by Our Own Correspondent (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 3, Rajab, 1436)
Unable to match Islamic Iran’s sincere efforts at helping struggling Muslims worldwide, the Arabian regimes use crude propaganda accusing the only Islamic state of pursuing its “national interests.”
Last month, a prominent Muslim wrote, “there is a growing perception across the region that Iran’s claim to being an adversary of Western imperialism is as farcical [sic] as Saudi Arabia’s pretense to be the sole protector of Sunni Islam.”
Cynicism is an old copout and a comfortable tool to blend into conformist nature of societies. It is part of half-truth propaganda mastered by NATO countries that has influenced even some committed Muslims as the above statement shows. Prior to highlighting the intellectual shallowness of the cited narrative let us look at some basic facts.
A year after the Islamic Revolution, the West initiated a proxy war against Islamic Iran through Saddam Hussein by backing him financially, politically and militarily. This is fully documented. What is less well known is that the Soviet Union sold more weapons to Saddam than any other country (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). How dangerous both camps must have considered Islamic Iran in order to beak the conventional Cold War wisdom of backing the opposing sides.
Islamic Iran has no border disputes with the Zionist entity Israel. By opposing the Zioinist entity, Islamic Iran made some powerful enemies. Iran’s unconditional support for the Palestinians as publicly acknowledged by a senior Palestinian political leader Mahmoud al-Zahar is solely due to its strategic Islamic political identity and humanism. Iran derives no economic or political benefits from backing the Palestinians.
Islamic Iran has no strategic political or economic interests at stake in the Balkans. An eyewitness of the Bosnian war, prominent journalist Robert Fisk states the following, “Bill Clinton refused an Iranian offer of battalions of regular troops to defend Bosnia — this would be unwarranted intervention in the affairs of Europe — but no one objected when guns arrived for Bosnian forces from Muslim countries. Hezbollah in Lebanon — though Shia — initially sent 150 volunteers to Bosnia, then Algerians arrived, fresh from fighting their own government. An entire mujahedin battalion emerged in the forests of Bosnia — the “muj” we journalists called them, rather superciliously — while individual Iranian fighters paid their own way to Sarajevo. The face of one of their martyrs occupies an entire apartment bloc wall in Tehran today.” A Bosnian diplomat has confirmed on two separate occasions to Crescent International Iran’s immense practical assistance to his country when it was under attack.
The only practical support Palestinian resistance receives from a Muslim state is Iran. Others are quick to organize conferences and send expired packaged food (often with Zionist consent), but have never sent so much as a bullet to the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-defense.
The above are just a few of many basic facts about what Islamic Iran and its people have done in resisting imperialism and neo-colonialism in the Muslim world. What have other states done? Some ritualistic Saudi influenced Muslims don’t even consider Iranians as Muslims, yet many of Iran’s international problems stem from the fact that it backs fellow Sunni Muslims in Palestine. They argue, that was before, what about now and what about Syria?
Islamic Iran is still under unprecedented Western sanctions and even if the nuclear related sanctions are removed by NATO regimes, Washington has made it clear that the so-called security and “human rights” sanctions will remain. Plus, it is not out of generosity that the US was forced to sit down and negotiate with Iran; it is because Islamic Iran is giving Western imperialists a bloody nose from Gaza to Yemen. Some shallow minds might even claim that what Islamic Iran and Bani Saud are doing in terms of having diplomatic contact with the US is not different. Study of the treaty of Hudaybiyah can immediately remove this primitive assumption. There were no mushrik troops in Madinah after Hudaybiyah. Unlike “Saudi” Arabia, there are no US troops in Iran and since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has never allowed its territory to be used to attack a Muslim country. Even when the US was attacking Saddam Hussein, Iran did not cooperate. Some may shout, what about the war on the Taliban? Well, the Taliban regard Iran and all Shi‘is as kafirs and legitimate targets. Iran’s “cooperation” was in not assisting the Taliban, who view Iran as a greater threat than the US.
Regarding Syria, in August 2013, Crescent International published a report titled, “Qur’anic basis for Hizbullah’s position in Syria,” where the lessons from the Prophetic Sirah and the Qur’an enabled many to understand that by simply shouting Allahu Akbar, does not confer Islamic legitimacy on a rebellion or even one claiming to establish a more representative ruling system. If Muslims were to use the Qur’an as their point of reference in understanding current affairs, instead of the writings of materialistic Western pundits, the confusion over Syria and Yemen would not affect committed Muslims. The Qur’an states, “O you who are firmly committed to Allah (the covenant-bearing Muslims)! Do not take the political Jews [Zionists] and political Christians [imperialists] as your sponsors/allies; they are allies of one another; and whoever amongst you gives allegiance to them, then he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people” (5:51).
The verse clearly stipulates that committed Muslims are not to pursue policies that are dictated by non-Muslims. This concept applies to other religions as well. Zionists and imperialists would never accept Muslims arming, financing and supporting groups within their societies that would be faithful to an Islamic power and hostile to the society in which they reside. In trying to understand Iran’s position in Syria, Muslims should seek answers to the following questions. Who is supporting the so-called Syrian opposition? Where is their allegiance and whose interests have their actions served and benefitted? Would Qatar, Bani Saud and the US ever back a process that benefits the establishment of a genuinely independent and just system of governance in the Muslim world?
Those that are quick to accuse Islamic Iran of double standards or pursuing its national interests, should think deeply whom their actions benefit and acknowledge the subconscious sectarianism within their mindset. The unfortunate reality is that Sunni Muslims today do not have the equivalent of Islamic Iran. If there were one, sectarianism would subside considerably. One of the grand designs of Western imperialism and its stooges is to prevent the emergence of an authentic Sunni Islamic movement to take power in any country. The Algerian, and more recently, the Egyptian experience show that the West will do all it can to prevent the rise of a Sunni Islamic movement that might potentially ally itself with Islamic Iran. This would annihilate their sectarian card. Until that historical event comes about, Muslims of all backgrounds are welcome to disagree with the policies of Islamic Iran but equating it to Bani Saud and making inflammatory accusations that feed the imperialist narrative are at best unconstructive and at worst seditionist.