Dear guests- scholars, thinkers , statesmen, and valiant guards of the ideological frontiers of Islam and warriors on the frontlines- I welcome you all! You have come together to confer and deliberate upon the problem of the occupation of Palestine and the holy city of Quds- the biggest catastrophe that has befallen the Islamic Ummah in contemporary history as a result of colonial plots. The concurrence of this session with the birthday anniversary of the great Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and Peace be upon him and his Household, and the holding of this convention in a year named after his blessed name by the Iranian people , should inspire us with diligence, solidarity and resolution and renewed trust in the Divine promise, presaging, God willing , the decent of Divine mercy and help.
The present era is an era of Islamic awakening with Palestine at its very core.
For about 60 years since the occupation of Palestine, the oppressed Palestinian nation have been through periods of severe ordeal and have undergone various tribulations, beginning with an unequal and desperate resistance, followed by homelessness and exile, devastation of homes and homeland, massacre of dear ones, recourse to international bodies, taking resort in fruitless political bargainings and the totally hapless gamble of negotiating with the occupier with the mediation of those very powers who bear the principal guilt for bringing about this calamity and are responsible for its continuation!
The outcome of this historical experience was to bring the proud young generation of that brave and enlightened people to the peaks of awakening, unleashing the volcano of the Intifada.
The opposite camp has also passed through various stages: extending from merciless and unbridled savagery, ferocious destructiveness and genocide, military aggression against neighboring states and entertaining of the Nile-to-Euphrates pretensions, to political and economic encroachment on the region by exploiting the weakness and betrayal of some politicians of the Muslim world.. leading up to its sudden encounter with the awakened lion of Palestine, aroused from slumber, and the roaring Intifada fo an arisen people at the end of their patience.
The outcome of this eventful process backed all along by the power and wealth of Britain and America with their disgraceful support for Zionist criminals- is the present unsteadiness, uncertainty and despair among the leaders of the usurper regime and their encounter with the roaring and rising waves of Islamic awakening.
It is true that Palestine still remains the scence of most heinous crimes by the Zionist usurpers and foreigners against the land’s oppressed owners. Most barbarous and unparalleled acts of inhumanity are flagrantly committed and proudly announced by the Zionist regime.
But a glance at the record of this 60- year- long drama reveals a starting and instructive reality, which is nothing other than a drastically changed scene and a shifting of power across the fronts inside Palestine- as well as beyond it, within the Middle East, and across the Muslim world- for whose long-term subjugation, basically, the disastrous usurpation of Palestine had been planned and executed by Western statesmen.
Consider the Palestine of the 40’s: a land in the heart of the Arab world, an unaware people, an impoverished country under a weak government, with colonial puppets as its neighbors . The wealthiest, the most well- armed and nefarious of Western powers urged on by the Zionists wrests this country from its Muslim people and hands it over to a racist, rapacious and terrorist party.
All Western governments , as well as both the world’s rival political blocs, support it. The region’s puppet regimes, such as Pahlavi Iran and some others, betray Islam and Arab identity to place themselves at its service. Money, arms, science and technology are put at its disposal from all sides. The United States acts at its patron , attorney and steward, and this is the only matter regarding which the Soviet Union has no dispute with the United States. U.N. resolutions, despite their weak and cautious tone, are totally ignored by the fake and lawless Zionist regime, Encouraged by US and European support, it launches military attacks on Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and invades their territories with the intent of permanent occupation. It raves recklessly and threatens with assassination, murder and pillage, Notorious terrorists attain to high office one after another, the last of them being the infamous war criminal of the Sabra and Shatila massacres. For several decades the usurper regime maintains its violent , intransigent, extortionate and irrepressible face on the Palestinian scene.
On the opposite front, following the initial weakness and friability and failure of half-done efforts of the early years, experiments are made , one after another . The theoretical and practical products of nationalism, Marxism, and the like, fail the tests. Religious faith, held strongly by the people , gradually creates shimmers of light on the narrow and bleak horizon with the courage of patient and steadfast combatants.
At that moment, all of a sudden , the sun of the Islamic Revolution rises in the east. There , the name of Palestine was written on the high banner of this Divine revolution along with the Name of God and Islamic shariah. This was a point of departure in the course of events, and with it began the unraveling of the usurper regime and the decline in the region of the absolute dominance of the United States, which had been a consistent collaborator of the usurper regime in its crimes.
There emerge jihadist groups, in Palestine and Lebanon, with faith in Islam, constituting a new generation of genuine and unswerving combatants. The values of jihad and martyrdom are revived, and the genuine power, that of a nation resolute in its spirit of firmness and sacrifice, recovers its place in the political equations of Palestine and the region. The noble blood of martyrdom –seeking youths and the presence of dauntless warriors within the struggle invalidate all calculations of worldly materialists and hedonists, opening a new arena where blood triumphs over the sword.
Today, sixty years after those trying beginnings , the forces of truth, now fresh and resolute , with revived hopes and motives grounded in faith- things that absorb the young generations – continue to grow stronger day by day in Palestine, and marching with their heroic jihad towards manifest victory, inflict on the enemy a series of military and political defeats , one after another, in Palestine and Lebanon. It appears as if the following words of God were addressed to them:
Allah has promised you abundant spoils which you will capture. He has expedited this one for you, and withheld men’s hands from you, so that it may be a sign for the faithful, and that He may guide you to a straight path. And other [spoils] which you have not yet captured :Allah comprehended them, and Allah has power over all things.(48:20-21)
On the opposite front, the forces of falsehood, having faced repeated retreats and having lost vain hopes of the earlier years, falter in disunity , uncertainty and bewilderment. The United States itself, their
Principal supporter, is confronted with insolvable problems in the Middle East and faces mounting hatred of the region’s nations or rather the entire world. The Nile –to- Euphrates agenda is slashed to that of security within the wall that the usurper draws around itself, knowing no other means to confront the arisen Palestinian nation except tanks, bombs, prisons and bulldozers. The same means whose use through the past decades has transformed the Palestinian nation into hardened steel. Henceforth too, their effect will be no other than to make them yet more hardened and resistant.
Brothers and Sisters!
Today the Palestinian nation is in midst of a difficult and long term jihad. This struggle is not limited to Palestine . Rather it is the prominent part of the wide front of the Muslim world’s struggle against aggressive, murderous and marauding imperialists.
The Islamic world has awakened, and all over the Muslim world the slogan for Islamic governance tops the agenda amongst the youth, the intelligentsia and the universities. Islamic Iran, which has developed and implemented the idea of religion- based democracy, continues to advance and grow in strength .Genuine Islam, propounded by Iman Khomeini as a teaching purged of syncretism, bigotry and obscurantism, has extended beyond to the political stage in many countries and taken roots in the Islamic world, east and west.
The venom of Western liberal democracy, which American propaganda slyly tried to present as a healing medicine, has hurt the body and soul of the Islamic ummah. Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, Guantanamo, Abu Ghuraib and other secret dungeons, and above all the towns of Gaza and the West Bank, have translated for our peoples the meaning of such Western terms as freedom and human rights , so brazenly and impudently preached by the United States regime.
Today Western liberal democracy is as much discredited and despised in the Muslim world as the socialism and communism of the erstwhile Eastern bloc. Muslim nations seek to obtain freedom, dignity, progress and honour in the shade of Islam. Muslim nations are sick and tired of the two-hundred- year domination of foreign colonial powers and are fed up with poverty , humiliation and imposed backwardness.
We have a right as well as the ability to respond to the humiliation and hubris of hegemonic powers. This is the genuine sentiment of our nations and that of this generation all over the Muslim world, from East Asia to the heart of Africa. This is a struggle that is complex, diversified, difficult and prolonged . It will not be an exaggeration to say that Palestine is the symbol and banner of this struggle.
Today the entire Muslim world should consider the issue of Palestine as its own problem. That is the key to the relief of the Islamic ummah. Palestine should be restored to the Palestinian nation. The entire country should be administered by a single Palestinian state and a government elected by all Palestinians. The fifty –year-long effort of Britain, the United States and the Zionists to erase the name of Palestine from the world map and to dissolve the Palestinian nation in other nations has failed. Persecution , injustice and brutality have produced the opposite results. Today the Palestinian people are much more alive, daring and effective than their ancestors sixty years ago. This trend, which emerged in the shade of faith, jihad and the proud Intifada, should continue until the Divine promise as declared by God materializes:
Allah has promised those of you who have faith and do righteous deeds that He will surely make them successors in the earth, just as He made those who were before them successors, and He will surely establish for them their religion which He has approved for them, and that He will surely change their state to security after their fear, while they worship Me, not ascribing any partners to Me. And whoever is ungrateful after that – it is they who are the transgressors.(24:55)
Achievement of this higher goal on a wider plane- that is, freedom of the Muslim world from imperialist dominance, intimidation and interventions, and life in the shade of Islam- is certainly possible. However, it depends on another kind of struggle, one which has a bearing on science, politics and morality. The Iranian people have tested this thesis for the last 27 years and they have tasted its sweet fruits. This struggle is based on a threefold pursuit: the pursuit of faith and scholarship/ science and empowerment of the people . The reward of this path is that each steady step forward makes the next step yet steadier, each stage covered makes the next stage more accessible.
Whether it is jihad for Palestine or for the Islamic world, the main condition of success is staunch loyalty to the principles. The enemy’s constant aim is to banish principles. By deceit, promises and threats, he persists in his efforts to force others to disregard them. When principles are abandoned or overlooked, the Islamic world will lose its compass , as a result putting itself at the mercy of the rules made by the enemy , with obvious consequences.
Often some of our own people, following the enemy’s cue , advise us to abandon our principles, thinking it to be some kind of tactic or expediency. Whatever their motive, whether it is weakness mixed with ignorance , or greed accompanied with treachery, the following words of God apply to them:
Yet you will see those in whose hearts is sickness rushing to them, saying, ’We fear lest a turn of fortune should visit us.’ Maybe Allah will bring about a victory or a command from Him, and then they will be regretful for what they have kept secret in their hearts. (5:52)
They will derive no benefit by helping the enemy. The United States and the West have repeatedly demonstrated that. They show no mercy to those who surrender , and quite simply discard their collaborators as soon as they cease to be useful.
Some others try to inspire awe for the enemy’s power and warn those who struggle for a just cause against resisting. A dangerous fallacy underlines such suggestions.
Firstly, the judicious person avoids conflict only with an enemy that does not threaten his indentity, vital interests and his very existence. To resist an enemy that does pose such a threat is a definitive judgement of human reason. Because it is evident that certain damage resulting from surrender to him will be the same as the probable damage proceeding from resisting him, along with the additional disgrace and humiliation. Today global imperialism, with the US president as its spokesman, openly threatens the Muslim world and talks of a crusade against it. The imperialist network of Zionism and the US and British intelligence agencies is engaged in subversive activities throughout the Muslim world. Islamic sanctities are openly insulted with the help of their funds and with their encouragement. Even the celestial visage of the supreme Messenger is not secure from their insolence. Thousands of movies, computer games and such stuff are produced and marketed with the purpose of casting aspersions on Islam and Muslims. All of this is besides their crimes of encroachment on Islamic countries, the massacres committed in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and their brazen interventions in Muslim countries aimed to secure their illegitimate political and economic interests. Surrendering to such an enemy is totally contrary to the judgement of reason , and resisting him is the sole prescription of reason and religion.
Secondly, exaggerating the enemy’s power is itself one of his tactics Money, political and military force and stockpiles of modern weapons overawe governments that lack the support of their own people. Military victory against a regime like that of Saddam, who did not enjoy his people’s support and whose army was stranger to the notions of faith and jihad, is not an evidence of strength. However, the United States could not subdue the Iraqi people. To the same extent that Iraq has contested and unmasked US pretensions of bringing democracy to the Middle East, it has also challenged and mocked the pretensions of absolute American power and invincibility. If governments relying on popular support possess the assest of faith in God and self-confidence, they will never be defeated if they pursue a policy of defying (imperialist pressures). Their steadfastness in face of the hardships resulting from resistance will be rewarded with victory and it will destroy the myth of the invincibility of the aggressor enemy. This has been proved in the present as well as in not- so – distant past and , God willing, will continue to be proved henceforth.
The connected chain of US plots against Iran , Syria and Lebanon with the aim of establishing its dominance over the Middle East under the auspices of the Zionist regime will never succeed and will not earn American leaders anything but fatal ruin.
If , fortuitously, the United States should deign to follow the dictates of reason and conscience, it should abandon its obstinacy against the will of the Iraqi people and defer to their vote in favour of their elected government. It should respect the government elected by the Palestinians and harness its lawless and vicious ally, the usurper Zionist regime. It should immediately free the wrongfully held inmates of Guantanamo, Abu Ghuraib and other secret US prisons. It should stop its plots against Syria, Lebanon and the Islamic Republic of Iran and refrain from inflaming with its naivety the sensitive region of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
Finally , this is what I have to say to the brave and resistant Palestinians:
Becoming an exemplary nation, you have brought honour to the Islamic world with your splendid struggle, steadfastness and resistance. The heavy burden of this great ordeal did not bend your back, and the noble blood of your martyrs has hardened and deepened your resolve and firmness. Your enemy’s brutality and bloodthirstiness, the massacres, destruction and kidnappings perpetrated by him and his barbarism could not make you turn your backs, and today you are stronger then ever. Until now the blood of such great martyrs as Shaikh Ahmad Yasin , Fathi Shiqaqi, Rantisi, and the blood of your martyrdom- seeking youths and victims of oppression has triumphed over the sword and , with God’s power and might, will be increasingly victorious hereafter.
We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the mass of Muslims and freedom loving people of the world, share your sorrows and sufferings. Your martyrs are our martyrs, your sorrow and grief are our own sorrow and grief, and your victory is our own. The great Islamic Ummah cannot remain silent and indifferent unlike the devious West toward the wrongs perpetrated against you, or extend its friendly hand toward your enemy. Whoever does that will be your enemy, and definitely the Islamic nations stand absolved of such a great sin. It is the duty of the Islamic Ummah to offer you all the help that it can and assist you in persevering upon this blessed path.
Keep your trust in God’s promise. Bear patiently your sorrows and the crushing pain inflicted by the unjust bloodshed of your dear ones and your daily hardships for the sake of God. And say with the Doyen of the World’s martyrs, Hussain ibn Ali, may Peace by upon them ,who, when his baby was slain by a poisoned arrow while he held it in his arms, said: " The only thing that makes it easy to face this is that it takes place right before God’s eyes!" You should know that God has assured the ultimate victory of the faithful and those who strive patiently ,and the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice!(6:115)
Wassalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah