TEHRAN (Christian Examiner) – Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, with the ink barely dry on the nuclear deal between his country, the United States and its allies, has issued a "call" for Muslims to help destroy the "idol of tyranny" – America.
In a letter celebrating the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, known as the Hajj, Khamenei said the Hajj was a source of renewal for Muslims and it will help them shatter the idols in their lives – "the idol of the soul, the idol of pride, the idol of sexual lust; the idol of tyranny and subservience; the idol of global tyranny [i.e., the U.S.]' the idol of sloth and irresponsibility; and the other idols that shame the precious human soul – a plan that will spring forth from the depths of the heart will shatter them. Then, liberty, honor, and health will replace dependence, hardship, and humiliation."
Khamenei wrote in the letter, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), that American foreign policy, always "evil," was causing war and bloodshed in the region. He also held the U.S. responsible for "displacement, poverty, backwardness, and religious and sectarian division."
The letter contains a graphic of a smashed Statue of Liberty.
Instead of dealing with sparking religious schism, instead of remaining passive in the face of the enemy, and instead of engaging in trivial matters, the clerics, politicians, and cultural figures [respectively] must all identify the great pain of the Islamic world, and must accept and implement the mission with which God has charged them.
Lest the U.S. alone receive the blame, however, he also pointed a finger and Israel, charging the "Zionist regime in Palestine" with crimes against humanity.
"[The Zionist regime] continually disrespects the Al-Aqsa Mosque and tramples the blood and money of the oppressed Palestinian people," Khamenei wrote.
"You Muslim [pilgrims] – this issue is your top priority. You must ponder it, and know that with which you are charged under [the law of] Islam. The senior clerics, politicians, and cultural figures have a weightier mission, in the fulfillment of which, unfortunately, they are remiss. Instead of dealing with sparking religious schism, instead of remaining passive in the face of the enemy, and instead of engaging in trivial matters, the clerics, politicians, and cultural figures [respectively] must all identify the great pain of the Islamic world, and must accept and implement the mission with which God has charged them."
Khamenei said conflicts in Iraq, the West Bank, Gaza and other places are the "greatest woes of the Islamic ummah." Ummah is the Arabic word "community" or "nation."
"The plots of the global tyranny [i.e. the U.S.] in this matter must be identified, and ways to resolve [this matter] must be considered. The nations must demand this of their governments, and the governments must be true to their responsibilities," Khamenei wrote.
On Sept. 23, Khamenei also said via Twitter the U.S. was a purveyor of "vicious policies" in the region. Those polices, and Israel's "sacrilege of the al-Aqsa mosque," he said, are the "primary issue of all Muslims."
He said Muslims should "deliberate on it and know your Islamic responsibilities towards it."
The ayatollah is the leader of Shi'ite Muslims, but not Sunnis. He has also lashed out at "Takfiri" Muslims, or Sunnis who accuse Shi'ite Muslims and other Sunnis of apostasy.