Following are excerpts from an address delivered by Hasan Rahimpur Azghadi of the Iranian Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV, on November 24, 2006.
Hasan Rahimpur Azghadi: After the publication of the cartoons and the malicious affront to the Prophet, I went to Denmark to attend a seminar. I talked with them in order to do the very least I can to defend the honor and sanctity of the Prophet. I said to them: You claim that Islam was spread by the sword? Firstly, it was Christianity that was spread everywhere by the sword. Europe was Christianized out of fear of the swords of the Roman Empire. The American continent was Christianized by the European armies and battleships that attacked and occupied it. Africa was Christianized by the colonial armies of the 18th and 19th centuries. Where have Muslims ever accepted Islam under threat of the sword? Is it conceivable for a person to convert to Islam out of fear of the sword, only to lose his life because of the affront to the Prophet? At least 100 Muslims were killed in the protests against the cartoons of the Prophet. Was such devotion created by the power of the sword? When, in his book, the evil Salman Rushdie, offended the honor of the Prophet's wives, the mothers of the believers, and the Imam [Khomeini] said that killing this evil man is permitted, that whoever kills him is a martyr, and that even the publishers of this book should be killed... I said that this faith caused many Sunnis and Shiites to carry out operations that led to their martyrdom. There were some young Lebanese men who were unable [to kill Rushdie], but got martyred. Did we become Muslims by the sword?! Was all the culture, science, love between Shiites and Sunnis, and devotion to the Prophet and the Koran created by the sword? It was you who became Christian by the sword.
As you know, the Pope is German, and he served as a soldier in Hitler's army when he was young. He fought in the service of Fascism, and now he is serving Zionism. He offended the honor of the Prophet, and then started giving us advice... When there were bombings in Iraq, he said: "I call upon the Muslims not to kill one another." He's giving us advice?! He advises us: Shiites and Sunnis, don't spill each other's blood! These are the same popes who permitted so many crusades against the Muslims.
If you want to know what it is like when Shiites and Sunnis coexist, look at Palestine and Lebanon. Over there, the Shiite blood of Hizbullah and the Sunni blood of Hamas spill together on the ground. If you want to know what Muslims are like, look at Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas. They symbolize Islam.