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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2017
Appeal letter to President Mohammad Khattami of Iran PDF Print E-mail
October 25, 1998

His Excellency Sayed Mohammad Khatami,
The President of Islamic Republic of Iran,
Tehran , Iran.

Your Excellency,

Assalamo-Alaikum. May the blessing of Allah be always with you, your family and Iran. Ameen. It gives me a great pleasure to address to a Muslim leader who, in my opinion, has the greatest potential to do something creative to end the suffering of Muslims trapped in oppressive situations in many parts of the world. The Bosnian tragedy compelled me to conclude that Muslims will continue to suffer unless the Muslim world is UNITED to speak with ONE VOICE on issues of our concern. It so happened that I had a spiritual experience after watching the bravery of a few hundred Chechens who set an example, like the early Muslims, to give a crushing defeat to the mighty Red Army in Grozny. I was greatly inspired by their faith in Allah and their just cause. So, in early 1995, I decided to take up the cause of the oppressed Muslims by launching my one-man mission for Muslim Unity - an ordinary man trying to do an extra-ordinary thing. My plan was to find a Muslim leader, or a group of like-minded Muslim leaders, and then approach and ask the north American Muslim intellectuals and elites so that they can individually appeal to that leader to unite the Muslim world. Since Indonesia is the largest Muslim country and President Soeharto had kept his 17,660-island country united for a long time, I decided to first start with him. My appeal campaign lasted for two years but Soeharto would neither say yes nor no, so I moved on to the next leader, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. In the near future, I plan to go to Malaysia to finally find out if Dr. Mahathir is willing to take up the leadership role or not.
  
Your Excellency, enclosed for your information and reading pleasure is a set of appeal letters - concerning my one-man mission for Muslim Unity and related activities - that I have previously sent to His Excellency Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former President of Iran. Before your election in May 1997, I had very little information about you. The enclosed letters will indicate that I had predicted the May election will produce a new leader and an opportunity for Iran - US reconciliation. Your January 1998 interview with Christiane Amanpore of CNN was the first time I listened to you and your thoughts and was pleasantly surprised and greatly impressed by your answers and approach to solve the problems through "dialogue and understanding." I thought, now here is a leader who can do a lot of good for the Muslims. I found you as a man of great intellectual capacity and excellent humane qualities - warm, gentle, tolerant and respectful of other's views -  that has impressed everyone around the world, particularly the north American Muslims.    

From the time you became the President of Iran, I have watched you through the news media and have noted how delicately you have handled and balanced various factions within Iran. You have a very cordial relationship with His Excellency, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and His Excellency Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and that speaks well for the unity and stability of Iran. The Eighth OIC Summit held in Tehran during December 1997 was a great success, and as the chairman of OIC (55-member Islamic group), Iran did a wonderful job to establish cordial relationship with the Arab leaders, particularly His Excellency the Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I witnessed a similar friendly meeting between the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and President Rafsanjani during the special OIC meeting in Islamabad on March 23, 1997, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pakistan. This development of closer relationship between the top leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia augurs very well for Muslim Unity, and is of particular interest to me as I pursue my dream of finding a group of leaders who can unite the Muslim world to speak with ONE VOICE.

Your Excellency, I am an ordinary human being and at best an imperfect Muslim, but still I have a desire to speak out honestly on some critical issues of human concern. Please allow me to respectfully bring to your attention the following for your thoughtful consideration :

1) Afghanistan. The people of this poor country have suffered enormously. The brutal invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union devastated the country, killed one million Afghans and many millions became refugees in Pakistan and Iran. India was the only non-Soviet block country that  supported the barbaric invasion and slaughter of innocent Afghans. The Alliance between Iran, India and Russia against Afghanistan seems UNNATURAL to me. The NATURAL thing is for Iran and Pakistan to join together to help Afghanistan to solve their domestic problems. I know the current situation is very difficult and will require special efforts to resolve it. So far you have done the most noble thing to avoid a war with Afghanistan. It will not only be a mistake but a blunder to invade Afghanistan, because there is nothing left in the country to destroy, except its remaining people. Iran and Pakistan must get together to solve the Afghan problem, and you must take the initiative as you have done to help solve the recent crisis between Turkey and Syria. Pakistan will gladly welcome your initiative. I know you will do the right things rightly.

2) Iranian Women. As you know, the Iranian women - particularly mothers and grandmothers -  voted overwhelmingly to bring about your landslide victory on May 23, 1997. They voted for your platform of social justice and political reform because they were concerned about the future of their children and they knew that you will help them to fulfill their dreams. In the last eighteen months, there have been some visible foreign policy successes, such as new gas deals with Iran's neighbors to the north, reconciliation with Arab countries particularly Saudi Arabia, and restoration of ties with the European Union. In spite of your best efforts to gradually change the Iranian society and give more freedom to the young people, the economic lives of your supporters have seen little improvement. It will be alarming  for you to note that in yesterday's national election - to choose a new 86-member Assembly of Experts - less than  50% of women and young people voted as compared with 90 % in May 1997. Please do more to uplift the economic level of the common Iranians. May Allah give you more strength and courage to do the right things rightly. 

When one looks at the current condition of Muslims in some Muslim as well as non-Muslim countries, one wonders " What in heaven is going on." The situation is like a battlefield where Muslims are suffering  - some  are near death, some are bleeding badly, some are suffering from self-inflicted wounds, others are simply sick, and still others are so weak that they have very little hope for survival. We will not be able to help our Muslim brothers and sisters trapped in those tragic situations unless we become united, but we must find a leader (or a group of like-minded leaders) who is either willing to come forward voluntarily or can be persuaded to accept the leadership role and unite the Muslim world. In any case, I have made a commitment to myself that I will continue my search and efforts till I find the qualified Muslim leader.

Your Excellency, Iran is the only country in the Muslim world that has articles in its Constitution stating that the Islamic Republic shall make " every effort to realize the political, economic and cultural unity of the world of Islam". Therefore, I appeal to you to please keep in mind that in the near future, probably early next year, I will attempt to seek an appointment with you in Tehran to discuss the issue of Muslim Unity and the name of the next leader, or a group of leaders, who can accomplish the objective of UNITY. At this time,  I am absolutely convinced that President Mohammad Khatami and Crown Prince Abdullah are the two leaders who have the vision, the intellectual capacity, credibility and genuine love for the Muslim world  to realize the impossible Dream of Muslim Unity.

Thanks for listening and warm regards.

Sincerely,




Mr. M. Khaliq Qureshi,
1317 Shamrock Lane,
Plano, Texas 75093.
Res. Tel : (972) 380-5106.
 

1998

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