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Monday, December 29, 2008
Leader upbraids Arabs for deafening silence on Gaza tragedy
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has strongly condemned the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which have killed at least 285 Palestinians.
Israel on Saturday launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which was already struggling with a humanitarian disaster due to a prolonged Israeli siege. The attacks continued through Sunday, with Israel saying there is no end in sight for the operation.
In a message issued on Sunday, the Supreme Leader declared that Monday will be a day of “national mourning”. He called on “all Palestinian warriors, Muslim and freedom-seeking nations, scholars, intellectuals, and the Islamic world’s media to fulfill their heavy duty to counter the crimes of the Zionist regime.”
“The Zionist regime’s violent crimes in Gaza and the massacre of hundreds of innocent men, women, and children, once again showed the bloody image of Zionist wolves and revealed the negligence about the presence of this hostile disbeliever in the heart of the lands of Islamic ummah,” he stated.
This is a grave disaster for all Muslims and all conscientious people in every corner of the world, but the gravest disaster is the encouraging of silence of some Arab governments which clime to be Muslim, the Leader remarked. What disaster could be worse than the silence of the Arab world, which is duty-bound to support the oppressed people of Gaza in the face of the usurper and criminal Zionist regime, he said.
The Arab world’s nonchalance in regard to this tragedy has convinced the Zionist regime that those countries approve of its crimes, the Leader lamented.
How will the leaders of these countries respond to the holy prophet? What answer will they give to their own nations who are certainly mourning this tragedy? Indeed, today the hearts of the Egyptian, Jordanian and other Muslims are overwhelmed with sorrow about the bloodshed, he noted.
“By his complicity in this crime, the criminal administration of Bush in the last days of his shameful rule, darkened the image of the U.S. regime more than ever and added to its dossier of war crimes. The European governments, through their indifference and maybe their complicity in this huge tragedy, once again proved that their claims of supporting human rights are false. They showed that they are involved in the fight against Islam and Muslims,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
“Now, I ask the scholars of the Arab world and the chiefs of the Egyptian al-Azhar center: isn’t it the time to feel the threat facing Islam and Muslims? “Isn’t it the time to fulfill the mandatory act of standing against any bullying ruler? Is an additional, more divulging scene of complicity between the hostile disbelievers and the hypocrites of ummah in creating what is going on in Gaza is required to make you feel responsibility?”
“I have also a question from the media and Muslim intellectuals, especially the Arab world. For how long have you decided to remain indifferent regarding your media and intellectual responsibility?”
“All the Palestinian warriors and all faithful of the Islamic world are duty-bound to defend the defenseless people of Gaza. Anyone who is killed in this legitimate and holy defense is a martyr and is hoped to be among the ranks of the martyrs of Badr and Ohud battles” who fought along with the holy prophet, the Leader explained.
He called on “the Organization of the Islamic Conference to fulfill its responsibility in this sensitive situation and team up against the Zionist regime.”
Israel must be punished by Muslim governments. The heads of the usurper regime must be tried in person for this crime and for the prolonged blockade of Gaza, he asserted.
“I declare Monday a day of national mourning to mark the Gaza tragedy and call on Iranian officials to fulfill their responsibilities regarding this tragic incident.