Iran’s Judiciary Chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani has criticized defamation of religion and called the recent French cartoons an insult to over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.
Ayatollah Amoli Larijani made the remarks at a meeting with the Patriarch of Armenian Catholic Church Nerses Bedros in Tehran.
Amoli Larijani described spiritual vacuum as the main problem in the world, and said “The reasons and causes of self-alienation and distance from spirituality and monotheistic religions abound in the modern world, and religious figures have a duty to introduce the truth of anti-oppressive nature of monotheistic religions to the public.”
He called on the religious scholars to take a stance against the violence of hegemonic leaders and Western governments against oppressed people, especially Muslims.
“Due to their influence in the world, Christian leaders are expected to take appropriate positions when and where aggression happens against innocent people,” Amoli Larijani underlined.
The top judge also called for greater engagement of religious scholars and thinkers of the West with the Islamic scholars to bring religions closer together and boost spiritual trends in the world, stressing that ruthless and aggressive governments keep people away from each other and strengthen their tendency toward materialism and enhance their distance from spirituality.
Larijani said divisive actions like insulting religions is decried and the recent cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo was a clear violation of over 1.5 billion Muslims’ rights.
The Patriarch of Armenian Catholic Church Nerses Bedros, while acknowledging the issues raised by Ayatollah Larijani, said that spirituality has declined, especially in Western countries due to the expansion of materialism in the world.