The following is the full text of a speech by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the occasion of Mab'ath on May 16.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I congratulate this great and historical and unique Eid (festivity) to all of you esteemed attendants and dear guests and the entire Iranian nation and all the Muslims of the world, and also to all people whose hearts beat for justice and humanity and freedom. The Ordainment is a time of festivity for all people and not just for Muslims. Celebrating the Ordainment and commemoration of the day of the Ordainment is mostly for the purpose of [making us] go over the main theme of the Ordainment and learn lessons from it; this is the purpose. We need the lessons [that we learn] from Ordainment for good; the Ordainment was not just a historical event for a certain juncture of time; [it was] for all periods of history.
Today, what I want to choose and present in brief from this huge collection of lessons of the Ordainment is that Ordainment was meant to fight “ignorance.” In Islamic literature, the “ignorance” denotes the time period before the Ordainment of the revered Prophet [of Islam (PBUH)]. [We] must not imagine that this ignorance was special to the Arabian Peninsula and Arabs in Mecca and Hejaz and other places; no; that ignorance was general. Even Iran in those days was submerged in ignorance; the Roman Empire in that time was also neck-deep in ignorance. Islam and Ordainment of Prophet (PBUH) came about to counter all this ignorance. Ignorance does not simply mean absence of knowledge. In Islamic terms and in Islamic literature, ignorance has a much wider meaning. Part of ignorance is absence of knowledge and not having knowledge, but ignorance, in its wider sense, means the dominance and governance of the force of concupiscence and human rage on living environment; this is [true meaning of] ignorance. Ignorance means that human societies, overcome by carnal desires and rage of mostly their rulers, change in such a way that virtues are lost and proclivities reign; this is ignorance.
There was a vast realm of ignorance in the life of ignorant people. On the one hand, [there was] unbridled [rule of] carnal desires, sexual lust and the likes of that – now you look at the environment of the Arabian Peninsula; [but] other environments were also like that. They were immersed in their passions in an unrestricted manner and everybody who could, would follow his/her carnal desires. On the other hand, the same people who were subdued by their lust, [they] went to the most extreme imaginable limit and border when it came to brutality and destructiveness and bloodletting; that is, they killed their own children. [Quran says:] “Verily, those who killed their children are at loss – those who killed their own children. “[They] are imbeciles without knowledge.” This is out of imbecility; this imbecility is the same as ignorance. The brutality reaches a point where [they] not only [do not have mercy on] other people’s children, not only [show no mercy to] innocent women and children of others, but they show no mercy to their own children as well. This is ignorance. On the one side, lust, on the other side, rage; then the environment of life will become hostage to these two untamable, unrestrained sentiments. Islam came to change this situation. Of course, exactly the same [situation] existed in royal courts of Sassanid Iran, in royal courts of Roman Empire, in other places where there were tyrant and oppressive empires and courts and rules. Islam stood up against all this ugly reality; “[Islam] is issuer of warning to the entire world.” It addressed its warning to the entire world; this is the message of Islam.
Today, ignorance still exists in the world; we must open our eyes and recognize ignorance; today this concept exactly exists; unlimited, unrestrained [and] illogical pursuit of lust. Today, the logic behind pursuit of lust in the Western world is “inclination.” We say why you promote homosexuality and same-sex [relations]? They say, ‘Well, this is a human inclination’. This is their logic! The same people who stop at nothing and continue to go ahead in the pursuit of sexual lust and various kinds of human lust without observing any red lines, when it comes to brutality, one can see the same situation here: they kill human beings, kill the innocent; [and] suppress nations that have done nothing wrong. This is the ignorance that exists today; the modern ignorance. The difference between this ignorance and the ignorance at the advent [of Islam] – as put by Quran, the early ignorance – is that today, ignorance is armed and equipped with the weapon of science, [and] the weapon of knowledge. That is, science, which must form the basis of human salvation, has turned into a means of misery for people and misery for human societies. Those people who are bullying the world today are bullying on the strength of the products of their knowledge. The weapon that they have is manufactured by and a product of knowledge. The intelligence tools that they have, the security tools that they have, the huge publicity tools that they have, these are products of science; [and] all of them are at the service of the same lust and rage. This is the situation of the world today. The Islamic society is faced with such a reality and the Islamic world must feel this; must understand this.
Today, ignorance has been reproduced; with very high capacity, [and] its danger is hundreds, even thousands of times bigger than the ignorance in early days and early period of Islam. Of course, Islam, thank God, has been also equipped today. The huge Islamic force has spread across the world today by taking advantage of various tools. And the hope for success, the hope for overcoming the stratagem of enemies is no trivial hope; it is a high hope. What is necessary, in the first place, is “foresight,” and in the second place “determination and perseverance.” This is what we Muslim nations need.
Well, today, the Islamic world is, truly and fairly speaking, in dire straits. You look at the situation of Islamic countries in our own region from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Syria and Lebanon and Palestine, and from Yemen to Libya. These Islamic countries in the region of West Asia and North Africa are grappling with many problems today: they have the problem of insecurity, the problem of fratricide, the problem of dominance of ruthless groups and on the back of all of them, the problem of arrogant plots of big powers topped by America, which enter [different] arenas in the name of protecting their interests and do whatever they want – which is [another form of] the aforesaid lust and rage; that is, they kill innocent human beings [and] support mischievous groups.
Their propaganda is, fairly speaking, wide-ranging propaganda and they cover all these [crimes] under various guises. This famous politician of the past generation of Britain, Churchill – and we Iranians know the name of Churchill very well –has a saying which contains a strange irony. He says the “truth” is so valuable that humans should certainly wrap it and hide it in a cover of lies! Just look at this logic! Lying, untrue propaganda, [and] saying something that is exactly the opposite of truth; this is what one can see in the policies of Western [countries].
Today, Americans claim that they want to fight against terrorism, while the most dangerous [and] ruthless terrorist groups have been created by them. Who created Daesh [ISIS]? They have confessed that they had the main role and share in the creation of Daesh. Who let other small and large groups – similar to Daesh – to wreak havoc on Iraq and Syria and other places? From what place these bullets and these tools and these dollars that are pouring into the pocket of these criminal and killer human beings come? From where does this money come? Who are these people who on the order of America’s policies support ruthless [and] dangerous terrorist groups in the region? Is there any doubt that the [world] arrogance has been playing the main role in creating terrorism and spreading terrorists and is helping them and supporting them in our region? When you look at all places in this region, you see that this evil hand of the enemies is busy creating the incident of terrorism. Who is supporting the fake Zionist government which is putting so much pressure on Palestine in this way in Gaza and the West Bank region? Who is backing them? Who is paving the road for them? Who is standing behind them? They are the Western powers with America on their top [which support them]. Then they say in their slogans, [and] their remarks that ‘we are against terrorism, we are opposed to Daesh’, and they lie; they do not tell the truth. This is ignorance; this is the same ignorance that exists in the world of today.
We must be vigilant. Dear brethren, dear nation of Iran, the great Islamic Ummah, [and] rulers of [Muslim] countries! Know that we can stand up to this ignorance. Today, ominous policies of arrogance are [aimed at] waging proxy wars in our region. For their own interests, they [want to] instigate regional countries or certain groups within [these] countries and make them fight each other and [let them] pursue their own interests; fill the pocket of arms manufacturing companies; [and] amend economic policies of their almost bankrupt economy; this is their goal; we must be vigilant.
They talk about the Persian Gulf region. Security of the Persian Gulf region is the common interest of the Persian Gulf countries; we, the countries around the Persian Gulf have a common interest. We are neighbors; security here will benefit all of us; if the Persian Gulf is secure, all of us benefit from this security and if it is insecure, it will be insecure for all [of us]. An insecure Persian Gulf will be insecure for all [regional countries], [but] those who should maintain this security are those to whom the Persian Gulf belongs; [it] belongs to them; is their home. Who is America to come here [and] talk about problems of the Persian Gulf; and recruit allies? They do not seek security, they seek their own interests and [if] considered necessary, [they] make a place insecure and support the agent of insecurity.
Well, Yemen has become insecure; Yemen has become a field for the massacre of children and women; isn’t this insecurity? Who is supporting this insecurity? America [is supporting it]. Unfortunately, the agent [of insecurity] consists of countries that are Muslim in name; [they] are regional countries, but they have been deceived. It [America] is the supporter; it is the mastermind; it is them that are spreading terrorism.
Then, they say Iran [is supporting] terrorism. We fought terrorism; we slapped terrorism in the face. Terrorism emerged within our country through the money of our enemies and through the plot of America, [but] Iranian nation punched terrorism in the crux of the head within the country and it will be the same after this.
We cooperated with those who fought against terrorism in our country, in Iraq, in Syria [and] in Lebanon; helped them; [and] will continue to do so. We are against terrorism. Zionists are the most dangerous and the most evil of terrorists in this region. We are faced and opposed to Zionists. [US president] tells us that Iran is supporting terrorism! You are supporting terrorism; America is supporting the terrorist Zionist government; America created Daesh; America supported Daesh. You supported terrorists who kill people in Syria; burn people alive; cut open the chest of a dead person, bring out his heart and eat it; you supported these [terrorists]. You emboldened them. Your unmanned aircraft ruined people’s homes in Pakistan and Afghanistan; turned people’s wedding ceremonies into mourning – and this also happened in Iraq. You are doing such things; terrorism belongs to you; you are terrorist. [The US president] says, Iran [supports] terrorism. The terrorist [work] is your work. We are against terrorism and will fight against any terrorist. We support any oppressed; today the Yemeni nation is oppressed. No oppression is higher than this that in a forbidden month – the [lunar] month of Rajab is forbidden – [you kill Muslims]. [Even] infidels of Mecca stopped fighting when the month of Rajab started.
Today, uglier and worse than Mecca in that time are those [people] who make Yemeni families mourn in the month of Rajab – a forbidden month. [They] attack a point one hundred times, [and even] two hundred times in a day with aircraft, under a lame excuse, through erroneous arguments, [and] with false claims. This nation is an oppressed nation; the Yemeni nation is an oppressed nation; the Bahraini nation is an oppressed nation; the Palestinian nation is plagued with chronic oppression and for many years this nation has been under pressure. We support the oppressed as much as we can and to the extent that our abilities and our facilities allow, it is our duty; Islam has told us to “be enemy of the oppressor and assist the oppressed.” This is a recommendation from Emir al-Mou’menin [Imam Ali (PBUH)]. We don’t say, “Help your brother whether he is oppressed or oppressor;” this is a slogan [which is the result] of ignorance. They said whether your brother is oppressor or oppressed, you must defend him and support him. Quran does not say this; Islamic knowledge has forbidden this. No; whoever is oppressor, he must be confronted and his oppression must be stopped; [and] whoever is oppressed, should be supported.
Regional countries should be careful; the policy of the enemies of this region and enemies of this Islamic complex is to scare these countries of one another; [is] to create phony enemy and keep the main enemy, which is arrogance, is the invading and aggressor [Western] companies and their affiliates, [and] is the Zionism, in a [safe] margin. [They want] to create phony enemy; to pit Iran against Arabs; [to pit] a given ethnic group against another given ethnic group; [and to pit] Shia against Sunni. These are the policies of enemies; these [policies] should be confronted. To confront such policies is [equal to] confronting the ignorance. The modern ignorance of today is a violent, ruthless, [and] brutal ignorance and is equipped with all kinds of tools. It must be confronted smartly and the Iranian nation has done this confrontation and will continue to do so.
Fortunately, the regional nations have been awakened; yes, the Islamic Awakening has been suppressed temporarily, but awakening cannot be suppressed; foresight cannot be suppressed. Iranian nation is awake. Many regional nations are aware and awake and the Islamic Ummah, thank God, is awaking. Of course, the enemies may dominate [for a short time] –there is an opportunity for evil; the evil will be given an opportunity. Today, these [issues] are the duty that we have with regard to the commemoration of the Ordainment of Prophet (PBUH); we must take care not to forget the mission of the Islamic Ummah and do not ignore the power of the Islamic Ummah. Fortunately, the power of the Islamic Ummah is very high; [and] the evident reason [for this high power] is that for many years they have been using all their force to suppress the power of the awakening and resistance in the region and have not been able [to do so]. They have been struggling against the Islamic Republic, which is the pivot of this awakening, for 35 years; thank God they have been defeated [so far] and will be defeated after this.
O Almighty! Bestow your greetings and mercy on all martyrs of this path and all those who struggled in this path. O Almighty! Resurrect our great Imam [Khomeini] who taught us these lessons and opened this path before us, with his [holy] guardians and resurrect our dear martyrs with Prophet (PBUH).
Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings.