Leaving Islam



Terrorism and the Iranian Model: 
Who is Responsible?

By Ali Sina 

Although Jihad is as old as Islam, it was defeated and for over two hundred years it remained dormant. What made it come back?

It all started in the sixties and the seventies. It was during those years that Iranians, who up until then were only nominal Muslims, started flocking into mosques and in other Islamic countries thousands of madrassahs were built brainwashing Muslim youths with religious indoctrinations. All that fueled the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, which led to Islamic terrorism. The question is how did this happen? Why did Islam suddenly become a threat to mankind and why Muslims choose terrorism as the vehicle to achieve their political goals? 

To answer this, we have to look into the history. History is a chain of events where one link leads to another and all links are interrelated. Amazingly, it is sometimes small incidents that have to huge historic consequences.

Forty years ago John .F. Kennedy, fearing the spread of communism in Iran, ordered the Shah of Iran, the late Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to start land reforms. Iran at that time was primarily a feudal country. The majority of people were peasants. Often an entire village was owned by one or a few Landlords. The inhabitants of these villages were their serfs. They worked the demesnes and kept a portion of what they produced. In those days, life was simple. The landlord was responsible for the well-being of his serfs and the peasants had a sense of loyalty towards their landlord. Generally the relationship was harmonious. This was far from perfect, but it worked. It worked for thousands of years and it would have work longer. Change was needed. However, what was not needed was a revolution. Revolutions often fail because change must come gradually. The world of being, which comprises humans and their societies, is the product of evolution and not revolutions.

Under Kennedy’s instruction, Shah took good agricultural lands from their owners and gave them to the peasants. Kennedy thought that this would immunize Iran against the threat of communism. Shah called this the “White Revolution”. White, because it was done with the order of the king, not by the uprising of the masses and no blood was shed.

In all fairness, one can say that the idea of the White Revolution and land reform was motivated by good intentions. Shah could become the modern day Robin Hood and gain the hearts of the majority of Iranians who were peasants and those who labored the land could become the owners of it too? The White Revolution had also other positive provisions. It extended voting rights to women and aimed to eliminate the illiteracy. However, the White Revolution in Iran was a fiasco that eventually led to the rise of Islamism and the present day Islamic terrorism. It angered the Mullahs who saw their traditional powers being eroded. Shah’s big mistake was to try to modernize Iran disregarding the Islamic mindset of its people. What he should have done was to wean people from Islam first. Instead, he foolishly banned books critical of Islam such as “23 Years of Prophetic Career” by Ali Dashti and books of Ahmad Kasravi, to avoid hurting the sensitivities of Muslims and not rocking the boat too much. He even banned the book of Khomeini. This book was the testament of Khomeni’s sheer ignorance. Had the Iranians known how stupid is this man, they would have never followed him.

Islam is against modernity. It opposes equal rights for women and sees literacy, science and knowledge as threats. You can’t change an Islamic state and transform it into a modern country without eliminating the influence of Islam on its people. To bring change in Islamic countries you must first confront Islam and discredit it. This means challenging the very claim of Muhammad as a prophet of God. This requires great courage and few have such mettle.

Iran was an agrarian country. The land belonged to a relatively small portion of the population. However, these landlords also had means to transport their products and market them. When the land was taken away from them and was given to the peasants, the latter were left with a title to a piece of property, which could not feed them. They knew how to till the soil but did not have the means to market their products let alone, improve it, modernize and expand their operations. To produce lucratively, they needed know-how, machinery and equipment. Simple farmers did not have enough money to buy those things. They had no means of transportation and did not know how to market, process and export the fruits of their labor. The land reform could have worked if the peasants were given enough aid, like help them form cooperatives, give them access to new technologies and provide them ways to modernize. Little or nothing was done in that respect and soon the new owners were left with a worthless title to a barren land. Before the land reform, they had work and could put bread on the table. During hardships, the landlord provided for them until they could pay him back when time improved their lots. But now they were left on their own with no work or income. They could no longer feed their families. They became discouraged and were forced to leave behind their villages and their loved ones to go to big cities in the search of work. During the day they did menial and backbreaking jobs such as working as coolies in bustling bazaar of Tehran or working as day laborers in construction sites. In the evenings they met in the mosques to socialize. There, the mullahs indoctrinated them and instilled in them the hatred of the Shah and America, whom they blamed for their plight. The Mullahs, who saw modernization as a threat to their own powers, had their “legitimate” grievances against the Shah and his supporter, the USA.

Coming from small villages, accustomed to living pastoral lives and now forced to live away from their homes and loved ones, these peasants felt alienated in big cities to which they had immigrated. They could see luxury cars and big mansions that they had labored to built but could not dream to own them. While the middle class was benefiting from modernization, the masses of the village dwellers were left behind, neglected and felt more alienated.  At the same time, Shah who was completely secluded from the reality of what was going on in his country, wrapped in his hermetic world, was heedlessly consolidating his monarchy with sumptuous coronation feasts and pompously telling Cyrus the Great; "sleep, because we are awake".

Alas, no one was more asleep than him! To add insult to injury, in 1971 he held an extravagant celebration of 2500 years of Persian monarchy to which he invited the dignitaries and the heads of most of the sates of the world. The only people left out were the Iranians. The dispossessed peasants and the poor felt betrayed and cheated.

These new immigrants, coming from small villages, found themselves in strange inhospitable cities and became part of the huge mass of discontented Iranians who in 1979, marched into the streets by millions, shouting “death to Shah, death to America”. These people were unhappy and ignorant. This is a dangerous combination.

But, what about the intellectuals? Why the students and the educated middle class that benefited from the rule of Shah went along with the Islamic revolution and supported a reactionary cleric like Khomeini? Didn’t they know better? The answer is that they had their own grievances. Their fight was for freedom and democracy. They remembered how the American and British intelligence staged a coup against their nascent democracy, a quarter of a century earlier, in 1953 and overthrew their nationalist Prime Minister Dr. Mossadegh, placing all the power in the hands of a puppet king who turned out to be as incompetent as he was a despot; all that because Mossadegh nationalized the Iranian oil and ended the “rule” of the British Petroleum in Iran. The BP was virtually stealing the Iranian oil. The engineers and technicians came from UK. Even they brought Indians to do the less technical works. Iranians were left out completely and the royalties that they received amounted to nothing.

As one can see, the grievances of Iranians against America were well founded. It was thanks to this meddling of America in Iran and the malaise caused by the Shah’s ineptitude and his despotism that made the Iranians vulnerable to Islamism. People did not go after Islam because they wanted Sharia. They went after Islam to get rid of the Shah. Khomeini was a fearless and outspoken cleric that dared to speak against the Shah. That was the only thing that brought him to forefront of the revolution.

However, the revolution led by Khomeini against the Shah succeeded, with no little thanks to BBC, which positioned itself as the voice of the Islamic revolutionaries. BBC magnified the oppressions of Shah and unabashedly, but subtlety, incited the Iranians to pour into the streets and overthrow his regime. Was BBC unhappy because Shah had become a disobedient vassal? Was it because he was friendlier to America and especially the Republicans than to his British masters? The BBC and the British government maintained their support of the Mullahs up until today that the nuclear ambition of the Islamic Republic has hopefully made them realize Mullahs are not trustworthy allies. 

Virtually all groups; the nationalists, the communists, the merchants, the framers the workers, the students and the intellectuals supported the Revolution; not because they saw in Khomeini a great leader or liked his Islamic charades. The reason they supported him was to get rid of the Shah whom they saw as the puppet of America. Once Khomeini seized the power, he systematically eliminated his opponents and critics one by one and established himself as the potentate and the Supreme Leader who ruled with “divine authority” and declared any opposition to him is tantamount to opposition to God and punishable by death. He killed thousands upon thousands of people – mostly the youths.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran had far reaching consequences that transcended the boundaries of that country and affected the entire world. It became an inspiration to other Islamists in other countries. Suddenly Islam was seen as a tool to combat dictatorial regimes, fight against neo-colonialism and end the influence of the powerful foreign countries in Islamic lands.

I already talked about the role of the BBC in inciting people during the Islamic Revolution, depicting Khomeini as a holy man and even comparing him to Gandhi. However, ironically, even America contributed to promoting Islamism as a tool for political gains. To combat communism in Afghanistan, Regan supported the Taliban and the Islamic movement. At the same time that USA was giving ammunition to the Taliban, these jihadists were not hiding their intention to turn their Jihad against America, once the Soviets were defeated. Alas, we humans have the propensity of not hearing what we don’t like to hear.  

The United States of America is guilty of many mistakes. These mistakes were mostly based on the ignorance of Islam and the Muslim mind. Today, the Americans are paying the consequences of those mistakes but the ignorance continues. Regrettably, when the Red Army in Afghanistan was defeated, Gorbachev told Regan that Afghanistan should not be left to the Islamists. He warned the United States’ president of the consequences of an Islamic regime and invited him to help create a secular government that would take over after the Soviet Army pulls out. This was not just for the Soviets to save face but it made perfect sense. To Gorbachev’s surprise, and now to the world’s chagrin, Regan declined his request and in his eagerness to end the influence of the Soviets in Afghanistan completely, he told Gorbachev that the Afghans are perfectly capable to rule themselves. Regan thought that because America helped the Taliban to win the war, they would be appreciative and will become grateful allies of America. How could he be more wrong? The Islamists had no intentions to be friends of America that they saw as filthy infidels. They used America for their gain, but never they had any feeling of friendliness towards the Americans. They established the most despotic Islamic regime, much worse than communism and prepared themselves to launch their attack on their next enemy, the United States of America.

Two decades has passed but no lessons have been learned. The same mistake is committed by George W. Bush in Iraq. There is no doubt that Bush wants to bring democracy to Iraq and his intentions are good. But what he does not realize is that the Iraqis are Muslims and Muslims are not only incapable, but also unwilling to have democracy. They are against freedom and the notion of equal rights for women offends them. The reaction of Islamists in Iran, in Afghanistan and in Iraq to modernization and emancipation of women has always been revolt. The problem is that the Westerners do not understand the Muslim mind.

The hatred of the West and particularly America was instrumental in mobilizing the masses of Iranians. Hence, the hatred of America became the focal point of Islamists everywhere. This is not because America has done something unforgivably wrong that has offended the Muslims all over the world. It is because to rally masses of ignorant people, you need to give them a common cause. If you can’t unite people through love, you can unite them though hate. Inciting hate is much easier and more efficient than fostering love. Islam has thrived on inciting hate since its inception. Muhammad fomented the hatred of the kafirs, the unbelievers, among his followers to rally their support. He was a master of “divide and rule” doctrine. The more formidable is your enemy, the stronger is your sense of victimization and the intenser will be your hatred. America is big and formidable. It makes an excellent adversary. Inciting the hatred of America can unite all Muslims around you. It can give them a common cause through a common hate. By inciting hatred they can rose masses of Muslims to pour into the streets shouting death to America and become suicide-bombers and terrorists. Terrorism leads to revolution and revolution leads to power. With nothing but hate, Muslims overthrew a 2500-year-old monarchy in Iran. If it worked in Iran, why can’t it work everywhere?

In America there are huge landowners. But Kennedy did not think land reform was necessary there. Even the thought of that would be ridiculous. Instead, he prescribed that for Iran. The intention may have been good. Unfortunately, as we see time and again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To do the right thing, you need more than good intentions. You need knowledge and understanding. Sadly, few westerners understand Islam and even fewer are the politicians who know what to do.

To add insult to injury, at the time that the Islamic Revolution was simmering beneath the surface, the USA had a weak man in the person of Jimmy Carter as the president. Carter was a peanut farmer and a religious “do-gooder” with no understanding of the world politics let alone Islam. At a time when America should have been tough and should have backed the Shah, they abandoned him. Carter did not think that Shah was worth saving because his human rights records were not outstanding. What Carter could not see, was that the consequence of his inaction would be worse. What he did not know, was that the Islamists are going to be a thousand times more ruthless than the Shah.

The Europeans, particularly the British, disliked the Shah for their own selfish reasons. He had become too willful and did not obey them as he used to. Shah was a rickety man, fooled by his obsequious minions, was lately feeling omnipotent. He eliminated his critics and surrounded himself with a bunch of bootlickers and sycophants who flattered him and stroked his ego. He was the man behind the oil crisis of 1973. He was trying to send the signal that he wants to be a man of his own. He had ceased to be servile to his European masters. They bite their lips and waited. When their time came, they seized the opportunity to fan the fire of revolution and get rid of him. The BBC bombarded the airwaves of Iran with anti-Shah propaganda, in Farsi and magnified his wrongs. It positioned itself as the official voice of the Islamists, reported their every move and aired any statement they made. The BBC to the Islamic revolutionaries of Iran was what Al Jazeerah is today, to the Islamic terrorists. They incited the gullible people and paved the road for the Revolution. Shah suddenly felt he had been abandoned. Watching from his ivory tower of self-deception, he was shocked to see so much hatred against him, much of that hatred was unjustified and was vented by BBC’s misinformation campaign. He asked and waited for instructions from Washington. The instructions never came. The spineless man did not have the guts to squish the protesters by force. Like a dog that is only courageous when his master is around, but becomes timorous when he is not, Shah felt scared and forsaken without Washington telling him what to do. He, like most Iranians, truly believed that invisible forces control everything. He thought that Americans and the British are omnipotent. It is they who move the wheels of this universe and nothing will happen unless they decide. After all, these foreign forces were the ones who had decided the destiny of Iran for the last two hundred years. His own father, Reza Shah, was ousted by the British and the Soviets in 1941, when he sided with Hitler and in the absence of another candidate; he was put in his father’s place. Again it were the British and the Americans who had staged the coup against Mossadegh and brought him back when he escaped after his plot to assassinate Mossadegh had been failed. So his paranoia was not entirely unjustifiable. It was based on some hard facts. Being a mini narcissist, cut off from reality, and engulfed in his reveries of grandiosity, Shah was arrogant and even ruthless when he felt strong but a coward when he felt weak. So to everyone’s surprise, the self-anointed gendarme of the Middle East, the kind of kings, the light of the Aryans, fell and Muslims savored their first taste of victory against a powerful adversary. Jihad was on a roll again.

Only now, the Iranians have begun to realize that the BBC duped them. Today, the BBC is “deafeningly” silent in reporting the atrocities of the mullahs even though they are a thousand times more oppressive than the Shah. Today, the BBC has completely forgotten the Iranian dissidents that are rotting in IRI’s jails. Ironically, the BBC operates very much like the IRI. They are funded by the public but respond to no authority. This is the recipe for corruption. It is amazing that the smart Britons have such a stupid system still in place. The BBC collects over a billion pounds per year by force from anyone who owns a television in UK. And all BBC does, is mischief.

By overthrowing the Shah and supporting the Islamic Republic, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other European countries benefited economically. While America remained at bay, the Europeans singed lucrative contracts with corrupt Mullahs and made huge financial gains, of course at the cost of the death and misery of the people of Iran. However they also created a Frankenstein monster that is now armed with nuclear power and is going to be their nightmare. The woes of the Europeans with Islam have just begun. Hey, it’s payback time. 

The fall of Iran to the hands of the Islamists was a success for all the Muslims across the globe. They learned that terrorism works. The revolution in Iran started with the terrorists setting fire to a theater in Abadan that incinerated 400 people. Then, in a typically Islamic spirit of lies and deception, they blamed the Shah for their own dastardly crime. The BBC never blamed the Islamists for what they did, leaving room for suspicions to grow around the Shah and the SAVAK, his dreaded secret police. The perpetrators won and Ali Khamanei, who was one of the masterminds of this butchery, eventually became the Supreme Leader of Iran. Terrorism paid off big time.

The Iranian model continues to be the inspiration for the Islamists everywhere. They want to replicate what they did in Iran. They will continue with their terrorism until they destabilize the countries that they target, cause anarchy, mayhem and bring public unrest. This will pave the road for revolution. They intend to create power vacuums, which would be filled by them. This is the tested and proven Iranian model that the Islamists want to emulate in all Islamic countries. Watch Bangladesh carefully. They are trying the repeat the Iranian model to the letter.

Today we are in a war against terrorism. Many innocent people have already been killed and many more will be killed. Western cities could be destroyed with nuclear bombs causing the death of millions of people and bringing about the end of world, as we know it. It is easy to blame it all on Islam. But let us not forget the role of the non-Muslims, especially the West in this. It is through the incompetence, greed and ignorance of the westerners that Islam has become the monster that it has become. The West has let the genii out of the bottle. How are they going to put it back?

At this moment we have no other option but to fight against Islamic terrorism. The terrorists must be defeated at any cost. This is a matter of life and death for all of us. They must be annihilated and destroyed. Unless they are destroyed completely, the Iranian model will be followed and terrorism will never end. The Iranian mullahcracy must be overthrown. The Iranian people should be given the tools to do it. It is much better that the Iranians reclaim the power than a foreign force invade Iran like the Americans did in Iraq. The Muslim world must see that their model has failed and has collapsed from within. The madrassas must be closed. Anyone preaching hate or uttering a word in support for the terrorists must be expelled or lucked up. Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas, must be squashed. The terrorists speak violence and understand only violence. Any compromise on our part will be seen as the sign of weakness and will add to their resolve.

         The rise of Islamic terrorism is the fault of many. Those who are the victims of this menace are also responsible. The politically correct, the appeasers and the naïf “do-gooders” are fueling Islamic fundamentalism and validating their terrorist activities. Some leftists are actually strange bedfellows with the Islamic terrorist and openly support them.  

When Jenny Tonge, a United Kingdom MP condones suicide bombing of the Palestinians, or when Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London defends a radical Muslim cleric for his controversial views on suicide bombing and lays the blame on Britain and the US for their Middle East policies, or worse, when Gerhard Schröder the German Chancellor and Jacques Chirac, the French President take the side of the IRI and instead of sanctioning the mullahs they propose appeasement, we know that our politicians have lost every notion of right and wrong and we are on the course of annihilation. Our only chance to beat this evil is to acknowledge our own mistakes and change our ways. The biggest mistake is appeasement. The Islamists and the terrorists are bullies. It would be a huge blunder to try to appease the bullies.

Regrettably, neither the BBC, nor the French President, or the German Chancellor get it. In a time that the world must be united to defeat its common enemy, they continue their rant against America and particularly its present administration, completely ignoring the dangers of Islam and Islamic terrorism. They foolishly are more concerned about cheap oil and unethical but lucrative business deals with the thugs than the safety and future of their own countries.  

Thanks to Schröder’s persistence, Iran was not stopped in time to build the uranium conversion plant as America had insisted. The Iranians played cat and mouse for three years and kept negotiating with the EU3 (UK, France and Germany) while they rapidly advanced with their nuclear projects. While Germany's top arms-control official, Friedrich Groening, was insisting that Iran was keeping its promises and accused the United States of playing politics with Iran's nuclear program, the Iranians continued to build centrifuges and completed their enrichment plant. They also continued to produce uranium tetraflouride (UF4) — an intermediate step needed to make UF6 gas for enrichment. Later on, Hossein Mousavian, a top Iranian official, in a televised interview boasted that Tehran had used the Europeans to "buy time" to complete their nuclear facilities.

          If we want to win the war against Islamic terrorism, we must first understand Islam. You can’t win any war unless you know your enemy. Muhammad said, “War is a game of deception”. Muslims use deception to trick their opponents. Appeasements, compromises and concessions towards Muslims are lethal. We can’t negotiate with Muslims. Their treaties and their words are worthless. Guided by the examples set by their prophet in Hudaibiyyah, they will break their treaties as soon as they gain the upper hand. Muslims use treaties and negotiations just to buy time. We must accept that the enemy is Islam and confront it. All mankind must join hands and combat his common threat on all fronts. The most important front is the ideological front. It is the deity of Islam that is vengeful and bloodthirsty. Islamic terrorism is the outcome of Islamic theology. The terrorists and the suicide bombers are born and raised within the bosom of Islam. It is their belief in Islam and the hate-speeches of the Quran that make them despise mankind and push them to such extremes. We cannot fight Islamic terrorism if we do not address its cause.  The war against Islamic terrorism can only be won if Islam is discredited. Democracy in Islamic countries can only be attained if Islam is discredited. Women in Islamic countries can enjoy equal rights only if Islam is discredited. The poverty and misery of a billion Muslims will end only if Islam is discredited.  The world will attain its peace once again, only if Islam is discredited.  Unfortunately there are no shortcuts. We have to accept the fact that Islam is the enemy and combat it  








Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.