Iran: Ayatollah says Christians should chant “Death to America”

It may seem strange that Ayatollah Khatami would be calling upon Christians to hate and wish death on people, but not from his perspective. He is saying this on the basis of the Islamic principle of al-wala wal-baraa, “loyalty and disavowal,” which means loving what Allah loves and hating what he hates. America, he believes, is the enemy of Allah, and so believers should hate it and wish it to die.

“Tehran Friday Sermon by Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami: Christians Should Honor Jesus, Chant ‘Death to America,’” MEMRI, December 28, 2018:

Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, who is a member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts, said during a December 28, 2018 Friday sermon that aired on Channel 1 TV (Iran) that he sends holiday blessings to the Christians throughout the world. He said that some arrogant leaders, such as U.S. President Donald Trump, bring shame upon Jesus by considering themselves Christians, and he encouraged Christians to honor Christ and renounce the U.S. by chanting: “Death to America.” He claimed that if Jesus were alive today, he would be the first to express his disgust with the criminal leaders who are a “disgrace to Christianity.”

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami: I send my blessings to the Christians throughout the world, and I say to them: protect the honor of Christ. Unfortunately, the arrogant leaders who consider themselves Christians – and Trump says he hasn’t ready anything but the New Testament all his life – bring disgrace upon this great prophet [Jesus]. [The Christians say:] Tell us what to do. [The Christians should] renounce America in a loud voice, and, like the [Iranian] people, they should say: “Death to America!”

Crowd: Death to America! Death to America!

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami: Without a doubt, if Jesus were among us, he would be the first to renounce and express disgust with these criminals who are a disgrace to Christianity.

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