On Aug. 6, 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assumed office as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a rise that could provoke the beginning of the next Holocaust or World War.
Ahmadinejad, 50, has been a very outspoken and controversial character since he stepped into office. Not only is this man an anti-Semite, but he's also drawn the attention of the international community as an imminent threat to the entire globe.
He has clearly established a blatant opposition to the Jewish people as a whole, as well as other faiths different from his own Shi'a Islam. Throughout his term, he has repeatedly quoted the deceased mullah, Ayatollah Khomeni, by saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map." Recently, Ahmadinejad held a "Holocaust Summit" in which he denied the Holocaust, calling it a "myth."
The honorary guests included David Duke, grand wizard of Klu Klux Klan in the 1970s, who spoke to the summit, saying, "The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder."
However, Ahmadinejad's hatred isn't limited to the Jewish community. Recently, he called for a census of every single follower of the Bahai' faith for "confidential reasons." Thousands of non-Muslims are being persecuted every day in Iran by his actions -- Ahmadinejad is the one provoking it.
Hateful remarks and threats may be legally permitted, but the development of uranium and other dangerous products that may contribute to the construction of weapons of mass destruction certainly is not. Despite numerous demands from the United Nations, Europe and the United States, Iran has refused to cease producing these radiological compounds, citing that they are being developed purely for internal nuclear growth and research.
Currently, Iranian scientists are feverishly producing copious amounts of potentially deadly nuclear compounds, which eventually may be used on Israel or possibly the United States.
"The combination of a regime with a radical agenda, together with a distorted sense of reality, put together with nuclear weapons, is a dangerous combination that no one in the international community can accept," says Mark Regev, spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry.
Some might argue that though Ahmadinejad may appear to be a threat to the world, he is serving and providing for his own country and people. But the scores of protests against Ahmadinejad by college students in Tehran over the past couple of months prove otherwise.
In fact, when he first stepped into office, dozens of activists shouted abusive slogans and set off firecrackers as Ahmadinejad addressed students at Tehran's Amir Kabir University. Furthermore, students recently disrupted a speech by Ahmadinejad at the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. According to the Iranian Student News Agency, the students set fire to photographs of Ahmadinejad and threw firecrackers. The protesters also chanted "Death to the dictator."
The only reasonable, rational or even ethical thing to do is to dismantle the current Iranian regime and throw Ahmadinejad out of power. This is obviously not an easy task.
Therefore, the Jewish community as a whole, teens and adults, should take an affirmative stance against Ahmadinejad, by being the first ones to initiate or attempt to initiate some sort of change, whether large or small.
We can all use editorial articles, peaceful and effective protests, and especially our voices to raise awareness against Ahmadinejad and his terror.
Jewish politicians, rabbinical and social leaders must step up and attempt to make a change themselves or address the present situation in Iran to those who can make a change.
Not only is Ahmadinejad's regime currently persecuting the Iranian Jewish community in Iran, but if nothing is done, the global Jewish community may once again face another Hitler equipped with powerful nuclear technology, brutality, and worst of all, complete and utter hatred against Jews. Our eyes were shut more than 60 years ago when millions died; let's make sure that doesn't happen again.
Joshua Yasmeh is a sophomore at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills.
Tribe, by and for teens, appears the first issue of every month in The Jewish Journal. Ninth- to 12th-graders are invited to submit first-person columns, feature articles or news stories of up to 800 words. Deadline for the March issue is Feb. 15; Deadline for the April issue is March 15. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.