Tribute to an Islamic Leader - Imam Khomeini Part 3

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Rajab 19, 1433 2012-06-09

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

Another area in the life of the Imam’s history which we think is extremely important and comparing that with what we have today makes it much more crucial to understand and that is: look- Muslims are very peaceful people. Don’t let anybody come and fool you and say “look Muslims are terrorists by second nature, Muslims are trigger-happy, Muslims are fundamentalists” and all these other imagery that they try to throw at us. We are so peaceful, (so to speak), that our understanding of being peaceful has turned into wars against us- that’s how peaceful we are?! What do they expect us to do? They here is the point- Al Imam Al Khomeini identified the enemy. We wish we were living in a world that had no enemies- that would be a dream come true. If we lived in a world where we simply don’t have enemies that would be utopia. We’d like to say that; we’re sure everyone would like to say “hey look I don’t have any enemies.” That would be fine. Who would object to that? Is there anyone who would object to that? Of course not, but the fact is you look around- we have plenty of enemies. We don’t have to go down the list- we’re sure in your mind you can immediately think of five or six at least where there are occupations and invasions and blood lettings and refugees and orphans and widows in the millions. (When) you look at this state of affairs and you say “how did this happen?” Is it an act of nature that the Muslims are the largest refugee problem in the world? How did that happen? (It’s) the result of occupations and invasions and warfare and we have this out there. We have enemies! Now, if we can finally agree to this point (i.e.) we do have enemies can Mr. confidence and courage out there please stand up and tell us who our enemies are? When we look at the leading class in the Muslim countries all over who is it that stands up and says “this is out number one enemy?” Besides knowing that we have enemies in the plural, who’s the number one enemy and who’s the number five enemy and who’s the number ten enemy? Please tell us. We want to know. We haven’t had leaders who would stand up and classify these enemies for us. Al Imam did.

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا

Indeed Ash Shaytaan for you is an enemy, therefore designate him as an enemy… (Surah Al Fatir verse 6)

I think we have some questions here- we have plenty of them unless there’s filtering process, (I don’t know what’s going on). OK- let us just take them the way they came. We’re not choosing any questions before or after. I am just going by what I’m getting and I have to be short because there is one… two… till seven questions here. There is more coming too, he says.

Question: Can you explain or identify how Muslims can overcome the fear to speak out?

Imam Al Asi: That’s a very challenging question. The simple answer to that is just be a normal human being- that’s all. Just be normal. If you are normal then this artificial or this imposed fear will no longer be there, at least, in the proportion it is there- it will no longer be there. You’re normal. If something is threatening you (or) if someone is coming to occupy your land and throw you out of your home you are not so scared as to make belief that none of that is happening. You’re normal. You will say “yes somebody wants to take over, someone is coming to kill me, someone is coming to expel me from my country.” Just be normal.

Let me tell you- fear is something that comes natural in human nature; but fear cannot overcome your rationality and your responsibilities- that’s when fear is no longer justified. You see- I can go at length answering this question. Allah says

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ

Indeed We’re going to test you with something of fear… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 155)

He didn’t say We’re going to test you with fear. OK fine- you have a transit moment of fear or you have a short period of time of fear- that’s normal (and) that’s natural but that cannot become an obsession (i.e.) you’re fearing all the time. You can’t go here, you can’t say that, you can’t do anything?! At the end you might as well just sit in the corner in your home and not do anything?! That’s not acceptable. Musa and his brother (alayhima as salaam), two Prophets, were facing up to the Pharaoh the leader of the world; at that time they feared. Look- they feared because they’re going to go speak to the Commander-In- Chief, they are going to speak to the Chief Executive, they are going to speak to the most important power in the world so their human nature had fear in it and Allah told them relax (or) take it easy- chill out.

قَالَ لَا تَخَافَا ۖ إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ

Don’t fear, I’m with both of you; I can see and I can hear. (Surah Ta-Ha verse 46)

This was the character of the Imam when these events (were going on). This is what they said to him, “You’re going to land in Tehran (and) we don’t know what’s going to happen to you.” When he went from Paris on a plane they said “we don’t have our security people out there, we don’t know if there’s going to be an assassin from this military now that’s upset (because) things didn’t go their way. We don’t know (if) there’s going to be spies (and) informers, you know, up to no good.”

Question: What is the difference between wilayah and walayah?

Imam Al Asi: OK- I hope you know little Arabic- I can give you a short answer to that. Both wilayah and walayah come from the same source, tawallah but one of them designates something physical and another designates something conceptual. Al walayah is conceptual- walayat ul faqih. In the United States you say, (for those of you who know a little Arabic), al wilayaat al mut’tahidah- a wilayah is a geographical area. That’s the difference between walayah the concept itself with the geography itself.

Question: Do you believe that war is going to happen in Iran because they do not like Iran to be the strongest Islamic country with great technology?

Imam Al Asi: You know this question, (especially in the past several months), has been, I think, on many people’s mind. Is there is going to be a war because from time to time we hear the mainstream media either playing up the issue of war (and) you’d think war is going to happen any day now or they play it down and say “nah- this thing is faded away; nothing is going to happen.” Let me give you my take on this- I think there is an active war plan particularly sponsored by the Zionist-Israeli types. They want a war by hook and by crook and they don’t want to fight the war themselves, they want the United States to fight that war for them. This is an election year and the US public has had it with wars. After almost a decade in both Afghanistan and Iraq there’s a war wariness in the public. Latest surveys and polls show that there are sixty three to sixty nine percent of the American people who say “the US should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and there should be no more foreign wars.” This is the longest war. The US presence in Afghanistan has been the longest US war in US history. So you add this war fatigue in the US public and you add the cautiousness that precedes the US election and you can easily conclude that war may not happen before the elections but that doesn’t mean that the Israeli-Zionist types have given up on the idea. They’ll bide their time and they’ll wait for the right circumstances to have their war. So my answer to this question is be prepared for war. If war happens be prepared for it. If it doesn’t happen, we’re prepared. No one is going to launch a war; they are going to launch a war and if they do- we have to be ready.

Question: What can you offer to the believers of walayat ul faqih who feel hesitant to organise politically and socially in the US around the true revolutionary, Muhammadi Islam? How do we lift the community out of the depths of this fear? Shukran, wa salaam.

Imam Al Asi: You know the establishment in this country is very paranoid nowadays. There are laws to this land and these laws are almost being remade. There’s something called the Patriot Act, this recent National Defence Authorisation Act that the highest levels of government here want opponents of the government- whether they are Muslims or non- Muslims- to fear standing up for their rights. There’s a lot of information concerning this- something like establishment of concentration camps and all of this. This has trickled down into this fear that we are speaking about. Muslims being to fear saying “hey look- if we are going to meet and talk then something bad is going to happen to us.” The worst thing that is going to happen is some law enforcement officials is going to come and say “you are under arrest or we are going to detain you and there’s no access to lawyers, to court or to anything else.” Well- you are going to have to make up your mind! Do you fear something like that? You have done nothing wrong. No one has done anything wrong. Meeting with someone else and speaking to someone else is by any legal reference not a crime. No one is plotting any act of terrorism or violence or anything of the sort. All that Muslims want, (if they have to meet), is to set the record straight- just to state the facts that are not stated in public. That’s all we want. What does anyone want besides that? Then, from there on things will develop if we gain a popularity (and) if millions of people begin to see things our way and the Zionist become the occupiers of Palestine. Palestine has to be liberated and Palestinians have the right to return to their home and Al Quds, Jerusalem is not an exclusively Jewish city- all of this. This is what everybody is saying. Should I be criminalised for saying something like this? If they want to criminalise me just because I am saying something like that then the consequence is that I go to jail or to prison. OK- fine. You’ll know, the world will know that right now just speaking the truth lends you up in jail. You have a choice- are you’re going to live with that i.e. “oh I don’t want to say the truth.” There’s a bigger jail seventy years or one hundred years down the road- which one do you prefer?

I’ve been given a note here just to let you know that my time is running out. I have several more minutes left.

Question: Can you relate the Syrian situation with Iran and explain it.

Imam Al Asi: Well I don’t know if I can do that in a few minutes but here’s what I will say on Syria. I know it’s a hard subject to speak about because there are so many details to it and it’s not a clear cut issue one way or the other but this is the way I’m going to summarise it. I don’t even know if I should answer this question because it may generate much more questions that we will not be able to deal with but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you know the Syrian regime is not a representative government just like the regime in Bahrain is not a representative government. I think these two issues make it easier to understand. If you tell some Muslims that those who are governing in Syria don’t represent their own people some people can understand that very quickly and easily (while) others have difficulty with it; (if) you say the same thing of Bahrain (then) these two groups of people who have the same exact ease or difficulty in understanding the condition… It might be a little solution here (to) change the two sets of rulers- put the rulers who are in Syria in Bahrain and the ones in Bahrain in Syria and see if anything can be solved?! Obviously it’s not that simple, but that is one issue.

The other issue is that the Syrian government has been, (and this is why it is in the position it is in today), an extension of the policies of the Islamic Republic in as far as the liberation of Palestine is concerned. So you have a negative on one side and you have a plus on the other side and between the plus and the negative you have certain agendas that are at work. There’s the American administration and there is the Saudi regime, of course in the addition of the Israeli catalyst, and you have these powers that cannot tolerate a human mass that extends from the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Mediterranean- that would mean Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon plus the Palestinians. They don’t want to see this mass of people becoming- they always use the word existential threat- and if ever there was going to be an existential threat to the Zionists it would be that massive potentials, resources, populations and military striking force. So to throw a monkey wrench into this developing mass of people- they tried their best in Iraq and it didn’t work- you hear in Arabia calls for jihad. “Go to Syria for jihad against the Alawi regime in Damascus.” We heard the same thing just nine years ago but instead of going to Syria they said “go to Iraq.” It’s déjàvo all over again. First of all they came to Hizbullah in 2006. The Israelis came full force- they didn’t do a damn thing. Then they went against HAMAS in Ghazzah with “Operation cast lead” that was the name of that operation there and in twenty-two days they didn’t do anything. HAMAS is still there Hizbullah is still there. Then they speak about “let’s go to the source- let’s go to Iran but Iran is too far; we are going to have logistical problems. It may open up a Pandora box. Things may get out of control and all of this.” So what is left? “Oh Syria is left. Let’s try this. We can work on this. We can break the backbone of this emerging political will-power by concentrating on Syria.” So the American regime, the Israeli regime and the Saudi regime find common purpose right now to ride the wave of the victimhood of the Syrian people to dislodge a government because it only concerns them that they are an extension of the Islamic policies emanating from the Islamic Republic to liberate Palestine.

For those of you who understand Arabic, I always summarise it like this (and I have to finish with this, there’s some more questions here): remember when you go back to history, those who are historically remembered as Al Khawarij said governance belongs to Allah. There was the arbitration and the Khawarij came out and said what’s all of this fuss about? Ali (radi Allahu anhu wa alayhi as salaam) and Muawiyah should both be side-lined. If all of this fighting is about governance- governance belongs to Allah not to human beings. Then they brought this word or this statements or this sentence to the Imam and he said it’s a statement of truth but the intentions behind it are invalid, are baatil. To sum up the Syrian issue, (I know this irritates a lot of people and I’ve given this a thought before I said it), but this is the way I summarise what’s going on in Syria. It’s a movement of people who want a representative government- it is thawrat ul haqq yuradu biha baatil. As far as the Syrian government is concerned it is hukumat ul baatil yuradu biha haqq. That pretty much summarises it all.

I know I may have touched on the nerves of some people. I don’t intend to get on anyone’s nerves except to express the truth. If I am wrong, I am just like any of you- come up to me and tell me “I think you are wrong on that let’s correct it.”

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