Leaving Islam




The Revival of Islamic Madness


By Ali Sina

Islam is a sick ideology of terror, and it has been so since its inception. However, until the nineteen sixties it was contained and was not a threat to the world. It was like a poisonous snake sleeping in its hole or a malicious genie  trapped in its bottle. During the sixties the bottle was opened and the genie was let loose. How did it happen, and who is responsible? This article attempts to answer to that question.  

Islamism started in Iran in the middle of 1960s. And America is responsible for it.  

America has done a lot of good to a lot of people. It has liberated more than a dozen countries, helped them to rebuild their democracies and prosper, and unlike the European countries, it has not colonized any of them. They are all free, prosperous, and thriving. But the present chaos and the rise of Islamic terrorism is the direct result of America ’s miscalculations and blunders. However, we must not underestimate the role that the British played in these American blunders.

The story begins with the British control of oil in Iran . Prior to 1953 the Brits had the full control of the oil production in Iran , to the extent that they did not even hire one single Iranian in their refinery. All of their workers came from India and other colonies. The wisdom behind this was that if Iranians learned how to extract and refine their own oil, they might kick the Brits out and claim their own oil for themselves. Iran received virtually nothing from their oil. It all belonged to the British. To add insult to injury, the Brits had hung signs in designated places saying “Entry to Iranians is Prohibited”.

When Dr. Mossadegh, the first democratically elected prime minister of Iran
, formed his government, his first act was to nationalize the country’s oil. The Brits were irate. He offered to contract the oil production to them, and to sell it to them at the fair market value. They declined. He offered the British engineers double the wage they were receiving if they would stay; the British government disallowed its subjects to accept the offer. The production of oil came to a standstill.

Then the “Old Fox” (that is what Iranians call Britain , and probably for good reasons) went to America and said that Mossadegh was converting Iran into a communist state. This was totally false. Mossadegh had a few cabinet members who were communists and he had legalized the communist party, but he firmly believed in democracy himself. Puzzling was the fact that Italy and France had strong communist parties too, and they were part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Why the presence of the communists in some NATO countries did not cause consternation to America , yet their presence In Iran caused considerable alarm, isn’t clear. In a plot instigated by the British, America orchestrated a coup and Dr. Mossadegh was overthrown. The traitor Shah who had escaped after trying to assassinate Mossadegh in a failed coup only a few days earlier came back triumphantly.

The Shah was a modernist and modernized the country. But his rule was accompanied with repression. Iranians had every right to be angry with America . But America was in fact an instrument of the Brits who played Eisenhower so they could take their revenge against Mossadegh.  

The  Shah oppressed people and made them look for alternatives. He banned books, jailed intellectuals and even sent his opponents to face death squads. There was a bloody backlash to all of that repression. People were kept so much in the dark that they really did not understand politics and what would happen to them after the revolution. All they cared was to overthrow the Shah. The Shah even banned the books of the cleric  Khomeini. If people could have had access to those books and become familiar with the thinking of that third rate cleric, no intelligent person would have followed him. Khomeini was totally unknown to the Iranians when they rallied around him in desperation to get rid of the tyrant king.

America ’s focus was only on the communists and not on Islam. The Shah thought the same way . He even published a Quran under his name “Quran-e Aryamehr” and had his picture taken showing him semi-naked, wrapped in a white linen performing Hajj. He really never fought Islam in Iran . In fact, to appease the Mullahs, he even approved the destruction of the Baha’i religion’s centers. Khomeini was exiled, but only for openly criticizing the Shah.  (It can also be said that America hasn’t considered Islam to be its enemy.

The Shah’s mismanagements made the poor poorer, while only the middle class and the wealthy enjoyed the benefits of modernization (as long as they kept their mouth shut).  

Then came the second mistake of America .  John F. Kennedy was elected as the US President Kennedy felt that if he gave other countries foreign aid they would be happy, and happy people (Kennedy felt) don't become communist.. In this manner, he convinced the Shah to launch modernization and reform in Iran . This was a top-down program of reform called the White (as opposed to Red) Revolution. Land reform was included, and the Shah took lands from the wealthy landlords and gave them to the villagers who had  worked on them. Ironically, this was communism in all respects!. Kennedy did not implement such a stupid measure in the USA but asked the Shah to do it in Iran . By this, he hoped to leave the communists without a pretext. On the surface, this made the Shah look like Robin Hood, but in reality these villagers were left with a title in their hands but no knowledge or assistance how to produce and market their products. There were no infrastructures in place for them. They had a piece of land in their name, but they also needed machinery to work it, and the villagers could not afford that. They needed transportation and roads to market their products; that had not been planned for. They needed centers for distribution; that too was not available. They needed processing plants to give more shelf-life to their products; that was not accessible. The villagers, prior to the land reform had work and could feed their families. The landlords had the means to market their products and had access to technology to improve the agriculture. The villagers had none of that. They had lost their jobs, were left with a title that was worthless, and could not feed their families.  

So they went to the capital and other big cities to find work, and found employment in menial tasks. There was plenty of that kind of job in Tehran , which had a burgeoning economy and was rapidly expanding thanks to oil money. Unskilled as they were, they received very little wages. They sat on the sidewalks during the lunch hours with a piece of bread and a Pepsi Cola as lunch and sent most of what they earned to their families back home. They found shelter in the mosques and in the evenings they gathered around the Mullahs and listened to their fiery speeches. Discontent and feeling cheated, what they heard was music to their ears. They lived in poverty, away from their loved ones while witnessing the glamour of the big city with all the luster of a Western megalopolis. This was a fertile ground for the Mullahs to recruit their soldiers and plot their Revolution. Everything was handed to them on a platter. Thus in these mosques the soldiers of the Islamic Revolution were born. Oblivious to what was going on in the mosques, the Shah was busy celebrating his extravagant coronation, to which all the dignitaries of the word were invited, but Iranians were barred. Meanwhile, he continued jailing the intellectuals and hunting the communists.  

What about the intellectuals and the middle class? They should have been grateful to the Shah. They owed their existence to him, yet they turned against him. The problem is that once you create a middle class, you can’t keep it silent. After people get enough money to feed themselves and have a roof over their head, and especially after they get an education,  the next thing they want is freedom of expression. So here the Shah created his own enemies. The newly created middle class sent their kids to universities and abroad, they got a taste for freedom and democracy, and the repressive rule of the Shah was no more to their liking. In this way the Shah lost the support of the poor and the middle class and since he would not listen to anyone, revolution was inevitable.  

The third mistake of America in Iran was when the Shah came under attack. This man was a dictator but at the same time he was a coward. When he saw millions of people marching in the streets shouting “death to Shah”, he panicked. He asked America for advice. Unfortunately America at that time also had a weak president, Carter, who did not realize what was at stake and did not respond. The Shah interpreted this silence as America 's decision to get rid of him. He felt helpless and dreaded to take responsibility in his hand. 

Meanwhile the BBC filled the air with Persian programming which incited people with exaggerated reports of the atrocities of the army against the protesters. The Islamists had committed incredibly dastardly crimes such as locking 400 people in a theater and  setting it on fire.  And in a typical Islamic fashion they blamed the Shah for their own heinous acts. The BBC tacitly implied that this could be the case. The BBC became the mouthpiece of the Islamists then, just as Aljazerah is the mouthpiece of the terrorists today. The “Old Fox” had an ax to grind against the Shah. The Shah had become uppity lately, he would not listen to the Brits and was the architect behind the oil crisis of 1973. As far as the Brits were concerned, the Shah had to go. 

This was the time that America had to protect the Shah. Had Carter done that, he would have nipped in the bud the Islamic revival and we would not be in this mess today. A few hundred Islamists had to be sacrificed to salvage Iran and the world. America must  be strong or the world would become chaos. I would have preferred we had a world federal government to police the world and oversee that its governments are democratic. But in the absence of such a world authority I am all with President Bush and his plan to rid the world of rogue regimes. America should not be just another country but it must become the bulwark and the guardian of democracy in the world, whether the Europeans like it or not! What have Europeans done for the third world? They have colonized and brutalized them, first overtly and now covertly. Up to this day the murderous regime of Iran is being propped up by Europeans who continue trading with Mullahs and pillaging that wretched country. America has brought democracy to more than a dozen countries. Despite all of its blunders, America is still the hope of the oppressed people of the world. 

When the Shah fell, Khomeini started funding Islamic extremists to export his revolution, and the Saudis jumped on the bandwagon so they would not remain behind. Osama Bin Laden himself has confessed that it was the success of the Islamic Revolution of Iran that inspired him to become a religious fighter. “If a powerful kingdom such as Iran can be toppled by appealing to the religious sentiment of the people” he concluded, “then we can use religion to overthrow any unislamic government”. With the help of America , he in fact succeeded in Afghanistan .

Many observers trace the beginning of the modern Islamic revival in the Arab world to the crushing Arab defeat against Israel in the 6 Day War in 1967. But that is an erroneous assumption. In the 1967 war the Muslims were defeated. Defeat demoralizes them and dampens their enthusiasm. In Iran they succeeded; success energizes them. So although their grievance and pretext is about Palestine , their real inspiration to use Islam as a political tool is the sweet memory of their success in Iran . They reason, "it worked once and hence it must work again". In Islamic Revolution, the Islamic terrorists have a tested and proven pattern of success.

Muslims should not win at any cost. Any victory, no matter how trivial it may be, even the perceived and fictitious victories, add to their resolve and make them hardened fanatics. Islam grows on hype. Muslims interpret success as assistance from Allah and increase their zealotry. What would dampen their zest is more defeats like the one in 1967. Those who trace the rise of Islamic revivalism to the Israel-Arab war need to take into consideration the Muslims psyche and idiosyncrasy. The surge in Islamic terrorism is due to its success in Iran and not to its defeat in Palestine . Palestine , Chechnya or Kashmir may provide motivation but Iran is the inspiration. After Iran there is the success in repelling the USSR in Afghanistan . That success is owed to the American support. But the Muslims do not see it that way. That success was another boost to their morale

America has done a lot of good for a lot of people, and some of them are ungrateful. But America has made terrible mistakes in Iran , Chile and Vietnam . Iran is today the axis of evil and it all started in 1953 when America strangled the toddling democracy in that country. Until this axis is removed, the world will not see a day of peace. 

Prior to the 1960s, Islam was not an issue at all. Islamism was born during the sixties in Iran and gained momentum after the success of the Islamic Revolution. Iran has always been the trendsetter in the Middle East . Whatever happens in Iran affects the rest of the Region. Most philosophies and most Islamic and political schools of thoughts have their roots in Iran . In good and in bad, Iran has been the leader. So when Iranians started Islamism, the rest followed. But the Islamism of Iran is a direct reaction to Shah’s abuse of power. Iranians were not religious prior to that. They became religious in response to Shah’s oppression.  

Islam is a triumphalist religion. Once the Islamic revolution in Iran had succeeded, it opened the floodgates and every nutcase across the Islamic world decided to use Islam as a vehicle to achieve his political ambition. Islam has always been evil. But prior to the Islamic Revolution it was a malevolent Genie locked in the bottle. It was American obsession with the prevention of the spread of communism and the Shah’s tyrannical rule that let this Genie out. Now that the Genie is out, it must be slain. You can’t bottle it again. 

The head of this snake is Iran . The Islamic terrorism started in Iran and it must end there. Because historically Iran has been the trendsetter in the region, the focus must be on Iran . Wherever Iranians go the rest will follow. Today the Islamic fever is all but cured among the Iranians. Their regime is not representative of their sentiment and thoughts. America committed three consecutive mistakes in Iran and now America and the world is paying the consequences. Those mistakes must be mended. Islamism in Iran must be defeated and democracy restored. This will inevitably reverberate in all the Middle East and will put an end to this Islamic madness. 

It is amazing how one chapter of the history is a continuation of the previous chapter. I can easily trace back the root of the events happening today to 3500 years ago or to the dawn of history. Likewise, what we do today will resonate for thousands of years to come. And no time has been more of a history maker than today.   






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