Thursday, September 17, 2009

International Green Qods Day

In a speech I made last year,in an international conference in Tehran, on Global Leadership and Sustainable Development, among other points I mentioned the fact that the world is suffering from an acute case of mismanagement, injustice and double standards. The Palestinian situation is a standing symbol of that injustice and a reason for global public opinion to doubt the credibility of world leaders and international policies.
The 30th anniversary of Qods Day is around the corner.Imam Khomeini proclaimed the final Friday of Holy Ramazan as International Qods Day during the early months of the Revolution. This was the manifestation of the resolve of a nation that had resisted tyranny and oppression and gained victory through the Islamic Revolution had announced its support for the oppressed and subjugated nations worldwide particularly the Palestinian nation. On that day all freedom-seekers in the world were to protest against those who by relying on their wealth, power and deception, had undermined the rights of others by destroying their livelihoods, properties and right to development and advancement. The idea was to protest oppression and occupation in any form and anywhere. Every year irrespective of political or social denominations millions of Iranians and Muslims throughout the world marched in support of the Palestinian cause .
This year Qods day is different.The supporters of the Green Movement have issued an announcement and major reformist leaders have invited the people to join the demonstrations. As a deterring measure, the government has replaced moderate Hashemi Rafsanjani with the radical Ahmad Khatami and Mr. Ahmadinejad will also speak at the prayers. Hashemi had led the Qods Friday Prayers for at least two decades. The rally will be attended by the majority who voted for Mousavi and Karrobi and it will be a manifestation of their resolve despite 90 days of detainment, suppression, censorship and pressures to silence the truth-seeking campaign. Excerpts from this announcement are as follows:
This year Qods Day will be “Green”, so that all shall know that assault is appalling, no matter where or by whom; on land, wealth or honour. This year the Iranian nation, a nation as old as human civilization, invites the world and especially the oppressed Palestinian nation, who not only has suffered the bitter taste of assault but also every year and always has had the support of the people and the government of Iran, to be “Green”, to wear “Green” and to think “Green” in solidarity with us, the “Green Movement of Iran”. We have been victimised in a full scale assault not by strangers, not by disbelievers and not only in our rights, but by claiming to be Muslims and our fellow citizens. We invite them to join our voice, our colour, and our message as we are and have always been joining their voice and message.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ramazan and Difficult Times

Ramazan has arrived bringing a spiritual revival along. Ramazan is a window of opportunity to change monotonous attitudes, lifestyles and behaviours. Eating , drinking, sleeping and lifestyle changes during the fasting period serve to lighten up and freshen the spirit. It is perceived as an action that can revive the soul that has lost its vitality. Ramazan is an exercise for ethical behaviour, it sets a harness on the strong powers of lust, ambition and selfishness. This does not infer that those powers would be destroyed or ultimately weakened but that they would fall into the humane and sublime direction defined by the Creator.It reminds us of the aggressive and oppressive policies ruling today's world.
Fasting gives us a moment of solitude and contemplation. The hunger we experience reminds us of the widening gap between the poor and the rich and the fact that millions die of hunger in the unjust world we have created today. Ramazan reminds us of the soul that is also hungry for love and worship. I remember I met Archbishop Capucci on an occasion during the Revolution in 1979, he described how terrible the food and treatment of the Israelis were in their prisons and how he had lost weight. " But that is good for the flight of the spirit the lighter you are the higher you can fly" he added. We have many innocent Muslim political activists, journalists, students and ordinary people still imprisoned in Iran and many other parts of the world. Ramazan is the time to pray for them and for the ultimate Justice that we all yearn for.
Although we have a miraculous Book at hand to guide us through the storms and blizzards of our times, yet we do not take appropriate refuge in the Quran. Ramazan is the month of reciting and contemplating the Quran.There is so much to learn and gain, so much that could transform our lives and enable us to proceed and persevere in the path of justice and truth.
We are facing serious challenges in the Islamic Republic, we hope that Ramazan will create an atmosphere for forgiveness and truthfullness in these difficult times.