The Revival of Islamic Madness
By Ali Sina
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.
in the middle of 1960s. And
is responsible for it.
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
’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
. Prior to 1953 the Brits had the full control
of the oil production in
, to the extent that they did not even hire one single Iranian in their
refinery. All of their workers came from
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.
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
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
, and probably for good reasons) went to
and said that Mossadegh was converting
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
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
, yet their presence In Iran caused considerable alarm, isn’t clear.
In a plot instigated by the British,
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
was in fact an instrument of the Brits who played Eisenhower so they
could take their revenge against Mossadegh.
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
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.
’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
. 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
hasn’t considered Islam to be its enemy.
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).
came the second mistake of
. John F. Kennedy was
elected as the
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
. 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
but asked the Shah to do it in
. 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.
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
, 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.
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
third mistake of
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
for advice. Unfortunately
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
's decision to get rid of him. He felt helpless and dreaded to take
responsibility in his hand.
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.
was the time that
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
and the world.
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.
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
is being propped up by Europeans who continue trading with Mullahs and
pillaging that wretched country.
has brought democracy to more than a dozen countries. Despite all of its
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
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
, he in fact succeeded in
Many observers trace the beginning of the modern
Islamic revival in the Arab world to the crushing Arab defeat against
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
they succeeded; success energizes them. So although their grievance and
pretext is about
, their real inspiration to use Islam as a political tool is the sweet
memory of their success in
. 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
and not to its defeat in
or Kashmir may provide motivation but
is the inspiration. After
there is the success in repelling the
. 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
has done a lot
of good for a lot of people, and some of them are ungrateful. But
has made terrible mistakes in
is today the axis of evil and it all started in 1953 when
strangled the toddling democracy in that country. Until this axis is
removed, the world will not see a day of peace.
to the 1960s, Islam was not an issue at all. Islamism was born during
the sixties in
and gained momentum after the success of the Islamic Revolution.
has always been the trendsetter in the
. Whatever happens in
affects the rest of the Region. Most philosophies and most Islamic and
political schools of thoughts have their roots in
. In good and in bad,
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.
is a triumphalist religion. Once the Islamic revolution in
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.
head of this snake is
. The Islamic terrorism started in
and it must end there. Because historically
has been the trendsetter in the region, the focus must be on
. 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.
committed three consecutive mistakes in
and the world is paying the consequences. Those mistakes must be mended.
must be defeated and democracy restored. This will inevitably
reverberate in all the
and will put an end to this Islamic madness.
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.