Look at Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution and the slogans that they used: anti-imperialism; anti-colonialism; the struggle of the have-nots against the haves; the state monopoly over economy, which was very much patterned after the Soviet Union. All of these things did not come out of Islam. Islam is not that developed.
The danger of Iran is if you listen to what the Ayatollah is saying, to what the Mullahs are saying, rational self-preservation is not their objective. If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon the odds are unacceptably high that that weapon will not be simply stockpiled, but it will be detonated over Tel Aviv, or New York, or Los Angeles.
Prior to his takeover of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini was camping near Paris, giving daily news conferences to a fawning international press corps without a murmur of complaint to France from the United States about the disaster it was coddling in the incredibly naive liberal belief that this extremist cleric would be an improvement over the Shah.
When the Islamic revolution began in 1979 under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, it aroused considerable admiration in the Arab street. It presented a model of organised popular action that deposed one of the region's most tyrannical regimes. The people of the region discerned in this revolution new hope for freedom and change.
Welcome to RAW is Jericho! And I was just listening to your list of problems and grievances that you have with all my Jerichoholics, and I have a solution - and that solution is to SHUT THE HELL UP. But finally, Al Snow, tomorrow people WILL be acknowledging you - they WILL be talking about the greatest moment of '99 - they'll be talking about the night that Al Snow was brutally beaten by the Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla.
This democracy... The elections in Iraq were held despite the American opposition. It was the will of the Iraqi people and the religious authorities. [The elections] were the result of pressure by Ayatollah Sistani, by the Iraqi religious authorities, and by the fighting forces in Iraq on America. They left the US no choice but to allow the elections.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Repeatedly and frankly we have announced that in Irans national security doctrine there is no room for atomic and chemical weapons as we consider them against Islamic laws. Irans Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) in this connection had issued a decree that mass destruction weapons are prohibited by the Muslim religion. [. . .] Therefore we support the idea of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction[.]
they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality. ... Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering. ... It's the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice.
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship-though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved...
As he defended the book one evening in the early 1980s at the Carnegie Endowment in New York, I knew that some of what he said was true enough, just as some of it was arguably less so. (Edward incautiously dismissed 'speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings or sabotage commercial airliners' as the feverish product of 'highly exaggerated stereotypes.') Covering Islam took as its point of departure the Iranian revolution, which by then had been fully counter-revolutionized by the forces of the Ayatollah. Yes, it was true that the Western press-which was one half of the pun about 'covering'-had been naive if not worse about the Pahlavi regime. Yes, it was true that few Middle East 'analysts' had had any concept of the latent power of Shi'ism to create mass mobilization. Yes, it was true that almost every stage of the Iranian drama had come as a complete surprise to the media. But wasn't it also the case that Iranian society was now disappearing into a void of retrogressive piety that had levied war against Iranian Kurdistan and used medieval weaponry such as stoning and amputation against its internal critics, or even against those like unveiled women whose very existence constituted an offense?