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ACADEMICS, ISLAMIC SCHOLARS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS GATHER IN REMEMBRANCE OF IMAM KHOMEINI

REMEMBRANCE OF IMAM KHOMEINI

 

ACADEMICS, ISLAMIC SCHOLARS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS GATHER IN REMEMBRANCE OF IMAM KHOMEINI

 

 

 

6 June 2016

 

Academics from the University of Zimbabwe, renowned Islamic scholars and Christian church leaders gathered at the renowned Arrupe College, a Roman Catholic Church run institution in Harare, to pay homage to Iran’s towering father figure who inspired the whole world through his vision of fighting global oppression and repression as well as fighting for the emancipation of the oppressed Iranian people during a round table discussion to commemorate the 29th anniversary demise of Iran’s founding father, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini.

 

All the speakers agreed on one thing: Imam Khomeini was a great man who can only be compared to Nelson Mandela from South Africa and Mahatma Ghandi from India.

 

Such was the stature of a man who went on to inspire and mesmerise the whole world, both friends and foes, Muslims and Christians and all the other religions.

 

With his disarming smile, the late Great Leader, who passed on 29 years ago, was indeed an enigma on his own, who upon his death was mourned by the entire globe, the only leader who could attract over nine million mourners in Iran alone and many more millions more from across the world who had to watch the proceedings from the television receivers and other audio and visual transmission gadgets.

 

And in Harare on Monday 6 June 2016, it surprised many present that Imam Khomeini was more popular not only in Iran but in Zimbabwe simply because of the depth of the knowledge of the leader exhibited by the presenters.

 

The roundtable discussion was chaired by non-other than Sheikh Ishmael Duwa, a renowned Islamic Scholar and the current president of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe, who set the ball rolling by disclosing about his first and only encounter with the great leader in Tehran in the mid 1980’s. He said he was overwhelmed by the simplicity exhibited by the late Supreme leader who, despite him being the top political and religious leader in Iran as well as being a towering global icon, lived a very simple life.

 

Reverend Mathius Tsine from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, a body representing mostly black indigenous churches, said Imam Khomeini was the most charismatic leader the world has ever had who championed Islamic revival not only in Iran, but throughout the world. He added that the late leader was always punctual in everything that he did, and was a magnificent and clear minded, indispensable leader of the nation.

 

Rev Tsine noted that in Imam Khomeini was a leader who attached immense importance to ethical and moral values in the execution of political duties, a development that helped to bring prosperity to Iran and its citizens.

 

He said Imam Khomeini rose from being a family member to become a national symbol who assumed the name of his home area and who also interacted well with people of all religions and backgrounds.

 

 He noted that because of his love to see the total freedom of all the oppressed people the world over, Imam Khomeini declared Quds day in recognition of the suffering Palestinian people.

 

Reverend Ngaaware Malunga of Tehilla Christian Network said Imam Khomeini bestowed an everlasting legacy on humanity through his moral stance and contribution to humanity through his teachings and principles which will continue to impact and positively influence generations to come through his recorded and published works.

 

He said Imam Khomeini inculcated moral ethics that transcend religious, cultural and political realms of life.

 

Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja, the resident Imam of Fatima Zahra Centre paid tribute to Imam Khomeini by noting that he was the epitome of good morals. He said Imam Khomeini considered good moral practises and attitudes as the source of salvation and prosperity for both individuals and societies. He said from the beginning when he was still a religious teacher up to when he became the leader of the Islamic Republic, he always viewed all socio political issues from a moral perspective.

 

He therefore urged people to be morally upright.

 

Sheikh Makwinja said Imam Khomeini sought to use religion and ethics as agents for the prevention of wars and conflicts, adding that he preferred dialogue over conflict, thereby emerging as the peace maker.

 

Sheikh Makwinja said Imam Khomeini believed that most of the problems afflicting the world were being caused by immorality.

 

He said that upon a recent visit to Iran, he had the opportunity to visit Imam Khomeini’s shrine where he was overwhelmed by the supernatural powers within the shrine. He encouraged all those who will be visiting Iran to also visit the shrine.

 

Maulana Mahdavi, a visiting Cleric from Iran said Imam Khomeini fought against tyranny and oppression and the arrogant powers to establish a just order in the world.

 

He said Imam Khomeini was able to achieve what he did because he was a revolutionary who believed in the freedom of all the oppressed people. He was also an obedient leader who was faithful in all his deeds.

 

In the paper presented by Dr Kudzai Biri of the University of Zimbabwe – that was contributed to by Dr Bagher Talebi of the University of Religions and Denominations of Iran – observed that Imam Khomeini believed in the religionisation of politics, meaning to say the fusion of politics with morality.

 

She noted that the Great Leader was of the firm belief that dialogue amongst religions was key in the promotion of peace and tolerance as well as in being a catalyst in the prevention of wars and conflicts.

 

Prof. Biri added that Imam Khomeini believed in the empowerment of the poor and marginalised members of society by their rulers. It is in light of that spirit that Imam Khomeini also stood against the oppressive western backed Shah of Iran who had trampled on the people of Iran for a long period of time.

 

She further noted that despite the falsehoods peddled by the western media on the status of women in the Islamic Republic, the women in Iran enjoy unrestricted access and freedom in all aspects of the social, economic and political spheres. As of today, Iran boasts of the largest number of influential women in all spheres of influence, with one of the country’s vice presidents being a woman.

 

Dr Obvious Vengai, a lecturer from the department of Religion, Classics and Philosophy of the University of Zimbabwe said if all nations of the world had followed the late Imam’s foreign policies that he pursued whereby he respected the territorial integrity and independence of other countries based on peaceful coexistence, the world would be a better place today.

 

He noted that Imam Khomeini’s foreign policy pronouncements showed that Islam is not an oppressive religion but a liberative one as the religion was used to liberate the oppressed people of the world. Dr Vengai said Imam Khomeini was against the use of religion to oppress other people.

 

Mr Claude Cassels, the resident representative of Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of light (HWPL), said the world was saddled with corruption because of the lack of morality. He urged the whole world to follow the footsteps set by Imam Khomeini, adding that it was up to the world citizenry to create a good moral world for everyone.

 

Dr Paganga from ACCZ said political leaders should emulate Ayatollah Khomeini in embracing religion in their political duties, adding that leaders who do not embrace religion are doomed to fail along the way.

 

Bishop Dhliwayo, the leader of a leading Pentecostal church in Harare said in fighting for his people, Imam Khomeini sacrificed his own life.

 

In his closing remarks at the end of the roundtable discussion, Dr Mohsen Shojakhani, the Cultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran said Imam Khomeini led a very simple life although he was not poor. He noted that Imam Khomeini accorded women so much respect and rights and even advocated for their advancement in all socio political and economic spheres.


12:41 - 10/06/2016    /    Number : 653391    /    Show Count : 322



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