Khomeini’s will is one of the Iranian regime’s biggest problems as its commitment to it has cost the Iranian people a lot of bloodshed and destruction. This is because the dead leaves a will according to circumstances prevailing at the time of his death, but history is ever changing. Hence committing to Khomeini’s will has resulted in destruction and devastation in the region.
His legacy echoed the illusions of Sunni fundamentalism, which was established and developed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Khomeini talked about an “Islamic government”, a “conspiracy” against Islam, a belief that he and his “revolution” represent Islam and that “Quran is the constitution”. Therefore, those who come after him should carry the banner of Islam as understood by Khomeini.
Khoemini understood Islam as a revolution, as a form of governance and politics. “Islam is a school, unlike non-monotheistic schools, as it covers all individual, social, materialistic, moral, cultural, political, military and economic affairs and supervises them. It does not miss any point — even the smallest — pertaining to educating people and society and to its materialistic and moral development,” Khomeini said.
This politicized interpretation of Islam is the ideology of political Islam that uses the sacred to serve the sacrilegious. It is an exploitation of Islam in an unprecedented way to achieve political goalsAbdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
This politicized interpretation of Islam is the ideology of political Islam that uses the sacred to serve the sacrilegious. It is an exploitation of Islam in an unprecedented way to achieve political goals. This is in addition to the huge efforts of Khomeini, clerics who support him and disciples in order to dovetail his Shiite doctrine into Sunni ideologies of politics; which the intellectual Abdallah Laroui called “the Sunnization of Shi’ism.”
An international pariah
Today, the Iranian regime is under the great pressure of US sanctions. The regime has turned into an international pariah. It is the only regime in the world that declares its direct support for all forms of terrorism and chaos in the region and the world, and it is backed by Turkey and Qatar.
Its relations with Russia are based on mutual interests in Syria. This regime is following the ideology and commits to the will of someone who died three decades ago. Despite the pragmatism of the regime, which it has manifested on many occasions in the past, it has never faced such decisiveness and increasing sanctions.
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The Iranian people are vibrant people with a strong heritage and excellent literature. Considering the contemporary history of the region, they have tried to protect themselves from the injustices of successive regimes. They are among the people of the region who use the term “revolution” the most when describing their activity against the political regimes — perhaps, their only competitor in this regard is the Egyptian, and as we recognize the normal difference between the two peoples, the concept of the “revolution” has been a positive one for both of them.
Hashemi Rafsanjani was a founding partner of Khomeini and Khamenei in the coup against the Shah. He ruled Iran with iron and fire and via a claimed pure divine right and their (figures who staged the coup) own interpretation of Islam.
As a result of disputes over power, Rafsanjani led a movement that’s known as the reformist movement in Iran. Despite suspicions that his death was not due to a natural cause, what’s important here is a recently published interview of his daughter Faezeh Rafsanjani.
Faezeh Rafsanjani’s interview was quite interesting as she made some statements that are much more powerful than her previous statements. In an interview with an online channel earlier this month, she said: “I am not against religious governments, and like everyone else we believed that the Islamic Republic would succeed. However, the Iranian Islamic government did not only fail but it has also destroyed Islam” she said. This is a significant statement because this is one of the dilemmas created by the newly formed models of political Islam and which have been adopted by Sunni and Shiite Islamic fundamentalism.
Many argued that this fundamentalist model that mixes religion with politics distorts religion and destroys politics. What Rafsanjani said is a clear example of this in the Iranian context, as she accepts the idea of a religious government but still admits that the Iranian Islamic government has failed, and she added it has “also destroyed Islam.” This is the fate of the fundamentalist movement in all its models — from Sudan to Taliban and to Iran.
As per Khomeini’s way, Supreme Leader Khamenei has killed some of his comrades and some of his most loyal followers and supporters. Today, he is old and sick. He wishes to die before the collapse of his own big dream and the ideology which he and his predecessor created and used in order to govern the Iranian people with force and to spread destruction and devastation in some countries like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said more than once that Saudi Arabia will seek to prevent Iran’s interference in Arab countries by all means and that if Iran does not abandon its expansionist sectarian project, it will be forced to go back to address its own internal affairs and take care of its people. These are not just words; as it has been proven true by all the observers. These words reflect a vision, strategy, decisions and positions, which in a short period have started to show benefits and give results. There are many examples — the most prominent being the reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa and which was brought about by Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s intensive efforts.
Iran’s confusion has started to appear in Iraq, where it is beginning to lose a lot of its influence and power. Iran’s strikes on Kurdish opposition areas in Iraq along with internal executions of some Kurdish symbols are useless, and they have led Washington to warn the Iranian regime of the consequences of such policies, which is reminiscent of Iran’s positions after 2003 against US forces in Iraq.
Iran’s destructive role has been exposed to the world. A US court has fined the Iranian regime for its well-known role in the 1996 Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia; in which a number of Americans were killed. This was previously proven by Saudi Arabia with strong evidence. Examples of these destructive roles assumed by Iran can be an important tool for exposing the crimes of the Iranian regime in all the courts around the world. If this trend develops in Europe, South America and Africa, it will be an important factor to embarrass countries, which still defend Iran or the bad nuclear agreement that was led by former US President Barack Obama.
In the end, the bad models of governing regimes, which I spoke about and which are introduced by Islamist groups end in failure, destruction of Islam and extermination of human beings. Iran is its worst model.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.