Translation/interpretation* of Ayatollah Khamenei’s Friday prayer sermon addressed to the Egyptian people:
"Greetings to the entire Muslim Ummah wherever they are. At this moment in the Islamic world, a grand and glorious phenomenon is occurring that will determine the destiny. A phenomenon that can completely revolutionize the arrogant powers’ equation in favor of all the people of the region. A phenomenon that could restore the respect and dignity of the Arab nations and Islamic Ummah. A phenomenon that could wipe away and cleanse decades of miasma of oppression, humiliation, and degradation coming from the direction of the United States and the West over these ancient people and well-rooted nations.
This miraculous event began by the people of Tunisia and has reached its climax by the great and mature people of Egypt. It has taken away the breath of two worlds: the West and the Islamic world; each for their own reason. Each is waiting to see the Great Egypt, the Egypt of outstanding people of the recent century; Egypt of Muhammad Abdeh and Seyyed Jamal; Egypt of Sa’ad Zeghloul and Ahmed Shoghi; Egypt of Jamal Abdol-Nasser and Al-Sheykh Hassan Al-bana; Egypt of 1967 and 1973; what will today’s Egypt do? How high will it hold its flag of determination? If this flag, God forbids, falls, a dark and gloomy era will follow. If this flag is raised to the peak and is secured, it will raise its head high up in the skies.
The people of Tunisia were able to evict a traitor, a slave of US, a force against principles. However, it would be a misjudgment if it is assumed that this could be the ultimate desired outcome. A regime that lacks sovereignty will not collapse with the exit of its most noticeable pawn. If other pawns, other associates replace him, nothing has changed. Only the net of deception has been cast wider. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, they wished, so many times, to trap our nation. But vigilance by our awakened nation and Godly grand leader learned the enemy’s trickery and neutralized it. And they have continued their path.
But Egypt, the very issue of Egypt is an exceptional example. Because Egypt is an exceptional country among Arab nations. Egypt is the first country in the Islamic word that became acquainted with the European culture. By the same token, it is also the first country in the Islamic world that got to know what it means to be subjected to the dangers of cultural aggression, and to oppose such aggression. It is the first country that formed a truly independent Arabic country after World War II and began to defend its national interest especially as it related to Suez Canal. It is the first country that stood up to help the Palestinians with all its might and became known in the Islamic world as the champion of the Palestinians. Seyyed Jamal’eddin was not Egyptian. However, he found that no other place but Egypt could offer a glimpse of hope to deeply understand a Muslim nation’s great predicament. The nation of Egypt, in both religious and political scent, proved its worthiness that is recorded in history. Muhammad Abdeh and his students, Sa’ad Zeghlol and his followers were not some fanatic callow individuals. They were a group of such exceptional, brave, and awakened geniuses that if any nation could produce only one such character, that nation is justified in its pride. Egypt with its depth in culture, in religion, in politics, it indeed occupied it rightful place of leadership in the Arab world.
The greatest crime of this current regime in Egypt is that it brought down a great nation from an elevated status to that of lowly helpless pawn in political games in the region. The explosion we are witnessing in the great Egyptian nation is a response to this unforgivable crime a dependent dictator committed against his people.
Today, all over the world, they are offering multiple colorful analysis about the uprising of the Egyptian nation. Everyone is saying something different. However, only those who truly know Egypt can clearly see that Egypt has risen up to defend its dignity and its integrity. The Egyptian nation has grabbed a traitor criminal by his collar so that it can free itself from he who auctioned off its dignity, he who brought it down from the height of pride, he who sacrificed the honor and pride of a nation at the alter of superiority and arrogance of its enemies. The most obvious of these was the Egyptians status with respect to Palestinians. Palestine, for decades, has been a core issue in this region. The complexity and interwoven nature of all regional problems are such that no nation in the region can separate its own destiny from that of the Palestinians. Only two fronts exists: either defending the Palestinians and their just struggle, or joining the opposite camp.
The nations of the region have clarified their position. It is such that any government that defends Palestinians, it garnishes the support of its own people and Arab and Muslim nations. Egypt know this by experiences of 60s and 70s. Any time its government defines itself within the framework of the opposite camp, it loses its own people’s support. In Egypt, it was since Camp David that a great divide was created between the Egyptian people and the government. The Egyptian people which defended the Palestinians with their own lives and material possessions gradually witnessed their rulers had exceeded their subservience and obedience of the US to a degree that Egypt has turned into one of the most faithful cosigners of a Zionist enemy invader. United States’ domination over Egyptian people has been so severe that it annulled so much hardship the Egyptian people endured in defense of Palestine. It changed Egypt to the greatest enemy of the Palestine and greatest protector of Zionists.
This was happening with Egypt while Syria, Egypt’s ally in 67 and 73 wars, maintained its independence despite enormous pressures from U.S. Shamelessness of Egyptian regime’s subservience reached a point that for the first time in history, the Egyptian people witnessed that in the war Israel waged against their brothers in Gaza, their government placed itself in Israel’s camp. Not only did it not help their brothers but also worked actively in enemy’s camp. The history will never forget that Hosni Mubarak is the same person who was the collaborator, confidant, and partner along with Israel and the US in the most horrific siege of the people of Gaza and 22 days of massacre of women, men, and children of Gaza. One can only imagine how the Egyptian people were feeling those days. Television scenes were showing the depth of despair felt by the Egyptian people’s tears and cries were talking about how they are not allowed to rush to their brothers’ help and respond to their cries for help. How much more do you think this Muslim Egyptian nation can tolerate and endure pain? What is being witnessed today in Cairo and other cities in Egypt is an explosion of sacred anger. It is an eruption of hidden wounds accumulated and festered for years through the behaviors of an un-Muslim and traitor regime.
The uprising of Muslim Egyptian nation is an Islamic and freedom-seeking movement. I, in the name of the people and government of Iran, send salutations to you and pray to God for your complete victory. Of you and your uprising I am filled with pride. There is no doubt that each nation’s uprising is unique and entirely dependent upon their geographic, historical, political, and cultural confounders. It is not realistic or logical to expect that what happened during the great Islamic revolution in Iran 30 years ago to happen exactly as such in Egypt, Tunisia, or any other Islamic country. However, there are some commonalities among them that experiences of one nation could be useful for another. Followings are the experiences that might prove useful:
1. In every uprising, the real war is between the wills. The side that perseveres and endures hardship, is the side that is definitely victorious. Quran teaches us that: إنّ الّذینَ قالُوا رَبُّنُا اللَّه ثُمَّ استَقامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَیهِمُ المَلائِکَه ألَّا تَخافُوا وَ لا تَحزَنُوا وَ أبشِرُوا بِالجَنَّهِ الَّتی کُنتُم تُوعَدونَ And it warns the Prophet that: فَلِذلِکَفَادعُوَاستَقِمکَمااُمِرتَ وَ لا تَتَّبِع أهواءَهُم The enemy tries to bend your will by force or by deception. However, make sure you remain steadfast.
2. The enemy tries to convince you that you can never reach your goals and instills hopelessness in you. However, God promises: وَنُرِیدُ أَن نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِینَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِی الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِینَ وَلَیَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن یَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیزٌ
3. The enemy is arming and mobilizing its paid agents and security forces so that they create insecurity and chaos to a degree that you are fed up. Do not be afraid of them. You are stronger than them. You are at the following stage where the Prophet and his companions were once: یَا أَیُّهَا النَّبِیُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ إِن یَکُن مِّنکُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ یَغْلِبُواْ مِئَتَیْنِ وَإِن یَکُن مِّنکُم مِّئَةٌ یَغْلِبُواْ أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِینَ کَفَرُواْ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ یَفْقَهُونَ Trust God and mobilized and organize your inspired youth and you could overcome any insecurity and chaos.
4. The most critical weapon a nation has when facing hired rulers and arrogant powers is unity and concordance. Your enemies will employ every deceptive tactic to divide you. For example, they bring up natural disagreements to drive a wedge; they inject deviating slogans; they introduce unknown faces by causing an elevation of their characters; they introduce known faces with known reputation but untrustworthy as a replacement for a traitor president. Solidify your unity based on your religion and salvation of your country from paid enemies. وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِیعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
5. Do not trust the political maneuvering of US and the West. Until a few days ago, they were defending a corrupt regime. Now that they have lost hope, they have begun paying lip service to the right of nations. Under this guise, they are trying to, once again, force upon you their own agents. This is the greatest insult to other nations’ intelligence. Do not tolerate this insult and do not submit to anything but the establishment of a system that is independent, works for the people, and genuinely adheres to Islam.
6. Those learned people and scholars of religion who have a bright legacy should step up. A people who began its uprising from a mosque and during a Friday prayer and cries out “Allah Akbar” indeed have a justified expectation of their learned people.
7. The Egyptian army has the honor of having participated in at least two wars against Zionist enemy. This army is now facing the greatest test in its history. The enemy wants to use the army against the people. God forbids if such event occurs, that would be the greatest tragedy for the Egyptian army that can never be healed. That entity against which the Egyptian army must stand is the Zionists and not the Egyptian people. Certainly, those components of the army who are of the people and their children will eventually join the people. This sweet experience will once again be repeated in Egypt.
8. Finally, United States which for 30 years has supported a cruel ruler against his own people is not in any position to enter the scene as an honest arbiter. Regard any American act with suspicion and do not trust it.
My beloved brothers and sisters! These are our experiences. I, as a Muslim brother and out of my religious duties and obligations, shared these experiences with you. The enemies trumpets will be played loudly just as they have always been. They will claim Iran want to interfere. They will say Iran wants to turn Egypt into a Shi’a nation. They will say Iran wants to export “Velayat Faghih” (Guardianship of the Learned and Pious). And Iran wants….Iran wants… Iran wants….They have repeated these lies for 30 years to keep our nations and people apart and deprive us from helping one another. They say these and their paid lackeys will repeat these.
یُوحِی بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّکَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا یَفْتَرُونَ
With these deceptive tactics, we will never abandon our obligations which have been bestowed upon us by Islam. و الله من وراء القصد. (Only God knows true intentions.) واستغفرالله لی و لکم. "
*Translation by an anonymous commenter at the RFI blog
Photo: Khamenei.ir reproduced at Fars News Agency