On the occasion of the anniversary of the demise of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, the author will discuss some of the dimensions of Imam Khomeini's character and the solution presented by that social and political leader to resolve humanity’s current problems in this short article written for

Imam Khomeini was a personage who succeeded in creating a great upheaval in this century’s equations and geometry of power and sovereignty in the international area, a power that is based on humankind’s transcendent mission rather than on the conventional, materialistic structure of power. He was born in 1902 and brought about numerous transformations in international relations.

A revolution different from other revolutions in the world

When the first sparks of a popular uprising in Iran were kindled by Imam Khomeini (r.a.), the majority of researchers working in the area of politics and international studies did not believe the popular uprising would put an end to 2,500 years of autocratic monarchy in Iran. They did not believe the uprising would lead to widespread changes in the region and the world. However, the reality is that Imam Khomeini, together with people from different trades and walks of life, broke the chain of autocracy by the Pahlavi regime after a struggle of approximately two-decades and despite America’s support for the regime. The Islamic Revolution became victorious in the year 1979.

Michael Fischer, the famous American anthropologist, said, “Imam Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution even changed the evolutionary course of mankind, and the people of the world are still influenced by his spiritual revolution. No political leader can claim that his people are so strongly bonded to him, and this bond is definitely due to Shia Islam and the people’s strong belief in his leadership.[i]

Imam Khomeini's spiritual motives, coupled with his complete rejection of colonialism and autocracy, caused the Islamic Revolution to be appealing and inspiring to many nations throughout the world. It was a revolution whose nature was different from other revolutions, one that started in response to a different set of needs. This made it all the more important for the people of the world to understand the Islamic Revolution. Speaking about the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini said, “Without a doubt, the Islamic Revolution in Iran is different from all other revolutions, in terms of emergence, in terms of the nature of the struggle and in terms of the motives that drove the Revolution and the uprising. There is no doubt that this was a divine gift, a gift from the unseen.”[ii]

Perhaps the most important difference between the Islamic Revolution and other revolutions lies in its worldview and its ontological and epistemological underpinnings, which flowed into all related aspects of it. It was a revolution that was devoid of any Western philosophical and sociological teachings. It was a worldview founded on religious teachings and human nature. The Islamic Revolution, the core of which was based on faith in God and a God-centered philosophy, reintroduced religion and religious discourse into political terminology, and it gradually challenged secularism and humanism. The Islamic Revolution in Iran, during its initial stage of development, was faced with two schools of thought: liberalism and communism. The world had been polarized into the West and the East (the left and the right). There were certain disagreements between these two poles, disagreements centered around different issues such as economy and power. Despite all the differences, the two schools of thought agreed completely on one thing: man is one-dimensional. They both rejected as outmoded any idea that was put forth in the name of religion.

Therefore, the Islamic Revolution, which was founded on a monotheistic worldview, was a significant and transformative phenomenon on a global level in the preceding decades. It was a finalistic, idealistic, religious and universal revolution which was guided by a religious leader. It had succeeded in introducing a tremendous change in international relations and the political equations of the world.

Revolutions are usually regarded as responses to the essential needs of their time. The Islamic Revolution in Iran was the result of discourses introduced by Imam Khomeini. It contained a response to the needs of the people of Iran and even the people of the world, a response that has not been invalidated until today. The needs of Iranian society at that time were inspired by human nature. These needs included the needs for justice, dignity, opposition to oppression, freedom and independence. These are needs that human beings will always have. They have never been and will never be obsolete. The response of the Islamic Revolution to these needs caused the people of Iran to participate and vote in a great referendum with a near-perfect turnout rate about two months after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. More than 98 percent of those who participated in the referendum voted for the Islamic Republic.[iii] & [iv]  


Fighting oppressors and supporting the oppressed

From the beginning, Imam Khomeini expressed his ideas, which were inspired by his monotheistic and spiritual rationality. He confronted colonialism and introduced the dual term “imperialists - oppressed” to the world.[v] Former CIA agent, Graham Fuller, wrote in his book, “(Imam) Khomeini's viewpoint, inspired by a global Islamic ideology, placed Iran at the forefront of the world’s Islamic policies.” He added that after the Revolution, Iranian representatives travelled throughout the entire world of Islam to promote his message of struggle to achieve social justice and to fight imperialism, global arrogance, as well as oppression and injustice.[vi] Over the past four decades, the camp of Arrogance, led by America and followed by European countries, which considered Imam Khomeini to be a serious threat, has used all its tools and capacities against him both when he was alive and after he passed away. These included the 8-Year (Iraqi) Imposed War, Islamophobia, Iranophobia, the assassination of personages and intense, widespread propaganda. However, history shows that the followers and supporters of Imam Khomeini have increased despite the fact that the camp of Arrogance has used all its material capacities to prevent this.


The pain of the modern world

In today’s world, humanity is grappling with various kinds of tension, stress and psychological and spiritual insecurity. Furthermore, the more humanity focuses its attention on liberalism, the more obstacles it faces. In such a world, the search for an alternative path is inevitable. A few days ago, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union, said in a speech that the American hegemony is very close to its end.[vii] We must consider the meaning of this proposition. Without a doubt, an analysis of the statistics from the modern Western world and a comparison of these statistics with those from the past will show that the Western world is in a downward spiral. These figures range from the persistent, rising statistics on crimes against American people of color such as George Floyd, to widespread violence against women and children, the widespread murder of innocent civilians by armed individuals only to ensure profits for weapon factories, and the disintegration of the meaning of family.[viii] The tragedy of Covid-19 should also be added to the list, which has unfortunately claimed more lives in these modern countries than elsewhere in the world due to mismanagement and medical injustice.[ix]


The way to save this grief-stricken world

The dominant discussions in international circles, which have defined the world as one-dimensional on the basis of materialism, cannot claim to be useful for the bewildered modern man who believes his current state of instability to be the result of trusting in this discussion. Inevitably, people are in need of a new discussion to restore their original identity. History shows that at such important stages, people will seek out other discourses, which will be the turning point. The discourse with which Imam Khomeini was able to revive grief-stricken Iran can definitely be one of the ways out from the tragedies faced by disheartened, modern man. Modern man is not dissimilar to the Iranian society that was on the verge of the Revolution. At that time, the world pursued the postmodern paradigm, but the people of Iran chose a different path. They chose the paradigm of the Islamic Revolution and spiritual and monotheistic rationality. One can invite liberated human beings to Imam Khomeini's discourses for several reasons:


1) Resistance and fighting imperialism: Resistance can be considered to mean choosing the right path and resistance to achieve goals and clear obstacles.[x] Fighting imperialism means standing against an oppressor who wants to dominate your country. Imam Khomeini opened a new path by recourse to a combination of the concepts of independence and freedom. His path rejects any kind of dependence, including political, cultural and economic dependence on the Eastern and Western blocs. With the aim of confronting the hegemony of Eastern and Western superpowers, he called the Muslim and liberated nations of the world by a new approach to Islamic values. By assuming a direct link between the Revolution and Islam on the one hand, and turning his attention to all liberated people throughout the world on the other hand, he declared that revolution is a necessary requirement to achieve divine and human aspirations and to link the global community to human transcendence.[xi] His statements in support of the Palestinian nation during the early days after the victory of the Islamic Revolution can be considered to be the most important proof for this claim.[xii]

2) Justice: Justice was one of the most important building blocks of Imam Khomeini's ideology. Perhaps, it would not be extravagant to consider justice to be the root cause of the Islamic Revolution. In the ideology of Imam Khomeini, justice is the rejection of all kinds of oppression and corruption, and includes the need to fight them.[xiii]

3) A model of governance: In Imam Khomeini's ideology, the people enjoy a central and essential role. This important point may be seen prominently in his statements and works.[xiv] He believed that Vilayat Faqih was the most important pillar of the Islamic Republic and referred to it as popularly elected rule[xv]. This shows the importance that he attached to the role of the people in his ideology. In fact, modern Western civilization considers democracy to be the rule of the people by proxy alone and does not allow the people to enter major political, social and economic areas of significance. In contrast, Imam Khomeini believed that the people needed to play an active role in all social dimensions. This proposition can be explained using a variety of facts, but it would be beyond the scope of this short article. Hopefully, there will be another opportunity in the future to expand on this issue.





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