An Interview by "Horizons of Thought" With Dr. Legenhausen about the Iranian Supreme Leader’s Message to the Western Youth

Received: 2015/6/1

Dr. Daneshvar: Dr. Legenhausen, first, I'd like to thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview regarding the Iranian Supreme Leader's letter to Western youth. We consider this to be a great opportunity for us because we believe you, as a practicing American Muslim living, studying, and teaching for more than two decades in Iran, possess deep knowledge of the West, Islam, and Iran. As such, the insight you can provide us with is invaluable in helping us gain a more accurate understanding of the leader's letter to Western youth. 

To begin, I would like to know how you perceive the significance of the letter.

Prof. Legenhausen: I think that this letter is very important. First of all, because it addresses some misperceptions of Islam, especially the inappropriate association of Islam with terrorism and violence. It is also important because it's a call for those addressed to engage in an independent assessment of these issues. So, on the one hand we are presented with a media-directed train of thought and, opposed to this, the Leader proposes not a specific alternative image of Islam, but an invitation to independent investigation. The Leader is not saying that there is an image of Islam that is propagated by the media, and opposed to this I'm going to tell you what Islam really is. Instead he says there is this media directed propaganda and opposed to that we invite you to think for yourself and try to investigate on your own.

So there are these two issues: one is to try to show that the stereotypes of Islam that have been presented are incorrect and this needs to be stated clearly; and, secondly, the emphasis on the use of independent assessment in order to get an understanding of what the correct view of Islam should be in opposition to the stereotypes.

Dr. Daneshvar: So you are saying that the Supreme Leader somehow has called for an independent assessment of Islam by Western youth. Given the formidable influence and the kind of domination of Western media on the minds and hearts of people in the West, do you think this kind of independent assessment is possible at all?

Prof. Legenhausen: Not always. There will be some people will just go along with the influences that are in the media; but there are always cases in which somebody only needs a kind of spark in order to change their ideas. I've already met people—even people who converted to Islam—when I asked them why did you convert to Islam, they told me because of all the negative propaganda about Islam. They said it was so bad they couldn't believe that there is a religion that says what they're telling us.

Dr. Daneshvar: So, you're basically saying that we have to actually hope for some kind of random illumination of minds of Western youth who get exposed to this letter. Can you think of any kind of systematic way of making this message get the kind of hearing it deserves in the West?

Prof. Legenhausen: I’m not saying that we should just respond in a haphazard way. We can take systematic measures to combat prejudice; but we should not fool ourselves into thinking that any single step will turn the tide.

Dr. Daneshvar: But why only Western youth? I mean what are the characteristics of Western youth, as opposed to other age groups, that make them, the addressees of this message?

Prof. Legenhausen: You can find the answer to this question in the text of the letter itself. The Supreme Leader states in the beginning of his letter that he is addressing the Western youth because of the recent events, especially what happened in France with the killing of people who were working with a magazine; and so it's because the terrorism that occurred in the West in the name of Islam that he feels that the youth has be addressed.

Dr. Daneshvar: Since these events happened in the West, why not talk to all of the people in the West?

Prof. Legenhausen: The Supreme Leader also answers this in the letter. He says that he is not going to talk to politicians because they're not after the truth anyway they're just after political interests,  and he says that the youth are important for two reasons: one is because the future depends the youth and the second is that he finds that the youth are more open-minded. They have more motivation to try to find out what's what. By “Western youth” we normally think of non-Muslim Western young people, but the term applies also to the Muslim minorities living in the West. So, the future of Islam in the West also depends to a large extent on the Western Muslim youth, and the letter has an important message for them, too: the way to be a good Muslim is not by seeking to promote Islam through terrorism and violence, but through research and reasoning.

Dr. Daneshvar: So, I think in a way it is interesting and instructive that the Supreme Leader is thinking ahead of time about the future that can be built by our present measures. In other words, his heavy involvement in the present contingencies has not kept him from thinking and planning for the future, particularly with respect to one of the most important issues that concerns Islam, namely the way in which Islam is going to be conceived by others.

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, I agree.

Dr. Daneshvar: I think even though this letter was addressed, for the reasons you mentioned, specifically to western youth, it can actually be heard by all Western people. I mean anybody in the West who reads this letter might be influenced and touched by it. Don’t you think so?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yeah sure.

Dr. Daneshvar: And the next question would be: How effective do you think these efforts to reach the minds and hearts of people in the West can be? And also in which ways can these kinds of attempts be made most effective?

Prof. Legenhausen: This is the most difficult question of the whole list. It's hard to tell how effective it can be and it depends on how this kind of appeal is implemented. In my opinion, if it's just a letter published on a few websites and newspapers it's not going to be very effective. But if it serves to become a focus for generating discussion—and that can be done in various ways—and if it is done systematically, then I think it could generate discussions that could be very effective. First, I think that the message needs to be discussed internally, within Muslim communities. Although Muslims are oppressed and subject to various forms of neo-colonialism, imperialism, bias and hatred, the way to respond to these is not through terrorism and violence but through striving to find out the truth, through free historical and political inquiry, and through the employment of natural reason.

Dr. Daneshvar: In which ways do you think that goal can be reached—I mean systematically approaching the issue and trying to initiate and conduct that kind of big conversation?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yeah, well, this is the problem of dialogue, both internal dialog and dialog with others. With regard to the latter, I think that up until now, Muslims in Iran have had important but very limited engagements in various sorts of people to people dialogue, mostly with Christians in the West, not exclusively, but mostly for various groups of Christians: clerics, students, theologians and philosophers. But it's been extremely limited. I think that this kind of dialogue has to be expanded and that the questions that are raised in the letter, if not the letter itself, can be very useful as points for discussion in on-going dialogues. Dialogues can take place in various ways. One way is through tourism. So, for example, you know we've had several groups from Europe in the United States who come to Iran in order to find out something about Islam in Iran and these tours can provide a very useful format for this kind of discussion. There are also groups of people who come to Iran for other purposes, such as sports, the arts, and business, and opportunities should be made available for those of them who are interested in learning about Islam while here to do so. But, likewise, there are various occasions where Iranians are able to travel to the West and engage in conversations and discussions with the people there. There's also an opportunity with respect to Muslims who are in the West to engage in this kind of dialogue and to carry it forward. It's not always necessary for Iranians in Iran to physically go to other countries. There's lots of Shi‘a in most of the countries in the West and those who are there through programs such as visiting churches, engaging in common charitable works with Christians, and other groups. There are various forums that can be used to as venues to bring up the questions that are raised in this message. There are also other ways through the media, like internet social platforms, and film can be used for this kind of purpose as well.

Plus, I think that the most important way is through people to people kind of discussions and people to people discussions can take place in various ways through the exchanges like exchange that you were a part of, the student exchange program arranged through the MCC and the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute, through learning tours, through short courses, and through alternative media. Just to give you an example of what I mean by alternative media, there is a guy in Berlin whom I know whose name is Shayan Arkian and who is the chief editor of the website Irananders.de. “Iran anders” means Iran differently. And what he tries to do on his website is to present news in German to the German people to explain what's really going on in Iran without the negative stereotyping that you find. Now I think that the kind of work that he's doing is really important and of high quality. But it's very limited. I mean this is just one website, and it is denigrated by opponents of Iran as mere Iranian propaganda. Nevertheless, I think that more work of this kind is needed. Also from this side of the religious institutions in Iran there needs to be something like Islam anders, meaning: Islam differently, in order to provide an alternative in Western languages to the Islam bashing that is so common in the media. But, we need to learn how to present our political and religious views in ways that cannot be dismissed as mere propaganda. For this purpose there are two key factors that are needed: first, we need to recognize and present a diversity of opinions; and, second, we need to be open to more self-criticism. If we do not identify and treat the misunderstandings about Islam and tendencies to condone terrorism among our own Muslim youth, we will not be able to effectively reach the hearts and minds of our own young people, let alone the non-Muslim Western youth.

Dr. Daneshvar: But you know that the religious dialogue cannot reach secular people, whereas they make up the majority of the population in the West.

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, I think that this dialogue has to be expanded to include secular people.

Dr. Daneshvar: Now, how can that be done?

Prof. Legenhausen: One way might be through charitable organizations. Another might be through cooperation with secular NGO’s on specific issues. But I think charity is a very important way because I've seen that Shi’a in America have been able to open up very good dialogues with other people in their communities, especially in the Dearborn area, because of setting up programs to get sandwiches to people who are hungry and things like this, in which they invite other people from the community to join them. There are also academic relations in which ideas are exchanged among scholars in history, economics, and other social sciences and humanities that provide an opportunity for Muslim scholars to address what is largely a secular audience, engage in dialog, and find persons and areas in which agreement can be reached as a basis for further cooperation.

Dr. Daneshvar: You were just talking about the role that alternative media can play in our attempts to get our voices heard. For us one prominent example of the alternative media would be PressTV. Have you ever had the opportunity to make an appraisal of how influential it has been in the West?

Prof. Legenhausen: PressTV is not carried by most of the satellites in the West and it's not on standard cable and satellite services; so it's extremely limited. You have to want PressTV in order to be able to get it in the West. It's not something that comes with the normal satellite or cable package.

Dr. Daneshvar: But this is how any alternative media conducted by us will be probably treated. If such media as Press TV can be restricted in their influence the way you said, what alternative venues and methods would you suggest to be used in the attempts to get Westerners to understand Islam more accurately, for example, to grasp the distinction and difference between the genuine Islam and the takfiri version of Islam?

Prof. Legenhausen: In this regard, I would make two suggestions. First, I think that more work needs to be done in the Islamic centers that we have in the West. Most of the Islamic centers are only focused on providing religious services to their own communities and there is virtually no or a very very limited outreach program. Even if I talk about outreach programs, people have in their minds that it means that we want to go out and convert people. This is not what I have in mind. What I am talking about is the promotion of mutual understanding; and it is this that is often neglected. Of course, there are exceptions. I mean there are cases where the Islamic centers are engaged in dialogue work on a regular systematic basis. I know that Dr. Ramazani in Hamburg has very good relations with the university there and that he's engaged in systematic way and on a regular basis in dialogue with other people; but I think that this kind of approach needs to be increased and it should be a standard for all of these centers that we have to offer some kind of forum especially to address the youth. Now, how are we going to address the youth who are not Muslims? They are not going to come to the masjid to hear a sermon. In this regard, I think that there are several areas that can be explored.

One is the kind of charitable work that I was talking about earlier. Another one is through interreligious dialogue. Another one is through sports. Sports is really important for young people and it's a good way to attract them if you have a good sports program, you can get people to come to your center. Perhaps one could have teams from the masjid compete with teams from churches on various occasions. This might be a good way to get started and then maybe find other avenues to develop such contacts. This is also useful for reaching out to young people within the Muslim community. Once I was visiting New Jersey in the United States and a few young people who are active in the Shi’i community complained to me that they have programs in the masjid but many young people are just not interested because they do not want to listen to a boring talk by a cleric. When they asked me what could be done about this, I suggested basketball.

We should not think that having a religious program means preaching at people all the time. You know you can have activities together and at the same time the activity becomes a forum in which people can exchange religious ideas and there can be other kinds of dialogue that may fit in with the sports program. And sports is just an example. I mean it can involve the arts or other kinds of activities that young people are interested in.

Dr. Daneshvar: But don't you think that Shari'ah limitations hinder this kind of relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in the West? I mean, isn't it the case that the Shari'ah component of Islam considerably restricts the openness of Muslims to religious others?

Prof. Legenhausen: Look, it's not always going to work and you can't do it with anybody. With respect to religious dialogue, for example, some Christians don't want to talk with Muslims except to convert them and you can't have any dialogue with such people. But you have to try and try to understand people, and if you do, you will find people who are amenable to productive kinds of discussion. With regard to religious restrictions, there is a need to inform potential dialog partners of our limitations. For example, I'm not going to shake hands with women, and some women are going to get upset about this. I have to apologize and let them know that no insult is intended. I'm sorry, I don't particularly like this rule, but it is a part of the code I have chosen to live by. Then there are non-Muslims who start to become friendly and want to invite you over and have a couple of beers or something like this. You have to explain to them: No, I'm sorry we can't do that. We can’t even be in your house while you're having a party with alcohol flowing.

Dr. Daneshvar: Yes, but from my own experience I think they usually understand it.

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, usually they understand, but you have to explain it.

Dr. Daneshvar: Speaking of the hindrances, what else can hinder or actually hinders in your mind the attempts to reach people in the West?

Prof. Legenhausen: One of the biggest obstacles that always remains and it's always something that everybody admits to be a problem, although it is often just pushed to the side, while I think it's really important, and this is language. Most of the people who are sent to do tabligh (Islamic propagation) don't know the language of the people of the countries where they work. That has to change. Programs in order to introduce Islam are given in Arabic and Farsi or Urdu, but there is often much less in European languages. This is a big obstacle. Even if there's a translation, it's still a big obstacle. If I am a young person who wants to play basketball and maybe learn something about Islam because I'm curious, I don't want to sit through half an hour of somebody talking in a language I don't know and then have somebody give a translation of it that's really hard to understand because the translator is not fluent in my language.

So language is the most important problem. There are, thank God, a lot of talabehs, seminary students, in Qom now from various countries with expertise to some level in European languages. Those who have linguistic abilities are a treasure. Those whose mother tongues are European languages should be given greater responsibilities for outreach. No one should be sent to another country if he doesn't know the language of that country. At the very least, those intending to work as prayer leaders in different countries could be given a six month intensive language training in the language of the countries to which they are to be posted.

Dr. Daneshvar: Even if these people go to those countries just to provide services to a Muslim or Shi‘a congregation?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yeah, because if they do that, they will be severely limited. They can only talk to the Iranian Shi‘as who are there with their own linguistic background. As I see it, it's an important duty for those who are going to do tabligh (or provide Islamic clerical services) that they have to be able to talk to the people in the surrounding area without relying on translators. One of the main causes for people to be suspicious and have bad ideas about other groups is because they don't speak their language. When one does not know the language of the country in which one lives, one is insulated from the society and tends to be surrounded only by those of one’s own language group. This creates suspicion in the minds of those outside the group.

Dr. Daneshvar: Well, Dr Legenhausen, I think that language is a big obstacle, but it's not just a matter of the tongue; beyond that, the cultural language really matters.

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, the cultural language is important, but problems in this area can be solved if one knows the language. Part of language learning is also learning cultural norms. But if you don't know the tongue you can't even get started with the other stuff. And this is the main obstacle.

Dr. Daneshvar: We had a bit of digression. You said you had two suggestions as to      what alternative media could be used to reach Westerners. You mentioned the first one, namely, the role that Muslim communities in the West can play. Could you please go on to make your second suggestion?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes. I think the Internet is the most important source for this kind of thing. Most people who are interested in specific topics and news now get their information from the Internet more than from TV and radio. People who get most of their information about politics and news from television and radio are usually people who are not interested in these topics. It is worth mentioning here that, one of the big problems with young people in America, not just young people but people in America, especially, but in Europe, as well, is that people just are not interested in politics. You can find evidence for this by looking at the percentage of people participating in elections. Also, about forty years ago I had just finished by B.A. and I traveled through Europe and visited several universities and I was surprised at how politically active to universities were at that time. In all the European universities that I visited then, in the center of campus, there were communists and anti-communists and different kinds of groups advocating different things. Today, when I go and visit various universities, there is none of that and I asked people there and professors and students, as well, and they said that there was a lot of political activity in the sixty's and seventy's, but not any more.

Dr. Daneshvar: So what do you think are the reasons for this?

Prof. Legenhausen: Frustration. People have the idea that it doesn't do any good. Even if we elect people from an opposition party, the same basic policies prevail. We still get the same kind of corruption. We can either elect corrupt socialists or corrupt liberals.

Dr. Daneshvar: Don't you actually assess this as a kind of failure on the part of Western democracy? Because democracy is after all about people being in charge and in control of their countries, but now most people in the West are saying that enough is enough and we don't want to get involved in this any more because our involvement makes no difference.

Prof. Legenhausen: Because we don't really have any control over what the fate of our countries at all.

Dr. Daneshvar: What is mainly targeted by this letter is the Islamophobia so entrenched in Western culture. So, let's talk a bit about that. What do you think is or are the origins and sources or the root causes of Islamophobia in the West?

Prof. Legenhausen: This is a complex issue. There are two major aspects to this question of the causes of Islamophobia. One has to do with the manipulation of opinion through the media and this is what's addressed more directly in the course of the latter. But also any kind of manipulation through the media is only going to be effective if there is a groundwork that's ready to accept that kind of thing. So, we should view this as a sociological question. What is it about people in the West today that makes them so receptive to fear of Islam and this kind of thing. One reason, I think, although, you know, I don't have scientific evidence for this, but my own feeling is that because of the weakness of Christianity in Europe, especially, people there feel more threatened by Islam, even those who are not Christian. Let me explain. We were visited a few years go by some politicians from Germany and I was very surprised because when I was discussing the issue of Islam in Europe with a representative of Die Linke party in Germany, which is a controversial party in Germany because of people in the party who were former members of the DDR’s Communist Party, this representative told me that people are upset now because, she said, “Don't you understand there are more Muslims in Berlin than Catholics!” I thought this was really interesting that a leftist should complain that there are more Muslims in Berlin than Catholics, given that the left has been a source of some of the harshest criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. But I think this points to a more general phenomenon: that people, even if they don't believe in Christianity, consider it to be a part of their identity. With the decline in membership in the Church, somehow a part of this identity is being lost. At the same time, they see immigrants coming into Europe some of whom are Muslims with strong beliefs of a sort that is not as common in the general Christian population. And this seems threatening to them, especially when we add to this the preaching of extremist Muslims in Europe, the various cases of terrorism, and the daily news about religious violence in the Middle East.

Dr. Daneshvar: But what do you think is the share of history and politics?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, history has a lot to do with this, especially with the reception of foreigners generally. In the United States, every generation of immigrants who come to the US invest a lot of energy in becoming “real Americans.” And then in the next generation they reject the incoming immigrants as being foreigners. And this always happens in America. So you have wave after wave of immigration where the first generation that comes is perceived as being foreigners. They try to prove that they are really American and then the next generation has this American identity. And when the new ones come, usually from a different country, they reject them and they say they're not real Americans. This creates a kind of xenophobic atmosphere that is particularly suitable for the cultivation of prejudice against Islam, particularly when this is encouraged for political reasons.

Dr. Daneshvar: But isn't it the case that these political reasons you just referred to play a significant part in the whole drama. I mean, don't the imperialistic objectives, having been pursued already for centuries by Western powers in their relationship with the Islamic world, get a big share here?

Prof. Legenhausen: Yes, I definitely agree. But what I'm talking about here is that are two aspects of this Islamophobia: one is that there has to be some kind of receptivity in the people. And second, this is going to be directed or manipulated for the sake of political interests. So, what you find when you look at history is both aspects. When we look at history, for example, we can find in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were attacks in America made against “hyphenated Americans.” Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson carped that we don't need hyphenated Americans. What's a hyphenated American? It means an Italian-American, German-American, Irish-American. Their loyalty was suspect. There was a popular xenophobic sentiment that wanted no divided loyalties, only “pure Americans.” Anyway, this is part of the history that shows how this groundwork is prepared and then once that ground is available, people are going to take advantage of it. So, people who find that we can use this fear in order to promote our own agendas. We should also consider the groundwork for Islamic radicalism that is present in the West and also in Islamic countries that is taken advantage of by takfiri groups to recruit their followers who unwittingly become pawns used to bolster anti-Islamic sentiments, and to associate Islam with terrorism.

Dr. Daneshvar: Could you tell us what was your first impression when you read this letter?

Prof. Legenhausen: Thank God that somebody in authority, someone who can speak authoritatively on behalf of Islam, is saying to the young people of the West that this stuff that is being presented as Islam in the media, this violence and cruelty, has nothing to do with what we believe in. So, that was my first impression, honestly; it was really like: Oh great! At least we finally have clear statement. It was about time.

Dr. Daneshvar: How has the media coverage of the message been so far?

Prof. Legenhausen: Very limited. But again, I think that as far as influence is concerned, what's important is that the topics and questions that are raised in this letter be made points for discussion by other people who are engaging in dialog. The way to get the letter across is not to make copies of the letter and put them in people's mailboxes. The way to get the message of the letter across is through people to people relations in which people say: You know there's this issue that was raised by Aqaye Khamenei. He says that these very extremist violent elements of Islam are things that don't have any real source in Islam. What do you think about that? What do you think about this question from a historical perspective? How do you think that the dominant world powers protect their interest by using fear of foreigners? Is something like that going on with respect to Islam? One of the things that I thought was really interesting in this letter is that he points out several shameful events in Western history: colonialism, slavery, imperialism, oppression of people of color and things like this and he says that the Western historians now who look back at those kinds of events they’re ashamed of that kind of thing. He applauds this attitude. He finds this historical recognition of fault to be admirable. So he's saying that the kind of attitude that's been taken by historians in the West towards their own history is something that's to be emulated or something that's admirable. But then he continues: We should do that for the current events, as well. So this this provides a really important kind of clue for how to engage in dialogue about these kinds of issues. We can ask people: What do you think about these kind of events that have occurred in history? Do you see anything similar to that going on now? What kind of things are going on now that our future historians will be ashamed of. Maybe a rather long list could be prepared.

Dr. Daneshvar: How was the reception of this letter by the mainstream media in the West? I mean how was it covered in the Washington Post, the NewYork Times, and the like?

Prof. Legenhausen: They ignored it. Or at most they write two sentences and say, alright, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran just wants to blame the West on everything that's wrong with Islam. So they put a twist on it to say that he's trying to shift the blame. He's putting the blame on to the West instead of admitting that there's something really wrong with Islam.

Dr. Daneshvar: I think the Supreme Leader used a clever tactic in writing the letter. He simply asked Western youth to investigate what Islam is all about on their own rather that providing them with what he thinks Islam is about. I think if he had given them his own reading of Islam, they would have thought that he was just conducting some more propaganda to absolve Islam from the cruelties committed by takfiris and to put the blame all on the West.

Prof. Legenhausen: Secondly, and along the same lines, what struck me when I read the letter over again is that there is an appeal at two levels here. One is a moral appeal—not a specifically religious appeal, but just a human moral appeal. And second, there is an intellectual appeal that you should try to find out the truth for yourself. You should go and read the sources. Find out what's going on. Read about the life of the prophet. But also, with this moral appeal there is a call to look at the moral characteristics of the Prophet (s). So, the letter is telling people—at several points where it emphasizes the moral aspects—to consider what are the values of Islamic civilization. Because of the teachings of Islam, Muslims were able to create a great civilization with special values. And these values are something that somebody is supposed to be able to grasp, this is something worth-while, and the worth of these values can be understood by anyone even if they're not a Muslim. There's this basic appeal to a kind of natural intellectual ability (in Persian they would say that the moral appeal is to an ability to recognize value that is fitri, innate). So, there is a kind of natural moral apprehension as well as an intellectual ability to analyze history. And both of these are supposed to guide the Western youth in their approach to do research about Islam. In this way, the Supreme Leader turns the Western accusations against Islam, that it is just a matter of blind obedience, back against the accusers. There is some irony in this. Sapere aude, was the slogan of the Enlightenment made famous in Kant’s essay, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?”. It is usually translated into English as “dare to know” or “have the courage to be wise”. Kant took the phase from the Roman poet of the first century BC, Horace, who wrote: Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet; sapere aude, incipe. (“He who has begun is half done; dare to know, dare to begin!”).[This is also the conclusion of the letter of the Supreme Leader who reminds his readers of their responsibility toward the truth and of the opportunity they have to gain understanding free of prejudice.

Dr. Daneshvar: Is there anything else that you want to add?

Prof. Legenhausen: One of the things that I think also comes out if you read the letter carefully is that Aqaye Khamenei is really troubled, he’s upset by this kind of bad image that's being shown as Islam. The way in which terrorism, violence, and takfiri cruelty is being promoted as the guise of Islam is something that troubles him as a Muslim and more so as a Muslim leader, because this is not what we are about at all! So, the letter in some way is an expression of his own commitment to Islam, but also, at the same time, he's bothered by the fact that the Western young people are getting the wrong idea. So, despite the fact that lots of people say that he's very anti-Western, I read this letter as very pro-Western, because he's concerned for the youth of the West and about the future of the West. And he doesn't want to see the future of the West and its young people fall into the same kind of traps of manipulation that we've seen through the course of the history of imperialism.

Dr. Daneshvar: We thank you again for sharing your views on the Supreme Leader's letter to Western youth. God bless you.

Prof. Legenhausen: Thank you, and God bless you, too.