holy Quran. 3 173-174).

We must not fear the enemies' intimidation. Nor should we be tempted by their bribes. Nothing good comes from the enemies, and their bribes are nothing but a trap. This applies to individuals as well as states and governments. This applies to the elite and every individual in society. We must make this our motto. We must not hope for their bribes, nor should we fear their intimidation. We are powerful. "And be not irrfirm and be not grieving, and you shall have the upper hand if you are believers " (The Holy Quran. 3:139).

What I would like to point out at the end of my talk is that we should try and find solutions at this seminar and gathering. You are the elite of the Islamic world. Everyone of you, and every thought you have could spearhead a development or an action in a section of the massive Islamic community and Ummah.

And when these thoughts come together they can open many avenues to us. We must recognize the enemy. Recognizing the enemy is one of our most important tasks. Today, the biggest enemy of the Islamic world is America and Zionism. America and the Zionists are the worst, the most evil and dangerous of all devils, and they are completely - very openly - united. They have never been as friendly and united as they are today. They are the chief enemies. They are that big idol which must be broken. We must recognize these big enemies. We must expose them to the people. We must expose them to every individual. We must expose them to the elite in Islamic communities. We must not make errors in our recognition of the enemy.

Some neglect the chief and real enemies, and instead deem some secondary ones as enemies. This is a big mistake. This could exhaust the dynamism of Islam for many years. Alhamdulillah, we have not made any mistakes in identifying our enemy, nor will we ever rnake a mistake. Many small and big hostile acts are perpetrated against us. But we never mistake these hostilities for the rnain and real enemy. We disregard all other hostilities, and do not take any notice of them. The real enemy is America and Zionism.

We must recognize hostilities, and the methods used in these hostilities in a bid to recognize how the enemy infiltrates and takes actions.

I would say my last point through this ayah of the Holy Quran: "Say: I exhort you only to one thing, at rise up for Allah's sake in twos and singly." (34:46). This is out most important duty.

Once again I welcome you and thank you for coming. I thank Allah for giving me this opportunity to meet with you in this brotherly environment.

Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon you.


Imam Khamenei's Khutbah of Eid al-Fitr Prayer 


In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. . . . 

The Islamic revolution brought the hearts of the people close to the Almighty, and it put people's life and spirit in the service of the struggle for a better life. As the result of the revolution the Iranian nation began to walk on the path of liberation. With God's grace, it has achieved many great things on this path. The Iranian nation should continue with this path. This is the path of closeness to God, and material and spiritual presence in the struggle for building a future. Unity of word is the secret of success for the Iranian nation. This secret of success has to be kept. The secret of success in the larger circle of Islamic nation is also the unity of word. If the Islamic nation wants to move forward on the path of the sciences, progress, material growth, control over fate, liberation from the rule of foreigners, as well as spiritual and material happiness, it has to resort to the unity of word and the word of unity. The very people who have used every available means to consolidate their power around the world, i.e. the centers of the arrogant power, have also tried to use every available means to create division and disagreement in the Islamic world. Unfortunately they have been successful to some extent. Division among Muslims If the Palestinians are plagued with such a grim fate, drenched in blood and their pains have pierced deep into the soul of conscientious people, it is because of the divisions among the Muslims. Their fate would have been different if there was unity among the Muslims. If the Islamic Iraq has been trampled under the boots of the occupiers, it is because of the division among the Muslims. If the Middle Eastern countries have been blatantly threatened by the arrogant rhetoric of America, it is because of the division among the Muslims. Only through unity the Muslims would be able to rescue themselves from the yoke of such humiliation; liberate Palestine; defeat the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq and stop the enemy from exerting pressure on the Muslims. What I mean is unity among countries and nations. The Eid al-Fitr symbolizes unity and solidarity. Unfortunately there are people in the world of Islam who are prepared to commit any wrong act in order to please the arrogant powers and America. They try to create division among Shi'i and Suunis. I can see those hands who calculatingly and deliberately are trying to create a rift among Shi'i and Sunnis in some of our neighboring countries. They try to create a rift between various tribes, religious groups and political movements - trying to fish in muddy waters. Their efforts aimed at securing their illegitimate interests in the Islamic countries. We must remain vigilant. Iraqis must write their own constitution Nations, governments, political tendencies, intellectuals and the elite should be vigilant. You should not allow the enemy to create divisions for any reason. In Iraq too, they want to promote ethnic and religious discord. It is the same with certain other countries. Muslims have a duty to act vigilantly in the face of the enemy plots. The situation in Iraq today is a very bitter for the Islamic world. Iraq is a single and united country. The arrogant powers are planning to dismember the country. They know that this is not possible in a single stroke. They want to do it gradually. The people of Iraq, Muslim governments and Muslim nations should be vigilant. The dismemberment of Iraq is a danger for both that country and for the region. Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq. The fate of the country must be determined by its own people. The constitution of Iraq must be written by the Iraqis themselves. A constitution which has its plan and structure written in Washington is not good for Iraq. They, the occupiers, should realize that if it is otherwise, if they don't leave the work to the Iraqi people, then the people of Iraq won't let them off. The people of Iraq will not surrender to them. Palestinians are resisting They want to behave in the Middle East region as they do in Palestine. In Palestine today the Zionists and the Americans have reached a dead-end. There is no way out but to accept the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian nation. The Palestinian nation is an innocent nation but it is a very brave nation at the same time. It is only right that we call them the brave Palestinian people. This nation is resisting the occupation innocently, with empty hands and on its own. It has crippled the materialist powers of the world who have so many instruments of suppression and death under their control. They should know that if they behave arrogantly and with a Zionist frame of mind in any region of the Islamic world and the Middle East, such as Palestine, they will only bring out the people on to the scene. The Islamic nation has woken up and the Islamic world is now aware. In the past 25 years, our dear nation has proven that it is attached to its revolution, its Islam, its system, its officials. The nation is loyal to its hard-won independence. We have not achieved our independence easily. We have not achieved this religious democracy easily. Our nation has struggled on this path. Many pure lives have been sacrificed on this path. Our nation has experienced many difficulties. Is our nation going to lose these things easily? Faith in the Almighty and trust in the divine promise makes us steadfast against enemy plots. The divine promise is this: Those who help God's religion, those who use their strength for the sake of liberation and well being, as decreed by God, they will not be abandoned by the Almighty; they will be victorious. Our experience has proved this. I pray that on this auspicious festivity and because of this blessed Ramadhan, the Almighty will bless our dear nation and the great Islamic ummah. 

Second Khutbah of Eid al-Fitr Prayer

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. . . .

What I have to say in the first instance in the second khutbah is that, on Quds Day, our nation once again displayed to the world the splendor of faith. Quds Day is not confined to Iran. It is the day of the Muslim world displayed their presence in defense of their Palestinian brothers. They put on display the general will of Muslims to confront America and Israel's ploys in wronged and bloodied Palestine. But our nation has been in the vanguard in this respect and, this year, it showed clearly this vanguard nature, this grandeur of the national will in Iran. This year, on Quds Day, our nation turned all its cries into a single cry in defense of the oppressed and combatant nation of Palestine; a single cry in condemning and expressing revulsion of America and Israel and the Zionists who, despite all their false claims about human rights and democracy, commit the most evil injustices against a wronged nation. On Palestinian resistance As a humble servant I wish to thank all of our dear nation. They have made Iran and the Islamic Republic proud in the world. The nation has shown its presence, awareness and will power wherever there is a need for the nation to be present. The problem of Palestine is still on top of the problems of the world of Islam. Lets look at the people of Palestine and the brutal occupiers who have occupied Palestine. The nation of Palestine is living in hardship. Their houses are being demolished. Their farmlands and orchards are being ruined. Their youths are being deprived of the opportunity to work. Their efficient men are being imprisoned. Their people are being massacred. Even their small children are being oppressed. What they are doing to the nation of Palestine is unprecedented in the history of nations. At the same time, this besieged, helpless and oppressed nation is powerfully defending itself against the occupiers. The nation of Palestine defends itself powerfully and resists against the oppressors thanks to the name and flag of Islam in Palestine. US, Israel condemned to defeat We salute the Palestinian nation. From this splendid prayer in Tehran, from the heart of Tehran and from the entire Iranian nation, we greet the Palestinian nation, their youngsters, their adolescents, their women, their mothers, their brave and pious hearts, we greet them and salute them. They are standing - with their lives, their bodies, their loved ones, their entire existence - in the front-line of the world of Islam in this region against enemies, against aggressors. As for the occupiers, the usurping Zionists and their backers - that is to say, the aggressor American administration - if a person reviews the problems of Palestine it becomes clearer to them that the Americans and the Zionists have been placed in a total impasse in Palestine. They can neither move forward nor move backward. They are condemned to defeat. The adolescent Palestinian generation has awakened. It has realized that the way to salvation from the clutches of the occupier enemy is nothing but struggle. It has realized that attending international conferences, in accordance with the wishes of the occupiers and their backers, talking, is not the way to rescue Palestine. It has realized that it must stand firm, it must work hard and it must make sacrifices in order to attain the goal. The Palestinian nation has realized and understood this to the very depths of its being. And, therefore, it is resisting. When this sentiment arises from a religious origin and from belief in monotheism - and, Alhamdulillah - this is the case in Palestine today, this spring will never dry up. And we hope that Exalted God will bring ever nearer the day of the victory of the Palestinians. The other issue in the world of Islam is the issue of Iraq. The Americans entered Iraq in the name of democracy and human rights. They entered Iraq in the name of combating nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons. They said: We want to give freedom to the Iraqi nation. But, today, they have put the Iraqi nation under such a tight grip that the Iraqi nation has no choice but to punch their faces and it is doing so. Their presence has been so degrading for the Iraqi nation that the Iraqi nation has not tolerated them. Let the American nation know that their government has dragged them into a swamp in Iraq and the longer they stay, they more they will sink. See what the Americans have come to in Iraq, they have to bomb occupied Baghdad; to subject occupied Baghdad to missile attacks from the sea, from its warships. They have fired missiles from the sea to a Baghdad that is under their own occupation. This is an indication of America's incapacity to run Iraq. The longer they stay, the worse it will become. This region does not tolerate occupation. They say we want to turn the Middle East into a region of democracy. This is a shameless lie. They are opposed to democracy. They know that if they turn to the people's votes in Iraq at this very moment, the decisive majority of the people will take a decision, will take the step, will elect those people who would not allow the Americans to stay in Iraq for a single day. (Crowd chants Allahu Akbar). On US hegemony Wherever there may be popular elections in the Islamic world the outcome will be what the Americans fear. The outcome will be the coming to power of those who with all their being consider the Americans to be their enemy. Such will be the outcome today wherever any elections take place in the Islamic world. There is no difference. They want to do something to ensure there are no popular elections in Iraq. They must understand that any imposed conditions, any imposed laws and any imposed establishments in Iraq will result in the resistance of the Iraqi people. Even if the American president earmarks 4,000bn dollars instead of 400bn dollars in his budget he will not be able to subjugate the Middle East nations, the Muslim nations. (Crowd chant Allahu Akbar). No-one accepts the claims of democracy and human rights from the American government, which, under the banner of championing democracy, has perpetrated such atrocities in the world against democracies and popular rules - the American government which masterminded the 28 Mordad (19 August 1953) coup d'etat in Iran; the American government which masterminded the coup d'etat in Chile against that country's legal government, the American government which masterminded dozens of coups d'etat in Latin America, Africa and other regions against national governments; the American government which for many consecutive years supported dictators such as Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran and the American government, which even today, accepts any dictator - which may even be more evil - as long as he surrenders to it. . . Peace and blessings be upon you.


End the Occupation of Iraq

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

The following is a translation of the second khutbah of the Friday Prayer led by Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyed Ali Hussaini Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on 19 Ramadan 1424 [14 November 2003]

Excerpts for the second khutbah [translated from Farsi].

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

. . . Today, the most important thing which the Islamic Republic system is doing is that it is calling for justice. Today, we call for justice to be served. All attempts and endeavors are being made for justice to be served in society. This is because if justice is served, then the people's rights and freedom will also be secure. Justice is the axis of everything.

Today, the Islamic system is confronted by the arrogant system of the West, headed by America, and which is confronting justice. They want to fight justice. Today, if justice were to be served, the gang-leaders of global arrogance would be the first degree culprits to face the whip of justice. They cannot talk about and pursue justice. As a result, they mention democracy and human rights in order to counter the value of and undermine justice in the world. They say that they value democracy. However, they do not place any value on democracy. They propose democracy in order to undermine justice.

On significance of justice

What we, the officials of the Islamic republic, need to know is that justice is paramount. The world yearns for the coming of the Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his advent. His coming mainly symbolizes the establishment of Justice. His coming, first and foremost, will bring justice to the world. Everything else will then follow.

All through history, the oppressed people have always yearned for justice. Our system today obligates us to pursue justice. This is our goal and slogan. We must choose the right path. Pursuing justice entails certain problems and costs. To tread on this path, we will certainly make enemies.

In a letter to his military commander Malek Ashtar, Imam Ali (AS) advises him to listen to the ordinary people. Well, such action would naturally make the privileged class unhappy. This should be our slogan and ethical yard stick. Our plans, policies and actions should be based on this principle.

However, it is easy to speak about justice but difficult to achieve it. We need to devise long term plans. We must base our future plans on justice. All our plans should bring us closer to the establishment of justice. This is our duty. This is the lesson taught by Imam Ali (AS).

My first point in the second sermon is to advise piety. This speaker, more than you, is in need of piety and advise. I pray that the Almighty will bless us all with piety and the straight path.

One of the subjects of my second sermon is the 20-year perspective of the Islamic republic; policy making and planning. The plan has been prepared and announced. Our dear people should know that the 20-year perspective, which has been sent to policy makers and planners is practical, realistic and rational. You shouldn't think that the words used repeatedly in the 20-year perspective are just a dream or unpractical. With God's blessing the Iranian nation and our dear country can achieve this perspective in 20 years.

This is a befitting future, a big step towards the lofty ideals of the Islam. There is material progress in the plan. There is economic progress in it. There is cultural progress in it. There is spiritual and moral progress in it. There is Islamic identity in it. This is the clear future perspective that the system of the Islamic republic can plan as the result of the hard work that has been carried out in the past years.

This is progress in itself that the Islamic republic is able to plan a 20-year future perspective rationally and calculatedly and in view of the realities of the country and the world. With the blessing of God, this future will be realized. We are determined to realize this with the help of sympathetic officials. Insha Allah, this will be realized.

On Iranian youth

The groundwork for the country's future was laid down by the previous administrations. This gave the officials the courage to draft the 20-year plan. The works done by the previous governments, especially in the past 10 and 12 years, have moved the country to the point where it can now build a desirable edifice on this foundation.

By laying the groundwork we do not mean only the tangible achievements such as dams, roads and factories but more importantly the blossoming of the country's hidden and potential talents - Namely the Iranian youths and their educational and scientific endeavors. Their achievements show that this nation has made great progress in the fields of science and technology. The self confidence which is visible in our scientific and research circles is a precious commodity. We should neither underestimate it nor should we lose it.

We can cite many examples of such accomplishments. However, the enemies of the Islamic system and the propaganda apparatus of the arrogant Zionist regime would like to turn everything into a defense issue. But this is not true. The Islamic Republic, our researchers and our talented young people have made great progress in numerous non-defense related fields. We can witness the fruits of their efforts. Media has reported on these achievements and our people are aware of their accomplishments. These are valuable groundwork.

Our religious and faithful youths play a pivotal role in the country's scientific development. We must be aware of this fact. The enemies' propaganda tries to convince the world that the religious people are lagging behind in the scientific arena. This is not true. In fact, our religious and talented young people spearhead some of these scientific movements. They have distinguished themselves in various fields. Our youths have made great and precious achievements in various fields.

US has supported dictators since World War II

My second point is this: The remarks made by the officials of the arrogant American government indicate that they have certain plans and objectives in the Middle East against the nations of the region. It is therefore imperative that the nations of the region wake up. The president of America has made certain remarks about democracy and the existence of democracy in the region. People in our part of the world who know about how America has defended tyrannies for the past 40 or 50 years, since World War II, can only feel shame when they hear the president of this regime claim support for democracy today. Why should such wrong and senseless remarks be made with insolence and without shame?

These are the very people who have supported most ruthless dictators for years. In our country the Americans implemented the 28 Mordad (19 August 1953) coup. They fully supported a most difficult and bleak dictatorship in our country for 25 years. In every tragedy committed by that regime in Iran, such as 15 Khordad (5 June 1963 unrest) or 17 Shahrivar (8 September 1978 unrest) in which a large number of civilians, ordinary people, were killed by the regime's mercenaries, they took the side of the dictator and spoke against the people. The first case was at the time of (President John F.) Kennedy and the second case was at the time of (President Jimmy) Carter. They supported this very Saddam Hussain who today they say they are opposing. Their situation is no different today. They are the same people.

On misuse of democracy

Today in Iraq, which is a an independent country with a population of 25-30m and is situated in a sensitive region, they have appointed a foreign American governor in that country. They have ignored the will and demands of the Iraqi people. They have murdered hundreds of people at once in Iraq and Afghanistan solely because of their suspicions. They haven't even apologized for all this. In Afghanistan, they killed people who participated in a wedding ceremony. Then they said it was a mistake. They didn't even think it was necessary to apologize.

In Iraq, they have daily clashes with the people and destroy the peoples' homes, which is their safe place. They don't even apologize. How can those who ignore human rights, the rights of nations and the people's vote, dare to name themselves as the guardians of democracy. [The masses chant "Death to America"].

Presently, they have categorized this region. They have indicated which country is democratic and which one isn't. This itself demonstrates their ill intentions and shows that they are faced with a scandal. They don't believe in democracy.

The present American administration and president came to power on an order by a judge and with less than 25 per cent of the people's vote. What kind of democracy is this? They ignore and don't even bother about the people's vote.

As I said, democracy is used as a deception to strangle the world nations' calls for justice. This is so they can secretly trample on the Palestinian people's rights. It is so they can occupy the oil-rich and geographically sensitive regions which serve America's illegitimate interests without facing any opposition. This is how the issue of democracy is used.

On US' Middle East policies

Everyone in the world knows the meaning of such rhetoric. Therefore, there is no need to dignify it with a response and I do not intent to offer one. Instead, I would like to address our own people and officials.

Beware of the policies that America is pursuing and the role it is trying to play in the region and in our country. Although, it utters tough words and assumes a proud posture, it has clearly been humiliated by the Iraqi and Afghan people. This is a fact. America is humiliated everyday by Iraqis.

Under the guise of liberating the Iraqis, it invaded that country and created the current depressing and dreadful situation. It replaced a native dictator with a foreign one. It would, if it could, suffocate the voices of the Iraqi people in the same way Saddam did. And it has done its best to do so. The American military forces cannot afford to confront the Iraqis more that they already have.

The important issue for our people is to know that while projecting an outward aggressive image, America has realized the ineffectiveness of its previous plans for the region - organized around military campaigns. Afghanistan and Iraq experience has shown that nothing can be achieved in the region through military campaigns. Such actions will cause numerous problems, especially if the opponent is a country such as our great Iran with its brave and religious people. This is a country with great cultural depth, enthusiastic religious sentiments and a government elected by the people's votes.

America will have a difficult time. It used to threaten us with a military attack. But now it has disregarded that plan, admitting that it was a mistake.

US promoting division inside Iran

The plan now is be to transform the Iranian people from within. This is their plan. Transformation has two aspects. A cultural one and a political one. The Iranian nation should be vigilant. The objective of the enemy - i.e. America's arrogant system and the Zionists who work hand in hand with them in a single front - is as follows. They want to be able to make our nation indifferent and apathetic towards its ideals, beliefs and objectives so that they will be able to send in their own mercenaries and elements and prepare the ground for the re-establishment of an American rule over Iran. This is their plan. [The masses chant "Death to America"].

Their main plan in the political domain is to create divisions. They want various factions, all of which have risen from the revolution and are affiliated to it, to smash each other. This faction smashing that one, that faction smashing this one.

These are the main objectives of the American plan for the region. They want to create unreal challenges and a climate on tension in the country. They want to promote debates and arguments about the definite principles of the system of the Islamic Republic, about the constitution, about religion, and about the Islamic foundations of the system. They want to create challenges. They want to promote division.

These are the political and intellectual issues which they pursue. Of course, there are certain people who are ready to act as their loudspeaker and they are being utilized. Recently they said that they should strengthen the Iranian newspapers which speak in favor of America. And if they don't have such a newspaper they say this is what they intend to do. Speaking here a few years ago, three or four years ago, I said that some newspapers are a base for the enemy. They are now exposing these facts themselves.

Today, they themselves reveal their plans against Iran. Our dear young people must watch for the cultural onslaught planned by America. Their planned cultural onslaught is to promote decadence and lack of respect for Islamic and moral values. They plan to drag our young people into decadence, debauchery and self-indulgence. Both our young people and the state officials who are responsible for the education and training of the younger generation must be vigilant against such plans. This is the arena of combating America today.

The struggle against America goes on in the arena of science too. They are unhappy with our scientific progress. They are bothered by the scientific progress of our people. They are unhappy with the economic advance of our people. They are unhappy to see our government is offering a service to our people. They are unhappy when we manage to resolve some of the problems facing our people.

Anyone in this country who helps to keep our people backward in the scientific field is serving the interests of America. Anyone who prevents the government from offering the necessary services to the people is working at the service of America. Anyone who publishes the Americans' ideas in newspapers or expresses them in rhetoric platforms is serving the interests of America.

One way of serving America's interests is through spreading rumors and making allegations. The same problem existed during the era of Imam Ali (AS). There were daily instances of spreading rumors and making allegations. The same psychological war exists today.

Anyone who contributes to the atmosphere of making calumny in this country and fans the flames of psychological war is a mercenary of America and working to serve America. It does not matter whether such mercenaries receive money from America or offer services without any payment. They work for America whether they are unpaid lackeys of America or not. (The masses chant: "Allahu Akbar" and "death to America")

Islamic world hates US more than ever before

Today, fighting America is synonymous with resistance against this political and cultural onslaught. You must all be aware. Those who have no ill-intentions and ambitions, should be careful that they don't say things which are in line with America's wishes for this nation and country, because of a short-lived feeling or ambition. They must realize how this enemy is strengthened. They must realize how America tries to give itself a free hand in the midst of this nation and dominate it. We have to be aware of these matters.

Alhamdulillah, our nation is vigilant. America's experience has been that it has not achieved anything by attacking this region. Of course, they are taking and using Iraq's oil. And its not clear what they are doing with it. But, unfortunately, this is the situation today.

They interfere in the various Iraqi affairs such as its constitution. They are at the head of everything. However, the Iraqi people will inflict a blow on them. The Iraqi people's hatred towards them is increasing day by day. As our great Imam (Khomeini) said years ago - and its the same case today - today, America is hated more than ever before in the Islamic World. The Islamic World does not hate anyone as much as it hates the American president and the leader of the Zionist regime. . .

The following is a translation of the Arabic khutbah of the Friday Prayer led by Ayatollah al-Udhma Sayyed Ali Hussaini Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on 19 Ramadan 1424 [14 November 2003]:

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Peace be upon the sons and daughters of our Islamic ummah, men and women everywhere. In these gracious days and special nights, the Middle East region lives under the severity of aggression by the unjust, with its body debilitated by wounds. Palestine is stained with blood and Iraq is under the oppression of the enemies of Islam. The arrogant and unrestrained regime in America doesn't hide its intentions and objectives in imposing its new control over the region. It launches its threats very insolently. Those aggressors are ready to destroy all the countries in the region to realize their illegitimate objectives that are aimed at imposing their hegemony over the region and rescuing the Zionist entity from collapse.

What they don't know is the increasing anger of the people and their resentment of America. An example of the will of the Islamic nation and its righteousness is what is gradually appearing to them in Iraq. Anger, wrath and resistance are escalating against the occupation and arrogance, and like the burning flames that blaze more everyday, it will definitely stand up to the arrogant and stop them from achieving their cursed objectives.

The blessed intifada on the territories of the blessed Palestine also shakes the Zionist entity and is a cause of fear and horror to the arrogant who so insolently supports all the violent and harsh crimes committed by this germ of destruction.

The Iraqi people must disperse the dreams of the enemy to divide Iraq. They must persevere and persist with steadfastness, awareness and in unison for the sake of independent Iraqi sovereignty, an end to the occupation, and the establishment of a constitution supported by the public and based on Islam. They have to make the occupiers give in to their will.

The Palestinians have debilitated the enemy in front of their glorious Islamic resistance. They must strengthen their confidence in Allah, draw their victory from Allah Almighty and continue with determination their liberating resistance through their union and Islamic call, until the enemy gives in to their just demands which are to end the occupation and to give the oppressed Palestinian people the right to self determination.

Dear brothers and sisters, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan will be the International Al-Quds Day, a day during which Muslims all over the world are to express their support of the Palestinian issue, their backing of the Palestinian people and their anger to world Zionism and its arrogant protectors. Muslims must declare to the whole world that the Palestinian cause is the cause of the whole of the Islamic world. Muslims will not leave their brothers alone, but will raise their voices in the face of world arrogance, criminal Zionism and will declare their wrath on those aggressors.

I seize this opportunity to remind all believers to invest the remaining days of the Holy month of Ramadan to help the needy and to attempt to alleviate their suffering, as it is an essential Islamic responsibility. I also urge myself and you to fear Allah Almighty and the best way of doing that is through defiance and resistance against conspiracies, schemes and raids in all forms from the satans, particularly the greatest of the satans, America.

I ask Allah Almighty to protect Islam and Muslims, and make Muslims victorious over their arrogant enemies. Allah Almighty takes care of his good servants. Peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.

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