On January 21, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei wrote a letter asking the European and North American youths not to judge Islam based on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
In his letter, Imam Khamenei urged Western youths to try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of the religion in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns.
Speaking to a News Agency, 17-year-old Seyyed Mustafa Sahafeyan from Virginia, said that by distancing the reader from the terrorist groups and asking him/her to study Islam firsthand, the letter helps the reader distinguish between true Islam and what terrorists acting in the name of Islam represent.
Here is the full text of the interview with Sahafeyan:
Q: Regarding the recent letter from Iran’s Supreme Leader to the youth in Europe and North America, how could it be (more) effective in attracting those youth to the real and authentic Islam?
A: I cannot think of anything that makes it more effective.
Q: How capable is the message in preventing or at least reducing the ongoing Islamophobia in the West?
A: Very capable
Q: Do you think mainstream US media are interested in publishing the Supreme Leader’s letter?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: How do you evaluate the content of the letter?
A: The letter speaks to the reader directly, making the message more direct and hence more effective. In addition, the issue is stated simply yet accurately appealing to a wide age group.
Q: In your opinion, could this letter be a new chapter in attracting attention to Islam in the West?
A: Perhaps. If other Islamic rulers wrote similar letters, the media would not be allowed to censor them, and the letters were delivered to every household in the West, the result would be much more significant.
Q: Can this letter show the differences between authentic Islam and the one that ISIS (ISIL) and other terrorist groups have made up?
A: In a way, yes. By distancing the reader from the terrorist groups and asking the reader to go see Islam firsthand, it is implied that real Islam is something completely different than “ISIS”.
Q: If the letter reaches the youth in Europe and North America and then they study the authentic sources of Islam, will it change anything special?
A: Yes, it will! Every human child on this earth would look forward to a brighter, smarter and more enlightened future.
Q: What is the next step in order to enlighten the youth in the West about real Islam?
A: Like I said, other Islamic rulers should write similar letters. These letters should then be given to every household in the West, without the censoring or manipulation of the media.