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[3] ISLAMIPEDIA™ Do Islam, Judaism, and Christianity Teach Monotheism?

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His Beliefs of Theocratic Governing;

(His Government Now Opposed by His Grandson!)


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Political Aspects of The Grand Ayatollah Khomeini:

His seminary teaching often focused on the importance of religion to practical social and political issues of the day, and he worked against the outspoken advocacy of secularism in the 1940s.

His first book, Kashf al-Asrar "Uncovering of Secrets!"[27][28] published in 1942, was a point-by-point refutation of Asrar-e hazar salih "Secrets of a Thousand Years!" a tract written by a disciple of Iran's leading anti-clerical historian, Ahmad Kasravi.[29]

In addition, he went from Qom to Tehran to listen to Ayatullah Hasan Mudarris - the leader of the opposition majority in Iran's parliament during 1920s.

Khomeini became a marja in 1963, following the death of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Husayn Borujerdi.

Early political activity: Background

Khomeini's speeches against the Shah in Qom

Most Iranians had a deep respect for the Shi'a clergy or Ulema,[30] and tended to be religious, traditional, and alienated from the process of Westernization pursued by the Shah.

In the late 19th century the clergy had shown themselves to be a powerful political force in Iran initiating the Tobacco Protests against a concession to a foreign (British) interest.

At the age of 61, Khomeini found the arena of leadership open following the deaths of Ayatollah Sayyed Husayn Borujerdi (1961), the leading, although quiescent, Shi'ah religious leader; and Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani (1962), an activist cleric. The clerical class had been on the defensive ever since the 1920s when the secular, anti-clerical modernizer Reza Shah Pahlavi rose to power. Reza's son Muhammad Reza Shah, instituted a "White Revolution", which was a further challenge to the ulama.[31]

Opposition to the Shah's Secular, American White Revolution:

In January 1963, the Shah announced the "White Revolution", a six-point programme of reform calling for:

    1] land reform,

    2] nationalization of the forests,

    3] sale of state-owned enterprises to private interests,

    4] electoral changes to enfranchise women and allow non-Muslims to hold office,

    5] profit-sharing in industry,

    6] a literacy campaign in the nation's schools.

Some of these initiatives were regarded as dangerous, Westernizing trends by traditionalists, especially by the powerful and privileged Shi'a ulama (religious scholars).[32]


Khomeini's Theocracy-Democracy:

While in the 1940s Khomeini accepted the idea of a limited monarchy under the Iranian Constitution of 1906–1907 — as evidenced by his book Kashf al-Asrar —

However, by the 1970s he rejected the idea.

In early 1970, Khomeini gave a series of lectures in Najaf on Islamic government, later published as a book titled variously Islamic Government or Islamic Government: Authority of the Jurist (Hokumat-e Islami: Velayat-e faqih).

Khomeini and some clerical in Najaf

This was his most famous and influential work, and laid out his ideas on governance (at that time):

    * That the laws of society should be made up only of the laws of God (Sharia), which cover "all human affairs" and "provide instruction and establish norms" for every "topic" in "human life."[47]

    * Since Shariah, or Islamic law, is the proper law, those holding government posts should have knowledge of Sharia.

    * Since Islamic jurists or 'faqih' have studied and are the most knowledgeable in Sharia, the country's ruler should be a 'faqih' who "surpasses all others in knowledge" of Islamic law and justice,[48] (known as a marja'), as well as having intelligence and administrative ability.

    * Rule by monarchs and/or assemblies of "those claiming to be representatives of the majority of the people" (i.e. elected parliaments and legislatures) has been proclaimed "wrong" by Islam.[49]

    * This system of clerical rule is necessary to prevent injustice, corruption, oppression by the powerful over the poor and weak, innovation and deviation of Islam and Sharia law; and also to destroy anti-Islamic influence and conspiracies by non-Muslim foreign powers.[50]

A modified form of this wilayat al-faqih system was adopted after Khomeini and his followers took power, and Khomeini was the Islamic Republic's first "Guardian" or Supreme Leader.

In the meantime, however, Khomeini was careful not to publicize his ideas for clerical rule outside of his Islamic network of opposition to the Shah which he worked to build and strengthen over the next decade.

In Iran, a number of actions of the shah including his repression of opponents began to build opposition to his regime.Further information: Iranian Revolution #1970s:

Pre-revolutionary conditions and events inside Iran

Cassette copies of his lectures fiercely denouncing the Shah as (for example) "... the Jewish agent, the American serpent whose head must be smashed with a stone",[51] became common items in the markets of Iran,[52] and helped to demythologize the power and dignity of the Shah and his reign.

Aware of the importance of broadening his base, Khomeini reached out to Islamic reformist and secular enemies of the Shah, despite his long-term ideological incompatibility with them.

After the 1977 death of Dr. Ali Shariati (an Islamic reformist and political revolutionary author/academic/philosopher who greatly popularized the Islamic revival among young educated Iranians), Khomeini became the most influential leader of the opposition to the Shah.


Iranian Revolution

Khomeini had refused to return to Iran until the Shah left. On 17 January 1979, the Shah did leave the country (ostensibly "on vacation"), never to return. Two weeks later, on Thursday, 1 February 1979, Khomeini returned in triumph to Iran, welcomed by a joyous crowd of up to 5 million,[57] estimated in at least six million by ABC News reporter Peter Jennings, who was reporting the event from Tehran.

On the Air France flight on his way to Iran, Khomeini was asked by Jennings: "What do you feel in returning to Iran?" Khomeini answered "Hichi" (nothing).[58]

This statement was considered reflective of his mystical or puritanical belief that Dar al-Islam, rather than the motherland, was what mattered, and also a warning to Iranians who hoped he would be a "mainstream nationalist leader" that they were in for disappointment.[59]

To others, it was a reflection of a leader incapable or unconcerned with the beliefs or the needs of the Iranian populace.[60][61]

Khomeini and people

Khomeini adamantly opposed the provisional government of Shapour Bakhtiar, promising "I shall kick their teeth in. I appoint the government. I appoint the government by support of this nation."[62][63]

On 11 February [(Bahman 22)], Khomeini appointed his own competing interim prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan, demanding, "since I have appointed him, he must be obeyed." It was "God's government," he warned, disobedience against which was a "revolt against God."[64]

Establishment of new government

As Khomeini's movement gained momentum, soldiers began to defect to his side and Khomeini declared jihad on soldiers who did not surrender.[65]

On 11 February, as revolt spread and armories were taken over, the military declared neutrality and the Bakhtiar regime collapsed.[66]

On 30 and 31 March 1979, a referendum to replace the monarchy with an Islamic Republic passed with 98% voting in favour of the replacement,[67] but controversially the referendum was posed as a single question: "should the monarchy be abolished in favour of an Islamic Government?"

Islamic constitution:

Although revolutionaries were now in charge and Khomeini was their leader, several secular and religious groups were unaware of Khomeini's plan for Islamic government by wilayat al-faqih, which involved rule by a marja' Islamic cleric.[68]

This provisional constitution for the Islamic Republic did not include the post of supreme Islamic clerical ruler.[69][70]

Khomeini and his supporters worked to suppress some former allies and rewrote the proposed constitution. Some newspapers were closed, and those protesting the closings were attacked.[71] Opposition groups such as the National Democratic Front and Muslim People's Republican Party were attacked and finally banned.[72]

Through popular support and with charges of questionable balloting, Khomeini supporters gained an overwhelming majority of the seats of the Assembly of Experts[73] which revised the proposed constitution.

Theocracy:

The newly proposed constitution included an Islamic jurist Supreme Leader of the country, and a Council of Guardians to veto un-Islamic legislation and screen candidates for office, disqualifying those found un-Islamic.

In November 1979, the new constitution of the Islamic Republic was adopted by national referendum.[74] Khomeini himself became instituted as the Supreme Leader (supreme jurist ruler), and officially became known as the "Leader of the Revolution."

On 4 February 1980, Abolhassan Banisadr was elected as the first president of Iran.


Life under Khomeini

In a speech given to a huge crowd after returning to Iran from exile 1 February 1979, Khomeini made a variety of promises to Iranians for his coming Islamic regime: A popularly elected government that would represent the people of Iran and with which the clergy would not interfere.

    He promised that "no one should remain homeless in this country,"

    and that Iranians would have free telephone,

    free heating,

    free electricity,

    free bus services and

    free oil at their doorstep.[91]

Under Khomeini's rule, Sharia (Islamic law) was introduced, with the Islamic dress code enforced for both men and women by Islamic Revolutionary Guards and other Islamic groups[92]

Women were required to cover their hair, and men were not allowed to wear shorts.

Alcoholic drinks, most Western movies, the practice of men and women swimming or sunbathing together were banned.[93]

The Iranian educational curriculum was Islamized at all levels with the Islamic Cultural Revolution; the "Committee for Islamization of Universities"[94] carried this out thoroughly.

The broadcasting of any music other than martial or religious on Iranian radio and television was banned by Khomeini on July 1979.[93] The broadcasting ban lasted 10 years (approximately the rest of his life).[95]

Emigration and economy

Khomeini is said to have stressed "the spiritual over the material".[96][97] Six months after his first speech he expressed exasperation with complaints about the sharp drop in Iran's standard of living:

    'I cannot believe that the purpose of all these sacrifices was to have less expensive melons.' [98]

On another occasion emphasizing the importance of martyrdom over material prosperity:

    "Could anyone wish his child to be martyred to obtain a good house? This is not the issue. The issue is another world." [99]

He is also reportedly famous for answering a question about his economic policies by declaring that 'economics is for donkeys'.[100] This low opinion of economics is said to be "one factor explaining the inchoate performance of the Iranian economy since the revolution."[96]

Another factor was the long war with Iraq, the cost of which led to government debt and inflation, eroding personal incomes, and unprecedented unemployment.[101]

While Iran became more strict Islamically under Khomeini, absolute poverty rose by nearly 45% during the first 6 years of his rule.[102]

Emigration from Iran also developed, reportedly for the first time in the country's history.[103] Since the revolution, an estimated "two to four million entrepreneurs, professionals, technicians, and skilled craftspeople (and their capital) have emigrated to other countries."[104][105]

Suppression of enemies and opposition

Opposition to the religious rule of the clergy or Islamic government in general was often met with harsh punishments. In a talk at the Fayzieah School in Qom, 30 August 1979, Khomeini warned opponents:

QUOTE:

    "Those who are trying to bring corruption and destruction to our country in the name of democracy will be oppressed. They are worse than Bani-Ghorizeh Jews, and they must be hanged. We will oppress them by God's order and God's call to prayer."
[106]

The Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family left Iran and escaped harm, but hundreds of former members of the overthrown monarchy and military met their end in firing squads, with critics complaining of "secrecy, vagueness of the charges, the absence of defense lawyers or juries", or the opportunity of the accused "to defend themselves." [107]

In later years these were followed in larger numbers by the erstwhile revolutionary allies of Khomeini's movement—Marxists and socialists, mostly university students—who opposed the theocratic regime.[108]

In the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners, following the People's Mujahedin of Iran operation Forough-e Javidan against the Islamic Republic, Khomeini issued an order to judicial officials to judge every Iranian political prisoner and kill those who would not repent anti-regime activities. Estimates of the number executed vary from 1,400 [109] to 30,000.[110][111][112]

Although many hoped the revolution would bring freedom of speech and press, this was not to be. In defending forced closing of opposition newspapers and attacks on opposition protesters by club-wielding vigilantes, Khomeini explained, 'The club of the pen and the club of the tongue is the worst of clubs, whose corruption is a 100 times greater than other clubs.'[113]


Life for religious minorities was mixed under Khomeini.

Non-Muslim religious minorities no longer had equal rights.

Senior government posts were reserved for Muslims.

Schools set up by Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians had to be run by Muslim principals.[114]

Compensation for death paid to the family of a non-Muslim was (by law) less than if the victim was a Muslim.

Conversion to Islam was encouraged by entitling converts to inherit the entire share of their parents (or even uncle's) estate if their siblings (or cousins) remain non-Muslim.[115]

Iran's non-Muslim population has fallen dramatically. For example, the Jewish population in Iran dropped from 80,000 to 30,000 in the first two decades of the revolution.[116]

However, four of the 270 seats in parliament were reserved for three non-Islamic minority religions, under the Islamic constitution that Khomeini oversaw. Khomeini also called for unity between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims (Sunni Muslims are the largest religious minority in Iran).[117]

Pre-revolutionary statements by Khomeini had been antagonistic towards Jews, but shortly after his return from exile in 1979, he issued a fatwa ordering that Jews and other minorities (except Bahá'ís) be treated well.[118][119]

In power, Khomeini distinguished between Zionism as a secular political party that employs Jewish symbols and ideals and Judaism as the religion of Moses. [120]

Unlike the other non-Muslims in Iran, the 300,000 members of the Bahá'í Faith (A liberal, modern belief enmbracing all religions as equal), were actively harassed. "Some 200 of whom have been executed and the rest forced to convert or subjected to the most horrendous disabilities." [121]

Starting in late 1979 the new government systematically targeted the leadership of the Bahá'í community by focusing on the Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) and Local Spiritual Assemblies (LSAs); prominent members of NSAs and LSAs were either killed or disappeared.[122]

Like most conservative Muslims, Khomeini believed Bahá'í to be apostates.[123] He claimed they were a political rather than a religious movement,[124][125] declaring:

    "...the Baha'is are not a sect but a party, which was previously supported by Britain and now the United States. The Baha'is are also spies just like the Tudeh [Communist Party].[126]

Death and funeral: Mausoleum of Khomeini

After eleven days in a hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding, Khomeini finally died of a heart attack Saturday, 3 June 1989, 22:22 hrs. (local time), at the age of 88.[127]

Iranians poured out into the cities and streets to mourn Khomeini's death in a "completely spontaneous and unorchestrated outpouring of grief." [128]

    Despite the hundred-degree heat, crushing mobs created an impassable sea of black for miles as they wailed, chanted and rhythmically beat themselves in anguish ...

    As the hours passed, fire trucks had to be brought in to spray water on the crowd to provide relief from the heat, while helicopters were flown in to ferry the eight killed and more than four hundred injured .[129]

    Two million people attended his funeral.[130]

Iranian officials aborted Khomeini’s first funeral, after a large crowd stormed the funeral procession, nearly destroying Khomeini's wooden coffin in order to get a last glimpse of his body.

At one point, Khomeini's body almost fell to the ground, as the crowd attempted to grab pieces of the death shroud.

The second funeral was held under much tighter security. Khomeini's casket was made of steel, and heavily armed security personnel surrounded it.

In accordance with Islamic tradition, the casket was only to carry the body to the burial site. In 1995, his son Ahmad Khomeini was buried next to him. Khomeini's grave is now housed within a larger mausoleum complex.

Successorship

Khomeini welcomed the Iranian people when he return to Iran after 14 years (on 1 February 1979)

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Montazeri, a former student of Khomeini and a major figure of the Revolution, was chosen by Khomeini to be his successor as Supreme Leader and approved as such by the Assembly of Experts in 1985.[131]

The principle of velayat-e faqih and the Islamic constitution called for the Supreme Leader to be a marja (a grand ayatollah), and of the dozen or so grand ayatollahs living in 1981 only Montazeri qualified as a potential Leader (this was either because only he accepted totally Khomeini's concept of rule by Islamic jurists,[132][133][unreliable source?] or, as at least one other source stated, because only Montazeri had the "political credentials" Khomeini found suitable for his successor).[134]

In 1989 Montazeri began to call for liberalization, freedom for political parties. Following the execution of thousands of political prisoners by the Islamic government, Montazeri told Khomeini 'your prisons are far worse than those of the Shah and his SAVAK.'[135]

After a letter of his complaints was leaked to Europe and broadcast on the BBC, a furious Khomeini ousted him from his position as official successor.

To deal with the disqualification of the only suitable marja, Khomeini called for an `Assembly for Revising the Constitution` to be convened. An amendment was made to Iran's constitution removing the requirement that the Supreme Leader be a Marja[136] and this allowed Ali Khamanei, the new favoured jurist who had suitable revolutionary credentials but lacked scholarly ones and who was not a Grand Ayatollah, to be designated as successor.

[137][138] Ayatollah Khamene'i was elected Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on 4 June 1989.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Montazeri continued his criticism of the regime and in 1997 was put under house arrest for questioning what he regarded to be an unaccountable rule exercised by the supreme leader.[139][140][141]

Political thought and legacy of Khomeini

According to at least one scholar, politics in the Islamic Republic of Iran "are largely defined by attempts to claim Khomeini's legacy" and that "staying faithful to his ideology has been the litmus test for all political activity" there.[142]

Throughout his many writings and speeches, Khomeini's views on governance evolved.

Originally declaring rule by monarchs or others permissible so long as sharia law was followed [143] Khomeini later adamantly opposed monarchy, arguing that only rule by a leading Islamic jurist (a marja'), would insure Sharia was properly followed (wilayat al-faqih),[144] before finally insisting the ruling jurist need not be a leading one . . .

. . .and Sharia rule could be overruled by that jurist if necessary to serve the interests of Islam and the "divine government" of the Islamic state.[145]

Khomeini's concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (velayat-e faqih) did not win the support of the leading Iranian Shi'i clergy of the time.[146] Towards the 1979 Revolution, many clerics gradually became disillusioned with the rule of the Shah, although none came around to supporting Khomeini's vision of a theocratic Islamic Republic.[146]

There is much debate to as whether Khomeini's ideas are or are not compatible with democracy and whether he intended the Islamic Republic to be a democratic republic.

According to the state-run Aftab News,[147] both ultraconservative (Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi) and reformist opponents of the regime (Akbar Ganji and Abdolkarim Soroush) believe he did not, while regime officials and supporters like Ali Khamenei,[148] Mohammad Khatami and Mortaza Motahhari[149] believe Khomeini intended the Islamic republic to be democratic and that it is so.[150]

Khomeini himself also made statements at different times indicating both support and opposition to democracy.[151]

One scholar, Shaul Bakhash, explains this disagreement as coming from Khomeini's belief that the huge turnout of Iranians in anti-Shah demonstrations during the revolution constituted a 'referendum' in favor of an Islamic republic.[152] Khomeini also wrote that since Muslims must support a government based on Islamic law, Sharia-based government will always have more popular support in Muslim countries than any government based on elected representatives.[153]

Khomeini offered himself as a "champion of Islamic revival" and unity, emphasizing issues Muslims agreed upon – the fight against Zionism and imperialism – and downplaying Shia issues that would divide Shia from Sunni.[154] Khomeini strongly opposed close relations with either Eastern or Western Bloc nations, believing the Islamic world should be its own bloc, or rather converge into a single unified power.[155]

He viewed Western culture as being inherently decadent and a corrupting influence upon the youth. The Islamic Republic banned or discouraged popular Western fashions, music, cinema, and literature.[156] In the Western world it is said "his glowering visage became the virtual face of Islam in Western popular culture" and "inculcated fear and distrust towards Islam,"[157] making the word `Ayatollah` "a synonym for a dangerous madman ... in popular parlance."[158]

This has particularly been the case in the United States where some Iranians complained that even at universities they felt the need to hide their Iranian identity for fear of physical attack.[75] There Khomeini and the Islamic Republic are remembered for the American embassy hostage taking and accused of sponsoring hostage-taking and terrorist attacks,[159][160] and which continues to apply economic sanctions against Iran.

Before taking power Khomeini expressed support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "We would like to act according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We would like to be free. We would like independence."[161] However once in power Khomeini took a firm line against dissent, warning opponents of theocracy for example: "I repeat for the last time: abstain from holding meetings, from blathering, from publishing protests. Otherwise I will break your teeth."[162]

Many of Khomeini's political and religious ideas were considered to be progressive and reformist by leftist intellectuals and activists prior to the Revolution. However, once in power his ideas often clashed with those of modernist or secular Iranian intellectuals. This conflict came to a head during the writing of the Islamic constitution when many newspapers were closed by the government. Khomeini angrily told the intellectuals:

Yes, we are reactionaries, and you are enlightened intellectuals: You intellectuals do not want us to go back 1400 years. You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, you who want all the freedoms, you intellectuals: freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom.[163]

In contrast to his alienation from Iranian intellectuals, and "in an utter departure from all other Islamist movements," Khomeini embraced international revolution and Third World solidarity, giving it "precedence over Muslim fraternity.

From the time Khomeini's supporters gained control of the media until his death, the Iranian media "devoted extensive coverage to non-Muslim revolutionary movements (from the Sandinistas to the African National Congress and the Irish Republican Army) and downplayed the role of the Islamic movements considered conservative, such as the Afghan mujahidin."[164]

Khomeini's legacy to the economy of the Islamic Republic has been concern for the mustazafin, but not always results. During the 1990s the mustazafin and disabled war veterans rioted on several occasions, protesting the demolition of their shantytowns and rising food prices, etc.[165][unreliable source?]

Khomeini's disdain for the science of economics ("economics is for donkeys") is said to have been "mirrored" by the populist redistribution policies of Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who allegedly wears "his contempt for economic orthodoxy as a badge of honour", and has overseen sluggish growth and rising inflation and unemployment.[166]

In 1963, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini wrote a book in which he stated that there is no religious restriction on corrective surgery for transgendered individuals. At the time Khomeini was a radical, anti-Shah revolutionary and his fatwas did not carry any weight with the Imperial government, which did not have any specific policies regarding transsexual individuals.[167]

Appearance and habits

Khomeini was described as "slim," but athletic and "heavily boned."

    He was known for his punctuality:

    He's so punctual that if he doesn't turn up for lunch at exactly ten past everyone will get worried, because his work is regulated in such a way that he turned up for lunch at exactly that time every day.

    He goes to bed exactly on time.

    He eats exactly on time. And he wakes up exactly on time.

    He changes his frock every time he comes back from the mosque.[168]

    Khomeini was also known for his aloofness and stern demeanor.

    >> He is said to have had "variously inspired admiration, awe, and fear from those around him."[169]

    >> His practice of moving "through the halls of the madresehs never smiling at anybody or anything;

    >> His practice of ignoring his audience while he taught, contributed to his charisma." [170]

    Khomeini adhered to traditional beliefs of Islamic cleanliness holding that things like urine, excrement, blood, wine etc. and also non-Muslims were one of eleven ritualistically "impure" things that physical contact with which while wet required ritual washing or Ghusl before prayer or salah.[171][172]

    He is reported to have refused to eat or drink in a restaurant unless he knew for sure the waiter was a Muslim.[173]

    Mystique

    Khomeini was noted by many for his mystique.

    Before the revolution he benefited from the widespread circulation of a Hadith attributed to the Imam Musa al-Kazim who is said to have prophesied shortly before his death in 799 that

      'A man will come out from Qom and he will summon people to the right path. There will rally to him people resembling pieces of iron, not to be shaken by violent winds, unsparing and relying on God.' [174]

    Khomeini was the first and only Iranian cleric to be addressed as "Imam", a title hitherto reserved in Iran for the twelve infallible leaders of the early Shi'a.[175] He was also associated with the Mahdi or 12th Imam of Shia belief in a number of ways.

    One of his titles was Na'eb-e Imam (Deputy to the Twelfth Imam). His enemies were often attacked as taghut and mofsidin fi'l-arz (corrupters of the earth), religious terms used for enemies of the Twelfth Imam. Many of the officials of the overthrown Shah's government executed by Revolutionary Courts were convicted of "fighting against the Twelfth Imam".

    When a deputy in the majlis asked Khomeini if he was the 'promised Mahdi', Khomeini did not answer, "astutely" neither confirming nor denying the title.[176]

    Before the revolution, in late 1978, a rumour swept the country that Khomeini's face could be seen in the full moon.

    Tears of joy were shed and huge quantities of sweets and fruits were consumed as millions of people jumped for joy, shouting 'I've seen the Imam in the moon.' The event was celebrated in thousands of mosques with mullahs reminding the faithful that a sure sign of the coming of the Mahdi was that the sun would rise in the West. Khomeini, representing the sun, was now in France and his face was shining in the moon like a sun. People were ready to swear on the Qur'an that they had seen Khomeini's face in the moon. Even the Tudeh Party [the party of "Scientific Socialism"] shared in the [enthusiasm]. Its paper Navid wrote: 'Our toiling masses, fighting against world-devouring imperialism headed by the blood-sucking United States, have seen the face of their beloved Imam and leader, Khomeini the Breaker of Idols, in the moon. A few pipsqueaks cannot deny what a whole nation has seen with its own eyes.' [177]

    As the revolution gained momentum, even some non-supporters exhibited awe, called him "magnificently clear-minded, single-minded and unswerving."[178] His image was as "absolute, wise, and indispensable leader of the nation"[179]

    The Imam, it was generally believed, had shown by his uncanny sweep to power, that he knew how to act in ways which others could not begin to understand. His timing was extraordinary, and his insight into the motivation of others, those around him as well as his enemies, could not be explained as ordinary knowledge. This emergent belief in Khomeini as a divinely guided figure was carefully fostered by the clerics who supported him and spoke up for him in front of the people.[180]

    بچه و خمینی.JPG

    Even many secularists who firmly disapproved of his policies were said to feel the power of his "messianic" appeal.[181] Comparing him to a father figure who retains the enduring loyalty even of children he disapproves of, journalist Afshin Molavi writes of the defenses of Khomeini he's "heard in the most unlikely settings":

    A whiskey-drinking professor told an American journalist that Khomeini brought pride back to Iranians. A women's rights activist told me that Khomeini was not the problem; it was his conservative allies who had directed him wrongly. A nationalist war veteran, who held Iran's ruling clerics in contempt, carried with him a picture of 'the Imam'.[182]

    Another journalist tells the story of listening to bitter criticism of the regime by an Iranian who tells her of his wish for his son to leave the country and who "repeatedly" makes the point "that life had been better" under the Shah, but after hearing that the 85+-year-old Imam might be dying, turns "ashen faced" and speechless, pronouncing 'this is terrible for my country.'[183][edit] Family and descendantsKhomeini with son (Ahmad) and grandsons (Hassan and Yaser)Khomeini with grandson and granddaughter.

    In 1929,[3] Khomeini married Khadijeh Saqafi,[184] the 16 year old daughter of a cleric in Tehran. By all accounts their marriage was harmonious and happy.[184] She died in 2009.[185] They had seven children, though only five survived infancy. His daughters all married into either merchant or clerical families, and both his sons entered into religious life. Mustafa, the elder son, died in 1977 while in exile in Najaf, Iraq with his father and was rumored by supporters of his father to have been murdered by SAVAK.[186] Ahmad Khomeini, who died in 1995 at the age of 49, was also rumoured to be a victim of foul play, but at the hands of Islamic regime.[187] Perhaps his "most prominent daughter",[188] Zahra Mostafavi, is a professor at the University of Tehran, and still alive.

    Of Khomeini's fifteen grandchildren the most notable include:

    * Zahra Eshraghi, granddaughter, married to Mohammad Reza Khatami, head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the main reformist party in the country, and is considered a pro-reform character herself. * Hassan Khomeini, Khomeini's elder grandson Sayid Hasan Khomeini, son of the Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini, is a cleric and the trustee of the Mausoleum of Khomeini and also has shown support for the reform movement in Iran,[189] and Mir-Hossein Mousavi's call to cancel the 2009 election results.[188] * Husain Khomeini, (Sayid Husain Khomeini) Khomeini's other grandson, son of Sayid Mustafa Khomeini, is a mid-level cleric who is strongly against the system of the Islamic Republic. In 2003 he was quoted as saying:

    Iranians need freedom now, and if they can only achieve it with American interference I think they would welcome it. As an Iranian, I would welcome it.[190]

    In that same year Husain Khomeini visited the United States, where he met figures such as Reza Pahlavi II, the son of the last Shah. Later that year, Husain returned to Iran after receiving an urgent message from his grandmother. According to Michael Ledeen, quoting "family sources", he was blackmailed into returning.[191] In 2006, he called for an American invasion and overthrow of the Islamic Republic, telling Al-Arabiyah television station viewers, "If you were a prisoner, what would you do? I want someone to break the prison [doors open].".[192]

    * Another of Khomeini's grandchildren, Ali Eshraghi, was disqualified from the 2008 parliamentary elections on grounds of being insufficiently loyal to the principles of the Islamic revolution, but later reinstated.[193]




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    147. ^ Ganji, Sorush and Mesbah Yazdi(Persian)

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    152. ^ Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs (1984), p.73

    153. ^ Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, (1982), p.56

    154. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival Norton, (2006), p.137

    155. ^ Bayan, No.4 (1990), p.8)

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    159. ^ Wright, Sacred Rage, (2001), p.28, 33,

    160. ^ for example the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing see:Hizb'allah in Lebanon : The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis Magnus Ranstorp, Department of International Relations University of St. Andrews St. Martins Press, New York, 1997, p.54, 117

    161. ^ Sahifeh Nour (Vol.2 Page 242)

    162. ^ in Qom, Iran, 22 October 1979, quoted in, The Shah and the Ayatollah : Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution by Fereydoun Hoveyda, Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2003, p.88

    163. ^ p.47, Wright. source: Speech at Feyziyeh Theological School, 24 August 1979; reproduced in Rubin, Barry and Judith Colp Rubin, Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East: A Documentary Reader, Oxford University Press, 2002, p.34

    164. ^ Roy, The Failure of Political Islam. 1994, p.175

    165. ^ In March 1992, disabled war veterans protested against the mismanagement of the Foundation of the Disinherited. January and May 1992. In January 1992 a Tehran mob attacked grocery stores in protest against rise in subsidized milk prices. In May 1992 there were protest by squatters against demolition of shantytowns in Mashhad. Government buildings were set alight. (Mackey, Sandra, The Iranians : Persia, Islam and the soul of a nation, Dutton, c1996. p.361, 362, 366). Quoted in Class Division and Poverty Will Not Be Tolerated

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    167. ^ Robert Tait, A fatwa for transsexuals, and a similar article on The Guardian. Gives details on Molkara's plea.

    168. ^ According to a daughter quoted in In the Name of God by Robin Wright c1989, p.45

    169. ^ Brumberg, Reinventing Khomeini, (2001), p.53

    170. ^ Mackay, Iranians (198?) p.224

    171. ^ fatwa #83 from A Clarification of Questions : An Unabridged Translation of Resaleh Towzih al-Masael, by Ayatollah Syed Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini, Translated by J. Borujerdi, with a Foreword by Michael M. J. Fischer and Mehdi Abedi, Westview Press/ Boulder and London c1984, p.48.

    172. ^ Mottahedeh, Roy, The Mantle of the Prophet : Religion and Politics in Iran, One World, Oxford, 1985, 2000, p.383

    173. ^ Personal communications from Dr. Mansur Farhang, a biographer and supporter of Khomeini who was the former Iranian representative at the United Nations, with Ervand Abrahamian. Quoted in Abrahamian, Ervand, Khomeinism : Essays on the Islamic Republic University of California Press, (1993)

    174. ^ (Mackay Iranians, p.277. Source: Quoted in Fouad Ajami, The Vanished Imam: Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), p.25

    175. ^ Moin, Khomeini (2000), p.201

    176. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.131

    177. ^ source: Navid n.28] [Taheri, The Spirit of Allah, p.238

    178. ^ Harney, The Priest and the King (1998) p.173-4

    179. ^ Benard/Khalilzad "The Government of God", 1984, p.121

    180. ^ Moin Khomeini, (2000), p.297

    181. ^ Wright, In the Name of God, (1989) (p.21-22)

    182. ^ Molavi, The Soul of Iran, (2005), p.256

    183. ^ In the Name of God : The Khomeini Decade by Robin Wright c1989, p.21-22

    184. ^ a b Taheri, The Spirit of Allah (1985), p. 90-1

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    Bibliography

    * Brumberg, Daniel (2001). Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226077586

    * Daniel, Elton L. (2001). The History of Iran. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313307318

    * DeFronzo, James (2007). Revolutions And Revolutionary Movements. Westview Press. ISBN 0813343542

    * Karsh, Efraim (2007). Islamic Imperialism: A History. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300122632

    * Khomeini, Ruhollah; Algar, Hamid (2002). Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist. Alhoda UK. ISBN 9643354997

    * Keddie, Nikkie R. (2003). Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300098561

    * Milani, Mohsen M. (1994). The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution: From Monarchy to Islamic Republic. Westview Press. ISBN 0813384761

    * Moin, Baqer (2000). Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312264909

    * Rāhnamā, 'Ali (1994). Pioneers of Islamic Revival. Macmillan. ISBN 1856492540

    * Reich, Bernard (1990). Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313262136

    * Willett, Edward C. ;Ayatollah Khomeini, 2004, Publisher:The Rosen Publishing Group, ISBN 0-8239-4465-4

    * Bakhash, Shaul (1984). The Reign of the Ayatollahs : Iran and the Islamic Revolution. New York: Basic Books.

    * Harney, Desmond (1998). The priest and the king : an eyewitness account of the Iranian revolution. I.B. Tauris.

    * Khomeini, Ruhollah (1981). Algar, Hamid (translator and editor). ed. Islam and Revolution : Writing and Declarations of Imam Khomeini. Berkeley: Mizan Press.

    * Khomeini, Ruhollah (1980). Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini : political, philosophical, social, and religious. Bantam.

    * Mackey, Sandra (1996). The Iranians : Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation. Dutton. ISBN 0525940057.

    * Molavi, Afshin (2005). The Soul of Iran: a Nation's Journey to Freedom. New York: Norton paperbacks.

    * Schirazi, Asghar (1997). The Constitution of Iran. New York: Tauris.

    * Taheri, Amir (1985). The Spirit of Allah. Adler & Adler.

    * Wright, Robin (1989). In the Name of God : The Khomeini Decade. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    * Wright, Robin (2000). The Last Revolution. New York: Knopf.

    * Ansari, Hamid, The Narrative of Awakening, The Institute for Compilation and publication of the work of Imam Khomeini

    * Lee, James; The Final Word!: An American Refutes the Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini, 1984, Publisher:Philosophical Library, ISBN 0-8022-2465-2

    * Dabashi, Hamid; Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundation of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, 2006, Publisher:Transaction Publishers, ISBN 1-4128-0516-3

    * Hoveyda,Fereydoun ; The Shah and the Ayatollah: Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution, 2003, Publisher:Praeger/Greenwood, ISBN 0-275-97858-3

    External links

    * Imam Khomeini's website in English

    * Imam Khomeiny - Part I Part II Part III (Free PressTV documentary)

    * Documentary about the life of Ruhollah Khomeini

    * Documentary: The man who changed the world

    * Documentary: I knew Khomeini

    Original works written by or about: Ruhollah Khomeini

    Selected bibliography

    * Syed Ruhollah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini — Islamic Government (Hukumat-i Islami)

    * Syed Ruhollah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini — The Last Will...

    * Extracted from speeches of Ayatollah Rouhollah Moosavi Khomeini

    * Books by and or about Rouhollah Khomeini

    * Famous letter of Ayatollah Khomeini to Gorbachyov, dated 1 January 1989. Kayhan Daily

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