Supreme Leader\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Speech to Participants of International Conference on Islamic Awakening
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on December 11, 2012 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution at the International Conference... Show More >>
Supreme Leader\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Speech to Participants of International Conference on Islamic Awakening
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on December 11, 2012 by Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution at the International Conference of Muslim University Professors and Islamic Awakening.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
First of all, I welcome you honorable guests who have come here from different countries and I also welcome the dear and honorable professors from our own universities.
Since almost one and a half years ago until today, many meetings and conferences on Islamic Awakening have been held in Tehran, but I think that the International Conference of Muslim University Professors and Islamic Awakening has a special significance. This significance is because of the role of outstanding personalities and intellectuals in promoting new ideas in every society. They are the people who can lead a nation to salvation or to - God forbid - destruction. Unfortunately, the latter happened in certain countries, including our own country, over the last 70 or 80 years.
There is a narration from the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), Muhammad ibn Abdullah, which says, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"The masses do not follow the right path unless outstanding personalities guide them towards it.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" When he was asked who these outstanding personalities are, he answered, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Religious scholars.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Religious scholars were the first people whom he referred to as outstanding personalities and then he mentioned other groups of people. Therefore, university professors, luminaries and outstanding personalities can be the leaders of the people in every country, provided that they show purity and courage. They should not be afraid of the enemies. If they show fear, greed, negligence and laziness, they will fail to achieve the desired result. If they do not show fear, greed and negligence- if they show courage, then their efforts will achieve the desired result.
During the early days of the Revolution, about thirty one years or thirty two years ago, I and two other people went from Tehran to Qom to meet Imam Khomeini (r.a.). At that time, he was still in Qom. We - who were members of the Revolutionary Council at that time - went there to ask for his opinion about a very important issue. When we explained to him what the issue was, Imam (r.a.) looked at us and asked, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Are you afraid of America?\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" We said, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"No\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". Then he told us to implement our decision. Then we implemented our decision and we succeeded. If you show fear, greed and negligence and if you let deviant orientations play a role [in your decision-making], you will face serious problems.
Today the entire world is faced with a great event. This great event is Islamic Awakening. This is a fact. Muslim nations and the Islamic Ummah have awakened. Today achieving domination over Muslim nations is not as easy as it used to be during the time after World War I and during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, if global arrogance wants to dominate Muslim peoples, they will face serious difficulties. Islamic Awakening has penetrated the Islamic Ummah which has resulted in a number of revolutions and the fall of corrupt and dependent regimes in certain countries. But this is only part of Islamic Awakening, not all of it. Islamic Awakening is a deep and widespread movement.
Of course, the enemies are afraid of the phrase \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Islamic Awakening.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" They are trying not to let the phrase \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Islamic Awakening\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" be used to refer to the current great movement in the region. Why are they doing this? It is because they tremble with fear when they see genuine Islam. They do not fear the kind of Islam which is based on money, corruption, aristocracy and the kind of Islam which is not supported by the majority of people. But they are terrified when they see the kind of Islam which is supported by the majority of people and which is based on action, reliance on God and divine promises. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" [The Holy Quran, 22: 40]. Whenever this kind of Islam emerges, whenever there are signs that this kind of Islam is approaching them, they tremble with fear. They are filled with fear \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"as if they were frightened donkeys, fleeing from a lion\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" [The Holy Quran, 74: 50-51]. Therefore, they do not want the phrase \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Islamic Awakening\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" to be used. But we believe that the current great movement is a true example of Islamic Awakening and it has penetrated the world of Islam. This movement will continue in the future and it will not easily deviate from its path.
We should identify the problems of these regional movements. This is the first point that I want to discuss with you. You should identify the problems of these movements and revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and similar countries. What are the dangers? What are the problems? Why do we say that these movements are Islamic in essence? Take a look at the people\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s slogans. Take a look at the role of Muslim believers in overthrowing corrupt regimes. If Muslim believers and Muslim groups who firmly believe in Islam and who are greatly respected by the people had not participated in these movements, these large public demonstrations would not have been held. The pressures that the people exerted, with their presence, on oppressive regimes like those of Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali, completely destroyed their shaky foundations. They were Muslim peoples with Islamic slogans. The crucial role of Islamist parties in overthrowing these regimes is a clear proof that this movement is an Islamic movement. And whenever there was an election in these countries, the people voted for Islamist parties. They supported Islamic parties and they preferred them to other parties. Today, if a free election is held almost everywhere in the world of Islam - there may be a few exceptions - and if Islamist leaders and politicians participate in this election, the people will vote for Islamist politicians. This is the same everywhere in the world of Islam. Therefore, this movement is undoubtedly an Islamic movement.
Well, I said that we should identify the problems in these movements. Besides identifying the problems, we should delineate the goals of these revolutions, otherwise there will be confusion. We should delineate these goals. One of the most important goals of Islamic Awakening is getting rid of global arrogance. We should announce this openly because it is wrong to think that global arrogance - headed by America - may get along with Islamic movements. Wherever Islam and supporters of Islam prevail, America does its best to destroy them while putting on a friendly smile. Regional revolutions have no other choice than distancing themselves from global arrogance. We do not say that they should go to war with America, but we say that they should determine what the position of America and global arrogance is on the recent events in the region. They should do this correctly because if they do not gain a proper understanding of their position, they will be deceived.
Today, global arrogance is ruling over the world by using money, weapons and science. But it lacks new ideas and a road map. Today global arrogance has this big problem. It does not have any new ideas to help the people and intellectuals. But you do. You have Islam. When we have new ideas and a road map, we can delineate our goals and we can stand up against global arrogance. In this way, their weapons, their science and their money will not be effective as they were in the past. Of course, they will not be entirely ineffective, but we should think of ways to counter them - if there is time, I will explain more. Thus, in the first place, we should have new ideas, a road map and an ideology. We should know what we want to do.
We should delineate the goals of Islamic Awakening. One of the important goals of Islamic Awakening, which regional developments should pay attention to, is to preserve the pivotal role of Islam. Islam should be the pivot. Islamic principles and sharia should be the pivot of things. There is an all-out effort to claim that sharia is not compatible with progress, change and civilization. This is what the enemy says. No, it is perfectly compatible. Of course, there are many people in the world of Islam who do not have enough knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and who have supported the enemy\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s claim with their dogmatic and old-fashioned ideas. These people are Muslims, but they are at the service of the enemy. There are such people in Islamic countries which are located near us. They call themselves Muslims, but they do not have any new ideas about and any new outlook on Islamic teachings. Islam is for all eras and centuries. Islam answers all the needs of human beings. We should only develop the necessary expertise in order to find Islam\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s answers to all the questions of human beings. Some people do not have this expertise and they only know how to excommunicate and drive certain people out of religion. And they call themselves Muslims. Sometimes we discover that these people cooperate with the enemy. We should make Islam and sharia the pivot of our activities. This is one of the goals of Islamic Awakening.
Another goal of Islamic Awakening is building a governing system. If a governing system is not built in countries which have carried out a revolution, they will face dangers. In North African countries, similar revolutions were carried out about 60 or 70 years ago. It was in mid-twentieth century that a revolution was carried out in Tunisia and certain people came to power. Similarly, a revolution and a coup d\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'état were carried out in Egypt and certain people came to power. The same thing happened in some other countries. But they failed to build a governing system. This resulted in not only the destruction of these revolutions but also in the complete political transformation of the individuals who had come to power as revolutionaries. There was a complete change in their political behavior and they turned their backs on their values. This happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan during that time. It was around 1343, 1344 or 1345 that I and a couple of my friends were listening to Sawt al-Arab radio station in Mashhad - Sawt al-Arab used to be broadcast from Cairo in Egypt. It was broadcasting the interviews of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Muammar Gaddafi and Jaafar Nimeiry who had gathered in one place. We were being suppressed by the dictatorial regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Mashhad, but these fiery and impassioned speeches made us very enthusiastic and brought us great joy. Well, Abdel Nasser died and you saw what his successors did. You also saw what happened to Gaddafi and Nimeiry. Those revolutions underwent drastic changes because they had no plans and they did not build a governing system. There should be a governing system in countries which have carried out a revolution. They should build a solid foundation. This is one of the important issues regarding Islamic Awakening.
Another important issue is strengthening popular support. Islamic governments should not separate themselves from the people. The people have certain expectations and needs. The real power is in the hands of the people. Whenever the people hold demonstrations, whenever they become firmly united and whenever they unanimously support their leaders and government officials, then America and even powers that are greater than America cannot do anything to harm them. We should maintain the support of the people and you intellectuals, authors, poets and religious scholars can do this. The most significant people are religious scholars who have a heavy responsibility. They should clarify for people what they want and where they are going. They should enlighten them about the problems and the enemy. They should help the people remain vigilant. In this way, no harm will be inflicted on the Islamic Ummah.
Another issue is training the youth in scientific areas. Islamic countries should make progress in scientific and technological areas. I said that the west and America dominated the world by means of science - one of the means they used was science. They acquired wealth by using science. Of course, they acquired part of their wealth by using political machinations and immoral methods, but science also played an important role. We should make progress in science. There is a narration which says, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Knowledge is power. Anybody who has knowledge will be able to dominate those around him. Anybody who fails to gain knowledge will be ruled.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" You should make progress in science. Acquiring knowledge is like having strong arms. If you do not have strong arms, other strong people will twist your arms. You should encourage the youth in your countries to make progress in science. This is possible. We have done this in Iran. Before the Revolution, we were ranked one of the lowest nations in terms of science. No one paid any attention to us. Today those who carry out research in this regard say that Iran ranks 16th in the world in terms of science and the news of our achievement spread quickly in the world. This has been achieved in the shade of the Revolution, Islam and sharia. News of this achievement spread several months ago. Those organizations who said this predicted that Iran\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s scientific rank would be single-digit in a few years. They specified a year by which Iran will achieve this rank - in 10, 12 years. They said that Iran will be ranked fourth. This is because Iran has a fast rate of scientific growth. Of course, we are still far behind the world. Our scientific growth is several times faster than the global average, but we are still behind other countries. If we move forward at this speed, we will make great progress. The world of Islam should continue making progress. Islamic countries are talented. We have good young people. They are very talented. Muslim peoples used to be pioneers in science during a certain period. Why would we not expect that the world of Islam will be an authoritative source of reference in scientific areas? Why would we not expect that we can reach a point where all countries turn to Muslim countries in scientific areas? This is possible in the future. We should try very hard. Progress in science can be achieved in the shade of Islam and regional revolutions. The Islamic Ummah has proved that it can move forward at a greater speed.
Another important issue is unity - it is almost time for praying and we need to go. Dear brothers and sisters, our enemies are making the best of the discord that exists among us. They are trying to create discord among Muslim peoples under such pretexts as Shia and Sunni Islam, ethnicity and nationality. They are trying to create discord by magnifying Shia and Sunni differences. You see that they are creating discord in Islamic countries which have carried out a revolution and in other Islamic countries. Everybody should be vigilant. The west and America are the enemies of the world of Islam. We should address and respond to this issue from this perspective. They are provoking the emotions of the people. Their intelligence services are working very hard and they sow destruction wherever they can. On the issue of Palestine, they created as many obstacles as they could. Of course, they failed in their efforts. We are moving forward. The world of Islam is moving forward.
The recent event in Palestine is very important. An 8-day war broke out between the people of Gaza and the Zionist regime which claims to have the strongest army in the region. But when both sides decided to declare a ceasefire, it was the Palestinian side that set conditions. Is this believable? Would anybody have believed ten years ago that one day there would be a war between the Palestinians - not all Palestinians, a group of them in Gaza - and the Zionist regime and it would be the Palestinians who set conditions for a ceasefire? Well done to the Palestinians. Well done! Well done to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the soldiers who fought in Palestine and Gaza for their outstanding courage. What they did is a perfect example of courage. I want to express my gratitude to the Palestinian soldiers for their sacrifices, their efforts and their patience. They saw that \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Verily, with every difficulty there is relief\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" [The Holy Quran, 94: 6]. If we show patience, God Almighty will resolve our problems. Because they resisted the enemy and showed great patience, God Almighty resolved their problems. This is a lesson for both the Palestinians and other people. You should not underestimate the significance of unity between Muslim peoples. It is a very important issue.
The point that our Bahraini brother raised about the silence of the world of Islam on the issue of Bahrain is true. The reason why some people are silent on this issue is that they have a denominational bias. According to these people, you can help people who have risen up against their corrupt government unless these people are Shia like the people of Bahrain. Some people have such an attitude towards this issue. They should change their attitude.
We should know the enemy. We should know what his plots and machinations are. We should know how he tries to harm us. Our position on the issue of Syria was based on such an outlook. We cannot even stand to see that blood runs from the nose of a single Muslim. Even this is very painful for us. What we say is that those who are dragging Syria into a civil war, destruction and fratricide are to blame for the current situation in Syria. The demands of all peoples should be met in conventional ways and without using such violence.
I hope that Allah the Exalted guides all of us. I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows His blessings on your efforts. I hope that Allah the Exalted bestows a bright future on this great wave of Islamic Awakening.
Greetings be upon you and Allah\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s mercy and blessings Show Less >>
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