Leader's Speech in Meeting with Government Officials and Ambassadors of Islamic Countries on

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on April 16, 2006 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with government officials and ambassadors of Islamic countries. The meeting was held on the occasion of the birthday anniversaries of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) and Unity Week.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

I would like to congratulate all the honorable participants - particularly, our dear guests: the ambassadors of Islamic countries and the guests of Unity Week - all the people of Iran, the great Islamic Ummah, all seekers of the truth and liberated people throughout the world on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Prophet of light and mercy and the torchbearer of freedom and justice.

These days are great days for us and the Islamic Ummah. It is both the birthday anniversary of the Holy Prophet of Islam and Hazrat Abi Abdullah Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (greetings be upon them). On the occasion of this great birthday - the birthday of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) - the Islamic Republic has called this week, "Unity Week".

On the issue of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and the Islamic Ummah, one of the things which usually receives attention is the fate of the Islamic Ummah and the events and incidents that happen for this great ummah: "Now has come unto you a messenger from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should perish. Ardently anxious is he over you. To the believers is he most kind and merciful" [The Holy Quran, 9: 128]. This is the same for all people throughout history. What happens to the Islamic Ummah is important for the soul of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). His vigilant and insightful eyes are worried for the Islamic Ummah.

This ummah has passed through difficult eras and it has witnessed many peaks and troughs in history. Today, it has reached a determining point. If the Islamic Ummah shows firm determination today, it can choose a path with which it can erase the backwardness, problems, difficulties and humiliations of the world of Islam. And the intellectuals of society are the leaders of this movement, whether scientific or cultural personalities in the area of religion and universities. It is they who can show and advise the Islamic Ummah to choose this path.

Another path ahead of the Islamic Ummah is that it follows the same ignorance that the enemies of Islam want. We can follow the same ignorance and we can go on to suffer from discord, bias, selfishness, materialism and the irresponsibility of outstanding personalities. If this happens, the path of the happiness of the world of Islam will be away from the reach of the Islamic Ummah for at least tens of years. This is the characteristic of our time. Today is the day of the Islamic Ummah's choice.

Although it is true that the movement on the path of growth and righteousness is not an instantaneous movement and that it will achieve results gradually and in the medium and long terms, each day that the insightful movement and decision of outstanding personalities and officials is delayed, it will be to the disadvantage of the Islamic Ummah. Everyone should feel responsible in this regard. Today is the day of the unity of the world of Islam. Notice how heavily the enemy invests in destroying the weak unity which exists in the present time. Take a look at the situation of Iraq. Other Islamic countries are more or less entangled with the same plots. The purpose of these plots is to create discord between Islamic tribes, denominations, ethnicities and nations with different excuses. They want them to kill and bear grudge against one another so that they forget about the main enemy of the world of Islam and those who plan to dominate this region.

If the world of Islam is united, Palestine should not be alone today. If it is united, a government which is based on the votes of the people of Palestine should not be under pressure and it should not be threatened with cutting support unless it abandons its principles. The world of Islam should announce its support of the people and officials of Palestine with one voice. It should support their insistence on adhering to their principles. If this happens, those who have caused the disaster of the people and country of Palestine will not be able to make such extravagant claims. Despite all these crimes against the people of Palestine, the so-called European philanthropists and supporters of human rights are completely silent as if they were deaf and blind. However, when a Palestinian government gains power on the basis of the votes and wishes of the people, they speak and adopt hostile positions against it. This originates from the disunity of the world of Islam and from the selfishness of outstanding personalities and politicians in the world of Islam.

We should awaken. Today, we should understand that our decision determines the historical fate of the world of Islam. Of course, this decision is not only related to us and our conditions in the present time. Today, there is no path in front of the Islamic Ummah unless it believes in the power of its faith and avoids tolerating oppression anymore. There is no way unless it decides to stand up against bullying. We do not invite Islamic nations to carry swords and fight against other countries in the world. Rather, we advise them to rely on and appreciate the value of themselves, their right, their dignity and the dignity of their people, their history and their valuable legacies.

They should not allow the world of kufr and arrogance - which is in the hands of Zionists in the present time - to humiliate them. This is the main thing that we want to say. "It grieves him that you should perish". Your sufferings and the sufferings of the world of Islam and Islamic peoples is difficult for the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). "Ardently anxious is he over you". He wants you to be guided and become happy. He wants you to benefit from the straight and divine path which is available to you for your happiness in this world and in the hereafter. He wants you to move forward. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) wants us to do these things.

We say that the holy existence of the great Prophet and Messenger of Islam (s.w.a.) is the most important point in creating unity. We have said before that the world of Islam can meet at this point. This is a point where the emotions of all Muslims are connected to one another. This is the center of love and affection in the world of Islam. Of course, you can witness that in the present time, some authors - who are financially supported by the Zionists - pay attention to this center and insult it. They do this so that the importance of insulting the Islamic Ummah and humiliating the world of Islam diminishes. This is the main point.

Our politicians, scientific and cultural personalities, writers, poets and artists should rely on this point and all Muslims should get close to one another with this slogan. Muslims should take no heed of differences, they should not accuse and say takfiri things against one another and they should not expel one another from religion. Hearts throughout the world of Islam are cheered with the love and remembrance of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). All of us love that great personality.

This week is really the week of unity. These days are really the days of the unity of Muslims. The responsibility of political officials is difficult. Officials in charge of cultural affairs, authors and scholars should avoid bringing up those issues which lead to discord, whether those who are Shias or those who are Sunnis. Everyone should rely on this point of unity. Scholars, political personalities and experts are expected to understand the dangers of the time, to understand the significance of Muslims' unity and to understand the enemies' plot for destroying this unity and solidarity.

This is what we want to say to our own people and to the world of Islam and we ask Allah the Exalted to - by the blessedness of the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) dignity, honor and reputation - bestow success on the world of Islam in achieving this and to improve the future of the Islamic Ummah compared to the present time.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings