January 28, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 463

Khamenei's Paper's Response to the Liberal Protest in Iran: 'Those Who Spread Slogans of Reform, Liberty, Democracy, and Human Rights… Are Fighting Islam'

January 28, 2003
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 463

Recently, the conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami,[1] considered a mouthpiece of Supreme Leader 'Ali Khamenei, came out strongly against the calls of Iranian liberals for democracy, reform, and human rights. Jomhuri-ye Eslami accused those in Iran who fight for these rights of fighting Islam itself. Furthermore, the newspaper identified them as enemies of Iran's Islamic Revolution, and declared that their statements are the same as those of "Bush, Sharon, and [British Foreign Secretary] Jack Straw." To strengthen its case, the paper utilized Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 letter to former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. The following are excerpts from the article:

Russia Collapsed Because It Did Not Take Khomeini Seriously

"Imam Khomeini's letter is one of the important political and religious documents of this century, especially because its message was proven right in such matters as the collapse of Communism, the losses incurred by [the] Soviet Union because it sought to imitate the West, and the collapse of relations between the Soviet Union and its allies. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Gorbachev was replaced by Yeltsin, and Russia was in bad shape, Gorbachev confessed that Russia's situation was because he had 'not taken the words of Imam Khomeini seriously.'"

"During the time that change had begun after Gorbachev had reached the center of the communist world, Imam Khomeini… sent a delegation to Moscow [in January 1989] to deliver his written message to Gorbachev.In this historic [letter to Gorbachev], Imam Khomeini, taking into consideration Gorbachev's insight and realism, and noting Communism's past antagonism towards God and religion, wrote:"

"'First of all, the path that would ensure your success is your revision and modification of the path of your predecessors – who distanced themselves from God and religion. This thinking has dealt a great blow to the people of the Soviet Union. You must know that there is only one way to solve the problems of the world – and that is turning to the truth. Your country's main problem is not ownership, economics, or freedom. Your main problem is the lack of true belief in God.'"

"With this message, Imam Khomeini addressed Gorbachev, who stood at the pinnacle of a non-religious system, and condemned opposition to religion, which is the essence of materialism. It becomes abundantly clear that going against the inclination towards religion is useless, because religion is part of human nature, and it is impossible to extinguish the light of religion in human beings."

"Khomeini asked Gorbachev to Come to Islam"

"After inviting Gorbachev and all others whose natural inclination is towards God and who seek the fountain of truth, substance, and spirituality, Imam Khomeini asked Gorbachev to come to Islam, mankind's only path of salvation from moral crisis:"

"'Now, after discussing these preliminary problems, I wish you to seriously investigate Islam – not because Islam or the Muslims need you, but because Islam can bring comfort and salvation to all people and solve the problems of all nations.'"

"While Imam Khomeini bore a great responsibility for guiding others in the path of the prophets and messengers of God in his historic Eternal Letter, for the divine spreading of Tohid [monotheism] and for avoiding materialism, he called attention to those who advocated separating religion from politics by trying to stop the masses' inclination towards God."

"Unfortunately, today, 14 years after this historic letter, there are some in the country [Iran] who oppose and fight against this undeniable and progressive thought. Their hypocrisy and political gymnastics are a struggle that bodes ill for religion. These people, who can truthfully be called 'politically backward remnants of the last century,' have today begun to implement the concept of separating religion from state…"

"Slogans such as 'religion is the opiate of the masses' and 'religion and politics are separate' were born 80 years ago, along with Communism; after Khomeini wrote his letter to Gorbachev, they were buried forever in the place of their birth."

"Unfortunately, today they emerge from the mouths of people who have benefited from Iran's glorious Islamic Revolution… and who have occupied positions of responsibility – thanks to the Islamic Revolution, under Khomeini's wise guidance. Yet now they question the essence of those principles."

"Before the revolution succeeded, in some of the first messages in which he exposed the colonialists' diabolical conspiracy to separate religion from politics, Imam Khomeini fought this deviationist tendency. This was when he was in Paris, and the American agent [Dr. Shapur] Bakhtiar [Iranian Prime Minister in 1978] deviously brought up the question of separating religion from politics in order to preserve the Shah's demonic regime, saying: 'If the clergy want it, an independent enclave in Qom, like the Vatican [is acceptable].' This could be regarded as the most devious way of deceiving the people and of telling them that religion should be separate from politics. But the Imam [Khomeini] said: '…Islam is not just worship, not just study, not just following [edicts]. Islam is politics; it is not distant from politics. Islam is great government; it is one great kingdom. Islam is a regime [and] a political regime.'"

Iranians Who Fight for Reform, Liberty, and Human Rights are Fighting Islam

"Today, those [in Iran] who spread slogans such as reform, liberty, political development, democracy, [and] human rights... are fighting [the] religion [of Islam], and... with their demonic and colonialist theories, [they] call for separation of religion and state or support people who pursue these principles. They must realize that they are moving in the opposite direction from the path of Imam [Khomeini], and, as the Imam said, 'Maybe these people do not realize that the words against religion and against Islamic values that come from their mouths are the same words coming from the mouths of people like Bush, Sharon, Jack Straw, and others in power in the dictatorial colonialist regimes."

[1] Jomhuri-ye Eslami (Iran), January 1, 2003.

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