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The Islamic Revolution: Twenty-Six Years of Struggle and Resistance

Muhammad Baqer Ansari
Department of International Affairs of the Rahbari
(The office of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution).
The Institute for Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) conference in Toronto marking the 26th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution was attended by several senior Islamic movement leaders. This is the
paper presented by HUJJATUL-ISLAM MOHAMMAD BAQER
ANSARI of the Department of International Affairs of
the Rahbari (the office of the Leader of the Islamic
Revolution).
After fifteen years of endeavour against the
US-supported regime of the Shah in Iran, under the
leadership of Imam Khomeini (ra), the Iranian people
were finally successful in 1979, when the Islamic
Revolution of Iran proved victorious.
In the dawn of this important historical event, the
two contemporary schools of kufr thought, namely
communism and liberal democracy, both came out
completely against it. This was why one of the main
slogans of the Revolution was "Not east, not west, but
Islamic republic" (derived from ayah 24:33 of the Holy
Qur'an). The object of the revolution was to create a
model Islamic system to stand in contrast to the
existing systems of kufr, to save human beings from
cruelty, corruption and ignorance.
Although Islamic Iran was immediately challenged by
the two dominant secular schools of thought, the
challenge was not primarily ideological, but
political, military and economic. Communism, however,
was already on the verge of collapse in the Soviet
Union, after 70 years, because of the lack of its
competence and its incompatibility with the nature of
human beings and human societies. With the decline
and collapse of communism, western liberal democracy
considered itself victorious and thought that it could
dominate the whole globe without challenge. Only the
Islamic Revolution in Iran presented an alternative,
Islam as a progressive school of thought and as a way
of life that has attracted attention of many people
all over the world, even inside western societies.
For years, the West deliberately built up a positive
image of liberal democracy by proclaiming ideals such
as freedom, human rights, respect for laws, universal
civilization, and so on. Despite its blatant double
standards in these issues, in both western countries
and others, they largely succeeded in maintaining the
claim to being the best model and philosophy for the
life of all peoples, although ordinary people all over
the world knew better. But after the events of
September 11, 2001, and the Bush administration's
declaration of war against "terrorism", liberal
democracy was cracked and its real nature exposed.

The realities of liberal democracy
There is no need to remind people of the things that
are happening in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at
Guantanamo, or of the daily realities of events in
Palestine and elsewhere. All these are well known to
the supporters of democracy. There is also no need to
mention the barbaric deeds of the exporters of
democracy in Iraq, such as the trade in the organs of
wounded Iraqis, western democracies have never
followed the international laws and conventions of war
in their own wars against other countries. The USA's
use of its atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in
Japan has been followed by the use of abnormal
weaponry in the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan
recently. During the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran,
Saddam Hussain used chemical weapons provided by
western countries.
The conclusion that millions of people have rightly
reached is that the greatest gifts that the liberal
democracies have given people have never been anything
but cruelty, corruption, war, debauch and lechery.
The result is that today human beings all over the
world live in a situation defined by fear, decadence,
immorality and terrorism.
Today, the USA cannot deny the appalling consequences
of the export-by-war of its so-called democracy to
Afghanistan and Iraq. The world is watching the
spread of the cultivation of opium all over
Afghanistan, and the daily bloodshed and terror in
Iraq. It is clear to all that America is interested
only in promoting its own interests, without paying
the slightest attention to the rights or interests of
other peoples. Who knows the full cost of the
American invasion of Iraq - how many barrels of Iraqi
oil, and how much of its national resources, have been
transferred to the USA during its occupation of the
country, quite apart from the mass killing of ordinary
Iraqi people, including children, old men and women.
The problem is that the exporters of liberal democracy
are utter absolutists. They are of the opinion that
only they themselves are the arbiters of what is right
and correct. They believe that all other peoples and
nations of the world, if they do not agree with the
Western liberal democrats, are wrong and ignorant, and
they must be made to do as they are told. Meanwhile,
we see the appalling situation of the western
societies, the base and foothold of liberal democracy,
where the foundations of family life are endangered,
homosexuality is spreading, and the levels of murder
and other crimes are constantly increasing.
Within their own societies too they show the same
double standards, and the same lies and deceit, that
they show in dealing with the other nations. When
Salman Rushdie wrote his blasphemous book against
Islam and Muslims, the west offered him total support
him on the grounds of "freedom of expression". The
British government have spent millions of pounds on
his protection, including repeatedly changing his
place of residence on grounds of security. But when
French writer Roger Garaudy published his book, in
which he questioned the truth of the holocaust of the
Jews by the Nazis during the World War II, he was
sentenced by a court in Paris to a fine of 160,000
francs and a suspended nine month prison term. It is
interesting that after the verdict was issued he said:
"The doors of media are closed to me."
More recently, in the USA, we have the issue of the
film Fahrenheit 911, made by Michael Moore and heavily
attacked because its content is not acceptable to the
Bush administration. We also now find the Lebanese
television channel al-Manar banned first in France and
then in the USA. Is not all this inconsistent with
claims to uphold the ideal of "freedom of expression"?
On the issue of "human rights", also much-vaunted by
the West, nowadays no one doubts that it is a stick
used by the West against the peoples, governments and
ideologies that do not agree with their policy.
Everyone can see the double standards in their
approach to issues of the rights of human beings in
different parts of the world.
And now we also have the issue of nuclear energy.
Everyone can see the way in which the West is
targeting Iran, which aspires to have this technology
and use it in peaceful ways, while Israel totally
ignores international laws, agreements and
institutions such as the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) and is left completely free to develop
its nuclear weapons.
What are we supposed to learn from all of this? That
only western liberal democracy is right and all other
peoples' philosophies and ideas are wrong? That all
people and nations all over the world must follow them
and provide them their interests? The question that
arises is whether there is any alternative for other
peoples to this model of western fascism and
dictatorship.

Achievements of the Islamic movement
Given the reality summarised here, it is perfectly
clear that western liberal democracy and its armed and
violent heralds have neither the will nor the ability
to save human beings' society and solve its problems.
Instead, human beings and societies must turn to the
divine teachings of the prophets and follow their
words and commandments. The holy Qur'an says :
Indeed they who believe [Muslims], the Jews, the
Christians and the Sabians - those of them who have
faith in Allah and the Last Day and act righteously -
they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they
will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
(2:62)
The message of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, which
was founded and led by a pious and committed leader,
namely Imam Khomeini, was precisely this. He
encouraged the whole Muslim Ummah, and all the
oppressed people of the world, to understand
themselves, to rely on God, the Almighty, and to rise
against their oppressors to achieve their rights.
The Iranian people, and many others in different parts
of the world, Muslims and non-Muslims, have come to
understand the realities of their situation, and
turned to the Islamic movements that provide the only
true leadership which has been a good model for
Muslims and other oppressed peoples. One of the most
important achievements of the Islamic Revolution,
therefore, is the global awareness and understanding
about the world powers and the policies of the
oppressors that has emerged among ordinary people.
The Islamic Revolution of Iran proved that a nation is
able to stand on their own feet, and to live in
genuine independence, despite the opposition, anger,
dollars and armaments of the global powers. It has
also proved that a country is able to progress in
technology, agriculture and other dimensions of modern
life without Western involvement. Moreover, it has
also showed clearly that a "divine democracy",
combining Islamic values and institutions with
democratic institutions, can be the best philosophy
for the organization and administration of the
collective lives of people, for it guarantees both the
moral dimension of life and scientific and
technological progress.
The Islamic Revolution also proves that a country can
stand against the aggression of global enemies,
combining the powers of both the western and communist
imperialists, as proved by Iran's survival and
successful emergence from eight years of an imposed
war.
The establishment of a genuine Islamic government in
Iran, which brought in Islamic laws, regulations and
norms in the daily life of the Iranian people, proved
that Islam, as a divine and truly progressive
religion, can save the mankind from spiritual and
worldly decadence. After many ups and downs in their
history during the last two or three centuries, the
Iranian nation, under the light of Imam Khomeini's
brilliant leadership, faced the fact that they must,
for once and for all, turn away from the
self-proclaimed civilisation of the western countries,
based on moral corruption, illegal force, false
facades and the policies of carrot and stick. It is
clear that the masters of such a civilisation have
never thought of the interests of the weak and
oppressed; rather, they are always seeking their own
interests, even though it may result in war and the
mass slaughter of ordinary people. The first and
second world wars are evidence of their avarice and
drive for domination. They also believe that they
have won a third world war, the 'Cold War' against
communism. Now some of the US intellectuals think
that they are fighting a fourth world war against
Islam.
What the west calls globalisation is in truth nothing
but the imposed domination of US power and western
liberal democracy over the whole world. However, it
should be borne in mind that historical experience and
also Divine revelation both tell us that the dominance
of a self-appointed and oppressive ruler can never be
maintained for ever. The iron will of ordinary
peoples, and resistance to imperialism, has always
been a hard and rigid block against the avarice of the
arrogant.
The holy Qur'an says (50:36):
How many generations have We destroyed before them,
who were stronger in power than these, then they run
for refuge in the lands! Could they find any place of
escape? (50:36).
Numerous other ayaat offer similar warnings; see for
example, 6:6, 10:13, 19:74 and 98, 20:128, 28:58,
32:26, and 43:8. The ayah quoted also reminds one of
the fate of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of
Iran, as he travelled fearfully from one country to
another - including Egypt, Morocco, the Bahamas,
Mexico, the USA and Panama - between his flight from
Iran on January 15, 1979, and his death the following
year.
Last but not least, it is not out of place to point
out frankly that many Christians nowadays have left
their religious teachings or abuse them. They,
especially the Christian Zionists, are complicit in
every American crime and oppression. As Bush
inadvertently admitted on one occasion, they have
started another crusade under the name of the "war
against terrorism". Their crimes dwarf those of the
Muslims who have also gone astray and misuse Islamic
teachings to justify the pursuit of their objectives
by terrorist actions, something that is absolutely
unacceptable to Islam.
Therefore we should call the holy prophet Jesus (as),
saying: "O apostle of Allah! Today some of your
followers have gone astray and they cause corruption
and shed blood in the earth! May you pray for them to
leave oppression, otherwise they may be destroyed!"
And we should also call to the Holy Prophet of Islam,
saying: "O the Last Prophet of Allah! Some of your
followers have misunderstood the teachings of Islam
and have caused infamy for your religion. May you ask
Almighty Allah to guide them to His right path!"
Mohammad B. Ansari,
Tehran, winter 2005 (1383 AH).

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