SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – UK/London – Toby Howarth, the advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by Seyyed Yusuf Alkhoie Head of Public and International Relation of Alkhoie Foundation visited Hojjatol Islam Shahrestani, the representative of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Wellington Hospital in London. During this visit, Howarth said: The Archbishop of Canterbury was saddened to hear about your illness and send me to visit you and convey his warmest regards and prayers for your quick recovery. He added: We thank God that the Shia leaders especially the representatives of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani try their best not only for their own religion but also for other religions and this connection is very strong. Howarth continued by saying: We know Shia, its history and its services to social justice. We know Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hussain (AS) and the family of the Prophet (PBUH) tolerated many difficulties when they were in minority and we know about their resistance against all the oppressions so that they could establish justice and this is a point hidden in Shia Islam.
Howarth praised the leadership of the Grand Ayatollh Sistani and said: In these dark situations in Iraq and when the history is looking for a competent leader, The Grand Ayatollah Sistani is such a religious leader. We want to say that whatever The Grand Ayatollah does we see, we hear and we thankful of all his efforts. Howarth expressed his worries about hte situation of Iraqi and Syrian Christians and said: There are people in the world, especially in the USA who say that the current war is between Islam and Christianity and we deny this and we say listen to the words and actions of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani. I am conveying today the message of the Archbishop of the Canterbury for the Grand Ayatollah Sistani and present it to you. The Archbishop is thankful of the words and actions of the Grand Ayatollah.
Hojjatol Islam Shahrestani thanked the Archbishop of the Canterbury for his kind message and said: Unfortunately we live in a world where some media are trying to put a distance between religions but we must be aware of this. He added: Each religion has its values but differences should not result in beheading or slavery. What Al-Qaeda and da’esh are doing today has nothing to do with religions. In his final remarks, Hojjatol Islam Shahrestani said: We have to see what our our responsibilities are today, we need to convey the realities to the world and the humane values of the religions to the world. It is important to stand against all enmities and wrong behaviours to wipe them off in order for the people of the world to seek refuge to the divine religions in peace.