The Ayatollah Khomeini: The Cleric, The Emperor and The Great Satan
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The Ayatollah Khomeini: The Cleric, The Emperor and The Great Satan

September 25, 2019


His image has become iconic: the thin, bearded,
ascetic religious leader who had turned a once Western-friendly country into a theocratic
regime and a rogue state. I am talking of course about Ayatollah Ruhollah
Mostafavi Khomeini, the supreme leader of the Iranian revolution. From Tehran he would incite Iranians and Muslims
around the world to oppose the Great Satan, America. And America reciprocated the ‘favour’
by imposing draconian sanctions on Iran and by isolating his country. Pop culture also played its part by elevating
Khomeini and the Iranians to the status of top world bad guys, in second place only after
the Soviets. If, like me[TA1] , you grew up in the 1980s,
you are probably familiar with the faceless pilots taken down by Tom ‘Maverick’ Cruise
in the movie Top Gun. They fly ‘Mig’ fighter jets but they are
not the Soviets, so they must be Iranians. Or you may have watched and re-watched the
epic intro sequence to Naked Gun, where Leslie Nielsen beats the crap out of a group of anti-American
leaders, including an Ayatollah sporting a mohawk under his turban. Or, if you are a hopeless geek, you surely
remember that Batman issue when Khomeini hired the Joker as Iranian ambassador to the UN,
so he could kill the whole General Assembly with poison gas. But reality is not directed by Tony Scott,
may he RIP, nor scripted by DC Comics. That is why today we will look at the complex
experiences that shaped Ruhollah Khomeini into becoming a leading Cleric, who went to
oppose the Emperor of Iran and become a revolutionary aged almost 80. We will also learn how his relationship with
Satan – America – was more ambiguous than both parties wanted us to believe. The cleric [TA2]
The man who would become known as the Ayatollah Khomeini was born Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi,
the youngest of six siblings. His date of birth is disputed, but we will
settle on the 24th of September 1902, and his place of birth was Khomeyn, a town in
what was then the Kingdom of Persia and later became Iran. Like the majority of the population in Iran
he was born into a family of the Shia Muslim faith, a family who claimed to be a descendant
from the prophet Mohammed. Ruhollah’s father Seyed Mustafa al-Shahid
al-Khomeini was a high-ranking cleric, bearing the title of Hojjat-al-Islam. Quick stop here, for some clarifications:
First of all, who are the Shias and what is the difference between them and the majority
Muslim sect, the Sunnis? These two factions share many spiritual beliefs
and religious practices, as their schism was political in nature. After the death of Mohammad in 632 his adviser
Abu Bakr became the first Caliph, or ‘successor of the Prophet’, tasked with leading the
Islamic nation. But his leadership was challenged by the followers
of Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law. This latter faction originated the Shia sect,
who believe that the leadership of the Islamic nation belongs to the direct descendants of
the Prophet. On the other hand, Sunni Muslims believe that
the leadership of the community is not a birthright: it can, and it must, be earned. Then, let’s look at religious titles[TA3]
: a mullah indicates a religious leader or a teacher in a madrasa, or religious school. The honorific title of Hojjat-al-Islam or
“Proof of Islam” is given only to high ranking scholars, who once progress to the
next level are addressed as Ayatollahs. And back to the story. When Ruhollah was very small, his father died. According to some sources he was still an
infant, according to CIA declassified documents, he was five years old. We also know for sure that Ruhollah’s father
was assassinated, but sources differ on the how: maybe the killer was a bandit, but the
CIA source claims that he was killed by a local governor for taking part in the so called
Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906[TA4] .[TA5]
Aged 16, Ruhollah had to experience another trauma when his mother died. The oldest of the siblings, his brother Mortaza,
then took charge of him and made sure that Ruhollah continued the family tradition by
studying in various Islamic schools. At nineteen, Ruhollah travelled to Arak, where
he studied religion under Ayatollah Abd al-Karim Ha’iri, a well-known Islamic scholar. In 1922 Ruhollah followed Ha’iri to the
Fayzieh madrasa in Qom, Iran’s intellectual centre for Islamic studies. Here Ruhollah distinguished himself in a variety
of studies which would shape his political career, including ethics, philosophy and law
– all subjects he would go on to teach. In 1932 Ruhollah married the daughter of a
prominent cleric from the capital Tehran, a marriage which gave him seven children,
two of which died in infancy. In 1937, his old master, Ayatollah Ha’iri’s
died. He continued to grow his reputation as a learned
scholar by becoming the assistant to another leading Ayatollah, Husayn Borujerdi. It was around this period that he started
to become known as Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s residence in Qom was mostly dedicated
to teaching and studying, but it may have been at this stage that he started to develop
a political concern. The mid-1930s were in fact the years in which
the Shah-an-sha, the King of Kings, Reza Pahlavi launched a series of reforms which could have
undermined the authority of the Shia clergy, such as opening the first university or emancipating
women, by demanding for their chadors, or veils, to be discarded.[TA6]
In 1944 Khomeini co-authored a book condemning the Shah, who by then had abdicated in favour
of his son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. But beyond that, we don’t have any other
anti-government activities on Khomeini’s record. The only thing we know for certain is that
throughout the 1940s and 1950s Khomeini continued teaching in Qom, becoming a nationally renowned
authority in Islamic jurisprudence. It wasn’t until 1962 that Khomeini would
raise his voice and become a scourge for the rule of the Shah. The Emperor[TA7]
The Shah-an-sha, or more simply the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi rose to power in 1941. His father Reza – just Reza, without the
Mohammed – had abdicated following a pre-emptive occupation of Iran by the UK and the USSR,
who wanted to prevent a German invasion. In the August of 1953 the Shah was forced
to flee by the supporters of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. Minister Mosaddeq had successfully nationalised
oil production, which until now had been controlled by British companies. This of course did not make Britain happy,
who sought assistance from the US to remove Mosaddeq from power and reinstate the Shah. Formally, Pahlavi maintained the nationalisation
of oil production, but behind the scenes, he shared the profits with a US-led international
consortium. This is when the Shah became the strongest
ally of the US in the Middle East and central Asia. With the assistance of Washington the Shah
launched the ‘White Revolution’, a reform programme aimed at developing the Country’s
infrastructure. Most of all, this was a programme of modernisation
and Westernisation, which continued some of the work already started by Reza Sr. But nobody liked these reforms. Left-wing factions wanted more, they were
wary of the Shah’s dependence from the US and were angered by the unequal distribution
of oil revenues. The religious, conservative side criticised
the reforms for being too radical! You really cannot make everybody happy, can
you? But what brought everybody together in really
hating the Shah were the corruption in his government, his reliance on autocratic rule
and the power of the SAVAK – the feared secret police. As dissent escalated, so did the activities
of this sinister organisation, originally established, trained and funded with CIA support
as confirmed by a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report[TA8] .
At its peak the SAVAK had formally recruited 15,000 agents[TA9] , many of whom also managed
informal spy networks, therefore permeating all of society. In the early 1960s both factions opposing
the Shah – the secular left and conservative clerics – who would have normally opposed
each other, started to coalesce and found an inspiring leader in Khomeini, who had by
now escalated ranks and had become an Ayatollah. By now more than 60, instead of retiring like
any of us would do, this respected religious scholar decided to risk everything to gain
centre stage in a budding revolutionary movement. Khomeini’s outspoken opposition to the Government
escalated from 1962 to 1963, with a series of speeches and pamphlets which denounced
the Shah’s latest proposed reforms, which included women’s suffrage and the opening
of public offices to the non-Shia Bahai minority. According to a de-classified CIA report these
activities were a concerted effort of the Qom mullahs. Khomeini, well, he was a kind of a schmuck,
a figurehead, who had been put in place because “The clergy … believed they could control
him and manipulate his operations”. On the early hours of the 5th of June 1963,
the SAVAK came knocking in Qom. Khomeini was arrested. It happened during the month of Moharram,
a holy period dedicated to mourning according to Islam. The outrage was immediate, resulting in widespread
riots with high casualties in the capital city Tehran and in the town of Shiraz. Was this in the mullahs’ plans? They wanted to make a puppet out of Khomeini
but they had created a martyr and a true revolutionary leader who would not let himself be controlled. In November 1963, while still under house
arrest, Khomeini did something unexpected, and certainly not in character with the commonly
accepted view of him being a rabidly anti-American leader.[TA10]
He sent a message to the US Government, using as a conduit Professor Kamarei from the theology
department at Tehran university. I am going to quote again from the same CIA
report: “Khomeini explained that he was not opposed
to American interests in Iran. On the contrary, he thought the American presence
was necessary [TA11] as a counterbalance to Soviet and possibly British influence. Khomeini also explained his belief in cooperation
between Islam and other world religions, especially Christendom”
What was Washington’s response? I’d like to tell you, but the next paragraph
… it has been redacted [TA12]
[suggested transition: zoom on the redacted block of text:]
[TA13] Would the US Government have been opened to
cooperating with the Ayatollah? Another CIA memorandum issued in November
1978 (sorry to jump ahead here) is doubtful of Khomeini’s leadership skills, suggesting
that he may not be capable of controlling the revolution he himself had sparked, with
the risk of either a leftist faction or a military dictatorship taking power over the
Shah. Combined with the other comment about him
being a puppet of the Qom mullahs … it sounds like the CIA and the Government in general
were seriously underestimating this guy. Whatever opinion the US Government had of
him, the Ayatollah continued his rise as leader of the opposition. After being released in April 1964 he resumed
his incendiary sermons against the Shah. By now Pahlavi had had enough and in November
he expelled the Ayatollah. The exile had begun. A Leader in Exile
Initially Khomeini settled in Turkey, from where he continued his vocal attacks on Pahlavi,
calling him a pawn of the US and of Israel. By 1965 the Turkish, they also had had enough
and begged the Shah to take him back, but Khomeini preferred to settle in the city of
Najaf, a centre of Shia scholarship in Iraq. It was here that Khomeini formulated his doctrine
known as velayat-e faqih[TA14] , or ‘guardianhsip of the jurist’. This concept marks a departure from Shia founding
principles: according to this doctrine, when the divinely inspired descendant of the Prophet
is absent, religious and political leadership of the community can be assumed by the faqih,
the jurist, the expert in Islamic law. Which is exactly what Khomeini was … so
basically he was saying, ‘it’s OK if I become the leader of Iran’. His absence from the country did not prevent
him from stoking dissent. The Ayatollah took to recording his sermons
on audio cassettes, which were then smuggled into Iran. By the way, if you are 20 or younger, an audio
cassette was a plastic recording support about the size of a Blackberry phone, that could
store up to 2 hours of music or speech on a magnetic tape. By the way, if you are 20 or younger, a Blackberry
phone was what your parents used to take calls from the office before they came to their
senses. [TA15]
And if you are 20 or younger and watching a 22-minute video about the Ayatollah Khomeini
… well done you! Where was I? The tapes. These tapes found fertile ground, especially
amongst the lower classes in the expanding urban centres and amongst university students,
regardless if left-leaning or aligned to the religious right. You may ask: what was his agenda[TA16] , exactly? Point a: The Ayatollah opposed the Shah’s
efforts to give equal rights to women; B: he opposed his land reforms, deemed ineffective
in feeding the population; C: he wanted to free Iran from foreign influence,
especially that of the US and USSR; D: he protested the inclusion of religious
minorities in positions of power, especially the Bahai;
E: Finally, Khomeini was a vocal critic of the state of Israel, whom he accused of manipulating
the Shah. Over the 1970s dissent against Pahlavi grew
in its intensity. Khomeini kept attacking him from Najaf and
the Shah may have taken his revenge … in 1977 in fact Khomeini’s first born son,
Mostafa, died in mysterious circumstances. The death was due to a heart attack, but Khomeini
claimed that Mostafa had been killed by the Government. Return of the Cleric
In the late 1970’s Khomeini enjoyed a high standing amongst both conservative Muslims
and sympathisers of the Tudeh, the local communist party. When, on the 7th of January 1978 a state-controlled
newspaper questioned the Ayatollah’s patriotism and even his sexuality, protesters marched
in the streets of Tehran. The police fired on them and violence escalated. This marked the official beginning of the
Iranian Revolution[TA17] . For the following 13 months the police, the
armed forces and the SAVAK, faced protesters across the Country, killing them in the dozens
or hundreds. As customary in Shia Islam, each massacre
was celebrated by a mourning period of 40 days, followed by demonstrations. Violence would erupt again and so on, in 40
days cycles, Iran spiralled into chaos. The Shah, who by now was suffering of late
stage cancer, had little resolve to address the situation. Meanwhile in Iraq, Khomeini continued to rally
the opposition – that is until Saddam Hussein finally expelled him from Najaf. The Ayatollah moved to the outskirts of Paris,
and from there, he planned his return as triumphant leader of the revolutionary struggle. And apparently, it was from France that he
made his second attempt to seek an alliance or at least an understanding with the US. [TA18]
The aim of his messages was to reassure the US that a change of leadership in Iran would
not compromise their access to crude oil. In exchange, the Ayatollah asked the US government
to use their influence to hold back the Army from launching a coup. Did President Jimmy Carter comply? This is not clear. It is true that the military eventually did
not oppose the revolution, but this may have been due to simple opportunism. In January 1979, the Shah and his family left
Iran, officially to take a vacation, but in reality … this was a voluntary exile. On the 1st of February Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini returned to Tehran, welcomed as a victorious leader by the crowd. Following a referendum, on the 1st of April
1979 Iran became officially an Islamic Republic and Khomeini became the Supreme Leader of
this Theocratic state. It was the end of more than 2000 years of
monarchy in Persia and Iran. The Guardianship of the Jurist
Before I continue with the momentous events of the 1980s, let me make an example of how
Khomeini now in power applied his doctrine of velayet-e faqih, the Guardianship of the
Jurist. So, the new constitution[TA19] declared Shia
Islam to be the official religion of Iran, being the faith of 90 percent of the population. It also acknowledges minority groups as official
religions, such as Sunni Muslims, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and even Judaism – surprising,
I know, considering Khomeini’s anti-Zionist stance. However, the constitution excluded the Bahai
faith, making it effectively illegitimate. And this is not surprising, seeing how the
Shah’s pro-Bahai policy was one of the many reforms that triggered Khomeini into joining
the opposition. The Bahai religion formed as an offshoot of
Shia Islam in the mid-19th century, and it was viewed as heretical by senior mullahs.[TA20]
After the rise of Khomeini as supreme leader, up to 20,000 Bahai worshipers fled the Country
to avoid persecution, imprisonment or even execution[TA21] . By May 1983 at least 150
Bahai men and women had been hanged or shot by the revolutionary government. The persecution of the Bahai is just an example
of the repressive nature of the Revolutionary regime. First, his regime ousted from positions of
power the former secular allies. Then, it took political vengeance, with hundreds
of people who had worked for the shah’s regime reportedly executed. The remaining domestic opposition was then
suppressed, its members being systematically imprisoned or killed. Iranian women were required to wear the veil,
Western music and alcohol were banned, and the punishments prescribed by the Sharia,
the Islamic law, were reinstated. A new armed force, the Pasdaran, would make
sure that all aspects of the Sharia would be strictly enforced. Their power has grown over time, becoming
a sort of parallel police, army and air force, with a strict focus on enforcing Sharia law
and defending the values of the Islamic revolution. Had anything really changed since the times
of the SAVAK? The Great Satan
The first years of a revolutionary government are the most delicate ones, but the Islamic
Republic survived two major trials, the US Embassy hostage crisis [TA22] and the war
with Iraq[TA23] . On the 22nd of October the former Shah was
allowed entrance into the US to be treated for cancer. On the 4th of November, a mob of some 3000
protesters, mainly university students, stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took hostage
about 63 staff members. What was Khomeini’s involvement in this
crisis? Very little actually: the storming was a result
of a spontaneous demonstration, so he had no idea it would take place and he could have
probably done without it … but once it started, well he sort of got along with it and offered
support to the protesters. It was in fact during the November of 1979
that he first started using in his speeches his now infamous phrase to describe the US:
“Americans are the Great Satan, the wounded snake”
But his government still had to negotiate with Satan. Talks with the Carter administration dragged
on for months, with Iran demanding that the Shah’s financial assets in the US be returned
to the Country, in exchange for the hostages. The US, in reply, froze ALL of Iranian assets
and filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice. In April 1980 Carter’s administration authorised
a military rescue operation – which became a failure before it had even started. Eight Special Forces helicopters had stealthily
entered Iran, but when three of them malfunctioned the mission was aborted. Sadly, on the way back, one of the choppers
crashed, causing the death of eight servicemen. The Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned. As per Carter, his Presidency was doomed. In May, the US and allies had imposed an embargo
on Iran, but the Government of Tehran still played hardball in negotiations. What tipped the scales was the 2nd calamity
that befell the young Republic: the start of the war with Iraq, 22nd of September 1980. Realising that Iran could not fight Saddam
in the chokehold of a trade embargo, Khomeini agreed to release the hostages on the 20th
of January 1981. The new US President, Ronald Reagan had been
inaugurated just 20 minutes earlier. The crisis had been resolved, but it had lasted
too long not sour the already frosty relationship between Iran and the US. Their interactions would remain hostile up
to this day. A deal with the Devil
For most of the 1980s, the Islamic Republic had to contend with a bloody war against Saddam’s
regime. The Iran-Iraq war, the longest of the XXth
century dragged on until July 1988, and it combined horrors from both World Wars because
of its use of trench warfare, poison gas and bombings on civilian targets. The Iraqi’s war aim was to gain control
over the Shatt-el-Arab, the confluence of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, the only
access to the sea. They also had in mind to stop the spread of
the Shia Islamic revolution into their Sunni, secular state. Khomeini’s regime could not field an army
as modern and mechanized as Saddam’s, who could enjoy from the support of the US and
most Sunni Arab countries. What they could offer was numbers and fanaticism:
thousands of boy soldiers were indoctrinated by mullahs into launching suicidal human wave
attacks armed only with a plastic key[TA24] – the key that would open the gates of paradise
after their death as martyrs of the Revolution. But it turns out that human wave attacks do
not make strategic progresses. Tehran was in dire need of more complex tactics
and weapons systems, namely: long range missiles. Khomeini’s regime would procure them in
1985, in a way which shows how ambiguous and confusing the US-Iran relationship were: the
resulting mess became known as the Iran-Contra affair[TA25] .
Iran made the first step, with a secret request to Washington to buy up to 1500 long range
missiles. President Reagan and his National Security
Advisor Robert McFarlane saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone: first, grasp the
occasion to negotiate with Iran the release of seven Americans taken hostage by the Hezbollah,
the Lebanese Shia fighters loyal to Khomeini; second, make some cash through the arms sales
to fund the Contras anti-communist insurgents in Nicaragua. Along the way, Reagan and McFarlane killed
another bird, called “American rule of law” – their actions violated the trade embargo
on Iran, violated the Presidential promise not to negotiate with terrorists and violated
the recently passed Boland amendment which forbade the government from intervening in
Nicaragua. The last two years
But let’s get back to the war. Even with their new missiles the Iranians
were not able to break the frontline. The war ended in July 1988. Its result? A costly stalemate. Between half a million and a million dead,
half a million of invalid soldiers, 400 billion dollars of damaged infrastructures … for
almost no gain. Saddam in the end got his outlet to the sea,
only to return it to Iran in 1991 in exchange for their neutrality during the 1st Gulf War. But actually, Khomeini and his regime had
gained something from the conflict, albeit immaterial. The total war against an ethnically Arab,
Sunni, Secular enemy had consolidated the resolve and institutions of the young Revolutionary
government in a country that was non-Arab, Shia and theocratic. Only a few months after the end of the war,
in February 1989 the Ayatollah Khomeini made headlines again when he issued a fatwa against
writer Salman Rushdie, accusing him of tainting the name of the Prophet Mohammad in his novel
the Satanic Verses. A fatwa is a legal document issued by a mullah,
which in this case carried a death sentence against the writer – and a monetary reward. Salman Rushdie was forced to live into hiding
and to seek police protection. Khomeini’s condemnation of the Satanic Verses,
though, was short-lived. Four months later, on the 4th of June 1989,
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died, regarded as a hero or condemned as the ultimate villain,
both outside and within his country. His reputation as a ruthless leader, who would
not refrain from harming, exiling or killing opponents to achieve his goals is certainly
well-deserved. But isn’t that true of so many leaders around
the Globe? And wasn’t that true for the Shah Pahlavi
himself, or Saddam, or the rulers of Saudi Arabia – and yet they did and still have the
support of America and the West. Khomeini did open to America in at least two
occasions- and he may have been ignored or underestimated. On the other hand the Iran-Contra affair could
have been the occasion to thaw the frost. But it seems like Khomeini’s ill-advised
decision to back the protesters during the hostage crisis had made the relationship with
America impossible to mend. Now, Professor Mahmood Sariolghalam [TA26]
of Theran University espouses a geopolitical theory according to which America and Iran
should not antagonise each other, as Tehran is THE natural ally for the US in the region
– a foothold in this country would provide access to central Asia, the Gulf and its resources. It was the case in the past and who knows,
it may happen again in the future. But at least for the past 40 years, US and
Iranian foreign policy seem to have missed a trick.

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  1. Fun fact for everyone here. My grandpa was the man who went into Iran to get the first round of hostages. just how bad ass my grandpa is he told us about how he had a missile locked on his plane and he yelled at them that he has clearance so leave him alone. Then when a armed gunman got on his plane he slapped the machine gun and said “my plane, I’m the captain, I’m the authority” I try searching for the story he wrote about it but I can’t find it 🙁 if any of you wanna look ill give you his name because my grandfather was a badass for basically telling a terrorist that he’s not gonna be his b*tch lol

  2. i have seen two videos and in both of them your explanation of the difference between Shia and Sunni is worded in a way that favors the Sunni sect more and makes them sound 'Democratic' which your part of the wold is very fond of.. but to put it clearly, Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) named Ali (A.S) his successor after him when he (SAWW) performed Hajj at a place called Ghadeer.. So.. Shia's aren't wrong either as they wanted to follow prophet's (SAWW) command or instructions.. whereas Abu Bakar became the caliph because he was much older and had more influence..

  3. It's the US and George HW who installed the Ayatollah. The Tudeh was very organized and the Shah had advanced cancer. George HW set up Carter to praise the Shah two weeks before the revolution. The Tudeh would have turned Iran into a Soviet proxy, so this was the lesser of evils, and it set up a boogey that Israel could use to justify its own aggression against its neighbors by playing the victim.

  4. Let me just correct the narrative in the case it has caused any confusion to the viewer.
    The Bahai's are not an offshoot of Shia Islam, rather they are an independent religion that started in 1844 preaching peace and the unification of the world.
    Yours truly
    A Bahai 🙂

  5. When my grandfather was born in Iran (during the time of the Qajars) he was born a Jew, so he and his family were treated as second class citizens, and barred from most good Jobs.

    After the Shah's reforms, the Jews were emancipated, his nephew's became officers in the Iranian Army, and his family was able to lift themselves out if poverty. Some of them even became wealthy.

    The revolution under Khomeini reversed all that progress, and sent the Jews right back to square one.

  6. What's ironic is that Iran (or Persia rather) was a former Zoroastrian empire, before they were invaded and forcibly converted by the Arabs. What's even more ironic is that for all their hatred for Saudi Arabia's Sunnis, they are exactly alike in practice, when it comes to religious hyper-conservatism, differing only in minor rituals and of course, the historical split. In the end, the Arabs won. The Great Persian Empire that lasted for thousands of years, is now truly dead, not only politically, but also culturally. Modern Iranians are basically Arabs now, mirroring what happened to Egypt.

  7. Why does the US always seem to have a knack for backing the wrong people when it comes to the Middle East. I guess the smell of oil is too fragrant.

  8. Nice try but lacking in historical objectivity. Like Salman Rushdie, or 'V', as I now suspect that you base yourself upon. Including my hunch that you are now probably hiding out in one of London's catacombs. Nevertheless good on you for your attempt at historical impartiality. Yet this time a 'Fail'. Why wouldn't Moslems respect other people of their Book; The Holy Koran. After all, Jews & Catholic to Orthodox Christians are accorded religious tolerance by Almighty Allah's Prophet's insights into his God. However, post Mohammed sects like Bahia, or other modern manifestations, such as Zionist Israelis are out in the cold. Along with any other latter day, previously unrecognised faiths. No matter how virtuous. Just like any other espouser of such trite doctrines, (no matter how well meaning, or critical thinking, such political commentators may be; or egotistically, wish to portray their merely vain ideas as real, in today's world). May God protect you simple Simon; recognising, that even at your lightening speed, one human being cannot possibly traverse the full spectrum of facts & opinions in God's universe. Well done, nevertheless. Any sincere teacher should be listened to with any little respect. Just for trying.

  9. That part about when the shia appeared isn't right.
    That didn't happen until Alhussein bin Ali's murder by the caliph Yazid bin Moa'wiah waaaaay after prophet Mohamed's death.
    And the mourning in moharram is exclusive to shia only not an islamic tradition at all.

  10. Why Nobody understood that WHO is zahak…..zahak IS No Other than Ali and His two snakes are Hasan and Hussein and He feeds from iranian Minds because He brainwash them since zahak itself IS a tazhi and more so Iran IS Just Like 1984 for the Ayatollah IS the Big Brother WHO loves you so much that He will suck the living Life of yours Just so you will surreander and Not Dare question his legitimacy of tyranny even though tyranny was since the Dawn for it is Always Come and goes however the screams of the innocent prisoners in evin and further on i can hear them from far why the hell people worship god to fix human errors and Problems since all this Problems or should i Say Most Problems are human conditions
    Khamenei funny Said Rumi IS usuli DIN usuli DIN but He forgot somthing…….IT IS Not an ocean of Knowledge and Love that will wash the fire of hate but an ocean of ignorence and hate washing the Flame of Love and wisdom!!!!

  11. i was going back and forth with the things you said, until it reached the end of the video, i have come to the conclusion that when it comes to Islam, i'm not going to trust a foreigner to convey anything properly, and the conclusions you have come to are the complete opposite of mine, i was going to comment something when you were doing malcom x and you were talking about NOI but decided not to, ever since we had learned about WWII in school, and my teacher telling us to carefully listen to the wording of the text book and the videos we watched, i pay a lot of attention to that.

  12. America doesn't negotiate with terrorists… meanwhile Taliban.
    I find it weird that you tried to justified the soviet and British illegal invasion. the rest was great.


  13. ﻣﺴﺄﻟﺔ 12 : ﻻ ﻳﺠﻮﺯ ﻭﻁﺀ ﺍﻟﺰﻭﺟﺔ ﻗﺒﻞ ﺇﻛﻤﺎﻝ ﺗﺴﻊ ﺳﻨﻴﻦ ، ﺩﻭﺍﻣﺎ ﻛﺎﻥ ﺍﻟﻨﻜﺎﺡ ﺃﻭ ﻣﻨﻘﻄﻌﺎ , ﻭ ﺃﻣﺎ ﺳﺎﺋﺮ ﺍﻻﺳﺘﻤﺘﺎﻋﺎﺕ ﻛﺎﻟﻠﻤﺲ ﺑﺸﻬﻮﺓ ﻭ ﺍﻟﻀﻢ ﻭ ﺍﻟﺘﻔﺨﻴﺬ ﻓﻼ ﺑﺄﺱ ﺑﻬﺎ ﺣﺘﻰ ﻓﻰ ﺍﻟﺮﺿﻴﻌﺔ

    Ruling # 12: It is not permission to have intercourse before (her) being 9 years old, be it in nikah (permanent marriage) or temporary marriage. And as for all other pleasures such as lustful touch, embracing, and thighing (ﺍﻟﺘﻔﺨﻴﺬ), there is no problem in it even with a suckling infant.
    Tahreer al-Waseelah, vol. 2, page 221-222“

    -Ayatollah Khomeini

  14. Mr.Simon you’re a great man I really believe that ,, but please do more research when you’re talking about the Islam world or history As you do when you talk about any another culture you do a great research about them ,, Because you’re wrong about the Khalifah Ali fighting abu baker the First Khalifah after our prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه و سلم After abu baker died Omar came as a Khalifah also then after Omar got killed it became to Othman to be a Khalifah then after Othman died also الله يرحمه جميعاً و رضي الله عنهم then it came to Ali to become Khalifah and we pick our Khalifah as the people then some people rose against Ali on false accusations and he token arms against them not against abu Baker and thank you and I respect you

  15. Iran are paper Tigard no one is afraid of these clowns the sad thing is the people seem really cool but the leaders are fkn chumps that will some day get there entire country turn to glass

  16. Nobody:
    English v sauce:
    Sooooo uh on my kid friendly channel I made let’s talk about Iranian leader some foreign name guy who hates Jews and other Muslims

  17. Bad for Soviets is that Islamic clergy takes power of Iran. Good for Soviets is that the Americans lost it's influence over Iran.

  18. My Persian friends, rid yourselfs of that religious yoke, we in America need to do the same. Religion is destroying our world. Love from the USA!

  19. at 15:30 you mention that since Khomeini was Anti Zionist it will make him Anti Judaism – There is a difference between Judaism and Zionism. There are not the same

  20. All the mullahs in Iran are killers and they shed the blood of Iranian people. They bring sedition and fights to my country. !!!!

  21. Sharia law has no place on this earth. Boggles the mind to think oppression of anyone based on religion or sex is common practice anywhere.

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