AIM Statement on the allegations against the Imam Khomeini Conference leveled by ‘Stand for Peace’

imam-khomeini-conference

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful

On 26th April 2013, an organisation labeling itself ‘Stand for Peace’ issued a news item defaming the Imam Khomeini Conference, and termed the conference speakers as ‘extremists’ and ‘anti-Semites’.

The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) issues this statement to clarify its stand and response to these baseless allegations.

AIM prides itself for being active in campaigning against religious extremism, sectarianism, intolerance and racism both locally and universally. We have been consistent in our efforts to spread peace, tolerance and co-existence; and to promote social harmony as contained in our rich and abundant Islamic heritage. Since its inception, our organisation has been steadfast in promoting this message because these values are enshrined in the Islamic teachings that we uphold.

In this regard, we wish to reiterate our position of disassociation from all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination. We unequivocally condemn those who partake in such; be that through word or deed. It is also important to mention that AIM is committed to working with all faith groups and communities and has previously invited personalities from different faiths to speak at its events.

The Imam Khomeini conference is an event to commemorate a profound Islamic scholar who was comprehensive in his knowledge of the various Islamic disciplines and stood as a leading religious authority for millions of Muslims. On this basis, AIM commemorates his life to learn from the heritage of ideas, thoughts and legacy that he left behind.

We strongly disagree with the notion that Imam Khomeini was anti-Semitic because he practically showed a lot of admiration and respect for other faiths, races and communities; including enshrining the legislative representation of the Abrahamic faiths and their rights to practice freely within the post-revolution Iranian constitution. In addition, it is noteworthy to mention that Imam Khomeini’s lineage traces him back to Prophet Abraham, by default making him a ‘Semite’.

Those making such absurd accusations, as is clear from their language, have political motivations and are driven by a clear agenda. In recent years, we have witnessed concerted efforts by certain actors, both within and outside the UK, to conflate any criticism of the criminal actions of the Zionist state with anti-Semitism. This is done intentionally to muffle any reasoned debate about a lingering occupation that has lasted more than 40 years, and continues to exact untold suffering on the lives of innocents on a daily basis.

According to our understanding, it is precisely this irresponsible behavior that incites hatred and destroys the united fabric of our society; and to this we shall not remain silent. We believe such entities intentionally seek to fuel divisions, stifle alternate voices and defame organisations that seek to make a positive contribution to society.

It is shameful to see this type of defamatory language used by those claiming to stand for peace. We hereby categorically state that the charges of anti-Semitism raised against the conference speakers are unfounded and absolutely false. Accordingly, these individuals are entitled to resort to legal action against ‘Stand for Peace’ for the libelous accusations it has raised against their good names. To this end, we as AIM shall unreservedly extend all possible assistance within our means to these speakers. Further, any accusations made directly against the AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) shall similarly be dealt with through legal recourse, at our discretion.

Finally, we wish to remind ‘Stand for Peace’ that the fight against “violent and nonviolent forms of extremism” should be universal. Whilst applauding their admirable goals, we are truly surprised that mention of the violent extremism of ultra-right wing Zionist zealots is glaringly absent in their coverage. These zealots routinely perpetrate violent acts of extremism that shamefully include—but are certainly not limited to, the terrorizing of innocent school children. Such attacks have prompted volunteers of international humanitarian groups to escort children to and from school to save them from the mindless violence of these Zionist extremists. We thus look forward to the timely inclusion of such indefensible acts of bigotry in the forthcoming coverage of extremism from ‘Stand for Peace’.

18th May 2013
AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM)

Check Also

Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

AIM is launching this emergency appeal to provide urgent support to those immediately affected by …

22 comments

  1. The policies and posts from AIM on Facebook appear to often contradict this statement that AIM’s mandate is to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence with other faiths. I have read quotations from Imams which AIM publishes, that conflate Zionists with Jews. I have also read inflammatory condemnation of Sunnis by AIM. The comments on AIM’s FB page are often extremely racist and bellicose and do not make any distinction between politics and religious affiliation; which shows that either AIM is failing to educate or that AIM is promoting intolerance. The only answer I can see to this apparent contradiction is that the European concept of tolerance and peaceful coexistence differ dramatically from the Khomeini paradigm; that these words bear significantly different meaning in the Shia world view.

  2. @Earl: Having read many of your comments on the AIM Facebook page, your comment comes as little surprise. You often make sweeping statements with little or no supporting evidence. Your comment above is a prime example, in which you state:

    “I have read quotations from Imams which AIM publishes, that conflate Zionists with Jews”

    Can you cite any examples?

    Secondly, you state: “I have also read inflammatory condemnation of Sunnis by AIM.”

    Can you point to any examples for this too?

    The simple truth is that you are an avid sympathizer of the state of Israel and give it carte-blanche support despite its numerable war crimes and Apartheid policies in the Occupied territories. Here’s a brief snippet of your views:

    Israel is a secular democratic state, willing to negotiate with Palestinians of the West Bank, who have a moderate and intelligent government. That is not oppression it is accommodation.”

    “Shia who choose to recognise the legitimacy of Israel as a state, and work in a peaceful manner to help gain statehood for Gaza and the West Bank Palestinians have my support and that of the West.

    Overlooking the brazen chutzpah of ‘speaking for the West’ – as homogenous collective – your comments go a long way to indicate your inherent bias. Just to edify you on the official British position – which happens to be in the West – as documented in an All-Partliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, the Mayor of London, quoting Dr. Lerman, noted:

    the equation of all criticism of Israel’s policies with antisemitism “drains the word antisemitism of any useful meaning

    Perhaps it is you that needs to show some more respect for those who are suffering in places like Palestine. You are simply intolerant and immune to Palestinian suffering, whether you are willing to admit it or not. The discernible amongst the readers can clearly see through your prejudice.

  3. I’m surprised at people like Earl who come to AIM of all places under the sun to make their accusations of anti-semitism and discrimination. Are you for real? lol

    AIM which has been pro-unity for all these years, they are the ones who are inflammatory against Sunni?? Are you living in the same world as everybody else?

    AIM which always says Zionism and Judiasm isn’t the same, this same AIM is against Jews? I’ve seen Jews come to their events for crying out loud!

    Its easy in this day and age to make accusations over the internet… All in the defence of Israeli crimes… The apartheid state which even notables such as Professor Hawking can’t stay quiet about.

    Its time for Israel to be held accountable for its actions, something I think our friend Earl doesn’t want to see.

  4. Khomeini’s worldview was definitely not a peaceful one. His fatwa against Salman Rushdie is a prime example of a violent, unnecessary and damaging (particularly to Islam) reaction to a situation that could have been dealt in other, more constructive ways.

    The problem with the conference and AIM is that you try to elevate these figures to a state of infallibility, as though they are flawless heroes. In a way, by inviting speakers endorsing Khomeini’s philosophy, it makes your organisation and the speakers themselves float in the same ungodly boat as the extremists.

    A real, authentic conference would impartially analyse Khomeini’s actions and its historical ramifications, inviting speakers from ‘both sides of the fence’. I know, this is highly idealistic, but you will certainly need to consider this deeply if you wish to be taken more seriously from the wider world whose boundaries extend beyond the Shia Islamic bubble.

  5. Reading through the Stand for Peace website, one can question whether the website or the self created (possibly by Zionist supporters) organisation is in anyway reflective of what they call themselves. Below are points I have noticed:

    • Its researcher is called Ahmed Rushdie (any idea who he maybe – Ahmed Salman Rushdie maybe) – I don’t really know because I haven’t seen who this person is.
    • They have three extremist section – Muslim, Christian and Jewish. The Jewish section has only one story of possibly the main Jewish liberal around – which begs the question, where Peres / Netanyahu / all those radical settlers who occupy stolen land and randomly kill Palestinians / all those extremist rabbis who call on killing all Muslims / Christians and other Jews not abiding to their thinking……..begs the questions right….
    • To me it looks like the website is taking advantage of the term ‘Anti-Semite’ which is restrictive to Jewish racism and using it to promote Zionism (which some Jews have said is an Anti-Semite ideology as it oppress Jews that do not adhere to its policy.

    Furthermore please notice how mostly all the stories stated on the website resolve around the Zionist State of Israel (which is totally opposite of a peace loving country / state). – remember Rachel Corrie / the Turkish flotilla incident etc… and etc… and etc… and the oppression just goes on and on.

    Need I say more?

  6. Earl, the fact your comment has been allowed to stay up on the website shows AIM will always be so much more tolerant than you will be. You say you have examples of intolerance etc, and yet you haven’t provided a single one or link.

    Calling out war crimes and injustices is not anti-semitic. Please get a grip. Please don’t insult our intelligence by coming here and spewing lie after lie.

  7. @Ali.

    It maybe worth you researching into Khomeini; who has never claimed he was an infallible neither have his observers.

    Secondly; as an observer of Khomeini, I can affirm full support to this Hero, who was a nationalist, anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-zionist (which is probably getting under your skin) and a prime role model.

    He freed Iran from the Shackles’ of tyranny (instigated by the monopolies’ of the west – via the dictator Pahlavi) and promoted peace and unity across the Islamic world (even though all the leaders of these countries fought him on this as per the commands of their western rulers; who were angry at Khomeini for stopping their main revenue stream (OIL))

    Furthermore, there is no Shia bubble, but rather a truth bubble which you have distanced yourself from, maybe via your own choice or by being brain washed by main stream media – similar to the SWAT valley madressa’s.

  8. I am not surprised at the people who condemn the imam Khomeini conference. Because they are cowards. They hide behind the cloak of semitism while attacking the easiest propaganda target of the modern day (Muslims).
    In this age a Muslim has less status than a disabled, gay, transgender, black, Jewish woman! Yet these Israeli zionist biggots presume to call imam Khomeini racist.
    I am personally descended from the prophet Abraham so I too am a Semite, as such I ask the israeli’s where is my plot in the promised land???
    You seek to create division where there is unity and suffering where there is peace yet you speak (hypocritically) of peace and tolerance! Show me the tolerance among Israeli establishment, you can’t because there is none!
    To the person that posted under the name of “Ali” I say this:-
    No one claims that imam Khomeini was infallible but we do believe that as a scholar of Islam as taught by imam jafar as sadiq (as) he was rightly guided by the infallibles. Furthermore it is you who have proven himself “ungodly” by saying that the fatwa against salman Rushdie was anything but valid under Islamic law. Imam Khomeini had the courage of his convictions and therefore a million times the man any of you will ever be!
    In answer to the allegation that AIM seeks to create division with sunni’s I say this:-
    No Muslim can be a shia unless he is Sunni as it is incumbent on Muslims to follow the sunnat of Mohammed (PBUH).
    Furthermore I recall that when some Muslims said they would not aid the Palestinians as they are Sunni, imam Khomeini became upset and reminded them that we are one ummah and therefore must stand as such! This is what the zionist, Israeli, dajjalites don’t want so mind yourselves when spurting your rhetoric against the Muslims. You are not the bastion of peace that you claim to be and the world is beginning to see you for who you truly are!!!

  9. We are waiting for Zionist to hold a conference for Ariel Sharon ( is he dead? ) and would die to see the list of speakers. I believe this is the story of sour grapes when you have no body to emulate among the usurpers and the best you can do is AIPAC and “stand for peace” – don’t make me laugh!

  10. Why hv the zionists who r mostly european of descent been allowed to hijack the term semite ? All arabs are semites as they hv common ancestors who were semite. Its so easy to use those words to shut people up but I feel the zionists are worried that people are seeing them for what they are. Violent anti human land grabbers . No need to even respond to Earl as it is a empty statement and I guess Ali is probably yitzak in reality.

  11. @Hadi. I am most assuredly a supporter of the state of Israel and I stated when I first visited AIM that I would criticize anti-Zionism openly. In my country that is called free speech and we engage in it daily without threat of being banned from a website. I am very willing to listen to criticisms of the Israeli government, when the criticism is legitimate and presented in a rational manner, and with specific and verifiable proofs. That is criticism of the mistakes made by a secular government and is not anti-Semitism, and I never said it was. I do not give the Israeli government carte blanche to do what they wish and never said so; Israel must act in an accountable and just manner, and has proven its willingness to do so when a moderate coalition is in power there. BTW outrages perpetrated by Israeli soldiers are indeed reported in my country(but not likely in America). I visit AIM FB page to learn about Shia Islam and Persia for cultural enrichment and have found things that are fascinating and endearing. I have also found material, almost exclusively by commenters, that reveals the worst of Shia extremism and bigotry, and I find it worrisome that these comments are never challenged, while my comments are challenged – and that is fair game when I am underinformed on a particular topic. If you claim to be spokesman for the official position of the UK government, tell me when the Cameron government condemned peaceful negotiations between Israel and the West Bank leadership for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank? Is that what you are claiming? And do you not find it odd that I appear to be the only person with a British surname who actually has enough interest to visit AIM, read its material, and comment – both pro and con? By deduction one can only assume that AIM FB is reaching and preaching to only its own Shia fellowship. I will grant that I am only beginning to learn about AIM and am open to misunderstanding some issues. But when AIM publishes fundamental mistakes, like reporting on an American teenager arrested as putative Al Queda recruit, then confusing this with the American support for secular rebel groups in Syria as hypocrisy, I must doubt the probity of some of the writing: because America assuredly does not support the AlQueda elements in the Syrian uprising. Again, I visit AIM to learn about another culture. I come to it with my own cultural heritage as the vehicle for understanding what I see. But before you accuse me of racism and exclusionism on that basis, look in the mirror Hadi.

  12. Earl Moorhead you are behaving like a chameleon. Do not come here first attacking AIM and imam Khomeini and then change now to attack commenters and the everyday shia Muslim. Furthermore when you address us you should call us Muslim not shia or Sunni as these are internal disputes of no concern to you.
    As a Zionist supporter all you need to know is that we stand opposed to your ideology in any manifestation it seeks to take.
    No one threatened you with banning simply reminded you that your post being allowed to remain is evidence of our freedom of speech. But do not confuse that for freedom to abuse as salman Rushdie and others have done.
    You refer to YOUR country, which is that? You never said. I am an English Muslim of Arab descent and was given freedom of speech by Islam. Something which America, Israel and their common allies deny the Muslim Middle East and sub continent of Asia.
    If it truly is your intention to learn than why don’t you attend the very Khomeini conference that you came here seeking to condemn?
    Your answer to this will be I’m afraid,or I won’t involve myself in something I disagree with or some similar garb!!!
    Don’t make me laugh! You are not here to learn you are here to promote your disgusting Zionist apartheid agenda!!!
    Prove me wrong I dare you! I challenge you!!!
    Furthermore as you have called Muslims “extremists” I would like to draw your attention to the documented fact that the first suicide bomber was a Jewish person from Israel. Further still in the early 1900s the Jewish people where regarded as the terrorists in israel/Palestine by the british and they bombed British interests in the region supported by, surprise, surprise AMERICA!!!

  13. @Earl: That’s what you call a rant.

    Kindly save us the nauseating self-righteousness, and state facts.

    I’m not about to be dragged into a discussion on Foucaldian post-structuralism and power, or what the Levinasian paradigm offers in the way of contending with exclusionary humanity. I simply don’t have the time..

    As expected though, you raised NO examples. You made allegations, and failed to provide evidence to back your claims when prompted.

    Assuming ignorance, here’s what a fact looks like:-

    FACT: Every year, the UN General Assembly votes on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” – [not on the basis of the West Bank as you purport to set as the standard, but based on the borders of June 1967 i.e. including Gaza and East Jerusalem].

    In 2008, the vote count was 164 to 7, in favour of Palestine. The 7 votes against were Australia, US, Israel, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and (Federated States of) Micronesia. The vote count has been the similarly lop-sided year on year, and continues to be.

    Putting aside the first three, the cumulative populations of the next four nations can comfortably fit into a football stadium.

    In light of the above, your view is against the prevailing verdict of the international community. In White House terms, you are against the international community.

  14. Absolutely brilliant response from AIM. Well done!

  15. Hadi . Your second response was very acceptable to me in many respects, but you did not acknowledge the items I denied concerning your first reply. I have no difficulty accepting the UN resolution on borders, which would include Gaza and east Jerusalem as part of a Palestinian state; in my comment I was referring to the current state of affairs, where the West Bank government is now willing to negotiate politically, and which I applauded. (please stop misrepresenting what I write) I do not support Gaza at this point in time because it is controlled by Hamas and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel; if Gaza becomes willing to negotiate, then I will support Gaza. You quoted the UN resolution. Does that mean that you support it and accept an Israel existing according to pre 1967 borders? Asking in all sincerity, can you tell me if most Muslim nations would vote for this resolution? I do not know. I would be glad if they did.
    I did provide evidence of AIM publishing an egregiously misleading article but you failed to note that. You also fail to note when I praised or agreed with material that AIM published: apparently if I criticise on one topic I am an avowed enemy regardless of when my viewpoints coincide with those of AIM.
    Kindly refrain from ad hominem attacks and personal abuse, it detracts from your message; however that appears to be the style common to everyone who responds to criticism here.
    Syed. I would love to attend the conference, it would be very interesting to listen, and to observe. However I live 5000kms away and I live on a very small disability pension. If you pay my way, I will gladly come. I both criticise and approve articles by AIM, depending upon the subject matter: read my comments there. You have free speech because you are a British citizen; because it is a British born tradition, but when you warn me not to use words defined neutrally in the O.E.D., because they concern an internal Muslim dispute, I wonder about your commitment to that concept. You not freely use the terms Copt, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant. And since a large percentage of AIM articles concern this dispute, it is difficult to engage the topic without using sectarian terms. Perhaps you would prefer that I did not visit AIM’s page at all. I did not call “Muslims” extremists. A small percentage of Muslims are active extremists; those who call for the destruction of the state of Israel, I would say, have extreme views. There are of course differences between Muslim immigrants to Nato, European, and South American countries who have become acculturated, and Muslims who remain in the Middle East. Muslim immigrants to my country have uniformly become good citizens; most are from Bangladesh and Pakistan and have adopted our lifestyle and their political interests are soley devoted to voting in our elections. The only exceptions we note are Somalis, who import a violent view of life from a violent country, and some Afghans, both of whom are regarded with some suspicion by the older, more established Muslim communities. I do not know what your opinion is concerning these moderate Muslims who ‘have adopted our lifestyle’. AIM had already deleted a comment I made when I questioned an Iranian commenter about how judicious was it was for him to criticise AIM in very vicious language; is deleting my comments full tolerance? Most of the material on the AIM FB page which strikes me as alien is from the commenters, and I learn from that too. The narrative of my comments on the establishment of the state of Israel stops at the British Mandate in 1948. I have never mentioned anything about the Civil War or the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948, or the UN version of partition post 1948; yet everyone here assumes that they know what I think before I have even engaged another subject. Are you mind readers? Or are your positions so entrenched that you always attack before you know for sure? Everyone is well aware of early Israeli terrorist attacks against the British, and if you are of British extraction like me, you deplore them. I have stated where I live on AIM’s page, read it. Syed, your writing appears to me as offensive and puerile, and merely makes you look desperate or foolish, but perhaps that is acceptable style in your culture and it is something I have yet to learn about. I have a question of pure curiosity. For such a well established organization why has AIM no listing in Wikipedia? Memory may have failed me but I think I saw one there in 2012, but I could be wrong. Is one in preparation?

  16. * You can freely use the terms Copt, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant.

  17. @Earl: you can play the victim-card and throw around words like ad hominem, but frankly all one needs to do is to scroll through the comments. You made allegations and did not back them up.

    As for style of discussion, that’s largely an issue of subjective taste. Personally, I find your style very irritating because your comments are just full of opinions with little facts.

    Before I get to the questions you raised though, can you kindly post your comments in a more ordered fashion so that the discussion is more fruitful:

    1. The Arab position was elucidated in 2002 in the Arab League Summit hosted in Beirut. You can Google the terms ‘Arab Peace Initiative 2002’. In simple terms, the Arabs are ready to normalise relations with Israel in return for a just peace settlement based on the UN resolutions.

    2. Hamas does not accept the legitimacy of Israel, but has accepted to acknowledge its de facto existence based on 1967. Khaled Meshaal famously declared this position in 2008, and also said it in the presence of Jimmy Carter [if I remember correctly]. Again, you can Google it.

    3. According to international law, you are not required to acknowledge the legitimacy of a state’s existence, but merely acknowledge its existence. Mahatma Gandhi famously refused to accept the legitimacy of Pakistan’s existence at the time of partition, but said he was ‘forced’ to accept its existence. Is Gandhi also a terrorist according to you?

    4. Here is an exercise for you: please name me ONE Israeli political party that has EXPLICITLY stated that is willing to acknowledge the existence of Palestine on the basis on 1967 borders?

    5. Can you kindly tell me what the official position is of the following right-wing Israeli parties towards recognizing a Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders: a) Yisraeli Beitenu; b) Shas; and c) Agudat Israel. I won’t mention any more because I fear it might turn out to be too tedious an exercise.

    6. Lastly, as an individual sitting in Canada you have no right – in law or morality – to determine whether/when/how Gaza is recognized as part of a Palestinian state. That’s an issue for the Palestinian people, and it is governed by the stipulations of International law.

  18. Hadi, save yourself the trouble, I think you will find it quite difficult dealing with this chap. Firstly, I dont hold him in any regard for his use of abusive language on a public platform. If he is so interested in following AIM and its activities/views, then he should be the first one to recognise that abuse and vitriol never feature in any publication by AIM.

    Secondly, he keeps shifting the Goal Post in any discussion. Its a trend. Any rational mind can easily notice. The reality of the matter is that most of his pronounciations are based on pure bandwagon, the kind that you hear on the Murdoch Channels. He may claim, oh, in Canada we are not the USA or the like, but recent actions of the Harper Government have a lot to be desired relative to the Palestine Issue. Canada has in fact overtaken even the hawkish neo cons of the USA in their infinite subserviency to the terror State of Israel. It is evident from his comments that he knows very little of Israel. I have come across supposed expert historians and political analysts who dont even have a basic understanding of local Israeli politics. Question them on the extremist nature of the Knesset and the varying political trends in the Israeli Parliament, and they go, numb. Completely clueless. On FB, he made use of the word ‘Secular’ in a context that nobody has come to comprehend bar himself. Its a funny world we live in, isnt it, when countries a few hundred years old at best, try to educate civilsations thousand of years old on basic notions of humanity such as freedom of speech, human rights et al . . . . . . .What a joke….he makes use of the royal ‘we’ and ‘our lifestyle’…..as if his type are divinely appointed as guardians of this earth……

    It is the right of the Palestinians to decide the future that they want – not ours not yours Mr Moorhead. Stick to your history lessons and dont impose your flawed analogies or try to dictate what the Palestinians should accept or not from a people that have been imported to their lands.

    And please, if you want to have an academic discussion about a serious issue as this one, then stick to some order and the specific points that are being argued/discussed, otherwise please, dont waste the time of busy people. Thank you.

  19. I have never witness any extremism on AIM Facebook page, and I’ve been visiting their page for a long time now. I think Earl is a bigot, people like Earl are best dealt with if we ignore them. They have nothing nice to say. Just ignore him.

  20. Earl Moorhead
    I will give you an extremely short reply.
    I am not “ignorant” as you tried to label me but you will find me extremely “entrenched” and uncompromising on issues of justice and equity.
    I do use terms like catholic, Protestant etc but not in the divisive way that you attempt to.
    The rest I leave to the likes of Hadi as he seems a more eloquent and patient man than I.
    May Allah guide you to see the truth as it exists and not how you deem to show it to us.

  21. Hadi: thank you most kindly. Your answer was most acceptable and informative to me. I will pursue your numbers 1 and 2 as they are presented in the temperate and mature manner of discourse I am accustomed to and provide precisely the reassuring answers I was looking for. I sincerely doubt that any Israeli party would support a full return to the pre 1967 borders; and there I part company with them, although I can appreciate some of their reasoning based upon the geographic defensibility of some of the original borders. Ghandi’s integrity as a man was unsurpassed, and he was the antithesis of what anyone would consider a terrorist. Thank you again for a focused and well considered response, it was what I wanted all along. Sincerely, ejm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *