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A dialogue across continents

· 4 min read

A dialogue across continents

TEHRAN - Back in 2015, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution penned two open letters, extending his hand to the youth of Europe and North America.

A dialogue across continents

The letters came in the wake of a tragic act of violence in Paris, France, where ISIL sympathizers committed a heinous crime, killing and injuring more than 100 people. Ayatollah Khamenei's letter to the youth in the West called on them not to let the brutality of ISIL terrorists distort their understanding of Islam. 

His aim was clear: to encourage deep reflection on the root causes of the global crises that gripped our world. His words, devoid of geographical constraints, pierced through the noise of government propaganda and media sensationalism, touching the hearts and minds of a generation. 

“In my opinion, the first step in creating peace and security is reforming this violent mentality. As long as double standards dominate Western policies, as long as terrorism is divided into 'good' and 'bad' by its powerful backers, and as long as government interests take precedence over human values and ethics, the roots of violence should not be sought anywhere else,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

Fast forward to May 1, 2024, and the echoes of those letters resound once more as the youth of Europe and North America craft a response, reflecting on the profound impact of the Leader's message.

In their letter, the youth recount how the Leader's call to introspection sparked a collective awakening—a stirring of consciousness that compelled them to challenge the narratives spoon-fed by their governments and mainstream media outlets. They speak of a newfound sense of duty to seek truth and understanding, to peel back the layers of complexity surrounding global issues rather than settling for oversimplified explanations. 

Central to their response is a poignant acknowledgment of the ongoing university protests across the United States. During these protests, which has extended into the universities in Europe as well, students are raising their voices against the entrenched principles guiding American foreign policy, particularly regarding Gaza and the unyielding support for Israel. 

In the letter, the youth commend the bravery and conviction of their peers who, testifying to Leader's words, are challenging the status quo and demanding accountability from their government.

These protests serve as a microcosm of a broader awakening sweeping through the youth—a recognition that blind allegiance to political ideologies and national interests often comes at the expense of human rights and dignity. 

As Israel’s genocidal campaign in the occupied territories continues to take more and more victims, these students are doing a lot more than just raising awareness about the violent situation in Palestine. Beyond the hope that this movement can mount into a proportionate response from international organizations to finally stop Israeli crimes, these students are voicing their opposition against the collective ignorance, as encouraged by the Leader in his letters. These students, nowadays, aren't just advocating for policy change; they're advocating for a fundamental shift in perspective, urging their fellow citizens to see beyond the veneer of power and privilege.

Furthermore, the youth's letter underscores the interconnectedness of global struggles. They emphasize that the oppression faced by the people of Gaza isn't isolated but rather part of a larger tapestry of injustice and inequality perpetuated by systems of power and domination. 

At its essence, this response letter is a testament to the transformative power of dialogue and empathy in bridging divides and fostering solidarity across borders. It signifies a shared commitment to constructing a more equitable world—one where the voices of the oppressed aren't just heard but acted upon, and where youth are empowered to shape the trajectory of history.

The letter concludes as the youth describe their resolve to “delve deeper into [their] understanding of Islam and to steadfastly repudiate the rhetoric of hatred and violence that sows discord and fosters ignorance,” a testament to the Leader’s invite.

As the exchange of letters between continents continues to ignite conversations and action, it serves as a poignant reminder that despite the formidable challenges facing humanity, the collective will and resilience of the youth offer a glimmer of hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

In the words of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, "Only the youth have the power to discover new means for building the future and who can be barriers in the misguided path that has brought the West to its current impasse." Through their response, the youth of Europe and North America reaffirm their unwavering dedication to standing on the side of justice and humanity, united in their pursuit of a better future.