Imam Khamenei

A priest's wrongful method of attracting the youth as narrated by Ayatollah Khamenei

One of the requirements for exerting influence is that you should be able to attract the student body. Student associations are a minority. Even if all you student associations are gathered together, you do not form the majority of a large number of students. You should gain the power to attract students. How can you gain such power? I think that there are many ways to do so. You are young and you have more innovative power. Of course, we too used to present many ideas and methods when we were young, but at the present time, your minds work better than ours. You should find certain ways to attract all students.

[...] As a number of students said today - and I agree with them - the way to attract student groups is not to hold music concerts. As I said, one day - many years ago - a student group adopted such a course of action. We wondered why this student group had done so. It was very surprising to me. When I asked, they answered that they wanted to attract students. Later on, we witnessed the harmful consequences of this measure.

I remembered a story that Sayyid Qutb has narrated in one of his books. I too narrated it in one of my writings that I wrote many years ago before the Revolution. He says, "I was taking a walk in one of the cities in the United States when I arrived at a church. I saw that there is a public room next to the church. It was written on a bulletin board that there was going to be an evening performance. When I read the notice about the program, I found out that there was going to be several music performances of different kinds and that the program was going to be concluded with a light dinner and a special meeting. I became interested to see what was going to happen there. I went back there in the evening and I saw that the public room had turned into something like a bar. There, girls and boys were mingling. And there were different programs on the stage such as music performances and the like. I stood there watching the spectacle. Later on, they brought us a light meal and a soft drink and we took it." The interesting part remains. He continues, "A few hours later, we saw that a priest - the priest of the church to which that hall belonged - entered the place from one side of the stage with complete dignity and engaged in turning off some of the lights and then he left. I did not stay there to see what would happen next and left. The next morning, I went to the priest and said to him, "What on earth was going on there? After all, you are a man of God. You are a promoter of religion. What on earth was that program you performed last night with all those youth?" He answered, "You do not understand. I have to do this in order to attract the youth to the church. I said to him, "woes to such a church --this is what he meant but the words are mine-- Let them go to bars! If they going to do things like what they do in the bars then let them go to the bars. Why should they come to a church?'"

If we are supposed to drag youth towards decadence, self-indulgence, haraam music and the like, why should we call ourselves, "Islamic" then? This is not Islamic at all. This is non-Islamic and anti-Islamic. Therefore, when I say that student associations should find the power to attract all students, I do not mean by such [non-Islamic] ways because these are against wisdom and truth. These are treacherous acts against the Islamic environment. Such power should be attained in the right way.

Jul 11, 2015


  • Christianity
  • Church
  • Islam
  • priest