In the path of the Imam (108)
In this episode, you’ll be listening to the Imam’s exposure of the enemies’ plots to separate other colonized countries from their indigenous culture and make them dependent on the West or East.
During the post-WWII years, due to the formation of bipolar system and the new equation known as the Cold War, nearly all countries were forced to be a member of either the Western or the Eastern bloc lead by the United States of America and the former Soviet Union. Concurrent with the intensification of anti-colonialist struggles in the world, a number of the Asian and African nations decided to adopt an independent policy to get rid of the two blocs of power. Iran was among the pioneers of this approach. With the nationalization of the oil industry in the country, the hands of Britain were cut from Iran’s oil reserves. This measure turned into a role model for other colonized nations so that in 1955 the first conference of Asian-African countries was held in the Indonesian city of Bandung to set up the new bloc known as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Iran’s representative in the conference was the Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. His adopting of a negative balance policy showed a practical pattern for freedom seekers in the world. After the British-American 1953 coup d’état, Iran’s despotic Shah changed the foreign policy to complete dependence on the West, especially the US. As he owed his throne to the Americans, he became an official member of the Western bloc and granted myriads of concessions to Washington in the economic, political and military fields. Hence, he created an atmosphere of suffocation and dictatorship in the country. The Shah destroyed people’s civil freedom and changed the Constitutional rule to authoritarian and despotic kingdom. Thus, no opposition group or voice was allowed to be active in the country.
While Iran was ruled by the dictatorial Pahlavi regime, Imam Khomeini staged his unique revolution to revive Islam and bring back the country’s independence and dignity which had been trampled upon by the Western regimes, particularly the US. Imam Khomeini succeeded to turn independence into one of the main axes of the Islamic Revolution’s discourse through raising the motto “Neither East, Nor West, Islam is the best.” Hence, this motto became the guide for Iran’s foreign policy. Of course, this motto doesn’t mean to sever relations with other nations; rather it means to sever all colonialist ties with the blocs of power and keeping the national sovereignty through reciprocal respect for other nations. The Imam used to emphasize on this principle through his life. In his testament, too, he referred to the enemies’ efforts to destroy national self-confidence and make them colonies of the big powers. He writes, “Among the schemes, that unfortunately had a great impact in countries and our dear country and its impacts have remained to a great extent, is to make the colonized countries alienated with themselves and make them westernized or easternized. Thus, they trivialized themselves and their culture and power; and considered the West and the East as the superior race, deemed their culture as loftier and the two powers as the qibla of the world, and called dependence on one of the poles [of power] as an inevitable obligation! The story of this sad thing is long and the blows that we have received by it and are still receiving are fatal and grinding. And what is more doleful is that they kept the oppressed nations backward in everything and brought them up as consumer countries; and so much scared us of their own progresses and satanic powers so that we dare not to embark on anything and have surrendered all we have to them and have ceded our fate and our countries to them and are totally obedient to them.”
Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him) believed that blind imitation of the West or the East and passivity against foreigners are the most important impacts of dependence on them. He writes in his testament, “This artificial absurdity and empty-headedness has caused us not to rely on our thought and knowledge in anything and imitate the East and the West blindly. Even if we had any innovation in culture, literature and industry, the westernized and easternized would castigate and ridicule them; and they repress and disappoint t our native thought and power and, through speech and writing, promote foreign customs and traditions no matter how mean and scandalous they are and sell them to nations via extolling them… I recommend the dear nation sympathetically and humbly that, now that they have been relieved of many of these traps to much extent, the deprived generation is ready for activity and has stood up. We saw that many factories and advanced tools such as airplanes and other things, which were never thought to be put into work by Iranian specialists. We had extended all hands towards the West or East so that their specialists would launch them, [but] due to the economic siege and the imposed war, our dear youth themselves have made the needed parts and supplied them at lower costs and met the demands. They have proved that if we want we can. You should be watchful, wakeful and careful so that the politicians, who are dependent on the West and the East, may not drag you toward these international plunderers via satanic schemes; and stand up with firm will and activity and perseverance to remove dependence.”