The Crimes of Global Arrogance
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Friday Prayer Sermon 13: (January 11,1985)
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 so that you may know (deal respectfully with) one another; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the most pious, God fearing...(49:13)."
O servants of Allah! I recommend you to observe taqwa and fear Allah.
We have discussed in the course of previous khutab (sermons) the subject of inter-racial relations under the broad subject of social justice. We have enumerated many instances of the social justice of Islam in regard to behaviour with various races as well as the instances of oppression of the modern materialistic world towards the non-white races. The last topic covered under this discussion was the cultural and spiritual oppression which the European white race inflicted on the non-white races for the last five hundred years. This cultural invasion took place in two ways: the first one relates to the beliefs and ethics which form the main basis of prosperity for human societies, and hence the attack on spiritual values deals the most severe blow to the human beings. The second one was related to the scientific and educational invasion. All the tricks and deceits applied by them to keep the people illiterate and entirely dependent on the European technical skills, are the outcomes of this horrible and dirty invasion.
In the course of several khutbas, we have discussed the invasion against beliefs and morals, and derived the conclusion that the world of global arrogance is responsible for the immorality prevalent in the whole modern world. This immorality has also caught them as well, because the countries cannot be separated from one another. Therefore, now they themselves have fallen into the same cesspool which they made for the other nations.
In order to refresh your memories on the previous discussions, I am going to make a brief reference to some points.
One of the reasons of the hostility of the global arrogance towards the Islamic Revolution of Iran is the spiritual and moral direction of the Revolution. Of course, they are unhappy and annoyed for having their hands cut off from our resources, for having their policies defeated, for having lost their agents here, and for the establishment of a centre of combat against them in Iran. But one point which has greatly pained them and made them act like a wounded serpent, is that the Islamic Republic of Iran moved against the corruption and immorality of the former regime.
They regard as a great threat the ethical movement of the Islamic society, its Islamic mission, its Islamic message to the world Muslims calling them to follow Islam and observe its principles, chastity, modesty, ethics and taqwa. As a consequence, they make a great deal of effort to undermine these ethical, moral, and doctrinal aspects of the Revolution. An instance of their fury is evident from the ample stress, which the American mass media have laid in the past few days on the gathering of several bad and unrestrained women around the White House to eulogize the soul of that accursed anti-religion bully. Upon their return some of the reporters, whom we had invited to inspect the effects and victories of Hilalah and Meimak operations of the Iraq-Iran war, published an account in renowned European magazines and newspapers entitled, "The Rooster's Tail Came out from under the Cloak of the Unblessed Persons." This reflects how sensitive they are towards our people's moral and doctrinal issues. One of the very crafty and sly reporters, who does not deserve to be named here, has written an article in a famous magazine, which reflects the Western world's sensitivity and fear towards the beliefs of our people. The title of his article is: "Miniskirts behind the Closed Doors".
Now this is the reporter who was invited to inspect the warfronts. The story of his article is that in Iran through a friend he was invited to a night party at a centre of corruption in the north of Tehran. There a group of vagabond men and women had gathered. In his article, this foreign reporter has impudently enumerated and described all means of revelry there. And as a conclusion, he gives tidings to the Western world saying: "Still in Iran and at the centre of the Islamic Revolution there are people who have not forgotten the `gifts' of the West. The same women who, for fear of the Islamic guards, go on the streets wearing long skirts and spangled head-scarves in daylight, refresh the memories of Shah's era at night behind the closed doors of such centres. And this inlet of Iran is still open to the West."
See to what extent the sensitivity of the matter has reached.
Another reporter points out another issue pertaining to this matter which indicates to what subjects they attach importance. He writes: "Many of the fugitive capitalists or those who had gone into hibernation in the cold winter of the revolution are now gradually becoming hopeful, and going this way and that to retrieve the dreams of Shah's era." Now, I do not intend to discuss this part, and I meant the first case for you to see to what issues the Western world attaches importance. For this reason, I emphasize that even those who did not observe the hijab in the past (most of whom we believe still possess the national spirit and love for their country) should be careful not to become involuntarily the tools in such activities.
The Crimes of Global Arrogance Committed through Barring the Scientific and Technical Development of the Third World
My next discussion concerns the oppression committed by the European and capitalist world on the Third World countries and non-European races to weaken their morale in terms of scientific, technical, and material progress. While being very deplorable, this issue is extremely educative and illuminating for our future.
One of the very serious and deep-laid schemes of global arrogance in the past few centuries has been to prevent its targeted nations from ever becoming self-sufficient from the scientific, technical, and literacy viewpoints. Over the last four or five hundred years, after the Renaissance, the West has never revised this strategy. Nowhere we see it moving in such a way as to even slightly deviate from this trend of exploitation and oppression. The West is very careful lest in a part of the world a self-sufficiency movement in the scientific or technical field is established to adversely affect its plans. Of course, it is possible that in some areas it has lost its hold. Now I am citing several instances in this regard for you. One of its very repugnant deeds is the absorption of the educated people of the Third World. It has planned to either paralyze them in their own milieu or, to absorb for its own organizations any person who is talented or has technical genius. And surely it has the means to absorb such manpower of genius. The statistics on the learned thinkers and the educated people of the Third World, of the Middle East, even of the poor Africa, and of the Far East residing in Europe and America are very regrettable and fatal; for people who are in need of worthless Western technicians, and who use them while their learned thinkers and their technical and scientific experts are at the service of colonialism abroad for the sake of financial, welfare, and carnal issues under the influence of parasites known only by name as spouses, etc. This is a very lamentable case which I will discuss further at a more appropriate occasion.
The second part of this discussion is related to barring the masses from becoming literate. They (Europe and America) do so wherever they can. Firstly, the West does not generally approve of the literacy of the people of other countries. As a consequence, wherever it dominates, illiterates comprise 70 to 90% of the population. Even a country like Iran, which was apparently an independent country, had a rate of 60 % of illiterates, prior o the Revolution, who could not even read nor write. Yet after the victory of the Revolution, despite all our entanglements, we have so far succeeded in educating 3 million people who were not even used to receiving, education. Now this is the condition of illiteracy in our country.
But I am presenting some examples from actual European colonies for you to see what a situation dominates there, and what crimes the global arrogance has perpetrated against the deprived nations. See what wolves and savages we face in the world; and see what a long way the Third World should tread to stand on its own feet. Take the case of Africa where presently you hear about the famine. Perhaps it is surprising for our people how Ethiopia with such favourable winds, rainfall, and forests should suffer from famine. A little further off, Angola, which is one of the most fertile areas of the world, is suffering from starvation and famine. So far, the imperialistic new media have not permitted the release of news related to this country. Only recently they have released some news about it. Many African countries suffer from the same fate. Yet our people feel that had the Africans even made use of their forests, they would not have faced such a situation. From my statements today, you would know as to why Africa has such a condition. For the last almost 30 years, the movement for independence has been strengthened in this continent. And many of its countries have become superficially independent. In the past, all the fifty-odd countries of this continent were the official colonies of the Europeans, and they did not allow the Africans to become literate at all. Wherever they needed literate people for the promotion and performance of their own affairs as a secretary, operator, postman, caretaker and jobs of routine nature, they gave limited permission for setting up of schools.
They did not take a step beyond this. In the modern industrial world which faces overpopulation, the lands no longer provide the quantity of food needed by the people through traditional and natural means. Therefore, new technology must be put in use. Africa has no access to this technology. It has no water engineers, electrical engineers, roads and bridges engineers, experts of foodstuff, medicine, forests and pastures. It does not have the foreign currency to purchase and import machinery to build roads, jetties, ports, and factories. It is natural that such consequences should arise now in Africa as it is devoid of these facilities and also its population is rapidly increasing. The statistics I am presenting will shed light on the reason why Africa is devoid of these facilities. These statistics are really horrifying and show the true picture of these European beasts towards whom we now look as civilized people and who are worshipped by those inspired by the West.
In 1938 not much before the World War II, the situation had become much better (that is, after the World War I gradually rays of hope appeared in the world because of the defeat of European powers and their entanglement in the World War I). In this year, in the French Equatorial Africa, which now consists of areas such as Chad, Central Africa, Gabon, and Congo, the French were in power. Still the majority of the people of this area speak French (because Africa was at that time divided among several exploiting countries including Britain, France Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Germany).
While having a population of millions, only about 22,000 persons in these four large countries could go to school. In French West Africa, which had a population of 15 million and enjoyed better conditions, because of being along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and because of having stronger ties with the Europeans, only 70,000 persons could go to school. That is to say, the others had no opportunity for education.
On the whole, in French colonies, only 5% of children of school age went to school. That is, if one hundred children were of school age only five of them succeeded in attending school. In British colonies, of every one hundred children, only seven of them could go to school (i.e., 7.
In Portuguese colonies such as Angola which I have mentioned, and for where now we hear the news of famine, and which resembles Ethiopia in its conditions, 1 % of children of school age have been able to attend school (that is, this occurred during Portuguese colonization, for now Portugal is itself a miserable country in south-west Europe). The UNESCO, this big institution which has been recently boycotted by the Americans and the British for its taking positive steps in cultural field and for expelling Israel and which has consequently faced a financial crisis owing to stoppage of subscription by these countries has published statistics as follows:
In 1960, which was the period of independence, in African countries, only 8 % of children of school age could go to high schools. That is to say, 23 or 24 years ago, 8% of African children could go to high schools and two of every thousand students could go to the university. That is to say, of every one thousand qualified youths, only two of them could study at the university. This was their situation. These statistics have been released in 1968 by UNESCO itself, which works under the influence of the Americans and Europeans, and does not release the correct statistics. These statistics have been made available to us after the census.
After its independence in 1960 Belgium-ruled Congo had only 16 graduates. This is when Congo has the largest copper mines in the world. If Katanga (previous name of Shaba province) does not provide the world with its copper, there will be a copper crisis. (Those who are a little older would recollect the issue of Mosi Chombah and Lumomba).
In 1960, a country like this had a total of 16 graduates. Now I will not talk about the graduates but even the students were used for serving as footmen ,secretaries, typists, operators, and postmen, jobs which require the minimum education. They used to allow such people to study to this extent. So, such are the Europeans who claim to serve human civilization and to hoist the flag of leading the caravan of humanity towards knowledge and civilization.
Under the same circumstances, it was not that these countries were devoid of schools, because the Europeans and those they brought there from nearby areas were in need of schools. Thus, there were high-standard schools, but only for the Europeans. In our Iran too, during the Shah's regime, you have witnessed that good schools such as Razi School and the like could be attended only by rich Iranian children. And this was the situation of Iran only seven or eight years ago. Now just consider the situation of Africa at that time.
According to the official statistics, the Europeans themselves say that in 1959, i.e., 25 years ago, among the instances of discrimination made by the British in their colonies was to establish a difference between the educational expenses of native and foreign children. That is to say ,annual educational expenditure of an African was £ 11, of an Indian student £38, and a European £186.
In a town £186 were spent for a European student, £11 for a native African student - the owner, and a little more was spent for the Indians because the Americans had brought the non-native workforce from India to Africa and employed them in the armed forces, police forces, gendarmerie, and the like for the purpose of suppressing the people and hence they used to cater a little more to their needs. Even right now, there are three types of people in South Africa - the blacks, the half-castes and the whites. The half-castes are mostly comprised of Indians, who have a better situation than the blacks and who constitute the second class. This is the situation of the so-called pioneers of human rights in the world. This is how they had been treating the people.
In 1954, the year of the commencement of Algeria's armed struggle (which took six or seven years for achieving the victory), the schools in Muslim-dominated Algeria had 20% Muslim students and the rest were non-Muslims. That is, non-Muslims constituted 80% of Algeria's students. These were the ones the French had brought there from other parts of the world. This is the real face of these "white wolves" who now cover up their real face in this manner and speak of civilization through newspapers, radios, and films. Wherever they want to suppress a nation, they accuse it of barbarism, savagery, illiteracy, ignorance, etc. Therefore, if Africa now faces famine, it is not due to lack of mines, forests, water, and soil. It is rather due to the issues I have put forth.
The delegation which we sent to provide aid to the Africans in Ethiopia was told by the officials of that country to help them by imparting to them the know-how on how to best use the dry farming lands and to depute experts of converting dry farming to water farming, or experts of using dry farming so as to pursue a better production programme in their country during the next year.
Ethiopia, whose civilization dates back to many centuries, is presently in dire need of experts even though-it has relations with the Soviet Union and is apparently a Marxists nation too. Now see how they, who claim to be the champions of civilization, have treated the world, and how they have put the world under their own scientific and technical domination that no one could even breathe.
It was not without any reason that when the Americans were kicked out and banished from Iran, they were confident that Iran could not stand on its own feet. They said: "The complex military facilities which we have brought, the complicated machine building, moulding, steel industries and other things that exist in Iran as well as thousands of factories and workshops with advanced machinery which the Shah had set up with oil revenues can only be run with the expertise of the Americans, Europeans and the Japanese and surely we will return in two or three years." This was something definite for them.
They did not even give 1 % probability regarding the progress of the people of Iran, whom they had kept backward, and the few who got educated through them were taken away abroad along with them. They also accompanied them and were confident that they would return. Now, after six years, you see that Iran has not only run those industries but also taken giant strides towards industrial self-sufficiency, manufacturing and repairing many parts. Iran has even put to operation many of the power plants which they thought would come to a halt. Now they are faced with a new problem and they cannot tolerate this matter and the issue is now raised as fury-inspiring point. They could not believe that our F-14s could fire even one bullet at the invading planes. They could not believe that our Hawks could launch missiles. They could not believe that, with the complicated American radars we could identify and target the enemies in the air. They did not believe that we could accomplish any of these tasks.
Through their calculations, they believed that oil excavation sites would stop operations and that the jetties would no longer work. They felt that we would need them even in our daily and routine affairs.
There is ample talent among our people. This talent was suppressed under their domination. When the American experts did not allow our concerned men to go near the aeroplanes and did not let them hold a spanner and engage in technical matters, it was obvious that such people could not develop skills. One of their acts of mischief was to immediately change a part rather than to repair it in the country.
Of course, one side of the issue is clear. This brought them money. Normally, spare parts of the machinery and devices operating in countries like ours, bring in more foreign currency for foreign countries then the value of the actual machines. But the main point was something else and it was that while repairing a part an Iranian technician could notice the secret of it.
When we installed the complicated American radars, our military experts realized that there are parts which, with a 10-rial worth small device purchased from Lalazar market or Imam Khumayni Square could be used to repair a part worth one million dollars. But at that time the Americans completely deemed them out of order and sent for another one. Of course, there are numerous such instances.
Complicated Industry, the Crime of the Giants of This Century
Making the industry complex and complicated is an issue in itself. If most of these gigantic industries that we witness to approach things on a just basis, they could have been made of one-fourth of their present capacities, but they deliberately made the industries complex and huge to hold the people awed by them.
In many cases, our experts found that the parts which, for example, worked with two hundred small parts could work with even four parts. And they did really experience such an issue. In the machine tools, operating now in our military industries, sometimes seventy machines work to manufacture a part (the gentlemen who have gone to the workshops have seen this): Our youth have had the initiative to make this part with one machine. And so seventy parts come in one part. Making things complicated and coded is to always keep this backward world lagging behind. And this is of the crimes of the giants of our century.
As common people put it, they are never willing to teach the trick or tact of blowing on the bowl while making pottery, like the apprentice of that pottery master, who did not become independent. Whenever he wanted to become independent and made pots for himself putting them aside, the pots would crack when exposed to heat of fire. He never realized as to why does this happen. Towards the end of his life, he found that the pots only needed to be blown, something very simple which his master had not taught him. Or the case of that tailor's, apprentice, who tailored for the whole of his life, but who saw his master would stitch a coat in two hours while he would take two days to independently stitch a qaba (a long garment open in front worn by men) He never realized what secret was behind this (These are proverbs to shed light on the reality). Finally, he found that there was a small secret behind it. It was that the master used short threads in the needle, so that the thread would not be knotted while stitching and would not delay him. But the apprentice used the 2-metre long thread in the needle, which got knotted every now and then and he could not stitch quickly. Something as simple as this and so simple. And now that our youth have found their way to the industries, they at times find that in an aeroplane, a huge machine, or a complicated device there is some such secret which creates a drastic change.
The Western manufacturers have covered up these very secrets and did not allow the nations to get hold of such secrets. They have other methods so that if perhaps their experts are not there to prevent certain advances, they would impose self-censorship, against progress, through some individuals of the same nation. We had many instances of such an experience, after the Revolution. In regard to some of our valuable-industries or precious projects for the country, at times we saw a tide of objections, from those whom we trusted, to the point that such a project should not be accomplished. They provided reasons so that no one could utter a word. This was experienced in many cases; let us take the case of underground railway (metro) project.
Some leftists and members of Tudeh Party, and Fidaiyan Group committed such a treachery with regard to the metro project that one is grieved at it. Metro is undoubtedly necessary in Iran and especially in a big city like Tehran, which now has a population of about 6.5 million, which will soon reach the figure of 7 or 8 million due to natural population growth. This environmentally unsafe situation, high degree of air-pollution, large number of traffic jams and accidents, lack of car spare parts - which we will elaborate in a separate discussion - etc., emphasize the ever-increasing need to build the metro. But they raised slogans saying: "It's dependence, dependence." A metro expert said that he went to a meeting to' defend the construction of the metro, but saw that these guys had made the atmosphere so unfavourable that he said they had gone there for the funeral service of the metro project. Such were the approaches to this issue.
There was also a contract for setting 'up a 300,000 tonne foundry project, but the liberals kept on raising the slogans saying: "It's dependence, dependence." Or, the case of the atomic energy project at Bushehr. Of course, we do not approve the Shah's extravagant ambitions to make the country dependent. But when something is necessary to develop the atomic industry in the country, a group knowingly and treacherously and another group unknowingly shouted slogans which led to a delay in certain businesses. With regard to the scientific brains deserting the country, we have at times acted improperly. Some people, knowingly or unknowingly, but mostly knowingly, shout slogans. A pro-West shouts slogans against the East and a pro-East shouts slogans against the West. Consequently this causes a delay in the affairs. Surely, it must be borne in mind that wherever the global arrogance cannot or does not want to directly interfere, it reaches its evil aims through its hired or non-hired agents, that is, through the criminal grouplets formed among the people. Using such levers, they take hold of whatever might lead to the development and progress of a nation, a revolution, and a country and do not let it stand on its own feet. We should, therefore, be aware and cautious, We should choose and pick out. We should set aside whatever is harmful.
We should also dispense with whatever brings about irreparably strong dependence. But there are things, for which providing a little amount of dependence, we must tolerate to move towards self-sufficiency, and to stand on our own feet. On the whole, these arrogant movements are cent per cent responsible for the backwardness of the Third World countries. They deem it expedient to give second or third rate or obsolete industries to the people if they have to, so that the product of such industries could not compete with that of the advanced industries.
When they gave us steel industry which is 20 years behind the modern steel industry, surely our iron and steel cannot compete with theirs. They gave us cement plants whose production cannot compete with their own cement production, and also it cannot be economical. Another crime of theirs is that they generally give outmoded industries to the backward countries as assembly industries. And so these countries always remain behind. This is the reason why we cannot compete with Japanese industries?
We build cars here, so do they, but the cars that they build, the advanced industries that they have need less number of workers, have greater speed, needless power and energy, and have more output. Here, it is the opposite of all these. Therefore, it cannot compete with what it is in the market. And they want to perpetuate this backwardness for ever. One of the missions of the Islamic Republic, to which they show great animosity, is to reach such a state, with the help of progressive minds, talents of our own people, and of those who understand the meaning of independence and self-sufficiency, by way of tolerating difficulties and hardships so as to stand on our own feet and become independent.
One of their very hazardous tactics is that the countries which fall into such a path should naturally suffer difficulties in establishing a sound economic infrastructure. They must control the welfare through consumer goods. If you want that all the houses be furnished with refrigerators, colour televisions, freezers, precious carpets, fruits of the season and after the season, and everything else and at the same time you want to have roads, ports, steel industries, Mubarakah Steel Complex, etc., this cannot be possible. After all, a limited amount of currency and production capacity should be allocated to one of them.
Another extremely dangerous tactic of the world arrogance is that they encourage the welfare-seeking people in the country. They prompt these people to stand in the queues in front of the shops to embarrass the officials and to put everything to question for the shortage of say, a drop of oil, or chicken, or eggs. Foreign radios too, provide them with backing and do not let the affairs run smoothly. With the pressure of public opinion, they force the officials to use, for such purposes, some of the means which must be otherwise employed for the actual developmental work.
One of the things which I saw in the metro file and which astounded me was that a leftist or semi-leftist but superficially Islamic grouplet had said: "We should not let the metro be built because the people's queues at bus stations are the best places for us to find followers and supporters." See what calculations they make. They consider it proper that two million man-hours of the people of Tehran be wasted in one day so that they could engage in criticism at bus stations while in queues and deviate a few people. They, therefore, invest huge amounts of capital, so that there would be no progress and the people would wait in queues for them to find followers.
The simple-minded people are influenced by them, but if they delve into the issue they must tell these grouplets that "for the last four years of war the Islamic Republic has succeeded in providing 12,000 villages with water and electricity, bringing a change in the life of villagers and also providing 350,000 gas connections (The gas which is the 300-year old resource of our country and could keep this country warm and moving forever.) We have provided gas connections from around Sarakhs, Kangan, and other parts of the country to the houses of villagers, and to the towns, and energy-consuming sources. But if the public opinion was ignorant and could not understand its own benefits, the government, instead of providing basic and necessary services, would be compelled to spend money to import chicken, meat, and cloth, so that the people would not be perverted in the queues. Of the misfortunes befalling a revolutionary nation is that the present world leaders encourage the attitude of consumption which they had already imposed on such nations. They do so within the country through their hirelings and from outside by raising hue and cry and using other means of propaganda. Thus they bar the way of people's correct advancement. But we should have the qualities of awareness, being revolutionary, and Muslims. We should not be perturbed by such issues. We should pursue the path we have chosen and, Allah (SWT) willing, we would make a sound model, and then point out that despite all pressures applied by global arrogance, there does exist the possibility that a nation could confront it, become self-sufficient and then become a model for others.
All this requires taqwa which constitutes the first part of the discussion. That is to say, they have planned very well. At first, they take taqwa away from people. When they take taqwa away, all this becomes easy for them to accomplish. Praise be to Allah (SWT) that our path is clear because of the teachings of the Holy Qur'an, the Messenger of Allah, our great leader, and Islamic jurisprudential bases. Before anything else, we must request the people to observe taqwa. If the people become pure and modest, prosperity would follow this purity. That numerous Friday Prayer leaders in hundreds of khutab (sermons) of Salatul-Jumu’ah call the people towards taqwa is itself a great blow on the global arrogance. These sermons have targeted the very point which they want to ruin. We emphasize taqwa piety, and commitment of our people and, Allah (SWT) willing, we will reach the status which Islam wants with the power of taqwa, Islamic and revolutionary intellect, with the guidance of our glorious Leadership, and with the support of a great people.