Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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The Fourth Interfaith and Intercultural Christian-Islamic Symposium Romania – Iran



Opening Remarks 



I am honoured to welcome all of you, scholars of the Muslim world and Christianity, in this blessed assembly, which is the Fourth Round of Dialogue between Islam and Christianity in Romania. I would particularly express a warm welcome to the guests who have come from the Islamic Republic of Iran to attend this conference.

We are now in the first half of the month of Muharram, in the year 1439 lunar hijri. This period of time includes the days when the Muslim world and especially the Shiites of the world are drowned in weeping and mourning. Therefore, I would like to express my condolences to all the Muslims of the world, especially to the Shiites and to the free people of the world, on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his beloved companions, which has happened on Ashura Day, meaning on the tenth day of Muharram in the year 61 lunar hijri. On that day, the ruthless worldly worshippers, whose eyes were blinded by the worldly wealth and position, closed the path of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his family, relatives and companions, in the desert of Karbala, they blocked them there and even prevented their access to drinking water. Then, with a massive army, which according to narrations included more than 30 thousand people, they brutally martyred all men and captured women and children. Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of the beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the leader of the Muslims during his lifetime, was on his way to join his followers in Kufa and to eliminate the deviation from Islam, which unfortunately reached its peak during that time, and the composition of his caravan of 76 people is clearly an evidence of the fact that he did not have any form of warfare with him. But his evil blind hearted enemies, who, unfortunately like the Daesh terrorist group of our time, had nominated themselves Muslims, have imposed an unequal and oppressive war upon him.

Dear Audience,

We live in a time when, unfortunately, human beings are facing serious dangers. Both the physical and human spirituality and human existence are in danger in the present age. With the appearance of the terrible phenomenon of terrorism - which unfortunately has been produced and spread by some of the demonic powers in the world in order to advance their evil goals and policies, and they still continue to support this phenomenon in its various forms -  humanity does not feel safe anymore, anywhere on earth. In addition, the transfer of the management of one of the world superpowers to the people with political impudence put the security of all inhabitants of the planet in a serious danger, and given the existence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction such as atomic bombs in the world's most powerful countries, the smallest mistake of each of them will easily lead to a greater disaster than the First and Second World Wars.


The Islamic Republic of Iran, since the beginning of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, has begun its existence with the motto „expansion of justice and spirituality”, and the authorities of our country firmly believe that without regard to morality and spirituality, humanity will never be saved and will never reach salvation. We believe this is the same message of all divine religions. From our point of view, there is no difference between divine religions because they all have the same root. All the world's monotheists believe in God the One and Only, and naturally the teachings of all divine religions are the same. Divine religions, based on the rational development and human civilization process, have presented God's commandments and divine rules at any given time, in a manner compatible to the human power of learning in that age. It is entirely natural that you cannot, for example, teach college courses to a child who is in the elementary school. As it was said, the message of all divine religions, which in fact are one religion, is the promotion of morality, and personal and social spirituality. Unfortunately, after a glance at human societies, it's easy to see that this crucial human dimension is declining day by day. As a result, not only the hope for humanity's salvation is declining, but also this is a very good platform for perverted ideas such as Daesh terrorism and so on. Have you ever wondered why nearly 5 thousand young people who grew up mostly in Western Europe in these so-called free and democratic societies, have easily joined Daesh terrorists, and why some of them have even cut the head of innocent people? Is not this a proof of the inadequacies and inefficiencies of the education system in Western countries? Does it not mean that there is a vacuum of spirituality and morality crying loudly in the West? Therefore, the responsibility of Ulama, the scholars and thinkers of the world, especially those who believe in the divine religions, is more pronounced, and they must seek, as quickly as possible, a solution to stop this dangerous process of destruction of humanity. I imagine that with this description it is now clear why I called your assembly of scholars from the Muslim world and Christianity as a blessed gathering. Because this conference can precisely move towards this need of humanity, and pave and smooth the way for other scholars in the world.


Last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran through the Al-Mustafa al-Alamiya International University, hosted the Third Round of Interfaith Dialogue in Qom, where the high-ranking Romanian delegation headed by Archbishop Petronius Flora and HE Mr. Emil Constantinescu former President of Romania, increased with their presence the richness of discussions, and, thankfully, the submitted materials and articles were collected in a book that was produced and published, and I hereby thank for all the efforts and trouble made in this regard.


The Islamic Republic of Iran and Romania, enjoying a long-standing and historical relationship between their governments and their nations, have, in recent years, taken further steps to consolidate the political, economic, and cultural relations between the two countries, and last year we witnessed the reciprocal official visits of the two foreign ministers of Iran and Romania, accompanied by significant trade delegations. Fortunately, in the cultural dimension as well, there is a long-standing relationship in the field of poetry and literature between the two countries, and some of the poems of famous Iranian poets such as Sa'di, Hafez, Rumi, Omar Khayyam and Ferdowsi have been translated into Romanian. In recent years, the book of Imam Hussein's Uprising (AS) and some of the poems of Imam Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran (PBUH) has been translated into Romanian.


Fortunately, the linguists of both countries did not sit idle, but they sought to provide new works and to establish cultural, scientific, literary and artistic relations between the nations of Iran and Romania. As I have been informed, the discussions and dialogues of your assembly in this location are related to the issues of pilgrimage and religious tourism.


I sincerely hope that this blessed conference will be not only as fruitful as the past conferences, but it will yield even more fruitful results than before, and will come up with new solutions to save humanity from the chaos that was mentioned, and I also hope that it will move towards the promotion of ethics and spirituality of the two human societies. I pray God Almighty, the Supremely Exalted, for the health of all of you and for your success in advancing the divine ideals.


Thank you.


Note: the speech was delivered in the opening session of the Fourth Interfaith and Intercultural Christian – Islamic Symposium between Romania and Iran on October 5, 2017.

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