Press Shia Agency – The revered sources of emulation stressed that the promises of foreigners in various fields, such as the internet, must not be trusted.

Press Shia Agency – Speaking during his jurisprudence class at Qom’s Grand Mosque, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi referred to comments by Western officials on the involvement of some social media networks in recent unrest in Iran and said, “European and American politicians have said that undoubtedly, some social media networks have had an important impact in the recent [anti-government] riots.”
“Of course, there were other factors such as the discomfort of the people but one of the important destructive factors that provoked some people to engage in destructive acts was done through social media networks,” the revered sources of emulation added.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi argued that officials must think about making the internet a safe place for the Iranian people and said, “Still, some officials are resisting and saying that it must remain the same and that they cannot relinquish the internet while everyone knows what damage the internet can have.”
He said, “If they assure you that these issues are not repeated again, their promise is not trustworthy, except in other contexts, such as fulfilling their promises in regard to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), unless they adhere to their commitments. Instead of these issues, a healthy online environment must be created in order to have plans, business and commerce online and on the basis of the opinion of the experts, this issue is fully applicable.”
The prominent professor in the Islamic Seminary of Qom referred to a narration from the Prophet Muhammad, saying, “The Prophet says that those who annoy others in this world, will face a severe retribution on the Day of Judgement. One of the examples of someone who annoys others is someone who slanders, lies and insults others and this is seen today online.”
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi said, “Another issue is the spreading of rumours, which is widely seen in foreign networks. They create and spread any rumour but these rumours must not be spread inside the country. God offers a serious warning to mankind on this issue at the end of Surah al-Ahzab because the spread of some rumours undermines society.”
His Eminence also noted that smuggling goods into the country impedes the production of domestic products and is an example of annoying the people and said, “When smuggling goods into the country, factories face problems and some people will become unemployed.”
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi added, “Another example of annoying the people is polluting the environment. The blessings that God has created in the earth are not unlimited and if not properly managed, we will lose them. The environment is not just for the current generation and the future generations also have a share which must be preserved.”