“Blind terrorism”. Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme spiritual guide uses no uncertain terms to define Paris attacks. In an open letter to “all the young people in the western countries,” he explains that “without a doubt, the one-and-a-half billion Muslims also have these feelings and abhor and are revolted by the perpetrators and those responsible for these calamities”. Yet, while reaffirming that jihadist violence creates a “common sorrow between you and us”, Khamenei has pointed his finger at the “contradictions of western policies”. “The suffering of a human being, in any corner of the world, is painful”, be they “in France, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon or Syria”, he has stressed in the missive spread by his office, saying that he is certain that “only you youth who by learning the lessons of today’s hardship, have the power to discover new means for building the future “.
In a letter, the second one after that written in January, in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the editorial staff of the Parisian Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket, the leader of the Islamic Republic has condemned “the role of the United States in creating, nurturing and arming Al Qaeda and the Taliban” as well as their “support to Israel’s state terrorism”. Another example, he added, are “the military invasions of the Islamic world in recent years with countless victims”.
Khamenei has said he is convinced that “Until double-standards dominate western policies, until terrorism- in the view of its powerful supporters- is divided into “good” and “bad” types, and until governmental interests are given precedence over human values and ethics, the roots of violence should not be searched for in other places”.
According to the supreme Iranian guide, “the imposition of western culture upon other peoples and the trivialization of independent cultures is a form of silent violence and extreme harmfulness”. In this context, we need to “seal fissure rather than deepen them: the serious mistake in the fight against terrorism are the rushed reactions which only widens the chasms, any rushed and emotional reaction which would isolate, intimidate and create more anxiety for the Muslim communities and which would deprive them of their basic rights more than has already happened and which would drive them away from society- not only will not solve the problem but will increase the chasms and resentments”. Hence, Khamenei’s appeal to the young people to “lay the foundations for a correct and honorable interaction with the Islamic world based on correct understanding, deep insight and lessons learned from horrible experiences”.