Iran

Unrivalled Islamic Revolution

7e3f646a53fdb3d0af89e094b0895e5e_LIn the initial years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, analysts and sociologists compared this revolution with the French and Russian revolutions.
The revolutions of France, Russia and Iran are considered the most prominent of the events during the recent centuries. The French people witnessed change in power in their country in 1789 and the Russians did so in 1917. Although what took place in the two countries was somehow similar to other revolutions, their political and social conditions show basic differences with other revolutions.
34 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, it has become crystal clear that religion was the most important element distinguishing Iran’s revolution from the French and Russian revolutions. The ideology in Russia was based on Marxism-Leninism and its leaders considered religion as opium and the cause of backwardness of masses. In France, too, the leaders of the revolution took steps to fully separate politics from religion. Although the European liberalism was apparently successful to push forward economically and politically, it failed in promoting moral values and human virtues. This led to the emergence of a sort of spiritual bewilderment and increase of psychological diseases in the advanced industrial societies to the extent that today the crisis of spiritual gap has turned into the prime concern of many western thinkers.
The American politician Brzezinski says, “The unbridled secularism governing the western hemisphere is bringing up the destruction of western culture. Therefore, what exposes the US (as a super power) to decline is this very secularism.”
But in the Islamic revolution of Iran returning to religion and Islamic teachings was the basis. In other words, the Islamic core and the popular support has been the main reason for the survival of the revolution in these years. With the leadership of Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon his soul), Islam as the main basis of the revolution and the Islamic Republic system of Iran provided the route of progress and compensation for the long years of backwardness and clarified the huge capacities of Islam for establishing a religious popular system in Iran. Professor Hamed Elgar of Islamic studies in California University writes in this regard, “The most important distinction between the Iranian revolution and those of Russia and France is its religious root which has no similarity with the other two revolutions. In Iran, religion was considered the main drive for the revolution and the flame of the revolution was kindled from mosques and finally led to the victory of the Islamic revolution of Iran.”
The rate of people’s political participation in the Islamic revolution is much more spectacular than other revolutions. As for the French revolution, the main areas engaged in the event where Paris and its neighborhood. In the Russian revolution, the participating strata were workers, soldiers and members of Bolshevik Party and rallied in Saint Petersburg, Moscow and some adjacent areas. But in Iran people from all walks of life including workers, employees, academics and theologians, laymen and elite from both genders poured to the streets in all parts of the country. Hamed Elgar says, “One of the characteristics of the Islamic revolution was the vast participation of masses of people. In France, Russia and China revolution was accompanied with civil war.”
The Irish writer Fred Holiday believes that the Islamic revolution was the greatest revolution of history in terms of bringing people to the scene.
Moreover, from the very beginning the leader of the Islamic Revolution attached much importance to the opinions of the nation in the structure of the new system. What is seen in other revolutions is that although the revolution gains victory with the help of people, once the new rulers take the reins of power their main concern is to preserve power and rule without paying attention to popular desires. Except for the Islamic revolution in Iran in no other revolution the real demands and needs of the people were taken into account by the new leaders.
In the French Revolution, the main leaders were not famous and they took the lead only for material motives. In the Russian revolution till mid 1917, the name of no leader was seen. But since October 1917, the names of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bukharin are heard whereas, like the French revolution, they too had little popular stronghold. But in the Islamic revolution Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon his soul) enjoyed an unrivaled political and religious stronghold. The Imam was known as the designer, architect and administrator of the revolution whether before or after the victory. Steadfastness and patience for achieving the goal, bravery and prudence against the enemy and trust in and love for the people are the most important characteristics of leadership in the Islamic revolution.
The Islamic revolution is unique in terms of nature and objective, for all revolutionaries try to build a better society in terms of material needs and their objective is to produce more wealth and distribute it among the people. The French revolution took place against the monarchic government. Within 11 years till 1800 three groups came to power each of which destroyed the members of the previous government. Then a chaos was unleashed. In a country wherein kingdom was toppled with much loss, monarchy was restored and Napoleon Bonaparte came to power whose rule had no resemblance to popular governments. Years passed till another republic system was set up through revolution. At the beginning of its emergence the French revolution was not capable of enjoying people’s support.
In Russia the goals of the revolution’s manifesto were not materialized. It was claimed that the Soviet government was a popular government and committed to meet the people’s needs. Yet since the very beginning this objective was ignored. After 5 or 6 years people had no room in the plans and decisions and the revolution distanced from its main objectives. In France this deviation of objective lasted for more than 70 years till the revolution gained some of its goals.
But the Islamic revolution of Iran was shaped to provide an atmosphere for growth and flourishing of human beings and tried to build a dynamic and constructive society according to the principles of Islam. The change which had been created in the initial years continued in the same form and with the same objectives. According to the leader of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, “The Islamic revolution is an exception. The Islamic revolution was a movement with clear goals. Islamism, campaign against arrogant powers, preservation of the country’s independence, dignity of human beings, defense of the oppressed, progress as well as scientific, technical and economic upgrading of the country were the goals of the revolution. This course continued and it never deviated or went astray.”
In the western liberalist revolutions, individual freedom is raised at the expense of sacrificing the social justice while Marxist revolutions coercively execute social justice at the expense of killing individual freedoms. But from the viewpoint of the Islamic revolution, social justice is raised along with individual freedom. Islam negates the liberalist freedom which leads to injustice and class gaps. At the same time it rejects equality without attention to individual talents and merits.
Islam promotes brotherhood and rejects class discrimination and that is why it has been noticed by many deprived people of the world. Jawaharlal Nehru India’s first prime minister after independence says, “The issue of Islamic equality has deeply affected the thoughts of Hindus, especially the poor Hindus; because Islam eliminates class differences and racial superiority and establishes good relations among various nations on the basis of justice and equality.”
As a matter of fact with the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, for the first time a movement came to existence which impressed the world with its high goals and ideals. According to Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon his soul), “The Islamic revolution is separate from other revolutions in way of emergence, in the manner of struggle and in the motive of the revolution and uprising.”

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