Freedom of thought essential for scientific, philosophical progress: Leader

June 20, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said here on Monday that the Iranian nation and officials will resolve their current problems and reach the pinnacles of progress and dignity through unity, faith, vigilance, and wisdom.

In a meeting with the president, Majlis speaker, Judiciary chief, Expediency Council chairman, cabinet members, MPs, military officers, and other officials, Ayatollah Khamenei said that being overoptimistic or overpessimistic can cause officials to make miscalculations on the internal situation.

He noted that Iran’s great and successive achievements are considered a positive point for the country and the Islamic system.

The Supreme Leader expressed pleasure over the lively and hopeful spirit among the people, the decisive and hardworking government, Iran’s high status in the international arena, the country’s scientific progress, the current political calm, the enemy’s failure to provoke religious and ethnic disputes, and the solidarity among the three main branches of government.

Beside the long list of positive points and achievements there are some urgent needs and problems that should be resolved through planning and more effort, he pointed out.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for the government, the Majlis, and other officials to create more job opportunities, fight inflation, improve the situation in underprivileged areas, combat corruption, maintain investment security, stabilize the country’s international position, and improve its cultural image.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Supreme Leader noted that fundamentalism is not a political tendency like other political trends.

“Dividing groups into fundamentalists, reformists, etc. is not correct because anyone or any group that is loyal to the principles of the Islamic Revolution is regarded as fundamentalist.”

The most important factor of fundamentalism is faith and an “Islamic and revolutionary identity”, he stated.

Ayatollah Khamenei called on the government and various cultural bodies to promote strong faith without superstition among the youth and to strengthen people’s faith in religion, the revolution, the Islamic system, national unity, sovereignty, and a bright future.

“Efforts should be made to present the true Islamic identity to Muslim nations and scholars and to strengthen fundamentalism in the Islamic world by promoting Islamic brotherhood and moral virtues.”

The Supreme Leader strongly criticized the distorted ideology of the ousted Taleban in Afghanistan and the terrorist groups in Iraq, saying, “These people think no one is a real Muslim and present a violent and grim image of Islam. But the real Islam that has been revived in Iran through the deep and innovative thoughts of the late Imam Khomeini gives a good impression to nations and presents them with the real Islamic and revolutionary faith and identity.”

Ayatollah Khamenei called justice another important factor in fundamentalism, saying, “Economic development should be achieved along with justice. The idea to achieve economic development before implementing justice is not logical.”

“In order to implement justice, efforts should be made to reduce class division, create equal opportunities, restrain pilferers of the national wealth, launch a real campaign against corruption and favoritism, and pay more attention to underprivileged areas.”

He stressed that maintaining all-out independence is another factor of fundamentalism, adding, “Any political tendency or movement that does not seek ways to obtain freedom from the octopus imposed by the Western culture and ignores the country’s politico-economic independence is not considered fundamentalist.”

Pointing to freedom of thought as another factor, he said, “Freedom is one of the biggest blessings of God, and freedom of thought is one type of freedom without which scientific and philosophical progress would be impossible.”

He noted that it is not correct to raise a commotion about any new remark that is made in religious seminaries, universities, other cultural spaces, or the press, adding that efforts should be made to create an open atmosphere in order to nurture new thoughts and ideas.

The Supreme Leader said the most important challenges Iran faces in its international relations result from the U.S. animosity toward the nation.

The Middle East is of great significance for the global arrogance and the U.S. administration, he added.

By establishing an Islamic system in this region and standing against the aggressive policies of the U.S., Iran has angered that country, he added.