Iran’s Supreme Leader calls on British Muslims to oppose Government
And then he made a speech, addressed to British Muslims and to imams in particular, calling for Islamic unity to contend against Government legislation which contravenes shari’a law. The Ayatollah condemned the ‘unjust limitations on the freedom of Muslims to act in accordance with their beliefs’, and he urged imams to ensure Islam’s moral teaching was always presented in its ‘entirety’ and ‘convincingly defended’ with ‘Jihadi zeal’. He told the assembled leaders to ensure their faithful knew he ‘holds them in his heart’.
He urged them warmly to welcome disaffected Christians who wanted to convert to the Islamic faith, and he looks forward to a new system of Anglo-Islam accommodating whole Christian congregations who are opposed to women or homosexual priests and bishops.
The speech has caused a few ripples in the media, but Her Majesty’s Government have made no response to what may be perceived as fomenting treason and civil unrest.
The full speech is below:
I welcome all of you on your hajj to Tehran, where you have come to pay your respect at the holy mausoleum of the late Imam Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution. I thank you for the kind words that Anjem Choudary has addressed to me on your behalf, and I offer you my warmest good wishes and prayers for yourselves and all the faithful of the United Kingdom entrusted to your pastoral care. Your visit to Tehran strengthens the bonds of brotherhood between the Muslim community in your country and the Islamic Republic of Iran, a brotherhood that has sustained your people's faith for decades, and today provides fresh energies for Jihad and contentment for the mawali. Even amid the pressures of a secular age, there are many signs of living faith and devotion among the Muslims of the United Kingdom. I am thinking, for example, of the enthusiasm generated by the Muslim Council of Britain in their exhortation to slaughter those who seek to destroy us, the interest aroused by Abu Hamza that the flag of Islam might fly from Number 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, and the eagerness of young people to practise the Five Pillars and take part in the hajj to Mecca. On the occasion of my forthcoming State Visit to Great Britain, I shall be able to witness that faith for myself and, as successor of Ayatollah Khomeini, to strengthen and confirm it. During the months of preparation that lie ahead, be sure to encourage the Muslims of the United Kingdom in their devotion to Allah, and assure them that the Islamic Revolution Leader constantly remembers them in his prayers and holds them in his heart.
Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of Muslims to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates shari’a law which is the natural law. I urge you to ensure that the moral teaching of Islam is always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Obedience to the words of Allah written in the Holy Qur’an in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them: when so many of the population claim to be Muslim, how could anyone dispute Mohammed’s right to be heard?
If the full saving message of Islam is to be presented effectively and convincingly to the world, the Muslim community in your country needs to speak with a united voice. This requires not only you, the imams, but also Muslim teachers, scholars and politicians – in short all who are engaged in the task of communicating the Holy Qur’an – to be attentive to the words of Allah, who guides the whole Ummah into the truth, gathers the Brotherhood into unity and inspires us with Jihadi zeal.
Make it your concern, then, to draw on the considerable gifts of all Muslims in the United Kingdom and see that they are equipped to hand on the faith to new generations comprehensively, accurately, and with a keen awareness that in so doing they are playing their part in the mission of Islam. In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognise dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet Mohammed and embodied by the Islamic Republic’s commitment to the Caliphate that sets us free. The late Imam Khomeini realised this, and he left us an outstanding example of faithfulness to revealed truth by following the Shari’a wherever it led him, even at considerable personal cost. Great writers and communicators of his stature and integrity are needed in Islam today, and it is my hope that paying your respects to him will inspire many to follow in his footsteps.
Much attention has rightly been given to Ayatollah Khomeini's scholarship and politics, but it is important to remember that he saw himself first and foremost as an imam. In this Year of Jihad, I urge you to hold up to your imams and community leaders his example of dedication to the shahadah[, to salah, to sawm, to zaka and to hajj. You yourselves should set a similar example. Be close to the imams who teach faithfully in your mosques, and rekindle their sense of the enormous privilege and joy of standing among the people of Allah as Muslims. In Ayatollah Khomeini's words, "Those who are trying to bring corruption and destruction to our country in the name of democracy will be oppressed. We will oppress them by God's order and God's call to prayer.”
Indeed, since politicians are trying to destroy the Islamic life and the freedom of the Mosque, spare no effort in encouraging a new generation of foot-soldiers for Allah and emphasising to the faithful the true meaning and necessity of Islam. Encourage Muslims everywhere to express their appreciation of the shari'a imams who serve them, and to recognise the difficulties they sometimes face on account of their declining numbers and increasing pressures. The support and understanding of the Brotherhood is particularly necessary when the building of mosques is delayed and hindered through tedious planning applications. Help them to avoid any temptation to view the imams and community leaders as mere functionaries but rather to rejoice in the gift of their divine calling by Allah, a gift that can never be taken for granted.
Inter-faith dialogue assumes great importance in the United Kingdom, given the varied demographic profile of the population. As well as encouraging you in your important work in these areas, I would ask you to be generous in implementing the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, so as to assist those groups of Muslims who wish to see the flag of Islam flying over the homes of the Prime Minister and of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. And the British Parliament should be guided into the fullness of submission to Allah. I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, the British Parliament will be a blessing for the entire Islamic world.
With these thoughts, I commend your mission to all those who have been or who have attempted to become martyrs of the faith. May Mohammed guide you always. To all of you, and to the imams, brothers and sisters of your country, I cordially impart my blessing as a pledge of peace and submission which is Islam.
The aggression and subversion of this speech have been condemned in some sections of the press; caused 'anger' among secularists; and been lauded as 'wonderful' by others, The National Secular Society are demanding that British Muslims should foot the £20 million security bill the visit of the Ayatollah is expected to cost the British taxpayer.