by Abu Dharr (Guest Editorial, Crescent International Vol. 36, No. 6, Rajab, 1428)
The Islamic Uprising in Iran a quarter of a century ago is too important and too special for Muslims to simply watch it wander from its original and true course. We remember all too clearly the impact this breakthrough had on Muslims everywhere. For the first time in modern history, Muslims had risen against a corrupt government and its imperialist and zionist sponsors, and were able to take control of their own country, and begin to show the rest of us how things should be done.
Of course, the road forward was not likely to be smooth. The sponsors of the Pahlavi regime could not be expected to sit and watch a people shape their own future on the basis of their Islamic faith and commitment. Throughout the last 25 years, America and Israel have been working to bring the Islamic government in Iran to its knees, with the support of their Western allies, Iran’s pro-Western neighbours and even supporters within Iran. Iran’s borders amount to some 8,000 kilometers; American troops are now based across six thousand kilometers of this border. This grim scenario has been gradually built over 25 years, and has passed almost unnoticed by most Muslims, and even most Iranians. There has never been any cessation of hostilities between the followers of the line of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), who refuse to compromise when it comes to the independence and sovereignty of the Islamic state, and the numerous other interests wanting to shape the state on their terms.
Part of our object in this new column is to look at some of the gaps that have developed since the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), many of which are rooted in earlier events, and how these gaps have caused serious problems about which we can no longer remain silent. But before we walk into this sensitive area, one point needs to be made absolutely clear. This is that none of the points we make are intended to express any criticism of Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the successor to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as Rahbar of the Islamic State. Many of the points we make will be highlighting natural processes in the evolution of post-Revolutionary state and society. Others will indeed involve criticism of errors and failures in Iran, mainly on the part of those who have been responsible for aspects of Iranian government and policy at the executive level. It was inevitable that such errors and failures should emerge over a quarter of a century in an unprecedented and highly-pressured historical situation; unfortunately they have contributed greatly to what many now see as the Islamic experiment’s current stagnation.
Sometimes frank statements of truth can be bitter pills to swallow; we hope no-one will consider this column to be too bitter a pill. We say what we say only to express our honest understanding of the issues. If we are correct, we appeal earnestly to Allah to accept our humble words to our humble readers. If not, we request Allah’s forgiveness and correction from anyone able to do so; without, we hope, descending into personal issues or hidden agendas. Ameen.
One of the things we try to do in this column is to confront false impressions head-on. This month, we address the myth that America is trying to “spread democracy” in the Islamic East, although the use of this argument has been declining in almost perfect proportion to the increasing military failures of the armies of the US and its allies – particularly zionist Israel – wherever they have tried to pursue their interests through war. Listen to the speeches of the highest officials of imperialism in America, and the change of tone is inescapable. The reasons are equally clear. Even the lukewarm US endorsement of democracy in Iraq, Egypt and occupied Palestine resulted in successes for the Islamic movements in those countries, which is the precise opposite of what the powers-that-be perversely expected. Scariest of all for the “pro-democracy” crowd in official Washington and Tel Aviv was the election of Hamas to positions of authority by the people of occupiedPalestine. Almost as bad has been the success of Islamists in Iraq, who have established a Vichy-style government under US occupation of their country, when the imperialists were expecting pro-Western secular Iraqi nationalists to be the beneficiaries of their invasion; the US is almost as scared of its supposed allies in Baghdad as it is of the resistance in the country.
If the invasion of Iraq by the “coalition of the willing” (remember that phrase?) was ever intended to establish democracy, it could only have been as a facade for a pro-Western dictatorship like those of other Arab countries. Failing that, the West clearly prefers the instability generated by its fueling of sectarianism in the first instance, with sectarian and ethnic clashes as a result. For the US and Israel, an Iraq aflame with the fires of Sunni andShi‘i sectarianism, with the potential to spread into Iran, Turkey and Arabia, is far preferable to an independent and stable Iraqi state that truly reflects the political instincts of its Muslim people. Such conflict in the Muslim world would be a defense for the zioniststate, as surely as the concrete wall that the zionists are building on their forged borders. But despite its best efforts, the US has not been able to set off this self-consuming civil war. Iraq, no doubt, is suffering from symptoms of Sunni- Shi‘i friction, but fears ofintercenine slaughter on a grand scale have not been realised, to the disappointment no doubt of Bernard Lewis, Henry Kissinger and their like. Dick Cheney and George Bush would be disappointed too, if they had the depth of imagination to understand what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. This lack may explain their state of denial. So the question is, what the neo-con insiders may be cooking up to try next.
The first thing to note is that the imperialist and zionist myth-makers are currently doing their unrestrained best to build up al-Qa’ida. They are telling the world that al-Qa’ida has reconstituted itself and is as robust now as it was before 9/11. This type of claim is meant to prepare the world for another political spectacular on the scale of 9/11. It appears that the original 9/11 has run out of political gas.
The first thing to note is that the imperialist and zionist myth-makers are currently doing their unrestrained best to build up al-Qa’ida. They are telling the world that al-Qa’ida has reconstituted itself and is as robust now as it was before 9/11. This type of claim is meant to prepare the world for another political spectacular on the scale of 9/11. It appears that the original 9/11 has run out of political gas. The American neo-conservatives and their zionist allies can find little more mileage in exploiting that day of infamy. There are hints that a future 9/11 will be a biochemical event.
For the computer-savvy in our readership we ask: is it possible for those using the internet to elude detection by governments such as the USA if they were really determined to find this al-Qa’ida? If al-Qa’ida is so troubling and such a threat, why don’t the US and its fellow governments shut down their sites, as they have shut down the al-Manar website? The simple answer is that if the US and its computer technicians were to shut down al-Qa’ida’s on-line operations, the US itself would be out of its imperial business, or at least that business would not be as lucrative as it is with al-Qa’ida producing periodical statements to feed the imperial beast.
We have said before, and it bears repeating here, that al-Qa’ida was and is a false-positive. Any time acts of random killing, massacres, and bombing in public places occur, the world’s establishment media conveniently finds an internet site that claims that al-Qa’ida has confirmed its responsibility for such mayhem and devastation. For the computer-savvy in our readership we ask: is it possible for those using the internet to elude detection by governments such as the USA if they were really determined to find this al-Qa’ida? If al-Qa’ida is so troubling and such a threat, why don’t the US and its fellow governments shut down their sites, as they have shut down the al-Manar website? The simple answer is that if the US and its computer technicians were to shut down al-Qa’ida’s on-line operations, the US itself would be out of its imperial business, or at least that business would not be as lucrative as it is with al-Qa’ida producing periodical statements to feed the imperial beast.
Al-Qa’ida has become a one-size-fits-all label. Mossad sponsors a deadly blast in Baghdadand a video goes on-line in the name of al-Qa’ida, with claims that Muslims are boasting of the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The CIA commissions a string of rigged vehicles to explode at various shrines, and then goes to the internet to post a sign saying al-Qa’ida has claimed responsibility for the slaughter. There is no doubt that some Muslims are involved in appalling acts of violence, but none either that any number of secret units, belonging to various intelligence agencies, are themselves directly or indirectly – via local mercenaries in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere – working to undermine Muslim sympathy for the Islamic movements by blaming them for the wanton killing of thousands of people – Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It takes a lot of forcible indoctrination into a new set of attitudes and beliefs by the worldwide media to have the average Muslim and the average Christian believe that al-Qa’ida is now where it was just before 9/11. How can this be, when its two commanders are on the run, underground, in no man’s land, thousands of miles away from the US or the UK?
So if we are shocked again by another 9/11, we should be aware that responsibility is a lot less likely to lie with the two fugitives in hiding at the ends of the world than with those far more powerful and organised forces that we should think of as the real al-Qa’ida: the insidious deep-insiders of Mossad, MI6 and the CIA whose interests are served by plunging American society and the “free world” into a political panic against the Muslim peoples of the world in general, and Islamic movements for independence from Western hegemony in particular.
Any Muslim anywhere in the world knows that jihad is valid and legitimate against the powers of zionism and imperialism. Even a relatively naive Muslim knows that this jihad is in the making, and that sooner or later the joint domination of Israel and America over the Muslim world will be broken by political jihad, at considerable cost to the Ummah. The question is how this simple, inevitable historical process turned into internecine Muslim blood-letting in the cities of Iraq, the refugee-camps in Lebanon, and the wilderness ofAfghanistan? Why haven’t we heard of a single massacre by al-Qa’ida claiming the lives of scores or hundreds of Israelis?
The litmus test for al-Qa’ida is so clear that everyone seems to have missed it; why doesn’t this al-Qa’ida put its jihad where the main enemy is? Why doesn’t it include Israel in its roster of deadly operations? And the answer is that it cannot do so, because for so much of what we think of al-Qa’ida, it would be killing its own self. This itself is proof enough that al-Qa’ida’s deadly squads are not genuine sons of the Islamic movement. They are the shadowy and clandestine agents and black operators who are, in the name of Islam, trying to spark off a war of Islam vs. the rest of the world. Evil indeed are they, and evil indeed are their superiors.