One feature of current events in the Middle East is that the three Islamic movements that perhaps deserve the greatest respect and recognition from the global Ummah are standing together against the onslaught from the West. Hamas and Hizbullah are directly engaged in conflict with the US’s regional proxy, Israel, while the Islamic State of Iran stands alone among Muslim countries in offering their unconditional political and material support to both, and is being attacked by the US and Israel for precisely that reason. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that from the West’s point of view, Iran is as much a target in this war as Hamas and Hizbullah.
[Pic: Nasrallah with Iranian president Ahmedinajad]
The Islamic State of Iran has been the leading edge of the global Islamic movement ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. For all the prior attempts of Islamic movements in different parts of the world to achieve the goals of liberating the Muslim world from Western hegemony, and to re-establish the political and social structures of Islam, it was the Islamic Revolution that created the momentum that has made the global Islamic movement the dominant force in contemporary history. Yet for much of the last 28 years, it has not been granted the respect and recognition it deserves. The reasons for this are manifold. It has been subjected to intense propaganda from both the West and Muslim regimes, designed specifically to obscure its real importance. It has also been marginalised on sectarian grounds; much of the poison of sectarianism that currently blights the Ummah has been deliberately generated to minimise the influence of the Islamic Revolution. And of course, it has also suffered from the consequences of mistakes made by its own officials and functionaries; no-one should have expected that the first Islamic state of the modern era would be perfect.
However, many within the Islamic movement have always recognised the fact that, for all its errors and even stupidities, the Islamic State of Iran stands apart and above every other Islamic movement in the world, in terms of its success in establishing an Islamic state, however flawed, and its longevity in surviving everything its enemies have thrown at it for nearly three decades. One of the points to Iran’s credit has been its refusal to make any sort of compromise with the zionist state and its steadfast support for the Islamic movements directly confronting zionism, both in Palestine and in Lebanon.
For much of the last few years, Muslims around the world have failed to recognise Iran’s position for a variety of reasons. A far less credible Islamic movement, reflecting the salafist-jihadist trend in the Ummah, has been deliberately promoted against it, and has been deeply sectarian in its approach, doing the unity and body politic of the Ummah massive damage in the process. It now appears that, after years of manoeuvring for position, the West is preparing for increasingly direct attacks on Islamic Iran, in order to destroy the very heart of the contemporary Islamic movement. There are signs, however, that the Ummah may still instinctively recognise Iran’s importance and be able to acknowledge it, and the Islamic movements that are inspired by it and model themselves on it, as the true face of the Islamic movement, and deserving of the Ummah’s support in every form.
One effect of the suffering in Ghazzah and Lebanon is to rally the Ummah behind Islamic Iran. If so, the West may discover that all their efforts to marginalise Iran in recent years have failed to have the effect they desired.