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News Code: 315

 

Imam Khomeini's Conference

The 20th death anniversary of Imam Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini the leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran who passed away on the 3th of June 1989, was marked by a national conference held at the Islamic Centre of England On Saturday 6 of June The conference was run jointly by the Ahlalbayt Islamic Mission and the Sun Cultural Foundation. The event which lasted few hours saw the participation of a number of national and international speakers. A few hundred strong audience participated in this event with particular large presence of youths. Despite the fact that he passed away 20 years ago, His appeal is such that his teachings and his ideas are still studied and are considered relevant today as they did for young and hold people in Iran and around back in the 80s.

The Conference was opened by the welcoming speech of Hujjatul-Islam Moezzi director of the Islamic Centre of England. Mr Moezzi called Imam Khomeini a revolutionary and inspirational figure for the Muslim world, when the Ummah was in the clutches of oppression and tyranny. He described Imam Khomeini as an unparalleled revivalist of the Ummah (Islamic world wide community). Hujjatul-Islam Moezzi added that one of the contributions of the Imam was that the revitalization of Islam by re-establishing it as a religion of active movement together with the rejection of injustice and oppression.

Hujjatul-Islam Moezzi was followed by Iqbal Siddiqui an Islamic Researcher, former editor of the Crescent International and a founding member of the Institute for Contemporary Islamic Thought. He stated that Imam Khomeini had many qualities and the foremost one was the clarity of his vision. Siddiqui stressed, to speak of Imam Khomeini’s pre-eminent role is to cover his absolute rejection of the legacy of Western imperialism, in the different forms and methods. He added that the farsighted vision and movement of Imam Khomeini rejected the West in two main domains: In the field of militaristic intervention and policies of exploitation, and the inherent disintegrative nature of Western values.

Dr. Rebecca Masterton a PhD holder in Islamic Mystical Literature, who teaches Islamic Spirituality at university, looked at the spiritual aspect of Imam Khomeini’s personality.

She began saying that the personality of Imam Khomeini is often viewed synonymously with politics and his uprising against the shah of Iran. She explained that in reality is not impossible to study the life and achievements of the Imam without close inspection of his spirituality or ‘Irfanic (Gnostic) dimension. According to Dr. Masterton, the Imam placed central importance on mastering and purifying one’s soul. He viewed egoism as the root of all evil and underlined man’s central goal to counter this negative force. She exhorted the audience to make practical use of the teaching of Imam Khomeini which provides a valuable source of Islamic spiritual teachings.

The next contributor at the conference was Iskander Khaleeli (Alexander Hainy)
a postgraduate student in Islamic Studies. He said, our foremost duty as Muslims in the West is to develop a wholesome understanding of Islam, and to actively participate in our respective society in order to bring about the change we envision for the world. Mr Khaleeli stated that to adopt a path of silence against oppression and injustice would be in itself an act of injustice not only to ourselves but also against forthcoming generations. He underlined that in this respect, Imam Khomeini presents a powering paradigm of determination and Islamic principles.



His Excellency Rasoul Moahedian, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United Kingdom, gave the key speech of the day, emphasising that the personality and influence of Imam Khomeini, was not for a limited locality or a particular people. He explained that Imam Khomeini’s thoughts and actions were rather universal. The ambassador said that Imam Khomeini’s active struggle and relentless opposition to Western imperialism, culminated in the popular overthrow of the Shah. He contributed to a great victory for the Iranian nation and signaled an end to decades long of foreign intervention in Iran which grave detrimental effects on the Iranian nation. Mr Moahedian cited the famous coup d’état against the elected Iranian government in 1952 as a typical example. According to the ambassador, Imam Khomeini’s foreign policy, before all, stressed the independence and dignity of the nation. He concluded by saying that the Imam was a pioneer of Islamic unity and gave central importance to strengthening ties between the Muslim world.

Hujjatul-Islam Seikh Ibrahim Zakzaky Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and a long term follower of Imam Khomeini, was visiting London this week and was invited unscheduled to contribute at the conference.

Zakzaky said that Imam’s legacy and thoughts are the need of our time. He further added that at a time in which the world was caught in between the two mighty poles of power (USA and USSR), Imam Khomeini challenged the dominant narratives of his time. His thought and principles which were the fountainhead of his revolutionary action identified the true nature and needs of human beings. Hujjatul-Islam Zakzaky firmly believes that Imam Khomeini’s thoughts will continue to shape the world for years to come.

Last but not least, Hujjatul-Islam Seyyed Musawi Secretary-General of the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League, spoke about the concept of justice in Islam and its place at the core of the religion. He added that Imam Khomeini was a personification of this ideal in its character and in his acts. He said, the Imam’s central focus of attention was justice. Hujjatul-Islam Musawi reminded us that Imam Khomeini confronted the power of injustice and oppression and was ready to risk his life for the success of Islam.