Cleric Warns of West’s Islamophobia Plot
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A top Iranian cleric on Friday raised the alarm over a western-engineered plan to instigate Islamophobia and incite hatred toward the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH).
Addressing a large congregation of Iranian people in the capital today, Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi cautioned against a “dangerous western plot” to taint the image of Islam and make the world terrified of Muslims.
“Basically, training and equipping terrorists is a prelude to a full-fledged cultural and doctrinal war against the Islamic world,” the cleric explained.
Referring to a recent insulting cartoon of Prophet Muhammad published by a French weekly, Ayatollah Seddiqi said the “international” condemnations and protest rallies by Muslims all over the world indicated that differences among Islamic countries fade away when it comes to the sanctities.
On January 14, 2015, the French satirical magazine featured a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) weeping on the front cover of its first issue after a January 7 attack on its Paris office by al-Qaeda-linked gunmen killed 12 people.
The French magazine has repeatedly aroused Muslim ire by publishing cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.
Elsewhere in the Friday sermon, Ayatollah Seddiqi said the sense of unity among Muslims and the worldwide protests against insult to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) confounded the westerners’ expectations.
The cleric then called on the Iranian nuclear negotiators engaged in talks with world powers to be mindful of the West’s animosity against Iran and Islam.
Likening the western policy makers to “rapacious creatures” that feel no pity for anybody and even insult the Muslim sanctities, Ayatollah Seddiqi criticized Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for taking a walk with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva streets.
On January 14, Zarif and Kerry, who were in Geneva for talks on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, got out of the building for a joint stroll through downtown Geneva.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) are in talks to hammer out a final agreement to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.