The Wolves of the Modern History
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Friday Prayer Sermon in Tehran (June 15, 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. Allah Almighty says in His Holy Book:
"Surely Allah enjoins the 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 he mindful. (16:90)."
The Sovereignty of Human Rights
Under the discussion on social justice, so far some khutab (sermons) have been delivered on racial discrimination, the last of which dealt with the condition of equality and justice in the `jungle of dollar' and centre of the world imperialism of the West. I have clearly explained this issue. Following this discussion, we received telephones, letters, and numerous messages from all over the world, pointing out that this discussion could be very effective on the global level in highlighting the views of the Muslims, and the deprived, and in introducing Islam universally. In this khutbah, I am presenting a certain part of the history of one of the oppressed areas of the East, in the Far East, which is related to the same discussion. This is one of those, revealing and poignant pieces of history, the like of which you cannot find. For long, I thought of presenting this piece of contemporary history in the khutbah of Salatul-Jumu'ah. I only needed an occasion to do so and now it is available. It indicates these discussions on the crimes of global arrogance towards the coloured-skinned people and on their ill-treatment towards the people in the coloured-skinned communities.
About seven or eight months ago, one of the representatives of the Majlis (Islamic Consultative Assembly) wrote a letter to me, and in it he related issues narrated by a Muslim Cambodian university student who has been a refugee in France, and has been a member of the Islamic association of the Cambodians in France. It included issues about Cambodia and the problems with which the Muslims are faced there. The letter was very shocking. I sent the letter to the Ministry of foreign Affairs and asked it to send me a detailed account regarding Cambodia, our policy concerning Cambodia, and the measures taken in regard to such matters.
The Seventh Political Office of the Foreign Ministry prepared a detailed account and sent it to me. In this account, the fate of the Muslims in Cambodia and their existing condition in recent years were included. I have already had some information in this regard, but when I read this account, I realized how the world of Islam is heedless of such an important matter, and how it is even considered as a partner in this great crime which is being committed. On the very day that I read it, I telephoned Ayatullah Khamene'i, the president, and said that I have been grieved by this account. However, the engagements and preoccupations compelled us to postpone the issue and so far we were not able to work on it. Now I am expressing it in this khutbah of Salatul-Jumu'ah and I think that such a discussion will be very helpful in enlightening you, and anyone who later reads these khutab (sermons), and it will effectively specify the visage of global arrogance.
These Westerners and Easterners, who have raised the banner of human rights, and under it they showed great enthusiasm, will be totally exposed to the people. This discussion will also disgrace the reactionary movements under the name of Islam. It will highlight too, the oppression suffered by the Muslims, the deprived of the world, and the coloured-skinned people. It will show to what extent the imperialists and even the communists really believe in the principles which they claim to abide by, such as those of human rights, nation's sovereignty, the right to self-determination, the right to social justice, the government (rule) of people by people, and the like.
The Crimes Committed by the Global Arrogance in Cambodia
Cambodia is a small country in the Far East, in the South-East of Vietnam, and Indochina. In this region, there are Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. This combination is called Indochina. You are quite familiar with Vietnam because of the incidents which occurred there. This area was mainly a colony of France. Cambodia, about which we are talking now, has been directly the colony of France during the period of about 90 years. The French have committed the worst crimes there. I will deal with these discussions later on, which will highlight the trend of the history of the five hundred years of crimes committed by the white Europeans. But here we have another part of the discussion.
During these past few years, after the Communists’ victory in China, the Communist Soviet Union and China focused their attention on Indochina and decided to take it away from the West. The communist movements reached the climax in these countries. In North Vietnam, the Vietminh in South Vietnam, the Vietcong, in Laos, the Patit Laos, and in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge were continuing their struggle. In 1954, the great legend of people's struggles occurred in Dien Bien Phu and North Vietnam was freed from the yoke of France, and South Vietnam was taken by the Americans. The bloody struggles of South Vietnam and their communist satellites commenced. At that time in Cambodia, a person called "Sihanouk" who was a king before, headed the State and ruled over the people. He was anti-American but liberal. His relations with China were not bad, and the communists did not have much to do with him. Although the Khmer Rouge had to encounter him, they did not receive any help from outside. When in Vietnam, anti-American struggles were at their peak, nothing of the kind existed in Cambodia.
When in 1967, the Vietnamese succeeded in shattering and defeating the Americans, the latter decided to have a strong base in that area in line with their arrogant policy. They decided to set up this base in Cambodia. They took control of Cambodia by a coup d'etat made by Colonel Lemnel. Cambodia became one of the main centres of America. This has been in line with the same policy which America now pursues in our region. When it faced a defeat in Iran and suffered this disgrace, it decided to strengthen its foothold in Iraq. But it could not succeed in organizing a coup d'etat in Iraq. Yet, it is trying, in different ways through Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and recently through Israel, to strengthen its foothold in Iraq. In Cambodia, it did this by a coup d'etat, and Cambodia was Americanized. When this condition occurred and Sihanouk was toppled, the people of Cambodia rebelled against Lemnel through the instigation of Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and China.
The Khmer Rouge were communists who were the standard-bearers of struggle against Lemnel. As a result of these pressures, they succeeded in defeating him in the year 1975 and in setting up the Khmer Rouge rule as a Communist party in Cambodia. From, the year 1975, i.e. about 9 years ago, Cambodia became a Communist country. At the same time, the Patit Laos also became victorious in Laos. In Thailand too, the popular and communist struggles started against the ruling regime.
Now this strange story starts from here. Vietnam is entirely communist, and its north and south became united. Laos is also communist, so is Cambodia. The communists of Vietnam and Laos are of the Russian type with the same Russian little moderation with which it treats the minorities and others. But the Khmer Rouge claimed that they wanted to implement the genuine communism in Cambodia, yet they depicted the most severe and harsh history of the world there. I am not concerned now with the Khmer Rouge. In this case, I want to explicate the global policy of arrogant powers to show their actual nature. They came and said they wanted to implement genuine communism. They did not even accept the cultural revolution of Mao, and said that Mao showed conservative inclinations, so he was defeated. They did not accept anyone except themselves.
They said one of the things which Marxist ideology stressed was the issue of family life. Marx said: "Family is the outcome of the bourgeois economy and is the outcome of man's desire for monopoly that he makes his wife and children as slaves under the name of family life. When ladies enter the society and, like men, have jobs and find economic independence, family life will then bear no meaning. Man will be free, woman will be free, and children will be reared by the government. Love will also be free and the issue of married life will be null and void, and the entire society will be free in all its types of relations. Marx mentioned these issues in his very notable book entitled: "The German Doctrine" and also explained them in the book entitled: "The Capital", Engels, in the book entitled: "The Origin of Family and Private Ownership and Government", which is from Marx's notebook, wrote: "This was the will of Marx." Regarding this book Lenin noted saying: "It is a book, behind every word of which there is a true historical reality." They accord much significance to this book. In this book, and in the book on the communist principles, he delved into the issue and said that the day when the unit of family is dissolved in the world, the society could enjoy a basic freedom. So Long as there exists the family unit, the woman and children remain captives and the man a slaver.
The Crimes of the Communist Khmer Rouge
The Communist Khmer Rouge said that they primarily had to dissolve the family unit. Of course, when Lenin ruled over Russia, he did not put this thesis into practice even though he supported it. This was because practically it could not be applied. Among other Marxist principles is the issue of private ownership. According to the basic teachings of Marxism, there should be no private ownership of anything even shoes, tooth-brushes, handkerchiefs, etc. that is, they did not accept any established (fixed) relationship between man and the objects. We and the friends, who were in the prison, still remember those communists who desired to become more communistic did not believe, for instance, that even our personal shoes and clothes belonged to ourselves. They even accused us of heresy.
Of course, in prison there was the spirit of sacrifice, that one did not want to see others in dire need while he had something more than he needed. This was an acceptable condition. But those individuals did not believe that these things belonged to their respective owners, so they created a problem for us in this regard. In relation to private ownership in Cambodia, they came and said that there is no ownership of anything at all. People should only come, eat their food and go and should not work. The government is also duty-bound to provide sufficient food and clothing. They did not approve city life and mostly ruined the cities.
They did not approve the presence of experts and massacred them. They especially massacred the doctors and engineers. They did not approve the foreign culture, and regarded the cultures of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism as the old historical bourgeois vestiges. They, therefore, eliminated these entirely. They massacred regional clergymen, be they Muslims, Christians, or Buddhists, except those who accepted to live as members of the Khmer Rouge. In Cambodia, the population stood approximately between 2 and 7 million. The Westerners claim that in these four years, three million people were killed. The Russians and the Vietnamese claim that four million people were killed, as both sides were faced with problems there. In this country, at least 700,000 Muslims lived and the Russians and the Vietnamese claim that 400,000 of the Muslims were killed; and the Westerners say that 200,000 to 300,000 Muslims were killed in a very gruesome and savage manner.
Extermination of Muslims in Cambodia
In Cambodia, they showed a very harsh treatment towards the Muslims. Because the Muslims played a more vigorous and active role than those of the other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, they therefore, suppressed the Muslims more than the others.
The history of Muslims there dates back to about five and a half centuries ago when the Muslims developed a civilization in a place in South Vietnam called "Champa" which has now become part of Cambodia. The Chams lived there since the second century A.D. They then converted to Islam and accepted it as their religion. They collectively strengthened the Islamic culture. Even the Arabic script, rather than the native one, is prevalent there. Libraries and mosques were erected there. And on the whole, they launched a very good movement and had deep roots. The Khmer Rouge decided to uproot their culture.
They indiscriminately burned all the books written in Arabic. After the downfall of the Khmer Rouge, no one could find a single book written in Arabic script unless the books were hidden under the ground like buried treasures. To dissolve the family unit, their plan (of the Khmer Rouge) was to set up camps in villages. In each camp, they separated the husbands and the wives from one another. They sent the wife to one camp, the husband to another, and the son and daughter to other separate camps. Two members of one family were not allowed to live in the same camp so as to totally sever the family relations. Small children also lost contact with their parents; so that the latter would not present them cultural teachings and insinuations about the Khmer Rouge. Now see what problems cropped up. One of the issues was that of marriage; and being mahram (very close relative with whom marriage is prohibited according to the Islamic Shari`ah) or ghayr-mahram; an issue which is very important for the Muslims.
They enacted a law stipulating the death penalty for whoever resisted. Nearly everyday, they used to kill several Muslims in different camps, because they did not accept to marry in a religiously unlawful manner. Muslim women typically observed the Islamic hijab. They placed a ban on the observance of the hijab but realized that this was of no avail. They ordered them to be bare from the waist up to the head. They said that the upper part of the body does not need clothes. In Western and Eastern sources, it has been mentioned that young Muslim women, whose hair was long, used their hair to cover the upper part of their body. At this point, they ordered that the women's hair should be shaved, so that they could not use it in such a way. Being a clergyman was also considered an offence, and it was only sufficient for a person to be proved a clergyman. They were also particular about killing dogs and pigs before the eyes of the Muslims and cooking their meat with the food which usually consisted of cabbage soup and rice. Knowing that the Muslims do not eat najis (Islamically impure) food, they used to give it to the Muslims by force; and if anyone refrained from eating these foods, his punishment was nothing other than putting him to death.
They put the people to death by using the axe (hatchet) or the pickaxe. Or they put the people to death collectively. To economize, they gathered several so-called `offenders' in one place and blew them all up with grenades. Or they put them in a truck and unloaded it into a valley or elsewhere. In this way, they exterminated all of them together. It was not to their advantage to kill them one by one. These are not things used as Western propaganda to disgrace the Khmer Rouge or as Eastern propaganda. Rather both the Easterners and Westerners have mentioned these atrocities. In addition, the refugees have also mentioned it. They have many people who fled the country to go abroad as refugees for safety.
One of the places where their refugees are gathered is Malaysia. A large number of them lived in Malaysia during the period which the Khmer Rouge were ruling, the Malaysians offered asylum to the refugees and they went there. I received a pamphlet from the refugees and read it. Truly its contents are deplorable. Of course, some other refugees are also in France and elsewhere. At any rate, four years passed in such a way. Then Vietnam launched an attack on Cambodia and Colonel Samerrin, who was Russian communist and a supporter of Vietnam, came to power there. The Khmer Rouge's rule was then terminated. And the Khmer Rouge fell under the protection of China. With the backing of China, the Khmer Rouge settled in Southern Cambodia and now have a low position.
The Wolves of the Modern History
At this point, the main discussion which is an analysis of the standpoints of the East and the West will commence. Just see how crooked the world conscience is, and how much they lie, and what problems we can face through these wolves of modern history. The same person, Mr. Sihanouk, whom they seized and imprisoned, whose daughter they killed with bullets, and whose family members were massacred by them, has now been forced by China to form a front with the defeated Khmer Rouge. Now in Cambodia, there is a front called the Khmer Rouge Front; another front called Son San, which is American, and headed by a colonel, and which is backed by the CIA and others; another front called the Chinese Front which conducts its activities under the supervision of Sihanouk. These three fronts constitute the popular Democratic government of Cambodia, but have no specific place (to work). They live here and there. From that period, that is, from the year 1979 up to the present, Cambodia is ruled by the Vietnamese, through the agent of Vietnam, Colonel Samerrin. He no longer massacres the people. His treatment is moderate. Many Muslims have returned home.
The mosques which had turned into stables have been erected again, and the libraries which had been burned have more or less been furnished again. The situation has become a little better and is on the way of becoming normal again. Now the East and the West are face to face there, and Marxism and capitalism are being put to a test. This is one of the admonishments of modern history, showing how much they lie and how brazen they are.
When the Khmer Rouge were in power, the Westerners opposed it as it was a communist movement and also launched propaganda against it. But now the entire West, and the ASEAN Treaty (which comprises five countries: Indonesia, and Malaysia from Islamic countries, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand from non-Islamic.countries) are supporting the Khmer Rouge. China also supports them.
In the United Nations, the Khmer Rouge still hold a seat. That is, after the lapse of five years, see how this brazen United Nations Organization, which wants to implement the Human Rights, acts in such cases.
Perhaps these statements which I make about the United Nations have been explicated in numerous articles in this regard. The archives of the United Nations definitely include a detailed account of these crimes. But the United Nations Organization still recognizes the Khmer Rouge as the true sovereign of that region. On this side too, the Russians, Vietnam, the 'satellites' of Russia in general, the entire Europe, Eastern Europe along with some countries following them, Cuba, and India accept the Samerrin Front. Of course, in our view, neither that nor this is lawful. This one is the foreign rule of Vietnam and should leave, and the other one is the tyrannical rule of the oppressor and should also leave.
From the very beginning, the stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been based on neither the East nor the West. It has recognized neither those nor these. We have specified our standpoint from the very beginning. But this is how they are. When the Nonaligned countries met in New Delhi, one of their hot debates was that Sihanouk should take part in the Non-Aligned Movement on behalf of Cambodia, or Samerrin should do so. Finally, with the pressure exerted by the Russians, the Indians succeeded in annulling the Khmer Rouge seat, even though Colonel Samerrin also did not get enough votes to come. Just see what sort of stances these adopt in the world. How could a country like Indonesia, with a Muslim population of more than one hundred and forty million, adopt such a stance towards the murderer of three or four hundred thousand Muslims? How is that Indonesia brings them under its protection? How can it defend them in the United Nations? Of course, Malaysia has a mixed population of Muslims and non-Muslims. For instance, the majority of fifty-odd per cent of its population consists of Muslims. This indicates that the claimed mental, doctrinal, and ideological boundaries are all false. What they say is totally mendacious and deceitful. See how America, which claims to defend human rights in this way, and the Westerners, who differently claim to defend human rights, back the Khmer Rouge who have committed so many a crime. See how they endeavour to preserve the seat of the Khmer Rouge in the United Nations Organization.
How can the United Nations Organization which has so many departments for human rights, give itself the right to maintain their seat? See the Russians on the other hand; how was that when the Russian Khmer Rouge, as following genuine communism, ruled over there, the Russians, who defend international communism, fought against them? It was good that they fought against them. I am not protesting against their fighting. Yet they do not properly work according to the general principles; they utter lies. The very title of international communism is a false tricky thing. For them the interests of the pole are to be taken care of, so are the political interests (before anything else).
The title of human rights is entirely false for America, Britain, and France. Political issues are of main concern. Votes in the United Nations are important. The market, raw materials, and oil are of main concern. These are the principles for them. This is the type which now wields control over the world. That was the Eastern world and the other was the Western world. Both of them accepted that the crimes committed in Cambodia stood second to the crimes of Hitler as being unprecedented. Of course, in terms of severity they are even ahead of Hitler, because Hitler did not massacre the people to this extent, that is, more than fifty per cent, and with such a high degree of severity. When their situation is like this and they confess it too, how do they sacrifice their principles over these issues? We are faced with such an unprincipled world. They accuse us and call us "fundamentalists"; of course, if by "fundamentalists" they mean the ones who abide by the principles (of religion), it is right, But this is not what they mean. They want to say that we are reactionary, and that strict people who have no intellectual flexibility are reactionary. This is what they deem flexibility.
This type of people are crystallized in those types of people you see in the world. In our own country we saw that when these Muslim youth whom we knew in the prison struggled in this way, we were amazed; that, for instance, Sharif Waqifi was taken and killed by his fellow-combatants. They placed grenade in his stomach and blew it up. This is the type of Khmer Rouge and they are of the American brand. That is, the case is such that when this place did not work, they fled and became the mercenaries of Saddam, France, and America.
The Main Axis for a Man with Taqwa
In the modern world, Reagan, Mitterrand, Husni Mubarak, King Husayn, King Hasan, Saddam, Tariq `Aziz, Rajawi, Bani Sadr, Bakhtiyar, Thatcher, and all of them are of the same leaven. That is, when one analyzes their doings, he realizes that for them the principle constitutes political interests, banding together, and grouping, who will vote to them, who will follow them and abide by them, and who will blindly adhere to them. They implement it wherever they can and such a regime turns out. Islam is basically against this way of living. As I have already mentioned, Islam regards belief and taqwa as the main criterion. It sets up a pious society. It enables God-fearing pious leaders to rule and precludes trickery and deceptions. This is the distinctive feature of Islam. The following Quranic verse, highlights this very issue:
"And among mankind is he whose speech about the life of this world pleases you, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart, yet he is the most rigid of adversaries. And when he turns away (from you and comes to power) he endeavours to make mischief in the land and to destroy the tillage and the breeding stock and Allah does not like mischief.” (2: 204-205)
There are some people who raise slogans. At these slogans, one wonders that they are so nice good people. These conferences, statements, claims, advocacy of the deprived, advocacy of so-and-so, struggle against arrogance, and things which give rise to such slogans. But when they become in charge of affairs, you will realize what type of people they are, and the Qur'an introduces them in this way; and on the other side it introduces another group as follows:
And among mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is compassionate to (His) slaves. "(2: 207).
Islam regards as axis, the sacrificing and pious people who observe taqwa (God-fearing, obedience to Allah and piety)
In your country, the best examples of human rights are existing due to the sovereignty of taqwa and revolutionary criteria which are under the attack of the mendacious proclaimers of human rights. But they close their eyes. In your country, the rights of the religious minorities, like the overwhelming majority, are safeguarded. Which place in the world is the case so? Five representatives of religious minorities (who in the proportion of their population have more representatives in the Majlis than we) have, like other representatives, similar seats and vote like others. Their vote may reject or approve a bill.
The day before yesterday, in a meeting in one of our Majlis departments in which a Jewish doctor is a member, one of the credentials of a candidate could have been approved or rejected by one vote. We see that one vote could have determined the fate of a Muslim candidate, who was also a university professor, for election as a Majlis representative. We abide by these principles. Of course, one small incident of one of the minorities who had raised its expectations too high, embarked on assassinating our foreign guests. This causes a trouble in the foreign policy of the country. With regard to education, the constitution, which they voted for, says that all the curricula should be in Persian. Only the extra-curricular subjects could be in their own (minorities) languages in the schools. Now the Armenians are making trouble. Their children do not sit for examinations or do the like of these. They say, for instance, that they want to have religious education in their own language.
But the Constitution stipulates that no official course could be conducted in their language. If they do so, they will be tried. They themselves have approved this Constitution. Surely, they are free to write all their religious books in their own language. They are also free to teach (in their own language) in non-official times or in the hours they desire. In their churches and synagogues they can act as they want. But in the official class time, such courses must be in Persian. Their expectations have risen beyond the limit in this country; nevertheless, they have not been treated harshly despite all the problems they have created for us. This is our Islam and the Islamic Republic and our Islamic Revolution.
Now compare this with the treatment of Washington toward the Muslims' mosque. For months, the Muslims are performing their salat (prayers) in the streets in sunshine, rain, and snow, because they do not conform to Washington's policy. But we do not treat the Armenians here in this way. Yet we are branded as being against human rights and those `gentlemen' (Americans) become the standard-bearers of human rights. Those, who presently back the criminal Khmer Rouge's seat in the United Nations, become the proponents of human rights. And those who support the atrocious Saddam, who destroyed out cities in this way, become the advocates of human rights while we become something else.
This is the visage of modern world. You should appreciate your own spiritual worth. Preserve this axis and main base of Islam, as well as the realities and taqwa. This is the path of Allah (SWT). Of course, it has difficulties. They try to create obstacles and impediments in its way. They use all their power to create economic, political, and cultural barriers in its way, because it has put under question all their claimed principles, has condemned their mode of living, has shown and revealed to the world their erroneous course of action, and has explicitly made disclosures about them.
Therefore, they cannot tolerate a pure Islamic and popular movement based on taqwa, reality, and equity, because they either have to say that this is false, or admit that they are lying. And they prefer to say that this is false. In any case, I hope that the details I have given would be useful in making known the visage of your enemies, as well as their claims. I hope it would be beneficial to enlighten those who are allured by their words, particularly the youths, so that they would conduct further studies on this issue. Perhaps many books are written in this regard, and they ca find these books in the libraries.