The Colonialism the Worst Phenomenon of Human History
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Friday Prayer Sermon 6: (August 17, 1984)
In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon his descendants, the infallible Imams. I seek refuge with Allah (SWT) from the accursed Shaytan.
"Surely Allah enjoins doing of justice, doing of good (to others) and giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency, evil and oppression; He admonishes you that you may be mindful (16: 90)."
Reliance on an Illusory Claim
In the course of several khutbas so far delivered, we have pointed out that the last five hundred years of the world history constitute the history of the dominance of Western arrogance over the people of other continents. We can see the root of this dominance in Europe. Asia, Africa, Oceanea, and America had been the main areas of this oppressive movement during this period. They set forth the doctrine of racial superiority to exonerate themselves. They rely on the illusory claim that the white and Aryan race possesses inherent superiorities and so it has the right to be the standard-bearer of humanity, and that its natural privileges give it the right to have privileges in life, in the fields of politics, economy, administration, etc.
This was the essence of our previous discussions. We have stated that, opposed to this, there is the viewpoint of Islam which has not given such a right to any race, sees humanity as a whole, negates the concept of the superior race, and gives the rights to human beings through specific acquired competences by way of knowledge, action, taqwa, and endeavour. Islam does not believe in the natural supremacy of any human being over others. Its approach towards all peoples and nations is regulated on this basis. I have also explained that this discussion is of utmost necessity for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolution which we set forth for export and regard ourselves as the bearers of the Divine message and the interpreters of Islam in the modern world which is full of aberrations. Although this discussion does not have much use inside the country, this ideology will be very beneficial and illuminating for the Muslims outside Iran who have set their eyes on Islam, such as in the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and remote corners of the world. Therefore, I selected this discussion considering it as one of the duties of the one who delivers khutab of the main Salatul-Jumu`ah in the capital (Tehran) of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I have already pointed out what miseries the Europeans have brought on other nations in the last five hundred years, i.e., after the Renaissance by way of illusory claims; what is going on inside America - which is now the embodiment of Europe of the past; and what crimes have been perpetrated in the entire continent of Africa.
The Colonialism - The Worst Phenomenon of Human History
The new form of colonialism, which had been dominant all over the world and the international relations for the past three or four centuries up to the present time, is the worst phenomenon of human history from the time of Hadrat Adam (A) to the present. It is even worse than that at the time of the Mogul domination. Perhaps people who hear this will be surprised that nothing could be worse than the Mogul domination with all the bloodshed and crimes committed. Of course, if someone investigates the relations which they claim to have a humanitarian aspect, he might not believe it, but when we go deep into the matter, we must say that the ugliest chapter of human history from the early centuries to the present is this very period of a few recent centuries during which the Europeans have had the domination over the other parts of the world, and have committed oppressive acts and are still committing them. This is a very challenging statement. It is exactly contrary to the claim of the onward progress which the Europeans make for themselves.
A point worthy of mention is that colonialism is not confined to the past or the present, rather from the day that there was a powerful and a weak (person) in the world and that human beings were divided into two groups: powerful and weak, oppressor and oppressed, a form of exploitation and colonialism, that is, reaping benefit from others and somehow trampling the rights of others, has existed. But with the specific form which the European governments of recent centuries regulated with such principles, foundations, secondary principles, branches, and claims, it is only their characteristic specific form. With such great dimensions of coercion, oppression, plunder, and pillage, it can only be found in this period of human history. These are things which cannot be compared with matters existing in past wars and attacks on other nations. In the future too, we do not know how it will turn out. Two vivid phases separate the history. One phase of the history is very new and we are still in it. And the other phase continued for two or three centuries and ended approximately about the (time of the) Second World War. The first phase which is long and extensive is the period of official colonization and the second phase which has continued from 1945 up to the present, i.e., forty years, is the new method of colonization and needs some elaboration which wily be explicated in future khutab.
What Does Isti`mar (Colonialism or Colonization) Mean?
Before anything else, the meaning of isti`mar (colonialism or colonization) must be clarified. In Persian and in our own literature, we do not have a term to convey this purport. The term "isti`mar" is Arabic from the root of "umran", meaning construction and development. This epithet can be attributed to whoever endeavours with the aim of construction; development and cultivation. Now it is not clear why the Arabs used this term isti`mar for colonialism or colonization, and why we used it later in Iran. Its European root is "colonize". Its old Latin form was "colonia" and they used it as "colony" derived from French. It seems that at first the settlers who went in groups to a particular area and cultivated it were called “colonists" and the area was called a "colony". And this movement or policy was called "colonialism".
So far the term had normal aspects and there was nothing in it. This was a reality. That is to say, it has always been such. Whenever the population of an area increased, a group would go to a place which was empty and settlement would be established there for the sake of animal husbandry, farming, commerce, navigation, and other purposes. The primary stages of this movement were almost like this. That is, at first when the Europeans felt their own land was too small for living, they decided to go to other parts of the world which were larger. When they succeeded in conquering the sea and taking possession of weapons and passing the seas and reaching Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the entire continent of America, these exploitations commenced. They chose colonies in nooks and corners of the world. In the early days, they would not primarily enter the countries. They would remain in the coasts and establish relations from there until during the last several centuries, issues took complicated shapes.
Truly, it is a strange history in our world. By and by, this movement went on until the colonizers entered the houses of people and nearly went everywhere in the world. There is not a single place where they have not stepped into. For instance, they moved from a small country such as the Netherlands or Portugal, or a place as big as one of our provinces. They passed the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean and reached the Pacific Ocean, and colonized the territories of the people in the Pacific Ocean. It is strange why they did so and how they acquired such a power. The British were proud that the sun never sets in the British Empire, and it was really so. That is, any part of the world which was in day-light, was under the British Empire. They were also in China, Argentina, Syria, India, and elsewhere. The earth was like a big ball and any part which had the daylight was under the dominion of the Queen of Great Britain with the flag of Britain flying over it. And during this time, this was one of the matters for their pride.
The Change in the Form of Colonization in Recent Years
The Europeans felt that well, these forms of colonization are indecent and the people have become somewhat alert, so the form of colonization must be changed. There is one thing in the minds of many, especially those who have gone abroad, and have seen numerous foreign films such as the old film Marco Polo, and have heard things about abroad, they have a feeling of emulation. There is a picture in the minds of people that Europe is all developed. When one goes there, one sees numerous highways linked together. Their villages have asphalted roads. There is piped water supply everywhere. All ports are active. All the seashores and other places have been kept clean and tidy and all their parts are being utilized. When one sees that everything glitters, farms are so clean, cars are so beautiful, the entire earth, mountains, seas, forests, and others are all developed, all the people enjoy the facilities of electricity, means of transportation are very good, recreation and holiday resorts are good, hygiene and sanitation facilities are good, hospitals are available everywhere, and that in backward countries the case is quite reverse, that is everything is ruined and mixed up, an erroneous state comes to the minds of people especially the children, the youth and the youngsters who imagine that perhaps these people have had a merit to reach this development in a period of time.
They normally do not go deep into the roots of this matter as to why it has become such. The truth of the matter is that for about four or five hundred years, the case has been such that the wealth of the world’s diamonds, gold, ivories, and priceless mines - for a gram of which there is controversy in fixing a price - and other facilities of the world were accumulated there to build their own land. The foundations of these countries were setup, when they had not allowed other people to even think of these matters. Roads, railroads, tunnels, excavation of mines, and all these facilities - for which we must now spend millions of dollars to build - were built by them at that time with our resources. They do not now have these expenses while we have to spend huge sums of money to build our countries. Building ports, coasts, roads, and power plants are things which they do not have to fret over now. They have completed all their infrastructural facilities when they made use of various facilities of others. If a shallow person now sees these, he would become inspired now by foreign countries, by Europe, or by America. He will feel inferior because of his nation, race, people, and soil. And unfortunately this condition does exist in the minds of people of backward countries and it cannot be rectified. People have this state. Still the same current of wealth flows from this region to that region and anti-wealth (poverty) flows from that region to this region. From the time it started, it has undergone an upward trend until the present time and did not have a downward trend so far.
The Conditions of World Countries after World War II
In the year 1945, that is, after the Second World War, a conference was convened in San Francisco, U.S.A., to look into the status of religion. In this conference, only eleven independent countries from the entire continent of Africa and continent of Asia took part, i.e., three independent African countries and eight independent Asian countries. The rest of the world countries were official colonies (I will later explain what a colony is and how people lived in these colonies). Europe and a small part of America were free. As for those few independent countries which we would not name, one of them, for instance, was Iran which was not a colony, but we ourselves know to what extent our freedom was.
A country such as India, which is now believed to have a population of six or seven hundred million - or a country such as China - which now has a population of one billion, were the colonies of a small island in the Atlantic Ocean called Britain - an island with an area of fifty or sixty thousand square kilometres which becomes somewhat larger with Scotland and Ireland, and which now has a population of forty or fifty million, which has recently increased to sixty million, and at that time its population was even lower - with this small expanse of land - had dominated over this entire area, which included India and China. More than one hundred countries, thousands of islands, and these areas of the world served as the colonies of the colonizing countries. Countries such as Britain and France had a large number of colonies while Portugal, Holland, and Germany had a smaller number, of colonies. Europe, with its coquetry, affluence and claim together with all this expertise, which now speaks of human rights and at times claims to support the oppressed, and takes the credit of developing and building other areas, was once devouring the huge resources of mankind all over the world, and amassing wealth from these huge resources.It then built its own area but devastated other areas. I will later refer to documents for these statements to show how they treated the people, and what they plundered and are still plundering. Only the term for covering these acts has changed.
The Claim of Colonialism
How did they deal with the people, and what sources of wealth did they pillage to make their areas flourish? When one looks at the list of things they pillaged, one feels chagrin and wants to cry and curse from the bottom of his heart as to the fact that humanity is in such misery and abomination that it wants to satisfy itself by casting the other people into wretchedness.
For instance, suppose a person enters this university campus, where all this massive gathering is sitting in this hot weather, and then for his own comfort and enjoyment, he annoys the people and ridicules them. How would you feel towards this person? The Europeans treated the people of the other areas of the world in this manner. Right now, we have more than fifty independent countries in Africa, tens of independent countries in Asia, tens of now independent countries in Latin America, and hundreds of small and large islands in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and in nooks and corners of the world. All of these were regarded as European countries, and the matter was so important to them that they had a ministry in their country called the Ministry of Colonies.
The minister of colonies, like the foreign minister who now appoints ambassadors for (different) countries, used to appoint rulers for the colonies. These rulers went to the specified country, ruled over it, brought to their own country whatever was useful for it, and took any useless or extra items and instruments not needed for their own country to their colony. For example, they plundered oil resources, wood, ivory, coconut, coffee, rubber, diamond, works of art, and expensive carpets. If they found a talented person, they would also take him along with them as a good labourer. They treated the entire world in this way. On the other hand, their factories started weaving and producing, and they dumped cloth and other goods on these countries in any way they found necessary. It was they who determined the mode of consumption in these countries, and only they used to fix up the prices of the goods. This is the meaning of a colony and colonization; a very beautiful word, which smacks of development and construction is thus manipulated for the sake of devastation of others. The commencement of the Second World War gave way to novel conditions and Liberation movements of the world became powerful. They felt that they could no longer officially govern these countries from the British Island, Elysee Palace, or similar places. They got together and passed an international law stipulating that all countries should be freed. Through this law, they created a new condition to stave off people's hatred. Yet the presence of colonizing forces in these countries is a new condition known as neo-colonialism with which we will deal later.
Islam and the Countries
In sharp contrast to these crimes, Islam's treatment towards other peoples and nations can be highlighted. By no means Islam allows a country to harass other nations and peoples, to loot their resources, and thus provide itself in the name of a conqueror or of a superior race. This is regarded as one of the most indecent deeds in Islam, even if the country consists of disbelievers. I will mention one or two points with regard to this kind of treatment. In future discussions, we will deal with this subject with more documents and proofs to enlighten the world as to the justice which will rule over human society, if one day the Islamic civilization, in its true sense, sways the world. During the lifetime of the Prophet (S), there are two points which have not as yet been studied in detail. I will present it as a proof and, Allah (SWT) willing, it will then be elaborated. During and after the conquest of Makkah, in the Battle of Hunayn, there are some facts which the historians at times encounter, but fail to give reasoning. Of course, some of them give certain hints.
The general pardon and forgiveness which the Holy Prophet (S) performed in Makkah and he distribution he made of the booties after the Battle of Hunayn is very interesting considering the fact that Makkah was one of the most troublesome areas during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah as they troubled him so much, as long as the Holy Prophet (S) lived in Makkah. Even when the Holy Prophet (S) migrated to Madinah and established it as the centre of Islam, Makkah still served as the focal point for opposition to the Holy Prophet (S). All the intrigues took their shape in Makkah. The people of Makkah used to instigate the tribes and the people, and fan the flames of battles against the Holy Prophet (S)
The Pardon Granted to Makkah
When the Holy Prophet (S) conquered Makkah, the entire Arab Peninsula expected a total destruction of Makkah and the plundering of the people of Makkah. They also felt that the people of Makkah should pay the price for the crimes they perpetrated against the Holy Prophet (S) for the past twenty years. The Holy Prophet (S), however, did not treat the people of Makkah as a conqueror would do. Read the history of wars in the world. Study the history of battles of that time, and then also go through the accounts of the battles fought by the Holy Prophet (S). At that time, it was the rule and custom of warfare that the defeated forces used to become slaves and servants of the conquerors. Their entire property belonged, without exception, to the conquerors and the latter acted in any way it pleased them.
Madinah, which had spent for Islam its entire resources all over these eight years, and which felt that the source of all these troubles and losses rested in Makkah, should have taken vengeance when it conquered Makkah. It should have retrieved the money it had spent and replaced its lost soldiers with' them. But amidst the amazement of all those who were present, the Holy Prophet (S) did not permit the slightest encroachment upon the honour and property of the people of Makkah. After the conquest of Makkah, two tribes by the names of Hawazin and Thaqif which were rich and had wielded great authority in the region deceived Banu Sa`d which had foster-relationship with the Holy Prophet (S). These three tribes rebelled against the Holy Prophet (S). Thirty thousand soldiers with great facilities came outside Makkah, pitched camps, and became ready to fight. Up to that time, such an army had never confronted the Holy Prophet (S). The Holy Prophet (S) mobilized a troop of twelve thousand warriors. The Holy Qur'an says the following about the Holy Prophet's troops:
"Certainly Allah helped you in many battlefields and on the day of Hunayn, when your great numbers made you vain, but they availed you nothing and the earth became strait to you not withstanding its spaciousness, then you turned back retreating (9:25)."
The Holy Prophet (S) went to fight with them. In the Battle of Hunayn, he at first suffered a defeat for a brief period due to hiding and running away of some of his disciples. Immediately, the Messenger (S) of Allah commenced a new offensive and defeated them. The heads of the enemy troops escaped to Al-Ta'if and elsewhere yet their entire belongings including six thousand prisoners of war, twenty-four thousand camels, more than forty thousand sheep, a large quantity of silver, and household goods, i.e., a huge amount of booties fell into the hands of the Holy Prophet (S). Such a wealth had never come into the hands of the Prophet (S) in all other battles.
At this point, the Holy Prophet (S) encountered the issue in a way which was criticized at that time by those close to him. In Banu Sa`d there was a lady by the name of Halimah hint Abi Dhu'ayb As-Sa`diyyah who had suckled the Holy Prophet (S) in his childhood. The daughter of sister of Halimah As-Sa`diyyah, who was called Shayma' and was the foster-sister of the Holy Prophet (S), made an appointment with the Messenger (S) of Allah and went to see him. When the Holy Prophet (S) recognized that she was his foster-sister, he stood up in her honour, spread his al- `aba' (gown) on the floor, requested her to sit on al- `aba', and showed great courtesy to her. Some history books point out that Shayma' became their intercessor. In some sources it is stated that a group of people from Al-Ta'if went to the Prophet (S) and interceded with him to treat them in a compassionate manner.
The Holy Prophet (S) expressed willingness to pardon them. He asked whether they wanted to retrieve their property or their men (taken captive). They chose their men to be released. The Prophet (S) said: "I condone my share and that of `Abdul-Muttalib." The Muhajirun (the immigrants who migrated from Makkah to Madinah along with the Prophet Muhammad (S) and Ansar (the inhabitants of Madinah who helped Prophet Muhammad (S) also condoned their shares, so did the other tribes. But some tribes did not do so.
The wars and booties of wars of the early periods of Islam were not handled like the present time. People who fought in the wars used to pay the expenses of the war themselves, the arms belonged to themselves, and each person or several people together paid the money, or contributed swords and armour. In short, the wars were totally administered with the help and power of the people. The wealth and consequently the booties also belonged to the people. The government only took one-fifth of the war-booty and the rest, according to the Islamic jurisprudence, was divided among themselves.
The Holy Prophet (S) had decided not to take these booties to Madinah. When one now looks at this issue, he sees an interesting point in it. If these properties were to be used, these should have been given to the people of Madinah who had for seven or eight years spent all their wealth in the cause of Islam, who had no work or business or savings, and who had spent whatever they earned in the defensive wars of Islam. They really deserved to take some part of these booties and compensate for these expenses already incurred. When the Holy Prophet (S) distributed the war-booty, he gave nothing to the Ansar who were his closest disciples. This was like an explosion in the camp of the Prophet (S) and in the entire area. The Prophet (S) distributed the booty among the Arab tribes on the basis of the Islamic Principle:
"And those whose hearts are made to incline principle (to truth)." (9:60)
The main point behind this matter was that the Holy Prophet (S) did not want the property and wealth of the tribesmen and people of these poor towns be collected and used for the development and welfare of another area. The Prophet (S) did not take anything of these booties. Neither he gave anything to the Ansar who were from Madinah. Nor did he keep this booty in the public treasury. He returned these properties to the people of the same place. One of the friends of the Holy Prophet (S) came to him and said: "Something bad is happening and people are talking about it. Some tell their families that you have not even brought a needle for them." Because the Prophet (S) had asked one of his men who had given a needle to his wife to sew his clothes to return that needle to the public treasury. The Prophet (S) was so meticulous.
The Prophet (S) said: "Gather all the Ansar."They gathered the Ansar in a place and the Messenger of Allah delivered a sermon to them saying: "Do you remember that you were misled and I guided you. You were under oppression and I freed you. You had differences and grudges and I united you." He also explained whatever Islam had done for them. They all said: "These things are true." Then the Holy Prophet (S) stated: "I know that there might be questions in your minds. You will tell me: `You were banished and we gave you refuge. You were devoid of shelter and we supported you. You had been defeated and we assisted you. And today you have become victorious over the entire region.' You would be right if you say so. I was also like this and you helped me."
The Holy Prophet then said: "If the entire world is put on one side and the Ansar on the other, I am with you. Do not think hat I will separate from you."
After thanking them, the Messenger of Allah said: "Would you like the people to return with the property and you to return with the Prophet? You do not want the other people to go to their own regions with sheep and camels but you yourself go with your Prophet?"
After hearing the statements of the Holy Prophet (S), they cried so much that tears made their beards wet. They said: "We are taking the best share and we are happy to submit in this way."
Thus, the Holy Prophet (S) took no wealth in the midst of an ocean of wealth at a time when wealth was extremely necessary for the people of Madinah and at a time when many people of Madinah had no homes, no means for their marriage, no camel, mount, or sword for fighting or for travelling, so much so that when the Messenger of Allah wanted to go to battle (read the account under Suratut-Tawbah of the Holy Qur'an), he did not have means of warfare and transportation for those who wanted to take part in the battle. And because there was no means of transportation to take them to the battle, these individuals used to cry and return. That is to say, the Prophet (S) was short of even military facilities.
Yet despite all these matters, the Holy Prophet (S) did not allow to take the wealth of Hawazin and Thaqif tribes from Makkah and give this wealth to Medinah. He did not permit he development of Madinah at the expense and the destruction of Makkah. The Holy Prophet (S) did not approve of this form. This is a very sublime point. Of course, I have not seen any statements from the Holy Prophet (S) in the historical documents explicitly referring to this point. But one can realize that surely one of the secrets behind this act of the Holy Prophet (S) was not to allow a region to become poor at the cost of another area; even though the properties belonged to him and to the warriors. In this way, the Holy Prophet (S) motivates and satisfies the Ansar. Through this approach, he created difference inside his own camp for the sake of a justice, however, lest the rights of the people of a region would be trampled because Islam had gone there.
Taqwa of Governments
Now these pretentious Europeans are giving the world of Islam the lesson of justice and human rights. I will further delve into the matter in future khutab (sermons) as to how they did not observe any norms for the colonies, wherein they committed all sorts of crimes. They transferred to their own country whatever attracted them. In the European museums you can now see all precious documents and signs of honours of the people of the colonies. You can see the signs of the wealth of the people of the colonies in the streets, shops, mines, factories, deserts, jungles, and seas of Europe.
These people want to give the Muslims the lesson of justice. They assume the right of savagery vis-a-vis the Muslims who bear such signs of civilization and humanity. Then they consider themselves as the pioneers of the world. From the vantage point of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and as the interpreter of Islam, and as the one conveying the message of Islam, we want to address the modern world. The country which wants to serve humanity, which claims a universal government, which to a great extent has freed itself of ethnic, racial, cultural, and lingual prejudice, and which moves on the basis of humanity and the basic principles of creation which are equal for the entire humanity, is the government of Islamic Republic of Iran. Its centre is the House of Imam Khumayni, the Majlis (Islamic Consultative Assembly), and the Council of Guardians. With this combatant and struggling population, we give vent to the call of Islamic justice all over the world.
A reference to observing taqwa by the governments is quite appropriate to this part of my discussion, not that of individuals. It is the taqwa of governments, the taqwa of the school of thought, and the taqwa of the dominant system which must be careful not to wrongly use its power, rule, sovereignty, facilities, and influence in perverting and undermining the peoples under its rule. We observe this taqwa in Islam and among the true leaders of Islam. So our neighbouring countries, and those who think that if one day the Islamic Republic of Iran finds more elbowroom, it will plunder those areas, can rest assured that such a taqwa exists in our society, army, and Islamic Guards Corps which does not give us the power of oppression, injustice, dictatorship, and pillage of the property and honour and facilities of other nations. Rather in the light of the teachings of the Prophet (S), we are ready to spend for you those of our resources, which our people allow, and to strive for your salvation as the people of Iran did.
Friday Prayer Sermon 7: (August 24, 1984)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon his descendants, the infallible Imams. I take refuge with Allah (SWT) from the accursed Shaytan.
"O mankind! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may know (deal respectfully with) one another; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the most pious, God fearing; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware (49:13)."
The Greatest Disgrace and Abomination
Last week, the discussion was about the point that in the recent centuries, the sovereignty of the world has, directly or indirectly, been limited in the hands of a few European countries only. In none of the periods of human history there has ever been such disgraceful and abominable form of colonialism as that of the European brand. There might arise, for all and especially for the youth, the question as to how a small group of people living on an island could find such a power to wield an infernal domination all over the world, and what methods they used for such domination. Surely, those, who are aware of the present situation and see this invisible but profound domination of arrogant powers, which are no longer exclusive to Europe and include Europe, America, and part of Asia held by the Russians, can well realize how the case was in the past. But it has come to my mind to somewhat delve into these methods of acquiring power and dominion and their manner which still continues in a new form, so as to depict a visible portrait for the listeners.
The Means of Colonialism
They used many means and devices to bring the nations under the yoke of slavery. The first thing was that Europe was ahead. This is reality for which elements such as the crusades, etc., are responsible. In any case, the industrial power of the time, at the level which it had, fell into their hands, and so they got a little ahead of other nations. Then this power was used at the service of oppression, tyranny, colonization, exploitation, and arrogance as they lacked a school of thought for human development to control and systematize this power and to use it for the service of humanity. Just imagine that a few countries, with a limited area and population but industrially ahead of others and having greater facilities for achieving their inauspicious and arrogant goals, started 500 years ago. The more they went ahead day after day the more complex and profound the way of pillage they chose. They also strengthened their facilities with past experiences. They have already experimented whatever we can now imagine as the means of domination. They kept whatever was useful and abandoned whatever failed.
The first thing they employed was weaponry and a battle force which relied mostly on naval force and firearms in which they acquired good experience. From that date to the present, for several centuries, they have always had the superior weapons at their disposal. Whenever these weapons became a little outdated or others came to know about their use, they kept for themselves their better grades and sold their lower grades to others. That is, they always had the upper hand insofar as arms were concerned. The methods they used ranged from simple trade between the nations and governments to purchasing land in the countries concerned; to drawing up long-term contracts; to bribing the heads of tribes, influential figures, khans, headmen; to finding mercenaries in the protectorate; to granting loans to people and governments which always had great dangers in its train; to obtaining privileges which constitute the most important part of neo-colonialism; and to sponsoring propagational, ethical, religious, and likewise missionaries. These are the things which now occurred to my mind, otherwise if one draws out a list of all these things from history, he would have a very long list of their means and devices.
Pillage - The Goal of Colonizers
What is significant is that in relation to each of the issues which I mentioned, the goal of colonizers was to rob and pillage, to oppress others, and to establish political and economic sovereignty. There has not been any humanitarian goal other than hiding their abominable face behind a mask; or an official might have been accidentally humanitarian and had done some services prompted by his own conscience. But colonialism did not want such a thing. The distinctive feature of this period is reflected in the encounter of the Europeans with other nations on the basis of severity, falsehood, deception, hoodwinking, and the like. In the course of future discussions, examples of these issues will be presented. In future khutab (sermons) we will separately deal with their loans, privileges, and missionary groups and will speak about them. Or, at least one khutbah is needed for each one of them. Some issues will also be clarified in the course of discussions. Today, our discussion will be about general issues and a comparison with Islam.
Colonialism's Use of Pretexts
To establish domination over a place, these colonizers always used such pretexts as cited earlier as well as excuses appropriate to the juncture, time, and place. I will now refer to examples so that the trend of discussion will be clarified. In the course of these discussions, events such as those related to the Suez Canal, Lebanon, etc., will be mentioned. And you will realize the kind and nature of these events, and the goal they pursued, when one reads the history of China, he confronts strange things. Of course, if I mentioned China, it is accidental. Iran, India, and Egypt also had the same fate.
China is a country with a population of one billion and a considerable area. It possesses one of the oldest and most profound civilizations of history as well. The thought of thinkers such as Confucius  has prevailed there. The entire few hundred years of China's history in relation to Europe is very sad for those who ponder over the past of nations and humanity. Here, I will only refer to one of the instances which is known among you and that is the issue of the war of opium.
The War of Opium
About one hundred and fifty years ago, the British had hatched up plans for China. They used to buy tea from China and transfer it to the Bengal region, and to other parts of Asia and sell it. They brought back to China other things including opium, an act opposed by the Chinese government. While they had official regions to sell opium, they also smuggled it all over the country. Means of narcotization and stupefaction is a policy of the arrogant powers. This existed in the past and still continues to exist. Never will this means be out-dated, for it is a method to stupefy the human beings, and to deprive man of his combatant spirit. Also, it does not leave man so soon. They used opium, heroin, marijuana, and the like which are the products of high-level industry and scientific skills to create feebleness and unconsciousness in the human beings who have the capability of endeavouring. They used it in the circles of thinkers, princes, and powerful people: They used to hurl it in public places such as coffee-shops wherefrom political actions used to emerge previously.
At any rate, the British distributed opium in China at an extensive scale. (So far as I have studied, there were three wars of opium in China, and this is one of them which occurred between the years 1820 and 1830, that is, about one hundred and fifty years ago). The Chinese Government decided to resist Britain. It seized a group of opium smugglers and arrested them. Britain declared a war on China. It dispatched its navy (it had a grand naval force in Asia) which occupied one of the important ports of China, that is, Hong Kong which it still holds. It imposed the agreement of Tanganyika on the Chinese. After that, it occupied five other Chinese ports. It expanded its domination inside the country which is a very great episode. See how a simple issue such as the arrest of a group of smugglers provides a government of a foreign country with a pretext to degrade a country such as China. Then by signing twelve imposing contracts through France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy; some other European countries, and even Peru, it collected tax from the Chinese until the year 1881.
Together with these imposed contracts, Japan and Russia were also imposed on China. A large country which could have been a major power due to its population and area turned to this situation. This led to the October uprising and other issues. In our country also, we have an instance like this. That is, under the reign of Nasiruddin Shah, Afghanistan was in our hands. Principally, Afghanistan did not have an independent identity. As the Russians had seized large parts of Iranian cities through the Turkmanchai Contract, the British also wanted to take something from Iran. They pressed us to evacuate Afghanistan. They had been after a pretext. A minor incident occurred. Mirza Hashimi had a quarrel with the government in the British Embassy in Tehran. Then the British government used this as a pretext and severed ties with Iran. The following year, the British navy came and occupied Bushihr, and threatened to take Khurramshehr. They told us to evacuate Afghanistan, so that they would not come forth. This was their attitude.
This event occurred in 1858, that is, nearly one hundred and thirty years ago when we were not a colony. We were a free country and Iran was deemed as one of the powers at that time. In general, at that time the world was in the hands of a few powers: India, Iran, China, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire. They tried to shatter these centres of power to have no rivals in the world.
The French had dispatched a missionary group to seize Indochina. Two persons in this group were insulted there. Or, perhaps people had beaten them. To revenge the insult made to the two vanguard priests of colonization, France dispatched an army to Indochina and captured Saigon. From the year 1858 up to about one hundred years later, France did not leave Indochina alone. It occupied Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and other territories of that region. They (the French) said one million people of that region were killed during that period. They always gave reduced figures, yet one million is a large number. In our own Revolution, from the early days of Revolution up to the present with this long war and bloodthirsty terrorism, the number of our martyrs is still below one hundred thousand, and has so much to reach one hundred thousand. Now see what they did to this region that they themselves say one million people were killed. In Algeria too, they say one million people were killed. They remained there so long that the Vietnamese dealt the last blow to them in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu and threw them out. Then they were replaced by the Americans after which the matters followed there.
The Deceitful Pretexts of the German Army
The Germans too, have a record of colonization. A German priest was insulted or killed in China. Wilhelm mobilized a great force to fight against China on the pretext of taking revenge for the murder yr insult of a priest. When they were to leave, Wilhelm himself addressed the army. Addressing the commander whose name was Joseph Marbaaben, he said, "I will summarize my orders in a few sentences in military terms. Do not have toleration. Do not take captives nor bring them here. Use your weapons in such a way that a Chinese would not dare to confront a European soldier for the next one thousand years. This is the policy of the army I am sending to China." These occupied the Kiasher Gulf and imposed a ninety-nine-year agreement. In this way, they occupied a large part of China for the murder or insult of a priest only. They, however, could not remain there during the world war and so returned. So far, I have dealt with Germany, France, and Britain. At that time, America was not in the scene as it was involved in its own issues and was just recovering from the colonization of the Europeans.
The War Policy of the Early Period of Islam
Now see the difference in the treatment of Islam towards non-Islamic nations involved in war. See what the civilization of Islam and the Islamic movement demand in the world, and what these arrogant powers demand. The matter which I want to mention is authentic, as being related by successive witnesses. The Prophet's (S) policy while dispatching troops to war for defence purposes was that he first talked to them.
Need for Taqwa
He firstly advised them to fear Allah (SWT) and observe taqwa. As I have mentioned repeatedly, the fundamental basis of Islamic movement in military, economic, cultural, educational, and familial arenas is taqwa. That is to say, the criterion is that man should have a sound condition to preclude him from swerving to the left and right, up and down, excess and insufficiency or negligence. We interpret this as observing taqwa. The first thing the Prophet (S) used to do was to remind them of Allah (SWT) and of the fact that taqwa is necessary for everyone; and more crucial for a military person, for the person who holds a sword or a rifle and whose finger is on the trigger which can ruin a city and put human beings to flames needs to practice greater taqwa than the one who holds a knife, or the one who is a shopkeeper, or the one who has a more limited range of activities. We need taqwa in all arenas of life. The Prophet (S) especially emphasized it while dispatching the forces. He first used to advise them regarding taqwa and then used to state: "Do not usurp the properties which fall into your hands in the battlefield. Observe taqwa in regard to financial matters. Do not mutilate those whom you capture, and do not dismember them.
Do not deceive them. You bear the message of guidance (while they used to go for defence, if the Prophet (S), for instance, heard that in such and such a place a group of persons had gathered to attack and hatch plots, he used to send the forces to suppress them and used to state: `Do not deceive and cheat'). Clearly express your message, and if they desire to hear your message, give them time. Do not kill the old men. Do not kill children and women. Do not set a tree on fire. Do not pour poison into the water sources of the enemy." He used to advise to deal with similar other matters which could be faced in the war fronts. This was the command of the Prophet (S) to his combatants, and that was the European brand of command to armies they used to send to occupy areas of peoples who did not fight with them.
For example, consider what a great distance is between China and Europe. If we want to draw a straight line on the earth, see how long it is from Europe to Germany. They must go from the Atlantic Ocean, pass the Cape of Kab, reach China, and fight there.
On the other hand, the Prophet (S) used to address these words to people who wanted to confront the attacking enemy which had already made advances towards him. This is Islam and that is the so-called school of thought of human rights which they have now sprung up and showed it off to the oppressed and enslaved nations.
The Emergence of Movements and Uprisings
The German Commander Waqulin, who was for eleven years the commander of German colonies in Africa, has given a report which is interesting to read. Still Germany was best among the colonizers. In the report, he said:
"The outcome of my eleven years' experience is that the number of uprisings is increasing, and our policy in the colonies is of no avail. Either we should accept equal rights for the blacks and whites or you should permit us to totally annihilate the black race. So long as even one black lives in Africa, we cannot maintain the security of our colonies."
When a renowned French writer wrote the details of the events of the Europeans in Africa and Asia in a special issue of a French magazine twenty years ago, he said:
"In short, the policy of us, we Frenchmen, British, Italians, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Austrians, Danish (and he named several others) in the colonies can be summarized in one phrase: `robbery and slaughter'."
This is the essence of the movement of these `gentlemen' in the world who behave in this way. Their agents were absolute rulers in the areas they lived. They by no means wanted credibility, grandeur, morale, and prestige for the people under their rule. This was the condition of colonies. In countries such as our own Iran, which was not officially a colony to have British or European rulers, there practically existed incompetent and incapable rulers who acted terribly.
The Disgraceful End of Reza Khan
On 25th August (3rd Shahriwar) when they wanted to send out Rida Khan, how they did it - a ruffian person whose name and intimidation in Iran had made all the other ruffians shiver and who had succeeded in making all the ruffians of tribes and all knife-wielders submit to him - when they wanted to send him out, who knew about it? They told him to go out. At that time, we were small children. In Rafsanjan, we only heard that they were taking Rida Khan, and during the night he was in Kerman region. They boarded him on a ship in such a disgraceful manner and took him to the Morris Island and created that miserable condition for him. His son was the king here, but he lived in abjection there.
Finally, they took him to South Africa which is one of their dens, and treated him in that manner. See how in a free country like Iran which was not a colony even for a day, they contemptuously sent out its bullying and pompous king who was imposed on the people, without there being a rival to get him out of his place. Yes, if a revolution had occurred and another person had taken his place, then it would have been okay. Although they made his son the ruler, they sent the father out so contemptuously. From this incident, you can realize how they were treating the people in their colonies. Once during the Qajar rule, one of the dogs of the Consul of Tabriz was lost. A few prominent Muslims of Tabriz were accused of involvement in this matter. They gave an ultimatum to these honourable gentlemen. Finally, they took one of them and kept him under arrest for so long that the dog of the Consul could be found. This was the situation in the free Iran, let alone the situation of the people of Indochina, Africa, Latin America, and anywhere else they ruled this is their present visage. At all times and everywhere when they did not have an official pretext, they fabricated a pretext of their own and interfered.
The Suez Canal Conspiracy
All of their deeds are like these ranging from the quarrel of Mirza Hashim, the employee of the British Embassy in Tehran, to their occupation of Bushehr. In regard to the Suez Canal, the situation is also the same. It is not clearly known whether or not there were mines there and whether or not these mines exploded. They should not use the anonymous call of the Islamic Jihad in the Suez Canal, and carry troops there and occupy the Suez Canal . This is their type and how they are. They occupied the Gibraltar, Panama, and Persian Gulf in this manner. Wherever they decide to be, they fabricate a pretext. Fortunately, now we must be happy that there is someone to confront them. Had Iran not been there, who could now dare breathe in the region? Who could speak against them and divulge their secrets? Persian Gulf countries, Egyptians, Iraqis, or the Soviets who have the same interests with them?! If the situation (between the Americans and the Soviets) becomes too difficult, they say Afghanistan be yours and Lebanon be ours. In the past too, it was as such. If there were an independent ruler or an independent, free and powerful movement in the region, which would reveal their plan and preclude their mischievous action, they would use the same tactics. How did these occupy Lebanon? Israel, on the one side, and four independent and large countries, on the other, started and went to a small country of 10,000 square kilometres, one-third of which was already occupied by Israel. They had mobilized their army and all their facilities, but they fell into this abjection. It is necessary that someone must deal them a blow. They are fearful, cautious, and patronizing particularly if their own agents are concerned. Unfortunately many a time, they use agents from other countries in which the case of confrontation assumes a more complicated form and becomes difficult.
Now our problem is that if we kill the Iraqis, they are still from among us as they are Muslims. They do not come to war directly. I must say that even now the situation has not changed, and they will not allow it to change so soon either, unless there really exists in the world a healthy and independent human movement such as the one in the Islamic Republic of Iran (provided that it becomes more powerful and strengthens its foothold). Such necessary disclosures should be made by the healthy movement which should check their plots.
 Confucius is the most renowned Chinese scholar, who was born in 551 B.C. and died in 479 B.C. He made a code of ethics based on sincerity towards national, ethnic, and familial customs. This code believes that there are two kinds of spirits in the world: useful and well-wishing spirits, and harmful and malicious spirits. These kinds of spirits cause the good and evil fortunes of people. The followers of Confucius who are more than 400 million in number live in China, Burma, Korea, Taiwan, etc.
 The Suez Canal is a canal in Egypt, joining the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. It was excavated in the 19th century by the French engineer, Ferdinand de Lessees and the Americans completed this project. Its-length extends from the Port of Suez in the Red Sea to Port Said in the Mediterranean Sea measuring 168 kilometres. By digging this canal, the sea route from Europe to Asia became 44 per cent shorter and commercial ships which, before the digging of the canal for sailing from Europe to Asia, had to circumnavigate Africa could now enter Asia through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. After the establishment of the Republic of Egypt, the said government took away from Britain the possession of this canal and made it exclusive for itself. The Suez Canal enjoys an extraordinary strategic significance. With this significance and vitality, the press reported in August 1984 (Mordad 1363 S.H.) that commercial ships, while passing this canal, have hit naval mines and suffered slight and general damages. The imperialistic news network mooted the issue more seriously and regarded the Islamic Republic of Iran also involved in this matter. (Interference by the Islamic Republic of Iran was nothing but an unfounded accusation). One of the aims of this artificial crisis was to deal a blow to the Islamic Republic of Iran. This conspiracy was directly related to the imposed Iraq-Iran war. The Iraqi dictator had asked the Arab countries not to allow Iranian ships to pass the Red Sea and the strategic canal of Suez and the strait of Bab al-Mandab so as to pressurize Iran. (The aim of this conspiracy was something else which is beyond the scope of this footnote.)
Friday Prayer Sermon 8: (October 19, 1984)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon his descendants, the infallible Imams. I take refuge with Allah (SWT) from the accursed Shaytan.
"O you men! Surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may know (deal respectfully with) one another; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the most pious, God fearing; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware (49: 13). "
In continuation of the discussion on social justice in regard to different races, we reached the point that the monopolizing and racially prejudiced society of modern Europe, from about five hundred years ago up to the present time, has been committing numerous acts of oppression based on the corrupt idea of the superiority of the white race. In earlier discussions, I have explained that at a point of time, these Europeans had indirect or direct exploitative rule and hegemony on more than 90 per cent of the world's inhabited places. Today too, they continue their pillage on the same basis of the superiority of the white race but under a different name and in a different form.
They are not ready to abandon pillage and undue discrimination. I have also mentioned that they believe that the white and Aryan race has the physical and intellectual privilege and vantage which qualify it to be the leader and ruler of the world. Through the Islamic criteria, we have proved the falsehood of this conception, and pointed out that this basis is erroneous, and that Islam does not divide the human beings in this manner. In Islam, the basis of values is inherent in the human beings and the most important one is taqwa and internal control of mankind which creates in their nature and being a power which preserves right and justice and recognizes the limits. Pious people observing taqwa can be the centre of movements in any society and in the entire world. The goal of Islam is to rear pious people. On this basis, I have mentioned that the Europeans sought domination with their wrong idea and found the means of sovereignty. In one khutbah, (sermon) I have dealt with a part of the means of domination which included military power. They used to go anywhere they wanted with their navy, battleships, and naval gunmen. They used to occupy the countries and commit numerous crimes which have already been explained.
How Colonialism Penetrated into the Third World Countries
Here I will commence a new discussion concerning the influence of colonialism. A small fighting force consisting of a few ships and some soldiers, if not coupled with other factors, cannot occupy a country and get settled there. Thus these colonizers were defeated and they made retreats whenever they went to an area without having the elements necessary for domination. Still they continue to do so. When I talk of the history, I shift the discussion to the present situation, so as to deal not only with a historical subject but with a kind of enlightenment for the present generation. For example, under the political and administrative dimensions, Side by side with a military move - and even before it -apolitical move did take place and they used to install apt agents in government organizations. Likewise, prior to a military move, they used to work on economic matters.
They would take control of sensitive economic centres, and the vital arteries of the society in terms of economy, or else would control the cultural movement of the society and brainwash the potential sources of power defending the society. They then used to prepare them to accept the ignominy and abjection of being under foreign domination. Such deeds were performed, either as a prelude, or simultaneously with military and official actions. Wherever they went, either such preparations were made in advance, or they did such things after the occupation of the country by their military so that they could continue occupying the countries. Whenever a serious force confronted them, they could not remain. In our own Iran, when the aggressive British forces entered Bushehr, the brave men of Tangistan and a group of the zealous tribesmen of the area crushed them most contemptuously. We see the like of this in other places where they displayed their power; or even in the economic field, if there were people who dealt them a blow, they were defeated such as the "Tobacco event of Iran" and the right assumed by Britain. In this case, `ulama'; inside Iran dealt them a heavy blow. Such cases do exist, but firstly they are few, and secondly in many world countries such genuine powers did not exist and even if they existed, they were defeated.
One of the devices employed by them (the transgressive colonizers) was to make the best use of the economic situation of the countries, which is really a very powerful device. Even today, there is no difference in its use after a period of one hundred or two hundred years. This device is still at the service of global arrogance in the same form as it used to be earlier. In this part of my discussion, I recommend our society and especially our youth and educated people to pay attention to the fact that how the Westerners and arrogant powers treat the people. The West has imposed on other countries the banking system which it had established for its own benefit. And this is one of the ways of economic imposition which brings in its wake the military domination and other forms of domination. One is indeed astonished as to why the world does not pay heed to this issue and does not organize an irresistible movement against this exceedingly corrupt economic system and unjust relations?
Alongside a system of banking based on usury, there are also so-called works of privilege and so-called habitation projects which are complementary to one another. Massive insurance companies are also set to work all over the world alongside this spider-web system of banking in a bid to safeguard and warrant the interests of global arrogance and international capitalists. Simultaneously, they set up a network of military, security, and information facilities. Thus it becomes an aggregate system. Really those in charge of the projects for Western arrogance strove very hard and utilized in the best possible manner their experience to strengthen the foundation of their own rule in this manner.
For example, if in a village or in a region, the headman, gendarmerie, and government compromise with the khan and capitalist, what can the deprived class do against money, edge of the sword, and the power of so-called rule? These Western powers have created such a situation all over the world. We see how the Holy Qur'an declares war on the usurers and, 1400 years ago, warned them and is still warning them. It points out that the usurers will rise on the Day of Judgment as insane persons. It also strongly calls the usurer an element opposed to taqwa and moral value. This emphasis of the Qur'an on an issue, which was not so important in the early days of Islam, reflects its great danger with which the modern age - and perhaps future centuries are afflicted. The colonizers always went to countries which possessed some sort of facilities, civilization, and experience and background such as Iran, Egypt, India, China, Tunisia, Morocco, and similar countries which had the ferment of national pride.
At first, they used to indulge in discussions on privilege, development, construction, and giving ideas for constructing a particular road between one sea and the other, project for the rejuvenation of mines, forests, and pastures, marsh making for such and such an area, and the like of these projects which exist everywhere. Then the banking system made by European capitalists would grant a sum of money as a loan for these projects. Then they would start an influx of so-called technical manpower and, alongside them, spies and information staff. After fabricating pretexts and putting the said government under debt, they would start fixing installments for the payment of the loans.
When the government fell short of paying these installments, they would bar the government against utilizing all their economic resources. They used to keep an eye on what served best as a source of income for them. In some areas, it was the customs revenues, in others forest trees, in some others agriculture, in yet others it was toll tax income, and in some others the fisheries. At any rate, they took control of whatever served as the source of income. Then suddenly people would realize that everything they had possessed is in the hands of the colonizers, and that they have become their guardians. They would even claim that in such and such an area the people inflicted loss on them, or did not perform their duties, and then the naval gunmen would come forth and totally get the country under their control.
Economic Stratagem of the Superpowers
Large countries such as China, India, West Africa, Egypt and countries with glorious civilization and grandeur, fell into their trap through their economic prank. Still some of them are being afflicted by them. Even today the colonial powers have not left them alone. As the statistics indicate, even today the Third World countries have a debt of about U. S. $700 billion to the so-called advanced countries. Latin America alone, which is one of the centres of world wealth, has a debt of about U.S. $350 billion. Now consider that if the average interest to be paid to them is ten per cent or five per cent, what a precarious and miserable condition these countries will have. A country like Brazil which has a debt of more than U. S. $80 billion must annually pay more than U.S. $8 billion as interest if it has to give a ten per cent interest. When can it stand on its own feet? A country such as Turkey, which has less debt, should too much strain itself to pay only the annual interest, if it has a debt of U.S.$20 billion. They have in like manner afflicted the weak countries with this economic stratagem. They do not overlook even a penny of it. Interest, delay charges, penalty for late payment, and the like are added to these loans. They have wrought such a havoc on the world that it has to even beg them of their favour.
When we were small children, we saw how in our village, a few wealthy people, who had some amount of money, lent money to the farmers on interest. The poor farmers had to sell their produce in advance from the beginning to the end of the year: (Praise be to the Almighty Allah that the advance selling is not taking place now to a great extent).
The wheat, which was supposed to be five rials per kg was sold months in advance by the farmers at two or three rials per kg. The advance purchasers used to generally commit numerous crimes against the deprived class. They treated the farmer in such a way that the latter gave them the entire produce at harvest and went home empty-handed. The farmer then used to start planting again, so that another harvest would come.
These money-lenders used to lend the farmer some money in advance, and then used to treat him in such a way that he could not do anything. His cows, sheep, and whatever he possessed were mortgaged for this loan. This is how the Europeans treated the people of the world. Read the history of every colonized country. These matters will be found there in a large number. I will cite two or three instances from the West Africa, East Africa, and Asia, so that you will see how the situation is.
Colonization of Countries
One of the instances is Tunisia. In Tunisia, there evolved the issue of "capital assistance in lieu of soldiers" which is comparatively a new type of the imperialistic colonization. (The kind of colonization prior to this phase of imperialism was simpler.) When banks, insurance companies, and shipping lines entered the scene, various types of the colonization of imperialism began, and this set-up became very complicated, and one cannot be easily relieved of it. This move reached its climax around the year 1850. In 1863, that is, 120 years ago, Tunisia got a loan of francs 5.5 million from France. Because this country was one of the States of the Ottoman Empire, and because Muhammad Sadiq was its Viceroy; they got this loan. Alongside it they imposed on them a gunship; by charging 3.5 million francs for the old gunships, ships, and the salary of its staff (They even never used this ship until it was ruined. Well, they did not need it as they had no war.), the salary of those who would come to teach the method of operation, and taxes of this kind. The loan too, was to be utilized for several development projects.
It has been recorded that in seven years, that is, up to the year 1870, Tunisia's debts reached to 350 million francs. The result was that Tunisia, all of a sudden, announced its inability to pay the debts. Consequently, Italy, France, and Britain convened a joint commission meeting and investigated Tunisia's financial situation. They found out that the true amount of the debt was not the figure they had mentioned and that they unnecessarily wanted to charge this high sum of money. They came to the conclusion that Tunisia's debt was 125 million francs. Then they expressed Tunisia's inability to pay this sum. Afterwards, this commission was vested with handling the economy of Tunisia. The commission became Tunisia's economic guardian. Even the expenses of the court of Viceroy Muhammad Sadiq had to be ratified by them.
They did this to a country which was one of the free countries of North-west Africa and which they needed as a gateway to reach the heart of Africa. They signed a treaty and officially took hold of the guardianship of Tunisia. And Tunisia became paralyzed and was never able to stand on its own feet. Even now it has the situation which you are aware of. Next to Tunisia stood Morocco with its heritage of civilization, and whose people became Muslims in the early days of Islam. For sometime they even threatened Europe. The Europeans also have a grudge against this region. They wanted to take revenge for what had happened in the early days of Islam. They called its people barbaric. With a sum of 67 million francs they went there and wrought the same havoc on Morocco. In the same period of history, i.e., during 1863-76 (a period of thirteen years), it has been recorded that Egypt's debts became thirty times. They went to China which was always a dreamland for the Europeans (ever since Marco Polo went there, and returned with his findings). It was the source of culture, old civilization, etc. Well, the Chinese had great prestige.
Five countries - Russia, Germany, Japan, France, and Britain went to China and did something terrible to it. Each part of China was seized by one of these countries. After several years, Britain and China signed a contract according to which after 99 years, Hong Kong, which originally belonged to China, would be released from the hold of the British and returned to China. These acts are related to the same period when they divided China into pieces. They pillaged the country to such an extent that one of these usurping countries took for itself the royalty on China's salt which was one of its sources of income. That is, China had to pay them taxes for the salt of its own salt marshes. This is how they emptied the country, then divided it into pieces. In the year 1930, that is, between the two World Wars, when the Chinese gradually started their new movement, Suni Hotson had calculated that over a period of twenty years during 1910-30, the Westerners, the Russians, and the Japanese annually plundered U. S. $1.2 billion of China's property. Just compare the value of a sum of U. S. $1.2 billion at that time with that of now. It becomes an astronomical figure. This was their behaviour and character. In our country too, they wanted to do the same, but the `ulama' did not allow them to do so. One instance of this is the case of "tobacco" which you have all heard.
They had set up a banking system. The mother bank was established in Europe. All over the world, their economic systems perturbed the people. Still these were their official acts through which their governments committed such crimes. In these banks, Europe's private sector generally held a share. The banks set up in these countries, used to give loans to the affluent class or they themselves used to appoint brokers. These brokers used to trouble the common people who earned their living by income from production through handicrafts, agriculture, or gardening. They used to give loans in the same manner as was prevalent in the villages. They used to make advance purchases and accumulate people's incomes in these banks, which in turn used to serve as means to transfer the money abroad. The banks had the duty to transfer, from all over the world, India, China, Iran, Africa, the money of the people to the mother banks in Europe: This is why presently Europe and America are able to have U.S.$700 billion in other countries. Where has this money come from? No European country can compete with countries such as Arabia, Iran, Turkey, and the like in the sources of production. It was from that time that they took hold of all that money and tied the people down in such a strange manner and still they are continuing this activity.
Swiss Banks - The Centre of the Usurped Money of the People
They have established a process through which the affluent people all over the world could transfer their money to Europe through the banks. The banks of Switzerland, which is a so-called neutral country - have accumulated the usurped money of world people. It has been publicized in such a way that the corrupt rulers and the puppets of global arrogance in different countries can have a saving under a secret coded account there, so that if a coup or a revolution occurs in their country, they can go and live there. The case was not such in our country. The revolution did not give them the chance to do so. If the people had given them the chance, they would have looted and carried away the entire wealth of the country in the first few months. They had dubbed Iran as "The island of stability". They were deluded into believing that there was stability for them here. They brought here a great deal of their cash money, using it in the lands, gardens, farming, factories, and elsewhere.
In the last days, that is, in the last two or three months of the rule of the Pahlavi regime, when they realized that the situation was not favourable, that they would have to evacuate Iran, and that the danger was serious, see what they did to the Central Bank, and how they somehow turned their capital into cash and transferred it abroad. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, if you see that there are still many usurper opulent people in Iran, it is because these things have been curbed to an extent. On the contrary, if you see the growth of smuggling here, it is because there is a tendency to transfer wealth from the country to European areas. But we have barred this, and regulations on foreign exchange have also precluded it. So this tendency turns into smuggling. For instance, they change money into a small precious carpet, a piece of gold, or whatever they can take out of the country. Corrupt people who have no interest in the country, follow their carnal desires, and are slaves of pleasures move along this line.
This invisible network of pumping money from all around the world to the banks of colonizing countries and to mother regions (as they called it themselves) has a past record of several hundred years. They set up all the facilities there to make it a centre, and to tie the people down from there as they have already done. If a poor person takes a loan from any oppressor, he somehow shows a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude towards that oppressor. For example, we previously used to see the usurers in the bazaar. To get a small sum of money from the agents of usurers, who were based in offices for document registration, real estate transactions and the like, the people at times paid 30 to 35 per cent interest just to get a few shahis (old Persian coins) to remedy their urgent problems at the moment, to cure their children, repair their houses, to solve their difficulties, or to purchase spare parts for their cars, which served as the only means for earning a living. They were satisfied with this. The same condition exists between the small and big countries.
Presently, there is, from all over the world, the demand to get loans from big countries. A group of poor people, whose countries' wealth and resources have been pillaged, and who are in difficulty are now in need of them for their daily requirements to build a road, a port, or a power plant - for all these they unfortunately are in need of the big countries. If a car is needed, it must be imported from there. Experts must come from there. Spare parts must come from there. This is how they have tied the people with them and made them dependent on them. They go and plead with these big powers, get a loan at astronomical rate of interest, and make themselves captive in the hands of such people.
The Enslaved Countries and the Way of Salvation
Take for instance the issue  which has been recently raised at the United Nations, and for which some did not dare give a vote, and like mice fled the United Nations not to be there at the time of voting. What is its cause? It is because of their enslavement. Because these countries '' have been told that if they vote, then they will have to pay all their debts. Now if they say they would not pay the debts, they will be roped in by measures they have taken to this effect. They have set up a court called the International Court of Justice at Hague. After all, each country might have a ship, or an embassy, or a contract somewhere. The judge would immediately put his seal on a verdict, and will give it to international gendarmes. The latter would confiscate people's ship, or halt their life. They would make it lose its credibility in the world, just like the system of gendarmes, khans, and headmen used to do.
They have made up judicial system, media and propaganda network and everything else for themselves, and have enslaved world countries. If, however, the people show their courage and resist these political manoeuvres, and one day cut off this string and relationship, they can certainly pursue the struggle. They were extremely hopeful about Iran. When Iran embarked on a revolution, they thought: "Well Iran's money s is in American banks; its necessary spare parts are also in America; its factories are also dependent on America; it needs tens of American experts for every machine it required; and it has to sell its oil as well". They used to think that this Revolution is ridiculous, and that no revolution could succeed. Indeed with confidence, they used to say:
"Well, now you can make disturbance, we will answer you in the near future." During the same period, these very Americans explicitly sent words to the leaders of the Revolution inside the country to the effect that they would soon return and give befitting reply. This is how they fancied. The reason why our people stood up courageously, fought against all plots, and did not flinch an inch, was because our people were possessed of intellectual maturity, and they stood fast by the movement and fully resisted the opposition. Thus these big powers are angry, because of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. They regard the Revolution as a model and a movement which is exemplary in modern history and which is very bitter for them.
The Perilous Banking System Dominating over the World
This dangerous ruling system of banking should in any case be reformed one day. The solution is to adopt the Islamic system. In the first place, the loan without interest should be given to the people. The people should not be looted. Even in cases when others need money for the expansion of their business, or for other purposes, the person who possesses the money can become a partner, of course, according to the equitable regulations which exist. The world must be drawn towards this course. As a consequence, they have presently raised a hue and cry to reject the Islamic system of banking, to ridicule it, to say it is similar to such and such a country, and then to say that it faced defeat. They started all kinds of plots. Allah (SWT) willing, we hope that other peoples would recognize the path adopted by our people, the movement embarked upon by our nation, and the system our most glorious and honourable leader has set before us in relation to combating against these dangerous systems made by the arrogant powers, and that they too, could rescue themselves from this predicament.
 This issue is related to the proposal made by the Islamic Republic of Iran to expel the Quds-occupying regime from the United Nations. The proposal was postponed by the pressure exerted by the global arrogance and one of its hirelings, i.e., Denmark which demanded that it be put into abeyance. Denmark's proposal was accepted with 80 votes in favour, 41 against, and 22 neutral votes. In this connection, l9 countries did not take part in the voting due to their extreme allegiance to world arrogance and their hypocritical nature.