‘Become Familiar with Quran…’: Iran’s Khamenei Writes A Letter To Anti-Israel Protesters At US Universiti – News18

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called upon US students, who are protesting in their universities against Israel’s sustained offensive on the Hamas militant group, to “become familiar with the Quran”. In a letter penned to them, expressing “empathy and solidarity” for their “defence” of Palestinians, he spoke of the students as a “branch of the Resistance Front” that will attain victory with the “permission of God”.

“The Quran’s lesson for us Muslims and all of humanity, is to stand up for that which is right: “So be steadfast as you have been commanded” (11:112). The Quran’s lesson for human relations is: “Do not oppress and do not be oppressed” (2:279). The Resistance Front advances by a comprehensive understanding and the practice of these and hundreds of other such commands – and will attain victory with the permission of God. My advice to you is to become familiar with the Quran,” he said in his letter titled ‘As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it’.

The Iranian cleric and politician signalled a “different fate” for the “important region” of West Asia, saying “history is turning a page”. He underlined that “circumstances are changing”. “I would like to assure you that today the circumstances are changing. A different fate awaits the important region of West Asia. The people’s conscience has awakened on a global scale, and the truth is coming to light. Moreover, the Resistance Front has grown in strength and will become even stronger. And history is turning a page,” he said.

This comes immediately after this weekend’s Israeli attack that claimed more than 40 lives in Rafah, prompting the ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ campaign on social media. Khamenei said he is writing this letter “in the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”, calling upon the students, whose “awakened conscience has moved them to defend the oppressed women and children of Gaza”.

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Calling the Anti-Israel protests by students, academics and the general public as “uprisings”, he said: “Besides you students from dozens of American universities, there have also been uprisings in other countries among academics and the general public.”

After a lull, the protests renewed after this weekend’s attack on a Rafah encampment. Israel has continued its offensive in the region despite the large civilian population, which has taken refuge in camps. The strike on one such camp, which led to deaths of many children and women, has only added to the rising international criticism of Israel in its war with Hamas with even its closest allies expressing outrage. The Israeli attack on a camp in Rafah came right after an order of the International Court of Justice to immediately halt military operations in the region.

Anti-Israel protests escalated in April after mass arrests at the Columbia University campus occupation. More than 2,950 protesters have been arrested, including faculty members and professors, prompting many critics to call such action “police brutality”. These protests have also spread to universities in Europe, Australia and Canada. Since a series of these occupation protests began in Columbia University on April 17, many students have either been expelled or suspended.

Several of these protests, however, have been criticised as antisemitic and a result of the “migrant influence”, especially with terms such as “intifada” (understood to mean civil uprising in the Palestinian context) being used to describe them. Jewish students have described them as creating an atmosphere of fear and hate on campuses. They have also said they were targeted for wearing Jewish symbols and accused of being “Zionists”.

In fact, Khamenei’s letter to the US students uses the term “Zionist regime” to describe Israel, while he has also referred to “police brutality” against protesters. He said the students have formed a “branch of the Resistance Front” in the face of their government’s (the US government) support to the “usurper and brutal Zionist regime”.

“Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you. As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it. You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime,” he said, adding that the “goal of the struggle” is to put an end to the “the brutal Zionist terrorist network”.

He said the support and solidarity of professors is a significant development, and said he too is among those who “empathise with young people”. “The support and solidarity of your professors is a significant and consequential development. This can offer some measure of comfort in the face of your government’s police brutality and the pressures it is exerting on you. I too am among those who empathize with you young people, and value your perseverance,” he added.

Khamenei further accused Israel’s “Zionist regime” subjecting Palestinians to the “harshest of pressures and tortures” after “seizing their country”. Calling this an apartheid against Palestine, he said the country has a long history and is made up of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

He described Israel’s “capitalist Zionist network” as being helped by England in pushing out natives and seizing their cities and villages, while the US later helped it in the “production of nuclear weapons”. He also accused a “global Zionist elite” of owning most US and European media corporations, and asked if it is an act of terrorism for Palestinians to defend their own land.

“Can one call a people a terrorist nation for defending themselves on their own land against the crimes of the occupying Zionists? And is helping such a nation and strengthening it, an act of terrorism?” he said.

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