مطلب مرتبط

مصاحبه با خبرنگاران خارجی (وضع اقلیتها در ایران- صدور انقلاب)
شناسه مطلب صحیفه
نمایش نسخه چاپی


The status of minorities in an Islamic government; exporting the revolution; the Shah's trial
Imam khomeini's Sahife, Volume 11 from page 225 to 240
Interviewer: The Muslim journalists residing in England; some African and Asian journalists
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Question: What is the status of minorities in the Islamic government? With so many different minorities in Iran, would it not be better to have federal government and a strong central government?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. The minorities in Iran have been referred to as religious minorities and not only do they share everything with other citizens but they also enjoy certain rights according to the law. They live in welfare, peace and freedom in a Islamic government have identical rights with others. Sometimes, by the word minorities we refer to different tribes such as Kurds, Lors, Balouchis, Turks and Farsians. However, I do not like to refer to these people as minorities, because this word implies a separation among these brothers and such separation is never an issue in Islam. Such a separation does not exist between two Muslims who happen to speak two different languages: for instance an Arab Muslim or an Iranian Muslim. This kind of division is instigated by elements that aim at the disunity of Islamic countries. The issue of being an `Arab or non-`Arab does not have sense in Islam. Neither is the question of being a Kurd, an `Arab or a Persian an issue in Islam. Our enemies who have done an extensive of studies on this have fomented this difference between an `Arab, Lor, Turkiman, Balouchis, and the like. These peoples know that if Islam is materialized fully in Iran, the world's superpowers will lose their interests and the Muslim people who are rich in reserves and are in great majority will hold the reins of power greater than al this power. In order to plunder the Muslims' wealth, these agitators have brought about the issues of Turks versus `Arabs, etc. they have created" isms", such as pan-Iranianism, pan-Turkism, and others, which are against of the logic of Islam. Their objective is to obstruct the establishment of Islam and Islamic thinking; nations are pitted against each other and, at times,

tribes against other tribes, and sow discord among Islamic nations. In Iran, the division between minorities and majorities has never been an issue. Aren't they all of one Islamic brotherhood? In addition to this, I also would like to call your attention to one thing: Now, we observe that the Kurds are asking for their special rights; so are the Balouchis. This is due to the despotic nature of our past rulers and dynasties. These governments mostly consisted of one specific layer of the society; for instance, of the Farsians. So the needs of the Kurds, for instance, were not met or just meagerly satisfied; and this applied to Balouchis, Bakhtiyaris and other tribes. Those were un-Islamic governments. The monarchial regimes were evil and un-Islamic. Regrettably, these differences were ingrained within the country and discrimination surfaced in our society.
If an Islamic government, the way the Exalted ands Blessed God has ordered, finds currency, governance the way Islam dictates it to be will acquired a certain quality that when a ruler or a government official is summoned to the court, as it had been at the advent of Islam, when the ruling government treated individuals equally before the law. This was carried out at the time of Imam `Ali( `a ), who was summoned to the court of justice due to the complaint made against him by a Jewish tributary. The judge, who was appointed by Imam `Ali( `a )himself, tried to show more respect to Imam `Ali( `a ), by addressing him with his epithet protested to this behavior by making the judge to realize that both the defender and accuser should be treated equally in a court of justice. A judge should be just in looking both parties. In a court one should not sit in a more prestigious place than the other. If such an Islamic government, which we all wish for, one that we aspire for and what Islam, the Imams and the caliphs in the early years of Islam aspire for, is established, then there will not be any question of" my" or" your" right. This is because all are equal and all will enjoy the same human rights. A governor does not have any right to pay more attention to one district, then another; or develop one part of the country more than other; not even build or pave more roads with asphalt in one place than another. If such a government, which is what we all wish for, is set up, no issue will be raised among Kurds, Turks, Persians, Arabs or the rest of the country's citizens. Such problems of infringement upon rights( of ethnic groups )emerged because the governments were not Islamic. If no discrimination is exercised by the governments between Tehran and Paveh, Isfahan and Turkeman or between Turkeman districts, or in its passing judgments executing laws and schemes, then no other ideas will come up on whether minority groups should rule their own areas or should the( central )government have the

jurisdiction over them. These questions come up because minorities have been oppressed. But now that this issue( of autonomy )is being raised, we are forced under the present circumstances to allow each district of the country to carry out their specific programs based on their special needs. This applies to reconstruction, agriculture, and the municipal affairs until the Islamic government that we want is installed so that the minorities will not surmise that the central government will execute its affairs in whether way it wishes to regarding any( ethnic )groups, will be allowed to elect their own officials. I would like to inform everybody that wants an Islam have. However, you must know, too, that once the Islamic government is in place, the Kurds, Persians or Arabs may join into hold the reins of power as they themselves have said it. This is what everyone is saying. Were such issues as to certain officials being specially appointed in their own localities ever raised in the early days of Islam? There were not such problems because no rights were trampled upon. A ruler was not supposed to discriminate against one locality unless he had gone astray. Assuming that in one country, a ruler governs based on divine duties, he is bound based on the law to treat all citizens equally, he is duty-bound to consider every person in his country and his brother and implement one and the same law for both the judge and the condemned. The same equal treatment should apply to projects on reparation and everything everywhere, would the Kurds ask then for their special rights? The Kurds today say these things because they were discriminated against in the past. If an Islamic order materializes the way we want and God wants all individuals will be brothers, a Kurd could come to Tehran and be the governor of this city. In the same way a Persian could go to Kurdestan to be the governor. Such discontent prevails because minorities had been subjected to maltreatment( by the reigning rules ). These people have not had the experience of an Islamic order yet. An Islamic government had not been set up; they have heard talks about it, though. On the other hand, they may or may not have heard of it because they are ignorant of what Islamic rule is and this is the main reason why they have brought up all these issues( of gaining autonomy ). If what they want does not jeopardize the country's integrity and peace, we are not going to oppose it. We do not want to rule; neither do we have in mind to trample anybody's rights. In Islam, government is based on brotherhood. At the outset of Islam the top official and the lowliest citizens were equal, and enjoyed the same( quality of )life. On a trip to a country under his domination, the second caliph had a camel and one servant with him. On the way, the caliph and the servant took turn in riding the camel. However, on their arrival at the city it was the servant's turn to ride and the

second caliph to hold the bridle. They entered the city in this manner as the narration goes. If such a government is set up based on the power and authority of Islam as it was in the early days of I slam, nobody would wish to run the government by his own clan( or race ). There will never be any racial question of who is native or an outsider. In Islam everybody is a Islamic Muslim, and brother and equal to one another. If an individual comes and goes to another city, he will not be discriminated against Islam. Everybody will enjoy the same rights. In Islam there exists no cases of discrimination, no cases of racial favoritism or partiality in any regimes. All these issues will turn out to be unfounded; we will not be ashamed to be called a Persian or Turk. Are we not all Muslims? Are we not from one country? Are we not one nation? Are we not brothers? Brothers should not address oneself native and another outsider. These problems arise because these people have not seen an Islamic government. They have not been able to make Islam a reality in an Islamic government, or implement Islamic justice and Islamic programs. These issues will persist until we establish an Islamic government that people want. There will not be discrimination between a Kurd, a Turk, or a Bakhtiyari, if I may say. This rule shall apply everywhere, because all are brothers; nobody will claim, for instance, a Germany-like federal government is better. No such talks will come up in Islam. Everyone will be united. In Islam, the issue is not a matter of power, or power display or gaining power. An Islamic government is not a government that is after power, or a measure of power- one having more than another. It is a unique form of government that you will witness once it is formed. These problems will be offset if Islam is established.
Q: It is said that the Islamic revolution will be exported across the borders. But some of the Islamic regimes do not agree with the Islamic revolution and are opposed to it. However, the world of Islam in general has approved of this revolution. Don't you think of this as a sign for the creation of a strong Muslim nation in the world?
A: We hope so. Islam is not exclusive to one country, or some countries, one tribe, or Muslims. Islam has come for humanity. Islam addresses others as" Ya Ayyuhannas"[" O People" ], sometimes as" Ya Ayyuhal-Mu'minin"[" O Believers" ]. Islam tries to bring everybody under its umbrella of justice. The governments, unfortunately, do not pay heed to this fact that their affairs would be better taken care of if they gathered under the banner of Islam. Some of these governments would prefer Carter's support to that of Islam.

From their childhood these governors lived in a non-Islamic environment and then continued their studies and education abroad in Europe or America and remained ignorant of Islam and Islamic commands, or have heard of them to understand what they are and if they have they were not able to understand what an Islamic government is. They asked whether it would be to their disadvantage if an Islamic government was established the way it had to be. Such an idea has never been brought up among these people for them to realize whether Islam would be useful or harmful. If only they could understand Islam would be to their benefits, we hope that everybody would lean towards Islam and its governments.
Today, due to foreign hegemony governments are estranged from and heedless of their nations and vice-versa a situation which contradicts Islamic edicts. Now the nations are separate from their governments because they are ignorant of Islam. The governments align against one another simply to gain more worldly power. They do not realize that Islam has come to break these icons of powers and to establish a divine order which is useful for everybody. If they could realize the significance of Islam, they would show more inclination towards Islam. Of course, there are some who are given to so much carnal desire that they strongly oppose justice and for it to be to be carried out in the world. Now this is the case with the United States, which is our major opponent and which opposes justice and human rights altogether. Yet, they make pretensions to caring about human rights! They lay too many claims but human when we study the case of these super powers, we will realize that the Security Council and the Human Rights Organization are organizations to keep the interests of the superpowers and to suppress the deprived nations and do whatever they wish to the weak and then when the oppressed bring up their cases to Human Rights officials, they are condemned and over powered.
Now the issue of Iran is being brought up. You, as well as all nations and governments all over the world, know what this traitor( Muhammad-Rida )has done to our nation. He has robbed this nation of its wealth and destroyed the whole country. Now, he is gone there( the U. S ). Now he is being kept by the Americans. He is there either for conspiracy or for treatment. We repeatedly have asked them to submit him to us for trial. Our demand is based on logic and international and national laws; international laws a person who has oppressed one nation, squandered and wasted its wealth, ruined its honor should be tried at the place he has committed crimes. However, wherever there are societies or international organizations such as the Security Council or the Human Rights Organization, they condemn us.

Now the dossiers are available to everybody proving that this place they called" embassy" has never been an embassy from the very beginning. The U. S. never had an embassy here. What they had was an espionage center, which they named" embassy". The personnel of the so-called American embassy have not been diplomats; rather, they were spies. These are trained spies. However, the Security Council passed them for diplomats. The Security Council approves of them and we are being condemned by these organizations. The weak is always condemned; condemned to die by the bayonet. The weak is always at the mercy of pernicious pens which are even, worse than bayonets. What must be condemned is the fact the superpowers can willy-nilly say whatever they want and ill-treat the weak countries in any way they want with the sanction of these so-called[ human rights ]organizations. Amidst or the story of our plight, the tribulations of our country and nation and the nation of Islam, we see that every universal organization is now against us. The day when the minister of the foreign affairs was invited to go abroad, for reasons we do not know, we felt that his going would be condoning something against the good of Islam and Muslims. So we did not let him go. If he had done, they could have easily condemned us through ourselves. We would have been condemned through our own envoy and we did not want it to happen. If we are to be condemned, why should it be through one of us? Let another group condemn us, as it is now that another clique is condemning us; and organizations affiliated to them( the U. S ), which has the veto power. And whenever these major countries see that a country opposes their interests, they exercise their power of veto, and we do not have any right to complain, nor do we have any option but undergo sufferings. They enjoy the right of veto and use it whenever they wish to. We, therefore, will not send our envoy over there since we do not accept such an organization. We would like to announce from the very start that, from the view point of the Security Council and the U. N, we are condemned their views condemn us because they hinge on the coercive rule of the bayonets because they are mainly based on bayonets. They use bayonets and pens against us. But their pens are even more pernicious than their bayonets. Now, I do not remember what his other questions were. I think the interviewer was asking whether there was any bond among Islamic powers. I hope this Islamic movement of us could clarify the issues for all nations as it already relatively has to some. Nations are with us. If the nations of Iraq and Turkey were not under the threats of bayonets, they will join us with one unified cry. Unfortunately,( superpowers )bayonets are preventing them and expelled the aggressors. Iran stood firm against these tyrants. A

weak nation like us broke the back of the superpowers. If the nations became vigilant and could guide the governments, then, they would prosper. However, if these governments do not listen to our advice to unite with us, then they will meet the same fate as Muhammad-Rida did. Sooner or later this will happen. We hope the Islamic power the power of justice or power under the aegis of( true )justice, not bayonets, cannons and tanks will prevail and all humanity will be in solidarity would replace the power of tanks, spears, bayonets and weaponry in general. We have been promised that at the appearance of the twelfth Imam( `a ), all these differences will disappear, and everybody would be brother to one another. There will not be any bully or coercion. We hope to be able to administer a little bit of the justice commensurate with the power we possess that we will see at the time of the twelfth Imam( `a ). We hope that the nations will join with us and the governments, too, will be with us. It will be to their benefit to unit with us and we are hopeful regarding this issue, God wiling.
Q: The deposed Shah of Iran has said that if he is supposed to stand trial, the last seven American presidents, too, should stand trial. On the other hand, the Western mass media have interpreted the extradition of the Shah as a sign of taking vengeance. Please tell us what the objective behind his extradition and his trial of the defunct Shah is.
A: This one statement of the Shah is correct. Although he has never uttered one good word, this one is right He is right in saying that the American presidents, too, should stand trial. This we will do prior to the trial of the Shah. Of course, we could not bring Nixon or Carter personally here. But we will carry out their trial in absentia. We shall create an international court here in Iran composed of just individuals well-versed in international law. If they do not listen to us, then surely we shall try them. This, of course, will not hinder us from trying the Shah. The Shah's statement" If I am to be tried" is not acceptable to us because both of them are criminals: one a worse criminal than the other. The Shah is a criminal like his American counterparts. The Shah was an agent in the hands of his American masters. For us, the one who ordered and forced you( the Shah )to commit all those crimes is a worse offender. You were the tool through which the U. S. carried out their( criminal )activities in Iran, and, for us, the mastermind, namely the U. S. presidents are more culpable. Therefore, both the Shah and the American presidents who were involved in the Iranian affairs have to be tried. If we could, we would bring them al here to be stand trial- a fair trial.

If they really have any conscience, or if their conscience has been awakened and if it has not been changed into something else, then they will agree to come here to be given affair trial. Just like the story of Hadart `Ali, which I have narrated to you, who was summoned to the court by the judge he himself had appointed he willingly appeared to stand trial because he knew that justice would be meted out and nobody would ever commit an act against religion. We could have a jury consisting of individuals from the U. S. side and our side and they can come here to face trial. But, of course, the Shah will have to be tried here. If the American presidents had any conscience people, they would volunteer to come over here to stand trial. However, I do not believe this might ever happen. We could, therefore, try them in absentia. This, understandably, exclude the Shah because he has to be tried here, in person. This is because the evidence for his crimes is available here. We could not transfer his dossiers abroad. The same rule applies to the American presidents. Regarding the U. S. presidents, we cannot impose the same proceedings as we do not have any power over them. Since we cannot issue the orders for the arrest of these presidents we will try them here in their absence. If we were able to, we would set up tribunal to try these U. S. presidents, see our situation and investigate all the crimes the U. S. have committed against us and listen to what we wish to say. The superpowers would not let our voice reach the world. I do not know whether you could possibly do this or not. The American nation has been kept in the dark, so they do not know what is going on in this country. Some Americans might not have even heard of the name of Iran. When this is the case, Americans assume that we have imprisoned a group of diplomats here and we are beating them up now, are threatening them with bayonets and are not letting them to take shower or eat. These items of propaganda are circulated by our opponents. It is said that once somebody dreamed that Satan had such a beautiful face. He told Satan," Is it really you?" What has been shown to us has two faces: one looks different from the other. Satan answered," This is because the pen is in the hands of the enemy." Now, the pens are in the hands of our enemies. These pens are worse than bayonets. And when they are in the enemies' hands, they write anything they wish. These enemies had reported that Khomeini is busy cutting women's breasts. Now, you, right here see that Khomeini is a poor student of the seminary. People are fond of him because Khomeini is their servant. A man loves his servant. Not a severed or woman's breast anything else cut off in this country. They saw that Huveyda was executed here. They thought that Huveyda was a community of women and since he was executed, they constructed that

women's breasts were severed here! No, this is not the case. It is they accuse us of anything they like. Now that you are here and are observing our condition, go abroad and explain our situation for those people. Tell then we do not want to govern. If we desired to rule, we would not sit in rooms like this one; rather, we would sit in rooms in which Carter is sitting. We would be in mansions. We would live in the White House. These( material )things are of no import to us. We want in justice be established in the world. We want to make those who plundered and committed crimes against us and wasted our resources and human power to come back here in order to stand trial. Now, Mr. Carter is not willing at any cost to let the Shah come over here and he is right for doing so. I would do the same if I were Carter. Why should he let the Shah, who can easily squeal on him, come to Iran? The keys to all the crimes and treacheries committed. If the Shah comes back here, he will reveal during the interrogation the name of the main culprit against Iran are in the Shah's hands. Why should Carter release him? Muhammad-Rida has repeatedly said in the past that it was the American authorities who pre-listed the assembly representatives; the list then would be sent to the Shah, who, in turn, would approve it. He had admitted to committing crimes of such magnitude in the past; he had also confessed they were his own crimes and those of the U. S. presidents. Such offenses are more examples of the minor crimes he had committed; and now his crimes have piled up, the number of oppressed victims has gone up. The cases of the Shah's crimes and victims are so numerous that we cannot enumerate them for the world to know.
Q: The students who occupied the American embassy consider themselves your close followers. However, in the view of the foreigners it is the students who direct the foreign affairs of Iran. What is your comment? What does Mr. Qutbzadeh do regarding this?
A: That these students are directing Iran's foreign policy is a libelous accusation against those students. But if by this statement you mean that, the occupation of the embassy has taken place of out these students' sentiments towards humanity for supporting the oppressed, and upon learning that such a place was a den of spies, are right. These students have disclosed the facts and now have put the stage for the trial of these spies. The Iranian nation agrees with this move of these students. The secretary of state, the cabinet and the nation in general, approve of this movement. The People have confirmed this act of these university students through their demonstrations

and their slogans. Why shouldn't they confirm this act? This is a place for conspiracy. People have sacrificed their youth. People had their houses burnt and at times destroyed. They have given up everything for an Islamic government. However, they feel there is a place for conspiracy in Tehran. We have dossiers concerning those agents who have been in close contact with the United States. We will not consider this place as an embassy. Neither do we consider these detainees as diplomats. This is a center for espionage for the region and those are spies. Now, the International Organizations vote for the release of these so called diplomats. But we deny that they are diplomats. We will ask experts to come over to Iran to see for themselves if these are real diplomats. Compare our embassy in the United States with the American embassy here. And then have a look at other embassies elsewhere. By a comparison you will find that this place cannot be termed an embassy. Are these genuine diplomats? Or is this a center for espionage? These are our claims and those students who have seized the embassy are not engaged in the policy-making processes of this land. We all agree with these students since they have entered a place where spying had been going on for decades.
Q: If the Islamic government behaves in the same way that it has been doing recently, the majority of countries will naturally oppose it and will adopt a hostile attitude towards Iran. Then what is the basis of your foreign affairs? Do you need some friends in your foreign relations?
A: If the foreigners could grasp our problems, then they would agree with us. In the same manner, if the governments could realize our conditions, they would confirm our deeds. If the word" relations" is taken to mean the same thing that existed at the Shah's time between Iran and America, I would like to say that by relations in those dark years was meant" slavery." A Lord used to order his servant to carry out certain tasks; a president of America used to issue commands for Muhammad-Rida to carry out. If our objective is to enhance the progress of Islam, we should not be slaves any longer. However, if we are not slaves to America, they would then cut their relations with us. We will ask God to help us cut these relations with the United States. We will not accept wretchedness and serfdom just to have relations with a superpower. It is not considered an honor to have relations with a government like that of the USA. Regrettably, the government of the United States lacks human dignity, that we cannot sustain any relations with it. The United States bleeds the poor nations dry anywhere in the world. She drops

bomb over their heads wherever it can. It plunders their wealth and possessions. What is the use of having relations with such governments? It is better not to have relations with them. It is better not to have relations with the plunderers. If we cut off our relations with them, they would then realize that there is a part of the universe called the East from where their civilization started. Unfortunately, the East has lost itself. When they recognize the East, then we will have mutual and well-balanced relations with them. What is the use of having the kind of relations that we had before with a government like the United States which established a spying center instead of an embassy. Does establishing diplomatic relations near allowing that country to install on espionage center and ignore the blood which our youth have shed for the revolution and have Muhammad-Rida( Khan )to rule over us once again, and since he is now defunct, we would have to accept his son as our king! Now Mr. Carter is dreaming of having his power restored in Iran with Bakhtiyar here in Iran and the Shah over there and some of their agents with whom they are in collusion. They are deluding themselves by concocting such notions in their heads. But if is now too late for them. Their words carry no credibility: not Mr. Carter's nor those who want the Shah back and want to restore and relive restore the same( pre-revolution conditions ). We should, of course, have relations with the world based on mutual friendship. We cannot, however, expand our relations with tyrants. We have now relations with Muslim nations. Our relations are based on the Islamic principles. Regarding the non-Islamic governments, we would have relations with them if they treat us justly and if they recognize us as an independent nation. If Mr. Carter put aside his pride and haughtiness, we could have relations with him. This will happen only if he makes up for what he has done to us. We have a lot in common with the American nation and we could easily communicate. They should change their Lord-versus-peasant relations. They should consider us their equal. Why shouldn't we have relations with them if they treat us like human beings. We could have relations with the United States. However, under the present condition, we are supposed to act like servants. And this we will not do. They want us to serve them and be plundered by them at the same time. In the past, a house servant was paid by the Lord. Now they want us to serve and be robbed of our wealth.
Q: After the ratification of the constitution there are two kinds of government proposed. One is a despotic religious government. The second

kind is a government in which the clergy has secodry role. These two forms are common in the world. What is your comment?
A: The world does not know what Islam is. They are ignorant of Islam. They do not know that Islam has come to stop despotism. Islam does not tolerate injustice anywhere in the world, not in its own city and country, nor in the United States. A Muslim will not surrender to despotism. His religion does not approve of it. The one who is appointed to take the reins of government by Islam will oppose dictatorship because of his religious beliefs. His religion dictates that he is against dictatorship. They think, as it has been said, the knowledgeable and just jurisprudent's duty is merely to appoint judges, based on non-suppressive measures, for example. A jurisprudent should give his consent if people elected someone, as president. Is this dictatorship? But if a wrong doer and tyrant comes and dominates us, then it is not dictatorship? This shows that those who bring up such topics are against knowledge and wisdom. Those who oppose the jurisprudence( wilayat al-faqih )in fact oppose justice. In the constitution, which has been recently ratified, Islam is not supposed to govern and that Islam has no system of government of its own. Islam is not one to allow people like Hitler to rule, or Carter, who is worse than Hitler, whose role it is to crash and to kill everyone. These things do not exist in Islam at all. Islam appoints a knowledgeable and sympathetic jurisprudent to supervise the country or say, to rule, in order to stop the unjust ones from plundering the people. At the outset of Islam, you will observe Imam `Ali's government which was based entirely on justice. Later on, it was supplanted by the rule of the Bani Ummayah and Bani `Abbas and their likes. The Muslims conquered Iran, too and later the ruling system became a monarchial one and Muslims could not implement Islam properly and the government could not become Islamic. So a genuine Islamic government has not materialized. Islam still is misunderstood. In the same way that nobody knows a stranger who enters a city, nations, too, do not know Islam. Since they do not know Islam, they do not recognize its commands. Neither do our experts in Islam. Since they do not have a clear conception of Islam, they erroneously assume that the government of the jurisprudent is a despotic form of rule. These people prefer the erring Shimr( the man who killed Imam Husayn( `a )to a jurisprudent. They are only against the jurisprudent. The reason for this hatred is their fear of Islam. Islam will not tolerate these corrupt men. Some people have been deceived by wrong propaganda. And some deliberately create troubles. Otherwise, there is no despotism in the Islamic government.

A good example is in that of Imam `Ali( `a )whose government was based on justice. Imam `Ali' led a life more humbly than ordinary people who, otherwise, was inferior people, could not live like him. He fed on barley bread. Sometimes he did not even eat enough of it. Most of the time he was hungry. One or two loaves of bread plus a little salt made up his meal. Could it be a dictatorship? Why should Imam `Ali( `a )be a dictator when he never engaged in merry-making. In Islam, the concepts of government and domination are never brought up. Muhammad( s )used to sit with Arabs on a straw mat on the floor in the mosque. When stranger Arabs attended these sessions they, most of the time, asked which one was Muhammad( s )among those sitting on the ground. They could not recognize him. It is because Muhammad( s )did not sit on a cushion or any other piece of comfortable furniture. Now, we want to live like aristocrats. Imam `Ali( `a )used to live in a mud house. He did not have even a straw mat to sleep on. He used to sleep on an animal skin. During the day, he used to put the camel's fodder on it and during the night he used to sleep on it with Fatimah( `a ). Was his government a dictatorship? Those who attribute dictatorship to Islam have not understood it. They do not know that if a jurisprudent commits a faux pas, he will be fired. The position of a jurisprudent is-so complicated that it could not be easily given to anybody. They claim that the authority of a jurisprudent will end up in despotism. What they do don't know, however, is that the Islamic government is not a despotic government. Our religion hinders dictatorship. Islam strongly opposes despotism. We want a jurisprudent to stop dictatorship. He would stop a president from engaging in despotism. He would stop the prime minister or the head of the army from getting involved in dictatorship. What is the use of dictatorship to a jurisprudent? One who lives an ordinary life will not need despotism. There is no trace of government or domination in Islam. In the preparation of the constitution a lot of caution and discretion have been used. Now, some people, suddenly start complaining about an expert in religious issues to be consulted in governmental affairs. These experts were elected by people's votes. Everybody knew them and no force or propaganda was used in their election. If we repeated this election one hundred times more, the result would still be the same. Either these same experts would be elected or other experts like them. I do not think this kind of free election could ever occur in any place in the world. People have taken part in the elections enthusiastically. The voting for the Islamic republic was done almost unanimously. At the time of the Shah, when there was referendum, not more than two thousand people could be found to take part. This I found through

asking people who had gone to Tehran to report to me what was going on. When they referred to the number of six million, I knew they were lying. But we had twenty million votes on one occasion. More than ninety percent took part in the election.
So the issue is not the issue of dictatorship. Islam cannot be part of despotism. Islam is not based on injustice. Dictatorship is an abominable crime against nations. Islam has stood firm against injustice. Therefore, no form of dictatorship is present in Islam. The election of the experts is foreseen in the constitution. The experts were elected through a relatively great number of votes. In Tehran alone, the number of votes for one expert was two million. Upon the preparation of the constitution, we saw to it that the public see it prior to voting for it. Then ninety percent of the voters voted for it. No pressure was used. People freely cast their votes for the constitution. Now, there are four opponents who want to nullify the votes of sixteen million people. Which one of us is the dictator? Which one of us acts democratically: you, who become brain-washed by others, or us, who prepare two occasions for people's voting? Everywhere in the world election is done once; we have done it twice. Is this dictatorship? You have seen that some groups of people captured the television network. «1» This group is called" The devoted guerrillas," whom everyone of you recognize, who martyred Mr. Mutahhari may God bless him, killed Major General Qarani, shot Mr. Hashimi «2» to assassinate him and killed Mr. Qadi. «3» And you should see what sort of agitators have come together to further their cases of agitation. And you have seen the dossier of one «4» of them now available for everybody to scrutinize. If I were not present at the scene, they would refrain from using the term" Islamic Republic." This group was after what the communists wanted:" The Republic of the Muslim people!" For instance, they used a term such as" The Republic of the Kurdish people." The republic is absolute. A man came over here to meet me, may God bless him. I asked him if he was associated with this group. Then I asked him if he was a communist. He answered," No." I asked him what the meaning of" the Islamic Republic of the Muslim people was." I asked him," What happened to those who established such a party? Why did they abandon it?" «5»" What is the matter?
( 1 )The occupation of radio and television in Tabriz.
( 2 )Mr. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
( 3 )Mr. Qadi Tabataba'i.
( 4 )Shaykh `Izzuddin Husayni.
( 5 )This refers to the withdrawal from the party of the Muslim people by some clerics, after they understood the nature and essence of this party. Most of these clerics were among the Tabrizi clerics.

Why don't you tell me the reason for their leaving the party? They did not dare to say anything. They were frightened of the bayonets. They feared the pens. Why didn't this political party understand the reason for the withdrawal of some clerics? The Mullas( clerics )asked for the dissolution of this party but then a group joined it. Why did this group use the armed forces to seize the television network and the office of the governor-general. Why did they rise against the Islamic government? The guerrillas of the people then joined them. These are known by all. These communists are American communists who claim to be genuine communists. But they are not the real ones. The one who sets fire to the harvest of an old man and destroys the product of his one-year of toil is not a genuine communist. He is an agitator and a trouble- maker. This is not the issue. The issue is that they do not want Islam to get established. This is the current conspiracy. Let everybody in the world realize that these people fear Islam. They know that if Islam predominated, they would not have a chance to plunder others; neither could they find a chance to get involved in merry-making; nor would they be free to do anything they wish to do against the Islamic code. In their bewilderment, they start criticizing the constitution. There is no problem with the constitution, though. There is no contradictory statement in the constitution. The National sovereignty is now taken care of. It has been confirmed twice by our nation. Is this not the national sovereignty? Our nation has voted for it. But this party is acting against our national sovereignty. It is not against our national sovereignty to elect a learned, pious cleric to act as the jurisprudent so that he could obstruct the tyrant dictator from getting involved in mischievous actions. If we appoint such a person for this job, we have served our nation. In accordance with the constitution, a jurisprudent has got certain prerogatives to hinder the actions of a despot. And this law is ratified by the people who voted for the jurisprudent; but you say" no". Is it not an act despotism? People have elected the council of the experts; this is not an act of despotism. The experts have unanimously elected a just jurisprudent who acts well and who has not betrayed his country. Now the experts have gathered and have produced rules through which dictatorship could be avoided. «1» This group has authority to inhibit the election of a wicked president, like Carter. They would not let persons like Carter or Nixon dominate people. Why are these opponents finding fault in us? Definitely these opponents suffer from some complexes, and their opposition stems
( 1 )Reference is made to the ratification of the principle of the government of the jurisprudent in the Constitution and the election of a leader or a council of leaders.
from these complexes. I hope they would get rid of these complexes, God willing.

امام خمینی (ره)؛ 26 آذر 1358

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