The Silence of the Ayatollah
Western plot to weaken the Middle East by creating sectarian divisions has spawned the Islamist threat, says Iran
Britain stands accused of creating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) as a tool to undermine and destroy anti-Western governments, Iran's Supreme Leader has declared. Slamming the "wicked British", Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used his first major speech in a month to claim Isil was being used against Iran and other Middle Eastern regimes.
In a blow to hopes that the Supreme Leader had softened his suspicion of Britain, Ayatollah Khamenei said the West wanted to promote sectarian divisions in the region. "The evil Britain has created the [Isil] and al Qaeda to confront the Islamic republic and the Islamic awakening," he said. "America, Zionism, and especially the veteran expert of spreading divisions – the wicked government of Britain – have sharply increased their efforts of creating divisions between the Sunnis and Shia." The speech, marking a Shia Muslim religious holiday, was posted on his website, where he has also published video footage showing his recovery from recent surgery.
The comments came as Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, was quoted demanding Iran pull back from conflicts and civil wars in Sunni-dominated countries. "Our reservations are about Iran's policy in the region, not about Iran as a country or people," the foreign minister said at a joint press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "In many conflicts, Iran is part of the problem, not the solution," Prince Saud said, charging that Shia-dominated Iran had forces in Syria "fighting Syrians".
For his part, Khamenei accused the US and Britain of using the action against Isil to divide and control neighbouring states. "A careful and analytic look at the developments reveals that the US and its allies, in efforts that are falsely termed countering [Isil], seek to create division and enmity among the Muslims rather to destroy the root causes of that (terrorist) current," Khamenei said. "Shias and Sunnis must know that any action or remark, including insulting one another, leads to increased sensitivities and ignite flames. This will certainly benefit the common enemy of all Muslims."
It seems incredible that the leader of a civilized nation could attempt to place the blame for the barbaric depredations of ISIL and its antecedent, Al Quaeda, upon the US and Britain. The blame for what ISIL is doing falls upon ISIL. The individuals committing these horrifying atrocities should be condemned outright for their actions. Why did not Iran's Supreme Leader simply say that these evil butchers would surely spend eternity in Jahannam (the Islamic concept of Hell)?
“Recently, some Vatican officials have asked Muslim scholars to condemn the brutal attacks of the extremist group ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) against Christians and the religious minorities in northern Iraq. I urge all the Muslims around the world to condemn such inhumane crimes,” said Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi in his message to Pope Francis. He added that extremist groups, regardless of their religion and nationalities, are the biggest menace to humanity.
Since the ISIL terrorists took control of many regions in the north of Iraq in June, Shiite clerics in Iran and Iraq have in numerous occasions condemned their acts of terrorism and warned that the terrorist group is committing its crimes in the name of Islam and that their heinous actions pose serious threats to the true image of the Muslim world. Iraq’s top cleric, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani, condemned burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by the ISIL terrorists - urging all regional nations as well as the international community to fight the terrorist group.
The religious leadership of Islam has not yet taken a sufficiently unified, outraged stance against ISIL atrocities to effectively repudiate and hopefully deter these crimes, which ISIL seeks to portray as being "in the name of Islam."
Is it really necessary to point out that allowing these terrorists to continue to portray their horrible crimes as being "in the name of Islam" creates danger that non-Muslims may come to believe that Islam is their enemy? Is that not what ISIL really wants, to ignite a religious Armageddon?