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News number: 9107119272

16:46 | 2012-11-14

Culture

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Supreme Leader Clarifies Differences between Islamic, Western Concepts of Freedom

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei at a meeting with hundreds of Iranian university scholars and elites said the notion and concept of freedom in Islam and the western schools of thought are different, and that Iran's understanding of freedom is determined by Islam.



"In liberalism, freedom originates in humanism while in Islam freedom is based on monotheism, meaning belief in God" and opposition to idolatrous beliefs, Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing hundreds of university scholars and academic elites in the 4th meeting of Strategic Thoughts in Tehran on Wednesday.

"In Islam the human being is free from all boundaries except for obedience to God," he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Islam considers freedom as a righteous concept against unrighteousness and underlines that any human being should defend his own and even other people's freedom.

According to Islamic intellectuals and thinkers, Islam considers freedom to be a natural right of human being. Life becomes devoid of worth when freedom is not present. When a person loses his freedom, his inner self dies, even though on the outside, he continues to live; eating, drinking, working, and going through the other motions of life.

Islam elevates freedom to such a level that it has made free thought the proper way of recognizing God's existence. God says there is no compulsion in religion. Guidance is clear from error.

The verse negates the use of compulsion in religion because religious belief is the mightiest thing that a human possesses. This makes it quite clear that compulsion is not tolerated in any other matter. It is also clear that the human being is independent in what she possesses and does without being subjected to the will of anyone else. The individual has free will and free choice.