How Khomeini’s Fundamentalist Views Stimulate Iranian Incitement and Malicious Behavior
CAIRO: On October 6, 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot dead by Islamist militants during a military parade marking the anniversary of the 1979 Arab-Israeli war. The world condemned the attack. But in Tehran, the assassination was applauded.
A strike team made up of dissident army officers affiliated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad launched the attack, hoping it would spark an Islamist uprising. A brief insurgency took place in Asyout in Upper Egypt, but was quickly quelled.
Although Iran was not directly involved in the plot to kill Sadat, Ayatollah Khomeini, architect of the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the Shah, certainly played a role in inciting the act of violence.
Sadat, whose peace agreement with Israel had made him the target of extremist Islamists, had frequently criticized the Iranian theocratic regime, calling Khomeini a “madman” who distorted Islam.
The new Iranian rulers, for their part, accused Egypt of “betraying” the Palestinian people and launched scathing diatribes against Sadat for granting asylum to the Shah and giving a state funeral to the fallen monarch.
“The Egyptian people must know that if they had only rebelled like the Iranian people did, they would have thwarted the conspiracies,” Khomeini said after Sadat’s deal with Israel.
“The Egyptian people should not fear their government and care about their laws. Just as our people have broken the barrier of fear, they must fill the streets, banish the tails of arrogance and not compromise for this despised authority.
Iran was so grateful for Sadat’s murder that it glorified its assassin, Khalid Islambouli, even naming a street in Tehran after him.
But then again, the incitement, exportation and celebration of violent fundamentalism are written into the DNA of the 1979 revolution.
Iran’s interventionist policy, implemented through proxy warfare and malicious behavior, is tied to the same Khomeinist values that endure today through its successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“When we say that we have to spread our revolution everywhere, it should not be misinterpreted for us wanting to expand our borders,” Khomeini said in a sermon, shortly after taking power.
“We consider all Islamic countries to be part of us. We respect every country. We want to broadcast what happened in Iran and this awakening that led the people to move away from the great powers.
The Iranian constitution even says that the task of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is to spread the rule of God on earth and build a unified world society based on the struggle to free the oppressed from the earth. He also says that Iran’s foreign policy task is to support “legitimate jihad”.
Iran inspired the first extremist organization in Palestine, the Islamic Jihad Movement, in 1979, and supported Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic Dawa Party of Iraq throughout the 1980s.
The IRGC and its Hezbollah subordinates provided training to members of Al Qaeda in the 1990s and continue to fuel the flames of “legitimate jihad” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Iranian incitement contributed to the murder of prominent Lebanese intellectuals, of which Husayn Muruwwa, Mahdi Amel and Lokman Slim are just three.
The US State Department has consistently called Iran the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism, highlighting the execution of dissidents at home and the targeting of opponents abroad.
Khomeini glorified the sacrifices of impressionable young men like Islambouli who fill the ranks of Iran’s proxy armies, inciting others to fight and die for the cause of “jihad” and to achieve revolutionary goals.
“Because God is my witness, every time I look at these young people who fight on the front line with passion and vigor, I am ashamed of myself,” Khomeini said in a sermon. “Who are you? What are we? We’ve been in this world for eighty years – I speak for myself – and we haven’t realized what they did in a few days.
“We couldn’t discipline ourselves. For me it is too late, but you have to discipline yourself, be careful not to trade this world for something else. We are all mortal, that we must approach God in order to make room for ourselves in the next world.
Much of the ideology used to incite violence and motivate the regime’s infantrymen today was formulated long before Khomeini and his cronies took power.
In his book, “Islamic Government”, based on a series of lectures he gave in the Iraqi sanctuary city of Najaf in February 1970, Khomeini developed the system of velayat-e faqih – or tutelage of the Islamic jurist – which prevails. today in Iran. .
The book is a mishmash of inflammatory jurisprudence and radical Islamic principles, the ultimate goal of which is to incite jihad to strengthen the foundations of the revolutionary state and weaken those of the “tyrants” and “polytheists” of the regimes. non-Islamic who deserve to be overthrown. .
“The persistence of these governments means the disruption of the system of Islam and its provisions,” Khomeini wrote. “There are many texts that describe every non-Islamic regime as being polytheistic and its leader or authority as a tyrant. We are responsible for removing the effects of polytheism from our Muslim society and eliminating them from our lives. “
In essence, Khomeini peddled the baseless claim that a vast Jewish conspiracy was at work and that non-Islamist regimes, including the Gulf monarchies, were in cahoots with Israel and the Western powers.
“We must denounce this betrayal and cry out at the top of our lungs so that people understand that the Jews and their foreign masters are plotting against Islam, and pave the way for the Jews to prevail over everyone,” he said. -he says.
Khomeini also denounced what he saw as the influence of secularism on regional governments. “All the colonial institutions instilled in the minds of the people that religion does not meet politics, spirituality does not have to interfere in social affairs and lawyers do not have the right to determine the fate of the nation, ”he said without any foundation.
“It is very unfortunate that some of us believed in these lies, thus realizing the greatest hope that the souls of the colonizers dreamed of.”
For Khomeini, the infiltration of these secular institutions by the Islamists was an effective means of overthrowing them. “It is natural that Islam should be allowed to infiltrate the organs of the oppressors if the real aim is to curb grievances, or to provoke a coup against those in charge. In this case, infiltration is even mandatory and no one can disagree, ”he wrote.
Indeed, it echoed the findings of Sayyid Qutb, a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was convicted and hanged in 1966 for plotting the assassination of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. “We must fight the rule of the tyrant, for Almighty God ordered it and he prohibited obedience to the tyrant,” Khomeini wrote.
Decades later, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini’s pupil Ali Khamenei released his “Islamic-Iranian Fundamental Plan for Progress”.
The 56-point document, released on October 14, 2018, set out the supreme leader’s vision for the next 50 years, including “the expansion of the reasoning and spirit of ‘jihad’ into the Islamic world, supporting the movements of Islamic liberation and demanding the rights of the Palestinian people. “
Half a century after Khomeini published “The Islamic Government”, it is evident that the same principles of interventionism and incitement shape the regime’s vision for the next 50 years.