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Rafsanjani Speech (Updated)

Here is a rough translation live by telephone of Rafsanjani’s speech today in Tehran. Rafsanjani who is one of the most powerful religious clerics in Iran and a strong critic of Ahmedinejad made his first public appearence today since the disputed election. You can find an astute analysis here and the rough translation of the sermon below:

Before I give out the Khotba (speech of Friday), I must say that the people who have gathered in Tehran University and in streets,
They should know that Friday prayers should not be tainted with slogans and chants that do not belong here.
This is a sacred and an Islamic act.

(More jargon)

The enemies of Islam want to question the legitimacy and effectiveness of our regime.

(Still jargon going on)

The second part of my speech is about the revolution for which people did Jihad.
I want to explain to the younger generation where we started and where we are going with the revolution
The third part of my speech will be about the current situation of Iran.
This will be my personal view,
We are with you in your happiness and your grief.

(bad connection)

Nothing really important going on at this point.
He’s just speaking about the early days of the revolution.
He’s talking about how they opened up a school in Qom.
He’s basically just talking about the early revolution, Qom and such.
he’s just talking about the early history of Islam.
Nothing really about the current situation. That is going to come at the end.
He’s only speaking about the early history of Islam. Completely irrelevant stuff.
He’s talking about how Mohammed built the first mosque in Madina.
Now he’s talking about he bought land in Medina to build the second Islamic mosque.
(sounds like he’s trying to go for the emotional appeal)
Talking about Medina and the early days of Islam

What we learn from government from Islam is this: Follow god and then there’s the people.
The Koran has Allah mentioned 3,000 times.
And the word for people has been used 4 to 5 hundred times.
What Mohammed did mostly was he created love and unity between the people.
The first thing Mohammed did was he united all the tribes in Medina.
Then he went to the people of other religions.
When Jews, Christians and people of other religion came to Medina,
He talked to all of them, and he created a unity within the city.
He created a brotherhood between everyone inside the city.
Between Muslims and non-Muslims.
This was a pact between brothers, between different religions.
This created eternal peace inside a small city.
This small city was able to use this peace and topple gigantic empires.
The government that Mohammed brought was unprecedented.
There were governments, but they were autocracies and they acted against the people.
Mohammed brought a government that was for the people, based on god’s law.

When Gabriel came to Mohammed and gave him the first words of the Koran,

(Now reciting those first verses)

This was when the future of Mohammed was cleared for him.

(Explaining the verses)

God created man and gave him understanding and the power to write.
The power that gave us this ability,
He tells us that we have him as the judge.
And when we die, he will remember everything that we have done.
Thus, we shouldn’t be arrogant, we should consider god’s creatures weak.
Because He is the judge.
(more religious jargon, talking about angels)

Let us ask what sort of society the prophet wanted.
Mohammed wanted all humans to have all the rights,
He didn’t want anyone’s rights to be infringed upon.
One of the last things he said before he died,
He said, Oh people, I came to say Good Bye to you.
If I have said something to you and I have not done it, please let me know.
If I have taken something from you, then tell me so I could give it back.
I don’t want anything to be left for the afterlife.
This is the kind of leader we have.
He paved the way for Islamic unity.

(recites a verse from the Koran)

(Verse talks about unity of Muslims)

God has put love between humans.
It was god who created love between Muslims.

That’s how Mohammed created a society that was united as one.
But when he was dying, he realized that this might come to an end.
And that people might break apart and might create enemies with one another.
(explains a couple of incidents that created rifts between earlier Muslims)
Do know that Mohammed is the ideal for everyone,
For all Muslims, for all humans.

His life in Medina is the best example for how a government should operate.
He fought along side his friends and his loved ones at times when he was being attacked from all sides.

Then a day came when his friends captured the Empires of the Sassanids.
But at the end of his life, he realized that there might be rifts between Muslims,
And their unity might be in danger.

In his ten years of prophecy, he created a system upon which we have based our own revolution.

(phone cut off for a little)

(Recites a verse) (reciting more verses)

(Praying for the martyred members of Mohammed’s family)

This week, Imam Jafar Sadigh’s martyrdom’s celebration will be held.
He spent his entire life either in prison or being censored.

(Talking about Imam Jafar Sadigh’s life and how pious a man he was)

I want to talk about the death of the Chinese citizens recently,
(People are chanting Azadi .. Azadi .. )
People, I have asked you all to not chant slogans
I am asking you as your Imam at this prayer,
The government of China has quelled the protests.
We would like to give them a brotherly advice,
There are more than a billion Muslims in the world,
China should pay attention to its relations between itself.
Such cruelty could destroy those relations.
There are fighting in Palestine and Pakistan and other places,
Hopefully they will stop.

The elections that took place,
The preparations were good.
We liked what went before the election,
The four candidates,
They talked in an open environment,
People became hopeful about the elections,
We should have been proud of this election,
Because people went to vote, in large numbers,
We should thank them for voting.
For taking part in the election is such huge numbers,
Alas, if only that environment continued to this day.
What happened after the election was not what we expected it to be.
Let us ask ourselves what we want,
What does the revolution want?

You are listening to someone who has been with the revolution every minute of the revolution
We know what Imam Khomeini wanted,
What his ideas were,
Imam Khomeini always said that you should always listen to the people,
See what the people want,
If the people are with us, then we have everything.
The Islamic Revolution was the way of Mohammed.
People should be brought into the system first,
This is why Imam Khomeini was successful.

It took years of hardship for us to get to where we are.
We remember when people filled the streets,
When they took to protesting with the Imam Khomeini,
Against a government that was getting help from the East and the West,
But people stood firm.
And they succeeded.
After the success of the revolution,
We were with Imam Khomeini,
He always said that without the participation of the people the Islamic government would never be successful.
The role that Imam gave the people was very high.

(Story about Mohammed’s late life about how important people are)

(More religious jargon)

When we were writing the new constitution,
We asked the Imam for advice,
He put a lot of emphasis on the role of the people.
He also knew that people’s vote was the most important thing inside our country.
Everything depended upon the people’s vote.
People should directly elect the president, the parliament, the local council.
It was all about the vote of the people.
This is a theocracy,
A theocratic republic.

(People chanting)

Be patient, be calm.
If the government is not Islamic, then we are heading no where.
If it is not a republic, then it doesn’t amount to anything.

The elections that took place,
We have taken a step.
What I think is the solution to what is going on is that, at the end of the process,
There were people who created false propaganda,

(People chanting REALLY loudly)

A large number of people became suspicious,
We need to clear their suspicions.

Today, we need unity more than ever.
Our country needs to be united against this danger.
My brothers,
My sisters,
My view is this,
We should all think together
So our country could remain united,
Against this danger that is facing us.
Our enemies are trying to destroy our unity,

I have several proposals for this,
I have talked to my friends about this.
I’m going to express them to you as well.

The most important thing that has happened is that the trust that brought the people to vote in such large number is not there anymore.
We need to return this trust.
We all need to follow the law. And I’m talking about the government, the parliament, the Islamic Courts and the security forces.
We need to follow the laws.
All problems can be solved if we only follow the framework of the laws.
We need to create an environment where all sides could come together and discuss their issues.
We need to be able to sit down like brothers and sisters and talk about our differences.
Unfortunately,
The chance that was given to the Guardian Council of five days to get people together and regain their trust was not used.
That is not there anymore.
But we still have time to unite.

We shouldn’t imprison our own people,
We should let these people return to their homes,
We shouldn’t let our enemies laugh at us because we’ve imprisoned our own people.
We should sit together with mourners,
And we should console them,
And bring them back closer to the system.
We should not be impatient now.

Please do not censor media outlets that have legally obtained permits.
Let them do what they want to do legally.
Allow a peaceful and friendly environment to prosper.
We are all together in the Islamic Revolution,
We’ve all spent years in suffering,
We’ve all given martyrs for the cause of the revolution,
This unity needs to fostered.

I’m hopeful that we will be able to achieve this unity in the future,
And I’m hopeful we will get out of this situation,
Based on the wishes of the people,
And consensus among the leaders.

May God Bless You All.
May God Bless You All.
May God keep you all safe,
Keep you with this spirit, around.

(End of speech.)

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