Find out more about the Islamic Revolution (13)
Welcome to this week's episode of the series: "Find out more about the Islamic Revolution". Today, we study the views of Fred Halliday on Iran's Islamic Revolution.
The former professor of International Relations at London's School of Economy, Fred Halliday, was born in Dublin. He studied at Oxford University, and received his PhD from London's School of Economy. He was a linguist who was fluent in Latin, Greek, Farsi, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Arabic languages.
Fred Halliday was among the theorists, who were familiar with the developments related to Iran, prior and after the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution. His familiarity with Iran led him to author his first book about Iran in the year 1978. The emergence and culmination of the Islamic Revolution prompted Fred Halliday to make his book compatible with the new developments in Iran and to republish a new version of his book; which was later translated into a number of languages. Fred Halliday traveled to Iran on a number of occasions in the post-revolution era. These visits further familiarized this theorist with Iran's Islamic Revolution, and his analysis of developments in Iran. Based on his understanding, he carried out a comparative study of Iran's Islamic Revolution, with French, Russian, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions, while pointing out the differences and similarities of these four revolutions with Iran's Islamic Revolution.
Iran's Islamic Revolution highly influenced the views of this Irish theorist, such that he named Iran's Islamic Revolution as the most modern revolution throughout the course of history, while presenting a number of reasons in order to prove his standpoint. One of the reasons which he presents in this regard is that the Father of Islamic Revolution, late Imam Khomeini (God's mercy upon him), throughout his religious remarks, succeeded in mobilization of religious and nationalist forces, both, against Pahlavi despotic regime. His other reason is that the people of Iran staged the largest revolutionary gatherings especially in welcoming the Father of Islamic Revolution, late Imam Khomeini, upon his return from exile. He also notes that after the victory of Islamic Revolution, the freedom of expression and thought was fully established in Iran.
He names Iran's Islamic Revolution as the revolution of the Iranian people against a dictatorial regime. He points out that the demonstrations of the Iranian nation against the despotic regime of Shah were the largest demonstrations and protests throughout the history of mankind. The important point which is evident in the remarks of Fred Halliday about Iran's Islamic Revolution is that he strongly believes victory of Islamic Revolution is indebted to the political leadership of late Imam and the clerics who cooperated with the Father of Islamic Revolution.
Fred Halliday underlines that: "They prepared the framework of the Islamic Revolution, and promoted an ideology which enabled the mobilization of forces against Shah's despotic regime. he adds that this ideology maintained three principles, which were pointed out in the keynote speeches of late Imam. The first principle was faith in God and the sacred religion of Islam, which made the establishment of an Islamic ruling system in the contemporary world and throughout the Major Occultation of the 12th Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam's Household, Imam Mahdi (May God hasten his reappearance) possible.
The other principle of this ideology was the division of the world into two poles of the oppressed and oppressors. Late Imam Khomeini, based on a revolutionary ideal, focused on the poor and disadvantaged strata of the community.
The third principle of this ideology was the grant of an Islamic nature to one of the nationalist symbols of the Third World, which was the campaign and struggle against the Western and Eastern domineering powers that had long imposed injustices against Iran. Imam Khomeini urged Muslims to protect and safeguard the World of Islam against the occupation and corruption of foreign powers. The Islamic Revolution emerged victorious under the banner of sacred religion of Islam, and with the leadership of late Imam and clerics, highly influencing the Islamic world.
Fred Halliday, in an interview, twenty years after the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution pointed out some of the characteristic traits of the Father of Islamic Revolution, noting that late Imam maintained a magical charisma and legendary power, which attracted people toward him. He added that a large number of Muslims across the world praise and laud the Father of Islamic Revolution as an honest and sincere man.
In one of his writings, Fred Halliday refers to ethnical diversity in Iran, noting that one of the most important achievements of Islamic Republic of Iran is its highly appropriate treatment of ethnic minorities.
In the view of Fred Halliday, one of the other important accomplishments of Iran's Islamic Revolution was the ouster of the former despotic regime and establishment of a religious democracy.