By Mohammad Mazhari

Leader’s message to the youth is independence at all levels: Lebanese sociologist

January 23, 2021 - 18:14

TEHRAN – Head of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Lebanon says that Iran has enhanced a model of independence encouraging the countries to follow common interests and common security.

In a letter dated January 21, 2015, and another on November 29, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on the truth of Islam and malicious attempts by certain Western leaders to use terrorist acts as a pretext to distort the image of Islam.

The letters written by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution asked Western youths not to judge Islam based on the Charlie Hebdo attacks and other terrorist acts. 

Ayatollah Khamenei’s message in his letters to Western youth is “that we, in cooperation with the others, can apply such a model in all countries of the region and encourage the countries to follow common interests and common security,” Dr. Talal Atrissi tells the Tehran Times.

The following is the text of interview:

Q: Imam Khamenei penned two letters to young people in Europe and North America, censuring the power structures’ attempts to marginalize Islamic thought. How do you see the impact of this message on the Western youth?

A: Regarding the letters that Imam Khamenei penned to young people in Europe and North America, the goal of these letters was to bypass Western media that do not present facts to their audience and society as well as young people in Europe and the United States.

 Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the youths directly with the aim of finding out the facts through a message from the heart of the Islamic world because the Western media is misleading and does not convey the truth to the youth.

The idea of writing these two letters was to shed light on the reality of the Islamic world, extremist movements, and the role of Western youth in understanding what is going on and in order to open a horizon for fair and just relations with the Islamic world.

In fact, this move was unprecedented all around the Islamic world.

Q: Why did Ayatollah Khamenei address the youth rather than Western politicians? 

A: Because the political officials in the West are not ready for an equal dialogue; a dialogue that recognizes the other side as a true partner. 

Officials in Western countries, in general, do not recognize the other and non-Western, and they consider other peoples and other countries, especially those in the Islamic world, as inferior, less civilized, and lower culturally and even in human values.

Therefore, they deal with our countries as places to obtain more wealth or dictate our governments their orders.

Therefore, they do not need or are not convinced of the idea of equal dialogue in which the common interests between the two parties are discussed.

For this reason, the idea of going to the youth is to go beyond political officials and Western media, and their published writings and literature that insult the Islamic world and portray it as a backward world.

That is why Ayatollah Khamenei bets on young people because they can understand this message; they can think about it and compare what was mentioned in these two letters and what the media present in terms of distortion or in an attempt to distort the facts.

Addressing the youth is an attempt, to be frank, and to speak directly because the necessary grounds for the frankness with Western governments are provided. These governments are not ready for such a dialogue.

Q: How do you assess the dominance of the Western media over the thought of the youth in the West and even in the Arab world?

A: Unfortunately, the Western media completely controls public opinion, and there are many studies that suggest the absence of free choice in the West.

Though there is an emphasis on free political choice and election in the West, indeed, these processes are directed by the media that highlight a certain personality organizing various interviews with him to present him as popular and desirable.

The media cover only what they want. It is possible to present half a minute about what is going on in Palestine, whilst presenting 10 minutes about Israeli achievements and technical development.

Mainstream media prefer to present the activities, policies and relations established by a European country while they hide what is happening in the Islamic Republic of Iran and its reality.

The media is not sincere in reflecting the truth about what is happening in the world, and therefore it is not possible to bet on this media, and unfortunately in the Arab world, many media persons and the information sources are influenced by Western reports. 

I mean, most newspapers, magazines and news websites report news from foreign agencies and consider them true and correct.

It may or may not be wrong. Although the news may turn out true, the volume that is given to the news is not natural. 

Of course, there are Arab media who are not influenced by these sources of information, but they are in minority, especially since the West controls the space and broadcasting and can prevent any satellite channel from operating.

Q: How do you see the reflection of the efforts made by the resistance axis in the world, especially in countries that suffer from dictatorship?

A: The repercussions of the resistance’s accomplishments on countries in the region and on the Western media vary between those who want to ignore these achievements and those who want to talk about them briefly and quickly. 

Regarding the resistance, Western media is reluctant to express its achievements, but rather in a manner that raises accusations and suspicions.

 I mean, when the resistance made an achievement in Lebanon and Palestine, it is considered that this matter has external causes and the resistance’s moves threaten stability in the region and obstruct the peace process and negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

They accuse the resistance of undermining the stability in Lebanon when Hezbollah confronts Israel or challenges the Zionist occupation.

Consequently, these media do not convey any truths and are concerned about the power and influence of the resistance. On the other hand, these achievements are real achievements. No one can claim that they have not been realized or deny that Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon under the blows of the resistance movement. 

The 2006 war forced Israel to admit its failure, and the enemy did not achieve what it wanted, while Hezbollah scored a great victory. 

No one can deny that the Palestinian resistance has achieved great achievements by its steadfastness, and Israel has failed in successive wars on Gaza. 

The media cannot ignore this, even if it is mentioned quickly or raises suspicions about it. This is why the achievements of the resistance in the region have left great and positive effects on the people since there are media who convey them and there are people who search for satellite channels that reflect news about the resistance.

Therefore, the blackout of the resistance’s achievements was taken into consideration by the people of the region. Meanwhile, the Western media and the hostile countries, do not report, do not care, and do not want the resistance to make major steps.

Q: What is the message of the Islamic Revolution to the region and the world?

A: The Islamic Revolution in Iran has provided a model to the world, trying to preserve it and fight for it, and it is the model of independent development, independent economic and armament capabilities.

The Islamic Republic wants to have independent educational curricula that are not affiliated to the West or imitating the West. This is the experience that Iran is carrying to the peoples of the region and even to the peoples of the world.

For the peoples of the region, Iran sends the message of dialogue and calls for understanding and focusing on common interests. 

This is a message addressed to young people as well, and whoever creates the future, and therefore for this future and strengthening relations between neighboring countries, young people must realize the content of this message.

The Leader of the revolution always talks about the youth and sends the message to the youth because he believes that they are the source of hope and they are the future.

This is the message of the Islamic Republic, which is to preserve its existence and use its experience, and to tell the peoples of the region that this is the Islamic experience that must remain and continue. 

It says that we, in cooperation with the others, can apply such a model in all countries of the region and encourage the countries to follow common interests and common security.

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