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THE CONTINUING THREAT OF

KHOMEINI-ISM

"The phenomenon of Velayete Faqih, (the theory which the Islamic Repubfc is based on), and demergence in the podfical arena, has been utterly unprecedented and unknown. K remains the greatest enigma, even in the opinion of many who run the regime, let alone foreign of lkials and international circles."

THE CONSTITUTIONAL PARADOX OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

An article by DR. MEHDI HAERI YAZDI, a former student of Ayatollah Khomeini



PRESENT AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

Since the accession of the Ayatollahs to power in February of 1979, a cataclysmic event that spawned other major events in the Middle East, the number of Iran specialists and Middle East and Islam specialists has grown exponentially. In the 16 years since the so called 'Islamic' revolution in Iran, numerous books and thousands of articles have been written by these same pundits, analyzing, dissecting, reviewing and researching the events before, during and after the revolution. Some of the works are truly valuable and laudable efforts of some very astute intellectuals in this field. But, alas, many others are regurgitation of old stories, events and hypotheses, based more on emotions and conjecture, rather than empirical evidence or political analysis arising from the writer's experience with, and understanding of the subject.

The jury is still out on the real causes of the revolution. Various explanations and reasons have been presented: the speed of the Shah's development programs and the neglect of religious and cultural values, the dictatorial nature of the regime, the incarceration and torture of those opposed to the regime by the secret police, the westernization and over dependence of the regime on the west....... These may or may not be some of the apparent causes, but, the fact of the matter is that there are many aspects of the 'Islamic'
revolution that are still shrouded in secrecy. Take, for instance, its leaders. We still do not have a definitive biography of the present 'spiritual leader' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President All Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The official biographies are very short, and do not cover many events, and leave out long spans in their lives, their backgrounds, and contacts before the revolution. Similarly, there are many events and relationships surrounding Ayatollah Khomeini himself, that are yet to be fully explored and exposed.

In short, the bulk of the work published about the revolution has very little political or analytic value. Worse yet, the misuse of terminology in defining the ideology or theology of the perpetrators of the 'Islamic' revolution, has created a wealth of misinformation and misunderstanding about Iran and Islam, and has severely damaged the images of both Iran and Islam in the West. The word 'fundamentalism' has become synonymous with the version of Islam the mullahs in Iran supposedly adhere to. Allow us to examine the root meaning of this word.

ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM?

The word 'fundamentalism' is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary as "religious beliefs based on a literal. interpretation of everything in the Bible and regarded

as fundamental to Christian faith and morals",

and "(2) the 20th century movement among American Protestants, based on these beliefs". It has also been defined as "a militantly conservative movement in American Protestantism originating around the beginning of the 20th century In opposition to modernist tendencies and emphasizing as fundamental to Christianity the literal interpretation and absolute inerrancy of the scriptures, the imminent and physical resurrection and substitutionary atonement."

Is what we see in Iran Islamic fundamentalism? An in depth study of the behavior of the regime, both domestically with the treatment of the Iranian people, and internationally with its support of terrorism proves otherwise. While Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and compassion, the teachings of these clerics is devoid of any moral or civic virtues. The clerical leaders are seldom truthful in their pronouncements; violation of the basic rights of the people has become the domestic policy; squandering of the national wealth at the expense of the people's well-being has become the government's priority; and finally, the cruel and barbaric suppression of any dissent, even among their own followers is the standing policy. Many of the highest religious authorities are in disagreement with the ways of this so called 'Islamic' government. The ones who dare speak out are summarily tried before special tribunals, defrocked, and imprisoned. It must be noted that in the world of Shiite Islam, no person or institution has the authority to demote or defrock a supreme religious leader a "Marja". Yet, that is exactly what the Khomeini government did to the acclaimed Marja, the late Ayatollah Shariatmadari.

The behavior and actions of this regime prove that the Islamic Republic of Iran is neither a republic, nor Islamic or Iranian. It is a totalitarian state in which all aspects of the people's lives are either directly controlled or channeled in the direction the state deems right. It is not Islamic because as noted earlier, many of their policies and deeds are in total violation of the teachings of Islam. They have tarnished the image of Islam through their self-serving policies which have given an aura of primitive barbarism to a religion that preaches peace and tolerance. And they are certainly un-Iranian, because their decisions and politics are anti Iranian - their sole emphasis is on Islam and not Iran. They have declared nationalism, un-Islamic, and have imprisoned scores of people for having nationalistic tendencies. Although Iranian nationalism is a cultural nationalism, based on tolerance and moderation, the clerics have tried with everything in their power to de-Persianize the Iranian society, culture, and civilization. In the past 16 years, their major accomplishments have been to bankrupt the Iranian economy, demoralize the Iranian society and have managed to get Iran short listed among the worlds notorious terrorist states. It is an obvious conclusion that the word 'fundamentalism' cannot define the nature of the present ruling clique.
THE NEW CRUSADES
During her recent trip to France, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, in a speech to the Diplomatic Press Association on November 3, 1994, is quoted as saying:
"There is a wide-spread feeling in Muslim countries that the West views Islam as Its new enemy, now that communism has disintegrated". She went on to say the West should not judge the Muslim countries based on the actions or feelings of their extremist elements. These are notable statements, but they belie one inescapable fact. Even though the majority of the Muslim states do not have any feelings of enmity towards the west - on the contrary, many of them have very cordial feelings towards and relations with the west - there are some among them that have preached hate and discord consistently in the past two decades.

Since the clerics under the leadership of Ayatollah .d Khomeini took over in Iran 16 years ago, their most important priority has been to instigate the people of other Muslim states to rebellion against their governments on one hand, and to incite the Muslim masses against the west, the U.S. in particular, with the aim of starting a new round of crusades between the Muslim and the Judeo-Christian worlds. They have tried to coordinate their efforts with other extremist elements of the Muslim world in order to achieve their regressive dreams.

Shortly after the U. S. air attack of the Libyan air base during the Reagan administration, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, visited Libya, and in a joint statement with the Libyans said: the American aggression is a crusade by the American and the Zionist enemy against Islam and Muslims ...... Libya and Iran would confront such a crusade with all their might and seek to mobilize one billion Muslims in this battle to defend their religion, their sanctities, and their presence...".

In November 1979, a group of armed men led by a shiite youth named Mohammed Abdullah occupied the Great Mosque in Mecca while there were some fifty thousand worshipers praying. Almost immediately, the rumor mongers went to work. The Islamic Republic of Iran issued the following announcement over its radio waves across the Moslem world: "It is not unlikely that the criminal U.S. imperialism did this. This is an attempt to infiltrate the solid ranks of Islam. Moslems must not let down their guards, and should expect this kind of dirty acts by American imperialism and international Zionism". This led to mass riots in many cities around the world, notably, in Islamabad, Pakistan, the U.S. embassy was set on fire, and in Rawalpindi and Lahore the American library and cultural center and other institutions were attacked. Tens of Pakistanis lost their lives in these riots. On November 23rd, in a speech to a group of Pakistani soldiers visiting Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini said: it is a great joy for us to learn about the uprising against the U.S. in Pakistan. It is good news for our oppressed nation...". He further expounded on his view of the state of the world to a group of 120 Pakistani officers on a pilgrimage to Qom on January 14, 1980: "We are at war against the infidel -- take this message with you. I ask all Islamic nations, all Moslems, all Islamic armies, and all heads of Islamic States to join the Holy War. There are many enemies to be killed or destroyed. Jihad must triumph".

As we see, it is not so much the West that has turned against the Islamic world, as it is the radical fanatical elements of the Islamic world that are bent on creating a schism through which they ultimately hope to precipitate a major clash between the West and the Moslem world.

KHOMEINI-ISM AND ISLAM

We have been witnessing the formation of a new ideology in the past 16 years in Iran. It is an activist, regressive ideology that is a compilation of the philosophical thoughts and religious beliefs of Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini and a handful of people whose sole aim has been the achievement and prolongation of their hold on political power at any price, even with resort to assassination and terrorism. Towards this end, they have no compunction to use any means necessary, no matter the cost.

They change the religious rules and re-interpret Islam to suit themselves. The following quote from Sheikh Morteze Motahari in 1979, is a good Illustration: "Islam is a religion of agitation, revolution, blood, liberation and martyrdom". They use people as cannon fodder in their quest to expand their power. Human rights and liberties have no meaning where human life is not sacred. This is Khomeini-ism, and the system it espouses is called 'Velayate Fagih".

THEORY OF VELAYATE-FAQIH

The governance of The Supreme Theologian
Velayate Faqih is a claim that rulership belongs to God, to the prophet, and to the Imams, and by extension, to the supreme theologian, the "Fagih". The Faqih is the highest religious and political authority. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, the government and rulership of God, has been established in Iran, with the Islamic revolution. And it must also be established in other Muslim countries, and eventually, throughout the world.

According to Dr. Haeri Yazdi, a religious authority (Mojtahed), Velayate Faqih means, particularly in its absolute form, that people as minors and insane, could have no voting rights, nor could they have any rights whatsoever to participate in the management of their lives, their property, and affairs of-thsir v*v country. They ~nust-be, obedient-fio their jurisprudent (Valiye Faqih), as the guardian of their affairs, and be always ready to lay down their lives to carry out his command. No one, no institution, not even the parliament (Majlis), shall disobey the decrees issued by the religious guardian. The Islamic Republic of Iran, from its inception, has been based, in theory and practice, on the philosophy of Velayate Faqih, as enunciated by Ayatollah Khomeini. It demands absolute obedience of the citizens, and punishes those who oppose the Islamic Republic. That is why we believe that the ideology of the Islamic Republic is actually Khomeini-ism, and not fundamentalism. We believe that Khomeini-ism, in method, intelligence operations, establishment of committees, and summary executions, torture, and repression, follows closely the methods pioneered by Lenin and the Bolshevics. As Dr. Haeri Yazdi, the greatest living authority on Islamic theology, philosophy and jurisprudence says, "since the inception of this novel regime
in Iran, it must be said, without a doubt, that the present system, both in its theory and in its constitutional enactments, is so fundamentally contradictory, and illogical that its possibility of existence and legitimacy is absolutely inconceivable. As such, the Islamic Republic under Velayate Faqih, is a contradictory statement that conspicuously demonstrates its own negation and lack of rationality and legitimacy".

THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIES

The Iranian people have been the first victims of Khomeini-ism. Whether or not there will be others is still an open question. It was obvious from the beginning that the aim of this movement vu as to expand internationally. Its arrival at the scene was not caused by the policies of the old regime, and, its animosity towards the west and the U.S., likewise, was not based on their support for the Shah. This movement consists of a group of professional revolutionaries whose primary weapon today is religion, their primary tactic terrorism, and their primary target, other Muslim governments. These same governments are turning a blind eye towards these events, or, worse, are trying to appease these terrorist, hoping to buy them off with money or other favors.

The lesson that the Iranian people have learned is that once in power, this group systematically eliminates all opposition, systematically eliminates human rights, and systematically squanders the country's wealth through outright embezzlement, economic mismanagement and financing of international terrorism.

Almost all governments of Muslim countries today are threatened. On a recent visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, President Rafsanjani took along 4 generals of the Revolutionary Guard and Intelligence. While he was negotiating trade treaties, they were visiting mosques inciting the faithful. And it will not stop there. Any government that -thinks it can work with and appease fanatical 'fundamentalist groups is abrogating its mandate to serve and protect its people. In the name of God, they will take over the lives, the liberties, and the property of the people, and eliminate anything and everything standing in their way. This was true for Iran, It will be true for Algeria, and any other government that refuses to confront this reality.

The West has also had its share of blame for not confronting this movement meaningfully to end its subversive and terrorist activities worldwide. At times there have been mixed signals, from the western countries, which have served to embolden and further empower these fanatical groups. A case in point is the report that the U.S. government advised the Algerian government to open a dialogue and find ways to cooperate with the "fundamentalist group that have had the full support, both financial and moral, of the Khomeini-ist regime in Tehran.

Unfortunately, there are some 'specialists' who still believe that the Rafsanjani government can moderate and reform itself, and that there is still the possibility of normalizing relations between Iran and the U.S. They do not seem to understand that the Khomeini-ist clerics have but one ideology. For 16 years, they have been following this ideology, at the price of domestic social and economic reforms, and do not intend to change their strategy. If they have differences among themselves, they are of a tactical nature. Presently, as before, all the resources of the country have been mobilized for the advancement of this ideology.

These specialists must abandon such self-delusions, and spare the world a further period of uncertainty and instability. They must recognize that it is the Iranian people that have rejected this regime. If they have any doubts about the behavior and conduct of the clerical regime, it would be worthwhile to follow the current court hearings in Paris about the assassination of the late Dr. Shapour Bkhtiar. Even the French government has been embarrassed about what has been revealed regarding the direct -connection between the Iranian government and the assassins of Dr. Bakhtiar.

The most plausible and obvious solution for other governments - the U.S. in particular - appears to be the support of democratic elements inside and outside Iran. Forces that are willing to assist the U.S. in formulating a policy that could promote democracy and human rights in Iran and the return of stability to the region. The world should know that the great majority of the Iranian people have been longing for freedom. They would like nothing more than the replacement of the clerical regime with a truly representative and enlightened government that would guarantee their security and work toward their prosperity. They would also like to establish a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with the American people.

What they need and seek from the United States and the world, is moral support in order to be able to take their fate in their own hands, and put an end to domestic and international terrorism. Ultimately, a friendly, democratic government that has the mandate of he people must be restored to power in Tehran, if peace and stability are to return to Iran and the Middle East.
statement were circulated around the country, and to the foreign press. It was broadcast by the VOA, the BBC and Radio Israel. The impact was so strong that Ayatollah Janati Ataie, a member of the 'Council of Guardians', felt compelled to denounce the signatories as foreign agents.

FOCUS ON IRAN Applauds the courageous statement of these 134 writers against censorship and clerical repression and dictatorship. Poets and writers are the light cavalry of the struggle for national liberation. They provide the intellectual electricity to power the national liberation and freedom movement. When literary figures charge in, many others will follow. Indeed, we believe this to be a turning point in the national campaign for freedom and democracy.

The Publisher and Editors of Focus On Iran welcome your correspondence and support.

We have reprinted here extracts from some of the letters which have been received since our last issue.
"I was pleased to see your acknowledgment of the Zoroastrian religious connection of the Faravahar symbol and your description of its significance for all mankind....

"I applaud your effort to inform readers about the ... ...abuse of religious political power in Iran, and I hope that ..... your information ......will result in a free Iran.

M. Bhujwala, California
"Your noble efforts in regaining the international dignity of Iran are admirable. It is upon the leaders of the exiled Iranian community to expose the atrocious deeds of the Islamic Republic... Remaining aloof from the future of our nation is not only undignified, but it is also detrimental and un-Iranian." ... and M  I.  North Carolina

 
STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
THE COURAGEOUS STATEMENT OF 134 IRANIAN WRITERS

"ANY PEN CAN STAB ANY KING"

In late October of this year, 134 of the most prominent poets, novelists, playwrights, and essayists, in a strong statement, criticized the government of President Rafsanjani for censorship, repression, and violation of Human rights. They demanded that the gooemment allow complete freedom of expression, and end all forms of censorship. Signed copies of the Iran's best known and popular writer and historian Mr. Saidi Sirjani was officially reported dead of a heart attack in an unidentified Tehran hospital, after 8 months of imprisonment and reported torture. He was arrested March 14, and had been in custody ever since. The Iranian Nation Party reports that according to informed sources, Mr. Sirjani was killed by the regime, and voiced fears over the faith of another prominent opponent of the clerics, Gen. Azizollah Amir Rahimi, who has been jailed under similar charges, and is being held in a hospital ward for psychiatric evaluations'.

 



 

 

 

 


 

 






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