Following are excerpts from a Friday sermon delivered at Tehran University by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, secretary of the Iranian Guardian Council. The sermon was broadcast on Channel 1, Iranian TV, on November 11, 2005.
Jannati: As for France, if the West had a shred of respect left, it lost it in these incidents. They, who for 30 years did not heed the cries of the oppressed and the minorities, used to threaten us. Whenever we wanted to punish some mercenary Bahai spies here, they would scream that the minorities in Iran are neglected, are not paid attention to, that their rights are violated, that there is discrimination in Iran, and that human rights are violated.
There are so many Muslims in France. There's a lot of them. In France, Islam is second only to Christianity. There are so many Muslims there, yet the (French) act towards them in the most terrible way.
The fact that the situation exploded now does not mean its causes are new. They've been shouting for years, but their mouths were shut and they were suffocated, so their voices would not be heard. Now they have exploded at once.
We hope that, Allah willing, the world will get to know their true character and that one of these days, they will come to their senses and stop following these wayward paths.
In America the situation is similar. There is a lot of racial discrimination there too.