Rev. David B. SmithResponses
Australian Anglican Parish Priest, Founder of the ‘Fighting Fathers Ministries’, Author of the book “Sex, The Ring and The Eucharist”
I think the letter was excellent and timely. The tone is fatherly, rather than confrontational, and will hopefully accomplish much to portray a more positive picture of Iran in the minds of western young people.
I think that (calling on the younger generation to get familiar with Islam from primary and original source) is both wise and true. It is fundamental that we appeal to the minds of our young people before they become totally indoctrinated by the system. Radical and independent thought has always originated in universities. This is where change can begin, and it is thus highly appropriate for Ayatollah Khamenei to target his appeal this way.
Vested interests are intent on increasing Islamophobia and dividing people on the basis of their religious tribe. I trust that the fatherly and non-confrontational tone of the Ayatollah’s letter will do much to portray a more positive image of the Iranians (and Muslims in general) in the minds of Western young people, even regardless of the letter’s excellent content.
While the propaganda machine is active, people are blinded from the truth. It often takes a generation for the fog of propaganda to clear!
I believe that there are many vested interests fanning the flames of division between Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Jews, Europeans, Persians and Arabs.
In the end, the truth will shine through, but how much damage will be done and how many lives will be lost in the meantime? I do not blame the Muslim community at all for the development of this divide.
I appreciate that there are indeed many angry young Muslim men who are causing trouble in this country as elsewhere. Even so, this anger is not without a basis.
I think the Pope has shown admirable leadership in this area, as he has done in so many areas since his installation.
I do truly believe that it is only the religious leaders who we can look to now if there is going to be any progress.
Our politicians are inevitably mired in power-play and cannot speak the truth even if they want to.
Our religious institutions are also tied into the system and yet they still have some independence and they still have values and a conscience. This is indeed where my hope lies.
Only that I think it was a brave and wise initiative of the Ayatollah to take this initiative.
My prayers are with him, and my hope is that he (Iranian Leader) and the Pope and other religious leaders around the world might indeed pave the way for a new era where truth and integrity are valued more highly than money and power.
Source: Farsnews English