Saturday, July 10, 2010

One of the things that's wrong with the world today, 2

A scary guest editorial at Informed Comment by Houshang Asadi, who once shared a cell with Khamenei during the Shah's regime:


Since its inception, the Islamic Revolution has sought to suppress civil society by replacing civil law with sharia law as the legal basis of the Iranian society. But the long-lasting conflict between liberal-minded clergymen and their fundamentalist colleagues has only surfaced recently as Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, has taken drastic measures to turn the ‘Islamic Republic’ into the ‘Islamic Caliphate’.

There are now two distinct camps in Iran. The first faction is composed of Shi’a fundamentalists who support Ayatollah Khamenei. Khamenei’s views have three major influences: First, the ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are generally seen as the founding fathers of Islamic fundamentalism in modern times. Before the 1979 Revolution, Khamenei personally translated into Persian from the original Arabic the important works of the leading intellectual of the Brotherhood, Sayyed Qutb. Qutb’s views, especially his profound hatred of the West, are easily discernable among Iran’s ruling clergy today.

The second group that has influenced Khamenei is known as Fadā’iyān-e Islam (devotees of Islam), the first followers of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iran led by Mujtaba Navab-Safavi, who carried out some of the earliest acts of religious terrorism in modern Iran. Khamenei has repeatedly referred to Navab-Safavi as his role model in politics. That he has named his eldest son Mujtaba might be an indication of Khamenei’s admiration for this man.

The third sphere of influence is a group known as Hujjatiyeh Society, which sees as its mission to pave the way for the reappearance of the Mahdi, the 12th Shi’a Imam, who is believed to have gone into a millennium-old occultation and whose ultimate return in the End Times is expected to bring peace and justice to the world. Recently it has been revealed that each Wednesday, Khamenei visits Jamkaran, a well in the city of Qum that is regarded by many Shi’as as the hiding place of Mahdi. Eyewitnesses have reported that Khamenei has been seen in a state of deep prayer, allegedly communicating with the Hidden Imam.

The members of the second camp see themselves totally at odds with the other faction whose views and actions they regard as nothing short of catastrophic for Iran’s future. The vast majority of the country’s intellectuals, the middle class, the youth and a significant portion of those who work in “the system”, belong to this second camp, and are collectively referred to as the Green Movement. From the perspective of the Shi’a fundamentalists, the members of this movement are no better than infidels. As such, they can be imprisoned, tortured, raped etc.

The outcome of the ongoing power struggle between these two opposing factions carries great significance not just for Iran but for the international community. A victory by the Iranian “Taliban” will take Iran on a downward spiral and would place the country’s wealth and geopolitical powers entirely at the disposal of those who believe Islam’s global hegemony is possible through violent jihad, which is why they wish to secure nuclear capabilities. Bearing in mind that Iran has long served as a source of inspiration for many social and ideological movements in the region, it becomes clear how critical is the outcome of the battle between these two camps in Iran for the country, the region, and the world at large.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:29 am

    Just because you have some 'detailed' information about Iranian society - doesn't mean you can't be just another neo-con imperialist mouth piece. Your article is text book anti-Iranian fear mongering.
    First you let us know who the players are in Iran - different grades of craziness basically. Then you warn us that the most crazy group is in control and likes to lock up and torture the others. Then you say, they hate the west and are awaiting a messianic figure approaching the end of the world. And then last but not least.....(drum roll)....they're after NUCLEAR weapons!

    Then you leave us with - ' becomes clear how critical is the outcome of the battle between these two camps in Iran for the country, the region, and the world at large.' Emphasis on 'world at large' people. Well, looks like its gonna be up to good old USA to do something about those darn Iranians right?!

    This is pure 100% neo-con fear mongering, trying to dress up as an 'informed' article.
    It fits into Neo-con foreign policy agenda perfectly.

    Articles like this are good for 'outing' shills like you. Thank you. Now we can dismiss your entire body of work 'Houshang Asadi'...