Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 June 2009

Africa: Khomeini - Setting Agenda for the World

column

The world that emerged from the Age of Religion supposedly led to the Age of Reason; and the struggle that accompanied the transition automatically set religion and reason in an ageless conflict between misnamed antagonists.

Its beginning was an error, its middle a terror and its end a tragedy in which the world exchanged solid religious truth for ephemeral scientific theories.

Throughout history revolutions that sought to liberate man from all forms of yokes and shackles had come and gone; and among them the Islamic Revolution in Iran by Imam Khomeini [qss] stood unique. One, it is the only revolution that, instead of breaking away from the past, went back to it. Two, it is the only revolution able to challenge, defeat and bury the vestiges and shackles imposed upon its world by Zionism, because the Islamic Revolution was the only one not carried out in its name. And that is part of the reason why hostility to his movement and the obscurantist veil cast over his revolution will remain in place so long as Zionism retains control over international media.

But we are wiser today. Whatever the disguises its actors adopt, the world has been a stage and history has always been the account of the titanic struggles between the forces for Good and Evil, typified by the doctrine of might is right, as when Abel faced Cain; or, by the exploitative power of the purse, as Moses [AS] and Croesus crossed swords; or, by the self-serving abuse of divine knowledge as Jesus [AS] took on the Pharisees and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple. In our time, all these three seemed to have come together in the encounter between Imam Khomeini [qss]--a representative of the Holy Prophet [SAW]--and the West.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of his demise. And so, 20 years later--and the imposition of the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war [1980-1988]s, the Gulf War I [1991] and Gulf War II [2003] and the invasion of Afghanistan in all of which up to 2 million people might have been killed and trillion dollars worth of Muslim patrimony destroyed, after sustained political, economic and diplomatic sanctions and isolation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, after the ill-fated Israeli invasions of Lebanon, and after turning nuclear Pakistan into a near-failed state, the Americans have finally given up on Iran, or have they?

US President Barack Obama might have been the decisive factor in bringing about the current scenario; but even without him, it was not difficult to see that the US multi-pronged attempt at crushing the Islamic Revolution was ill-advised, futile and doomed to failure from the very beginning, and what he did was the only sensible thing to do.

Nonetheless, it is part of the victory of the Islamic Revolution that the Western world has finally come round and accepted to engage Iran on its own self-dignifying Islamic terms.

It is also part of the victory of the revolution that Hizbullah seized the moment and is today effectively calling the shots, determining the pace of events and controlling the geopolitics of the Middle East, and keeping the United States and all other Western powers in check. When it twice defeated Israel, the West realised that the time for a new Middle East had arrived; but the same Hizbullah would not allow them to create it on their own terms. With the advent of Imam Khomeini [qss], the days of American Islam--in the Gulf and everywhere else--became numbered; and when Hizbullah came onto the scene, they ended. And with that one off, it became time for informed prediction.

When in 1989, the Imam wrote his famous epistle to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, delivered pointedly by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli, the great mystic and the very antithesis of Marxist ethos, it turned out that he was in fact sending an executioner to a system condemned. In the letter, he told Gorbachev that henceforth whoever was looking for Communism would find it only in the dustbin of political history. Perhaps Gorbachev didn't fully understand; but it was clear that he understood even less the fact that he was to be the undertaker for Communism and the dustman all in one. And what an effective undertaker he was!

Thus, by the time of his demise, the Imam had seen to the end of Communism; and, now, out of its greed, Capitalism is rushing to see to its own end. But the two events are in fact not unlinked; for, when he yanked at the tree, Khomeini [qss] didn't so much as worry about its ideological branches, he pulled the whole damn thing out by its Zionist roots and cast it aside. That was 30 years ago.

After leading that revolution to victory, he oversaw the setting up of an Islamic government, entrenched a uniquely Islamic democratic culture saw to the creation of unique institutions of governance and then guided the system to stability. Despite the imposition of wars, encirclement by American bases in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, multiplicity of sanctions and an unprecedented plague of urban terror on the nation, the Iranian people have over the past three decades gone to the polls 24 times; first, in a nationwide referendum to determine the character of their new republic, and thereafter 23 times to elect six presidents, hundreds of legislators, regional and municipal officials in elections that were demonstrably free and fair. Today, in spite of the West and the activities of the confederate-like, traitorous capitalist rearguard of the Muslim World, the Islamic Republic is a nuclear power--and perhaps the only truly independent country in this world.

And this is not even the Imam's greatest handiwork. Khomeini [qss] was a modern-day Insan al-Kamil, a man emptied of ego--a true successor to the Prophets of God--in whom we saw the coming together of knowledge and action, the marriage of faith and practice and the fusion of erudition and gnosis, a combination that takes away fear from the heart of Man and imbues life with a higher purpose. His was truly the embodiment of his own motto: Fear none but God, and in Him put your trust.

And this Islamic hero seemed cut out for his role. His whole life was one of concern for preserving the integrity of Islam and the inviolability of its ordinances, love and respect for the Holy Prophet and his progeny as a religious duty, anxiousness to present the true visage of Islam to the world, and a devotion to the cultivation and dissemination of the true knowledge of Islam.

It was out of that concern that he fainted, regained consciousness and fainted again when the heart-rending news reached him that a king had violated the territorial integrity and spiritual sanctity of the Haram in Mecca in 1987. Thus it was that he alone defended the Holy Prophet [SAW] when Salman Rushdie, that hireling of the Western avant-garde, tried to traduce upon his holy honour; and, in defiance of the West, cut-off Iranian oil supply to South Africa and broke the economic backbone of Apartheid. And it was Khomeini [qss] who finally led the snake of knowledge out of its black hole--and it thereafter slithered all over the world.

This was the Man from Qum, who after a millennium of modern paganism, single-handedly gave the world its agenda and forced it back to God and to religion and the world took after him in involuntary awe of the unstoppable reverberations of his epoch-making Islamic Revolution, an event that restored confidence to Muslims and instilled hope in all oppressed peoples of whatever faiths--and, for those who know, it heralded the promise of a new dawn to the world--a dawn that can be delayed but can never prevented.

Condolences to a world deprived of him; and woe and heart-felt condolences to the Muslims who chose to remain ignorant of that which happened before their very eyes--a revolution in the name of Islam that shook the entire world, saved their faith and sounded the death knell to secularism and the oppressive systems basking in its shadow.

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