Gaza is an issue beyond religion/ The world is united in supporting Palestine

According to Shabestan News Agency, an international symposium on interfaith dialogue and the Gaza was held on Tuesday morning, 7th of May 2024, at the Allamah Jaafari Hall of the Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought.


In this session, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rashad, the head of the Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, along with religious leaders including Rabbi Younes Hamami Lalehzar, the religious leader of the Iranian Jewish community; Priest Gregorius Nersessian, the religious advisor of the Armenian Catholicosate; Vania Sergiz, the bishop of the Assyrian Chaldean Catholicosate; Jubalit Aldo, the priest of the Assyrian Church of the East; and Mobad Padram Soroushpour, a member of the Zoroastrian Association of Tehran, were present.


At the beginning of this symposium, Ayatollah Rashad, expressing regret over the events in Gaza, said: “We mourn the world we live in. International organizations stand alongside oppression and tyranny, and some try to describe the conflict in Gaza as “religious” and even label it as a “regional issue” happening in a small part of the world.”


The head of IICT continued: “In my opinion, today’s issue in Palestine is not a religious conflict. Various religious leaders, based on the teachings of their religions, do not approve of what has happened regarding the Gaza issue. The reality is that the atrocities committed against Gaza have been shaped with the support of global powers. They bomb thousands of infants, fetuses in their mothers’ wombs, youth, and defenseless children. In this war, many homes have been destroyed, and people have fled to hospitals and fields for refuge, but they are still being ruthlessly massacred. Is there any religion on Earth that approves of killing innocent children?”


He added: “Does any religion allow a regime to commit crimes against defenseless women, elderly individuals, and hospitalized patients? Does any recognized religion endorse sudden attacks and bombings of homes where there are no weapons or combatants, resulting in the deaths of hundreds? I cannot imagine any religion that approves of this. In my view, today’s issue in Palestine and Gaza is not a religious conflict. Some try to exploit these events to divert this inhuman tragedy towards a non-religious conflict. The issue of Gaza is not even a regional one; it is “global” and is unfolding on a “global” scale.


Ayatollah Rashad emphasized: “At the beginning of this war, even ministries that were located in the occupied territories were shut down and handed over to Americans stationed there. During this time, the volume of equipment provided by America and Western countries to this puppet regime is extraordinary. They diplomatically and journalistically supported this usurping regime. In the early days of the war, the vile President of the United States openly said that if Israel didn’t exist, we would create it.”


He continued: “The powers which are known as “imperialist powers” have always supported oppressors in various wars. This is the case wherever you go in the world. Imam Khomeini said wherever there is turmoil, America is behind it, and whatever you protest against, protest against America.”


The head of IICT, in another part of his discussion, said: “Colonial methods vary every day. The issue of global war in the current era does not mean that half of the world is on one side and the other half is on the other side of the Earth fighting. Today’s war is for the oppressed and free people of the world, who are united on one side against several powers on the other side. Now the question is, where in the world is the most protest and resistance after the Western Asia region? Today, American university students, who belong to various religions, protested against the atrocities in Gaza because they are culturally knowledgeable, free, and not subject to any authority. Despite being Westerners, Americans, Christians, Jews, or of any religion, they started protesting.


Ayatollah Rashad, pointing out that the issue of Gaza is “global” and the people of America and European countries are protesting against these atrocities, continued: “Unfortunately, even some Muslim governments are mercenaries or coward and do not object. However, the people have always been supporters of Gaza and Palestine. Therefore, the war in Gaza is not a government-to-government or land-to-land war. Today, in the Gaza issue, humanity and anti-humanity are facing each other.”


The head of IICT added: “Those who were massacred in Hiroshima, what was their sin? After about 80 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, the first rank of a country like Japan, which is an advanced nation, becomes a mailman for America to deliver a letter from Trump to our leader, and of course, the esteemed leadership did not accept it.”


He continued: “The fact is that even if there is a war, it must be accompanied by dignity and compliance with international laws. A war in line with religious orders; does religion permit killing innocent children? Today, Israel has not even achieved even the minimum goals it needed. If you wanted to destroy Hamas, it has actually become more alive and global today. The issue of Palestine has been revived. In human history, no event has shaken human emotions as much as the oppressive war in Gaza. The issue of Palestine’s independence is now raised anew. The Islamic Republic also says that this land belonged to various owners, including Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and these people are the owners of this land, not the ones who settled here by force.”


Ayatollah Rashad, stating that even the Jews around the world are protesting against the atrocities in Gaza today, said: “Moses, Jesus, and Zoroaster, who were prophets, were defending whom? Today, our proposal is to stop this war. As we move forward, consciences are awakening. Even some Islamic governments today, who wanted to get along with Israel, are ashamed. Today, Hamas has transformed into a “soft power”, and Palestine has become a global issue.”


The head of IICT continued: “All the religions present in Iran are our compatriots based on the rights recognized by the Constitution and consider Iran as their homeland. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the homeland. In the eight-year Sacred Defense, young people from all religions went to the front lines. Today, we condemn in unison this oppressive war and ruthless genocide.”