Iranian call for the "convergence of Islamic movements"
by Lorenzo Vidino
January 24, 2007
Yesterday Doug Farah posted two interesting articles that might show how Iran "may have tried to reach too far in extending its influence through Iraq and into the rest of the Arab world." Signs that Iranian leadership might be of the same opinion come from an interesting editorial written on January 20th by Saleh Eskandari on Resalat, one of Iran's most conservative papers (here translated by BBC). Going against some of the recent rhetoric coming from Iran, Eskandari stresses the unity of the umma against the West, indicating how divisions could play in the hands of the West:
Today, in the supra-neo-colonialism scheme, the West's confrontation and defiance towards the World of Islam has reached its height. Therefore, the need for separate Islamic movements in various Muslim states is not of issue as it was in the 20th Century. On the contrary, what is of importance to the World of Islam is the convergence of Islamic movements against the Western neo-colonialism.
The concept of "Islamic reawakening" that was initiated by the Islamic revolution in Iran and is on the ascent with the passage of time is devoid of nationalist tendencies. The moving engine of Islamic reawakening is the quest for Islam in the light of the formation of the Islamic umma. The Islamic movements in the Sunni inhabited states must re-appraise the concepts and indications that revolve around the superior reasons for Islamic reawakening so that one can witness the unity of word among the masses under the convergence of the Islamic movements.
In an ecumenical meeting with the Shi'i and Sunni scholars, the Supreme Leader [Khamene'i] made certain statements about the unity of the Islamic umma, saying: "We have to create the principles of an academic, true and sincerely realistic unity between the Sunni and Shi'is... The distinguished in the struggle against colonialism and global arrogance have doubly stressed the need for the "Islamic umma unity". Notice how Seyyed Jamaleddin Asadabadi (may God be satisfied with him), known as Afghani, and his novice Sheykh Mohammad Abdo and others, and the late Sharafoddin Ameli and other great ones from the Shi'i scholars endeavoured in the struggle against colonialism not to allow this easy tool to turn into a weapon in the hands of colonialism against the World of Islam.