The Islamic Uprising in Iran a quarter of a century ago is too important and too special for Muslims to simply watch it wander from its original and true course. We remember all too clearly the impact this breakthrough had on Muslims everywhere. For the first time in modern history, Muslims had risen against a corrupt government and its imperialist and zionist sponsors, and were able to take control of their own country, and begin to show the rest of us how things should be done.
Of course, the road forward was not likely to be smooth. The sponsors of the Pahlavi regime could not be expected to sit and watch a people shape their own future on the basis of their Islamic faith and commitment. Throughout the last 25 years, America and Israel have been working to bring the Islamic government in Iran to its knees, with the support of their Western allies, Iran’s pro-Western neighbours and even supporters within Iran. Iran’s borders amount to some 8,000 kilometers; American troops are now based across six thousand kilometers of this border. This grim scenario has been gradually built over 25 years, and has passed almost unnoticed by most Muslims, and even most Iranians. There has never been any cessation of hostilities between the followers of the line of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), who refuse to compromise when it comes to the independence and sovereignty of the Islamic state, and the numerous other interests wanting to shape the state on their terms.
Part of our object in this new column is to look at some of the gaps that have developed since the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), many of which are rooted in earlier events, and how these gaps have caused serious problems about which we can no longer remain silent. But before we walk into this sensitive area, one point needs to be made absolutely clear. This is that none of the points we make are intended to express any criticism of Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the successor to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as Rahbar of the Islamic State. Many of the points we make will be highlighting natural processes in the evolution of post-Revolutionary state and society. Others will indeed involve criticism of errors and failures in Iran, mainly on the part of those who have been responsible for aspects of Iranian government and policy at the executive level. It was inevitable that such errors and failures should emerge over a quarter of a century in an unprecedented and highly-pressured historical situation; unfortunately they have contributed greatly to what many now see as the Islamic experiment’s current stagnation.
Sometimes frank statements of truth can be bitter pills to swallow; we hope no-one will consider this column to be too bitter a pill. We say what we say only to express our honest understanding of the issues. If we are correct, we appeal earnestly to Allah to accept our humble words to our humble readers. If not, we request Allah’s forgiveness and correction from anyone able to do so; without, we hope, descending into personal issues or hidden agendas. Ameen.
On 20 March, 2003, the government of the USA sent its full range of armed forces intoIraq, obliterating its infrastructure and smashing its civil life like a lion devouring a rabbit. Since then almost one million men, women and children have been killed, and uncounted others have been wounded. No one wants to say so, but consequently the Iraqi people are teetering on the brink.
Even if the war were to miraculously stop today, it will take years and decades to dig through the rubble and identify all the victims of this aggression. The families of these Iraqi (Sunni, Shi‘i, Arab, and Kurd) victims, civilians and non-combatants, whose mistake was to be born and live in Iraq at such times, some of them sitting in their living rooms, others sound asleep in their bedrooms, others weeping and waiting for this war to end, desperate for a return to normal times and normal life, these families in the hundreds of thousands are living proof of American occupation, aggression and a war that may last for centuries – as has been said by officials belonging to the war party in Washington, DC.
Trying to survive from day to day, the Iraqis can no longer see the larger picture. They do not understand that their plight is directly related to the Islamic State of Iran, next door to them. For 28 years, since that tumultuous day when imperialism and Zionism were expelled from Islamic Iran, since that rapturous moment, the imperialist government of the US has been getting away with murder, and, if things continue this way, with genocide. The military-industrial-banking complex in the US used Saddam and the Ba‘ath party until they became useless; then they disposed of them. Now the US wants to use the enemies of Saddam and the Ba‘ath party until they become useless; then dispose of them without a pinch to the conscience.
The hell-hole that Iraq has become was patronized, manipulated and exploited by US administrations from the very “independence” of Iraq. And despite all the crimes against humanity committed by successive US administrations, there has never been a single body of any sort that might take the US government to task for its initiated occupation (Iraq), supported occupation (Palestine) and nurtured occupations (the fifty-odd nation-states imposed on the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims) – all of which have become a horror-house of wars, conflicts and repression.
An independent court of law would easily find the US government guilty of organizing, advising, and equipping regimes hostile to Islam from Mindanao to Morocco. The fact of the matter is there is not at present enough independence in the whole world to bring theUS to a court of justice. Islamic Iran is in a position of independence to be able to call an international judicial body of lawyers, historians, and officials who would be able to make a solid case against the US for all its crimes on every continent of the world. Does that mean that Islamic Iran would be willing to do so? Or are there other “diplomatic” and “political” priorities that take precedence over these American crimes of the century? The victims of US terrorism go all the way back to the age of slavery, extend into the territories of Latin America, and then spread into southeast Asia (Vietnam, Korea, Japan, etc.), and from there to Central Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.), then to Iraq and Palestine, and then full circle back to Africa, where the slave trade began – but this time not on the Western shores of the continent but on the Eastern shores (Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, etc.).
While American leaders are thumbing their noses at China (the White House’s reception of the Dalai Lama), Russia (installing US missile-systems in Eastern Europe against the Russian Federation), and Latin America (enacting laws against “illegal” Latino immigrants to expel them from the US), they are making it easier for the Islamic state and movement to gather a world-wide constituency, judiciary, and audience that will place the US’s ruling elites and their allies (banks, multinationals and their ilk) in the dock. This will send a strong and clear message to the US and its terrorist subsidiaries, such as Israel: You cannot kill Muslims and oppressed peoples without consequences any more; you can and will be held accountable. The Islamic state and movement, along with the oppressed peoples, have one more tool in the world war against imperialism and zionism. The cost of American and Israeli occupation and terrorism is about to go up.
Once the terrorist credentials of imperialism and zionism are established in a court of law, there should be a divestment campaign to withdraw all assets and currencies from such entities as support American and Israeli occupations and terrorism. Imperialism and zionism, when the economic shock comes, will not withstand the implosion. We can expect a last bout of militarism the economic capitalist beast is cut off from its natural sources and resources. They do not want to be held accountable for what they have done in their expansionist past and what they are doing in their “save-Israel-at-all-costs” present. They don’t want the Islamic state and movement to have a superstructure of ethics and a substructure of Scriptural law that can deter imperialist aggression and zionist occupation. They don’t want to face the possibility that their government, currently under mounting domestic criticism for its mismanagement of the war and the sinking of its economy (for the first time ever, the value of the American dollar has fallen below that of the Canadian dollar), may lose investments that yield substantial income.
Governments such as the US have a long record of supporting terrorist regimes and protecting with flesh and funds the zionist establishment in Palestine. From now on we should say to them: enough is enough, and never again.
None of us want the events of March 2003 and since to be repeated, even though there is a strong lobby in Washington that is pushing for a “bomb Iran” campaign. US aggression and wars have been repeated far too many times already in living memory – not to speak of centuries past. The invasion of Granada, the invasion of Panama, the occupation ofAfghanistan, and the occupation of Iraq are just a few examples of recent barbarities and atrocities perpetrated by the US.
In the Qur’an, Allah says: “And because they have been wronged, those who are victims of aggression are authorized [by God to fight]; indeed God has the power to succour them.” (Q. 22:39)
The American state department will remain in crisis as long as it affirms Zionism as strongly as it rejects Muslims’ autonomy and independence. A new US military presence inLebanon, as is rumored to be the case, will only draw the US further and further into demoralization and an unending war. And the rulers in Muslim territories who sit on the imperialist side of the issues will fiddle with their dead-end diplomacy until they arehonored in the wax museums of their imperialist patrons, if they are honoured at all.
Hail to an Islamic state and movement that will defend the oppressed and offend the oppressors!