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The Question Of The Jews - Imam Khomeini

20 September 2010

Any criticism of Israel is automatically censored by Zionist accusations of anti-Semitism. Nowadays this has limited mileage, as even ordinary people question this and begin to realise its just a ruse to cover Israel's crimes. So for example they refuse to believe that Richard Goldstone who headed the UN fact finding mission on Operation Cast Lead is an anti-Semite or that former US President Jimmy Carter who wrote the book 'Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid' is an anti-Semite. Unfortunately due to the prevalence of islamophobia in society and a general negative media portrayal of Islam and in particular 'political Islam' this clear-sightedness is lost when it comes to accusations against Muslims. So it is that the recent Al-Quds Day demonstration, and in particular the founder of Al-Quds Day - Imam Khomeini - are still marred by such baseless accusations. In an attempt to clear this myopia, here we ask the question: What was Imam Khomeini's view on the Jews?

Imam Khomeini

image src: http://islamicwallpers.deviantart.com

No right to lay a finger..

Imam Khomeini was exiled by the Shah in 1963. He lead the revolution from exile, his messages and instructions to the Iranian people would be recorded on cassette tapes, duplicated and smuggled in to the country. These taped messages form a good documentation of Imam Khomeini's views. In a message recorded on 16 December 1978[1], Imam Khomeini states:

"no one has the right to lay a finger on the Jews in Iran, they are under the aegis of Islam and the Muslims; no one has the right to attack the Jews or the Christians who adhere to a religion revealed by one of God's prophets"

Its interesting to look at the background of this quote from Imam Khomeini as it also gives an insight in to his leadership and the revolution he brought about.

Five months before the success of the Islamic Revolution, on Friday 8th September 1978, the Shahs troops in a single day gunned down several thousand demonstrators. 'Black Friday', as it came to be known, was followed by strikes across the country. The most important strike was that of the oil workers, oil being the life line of the Shahs regime. To encourage all the oil workers to join the strike and bolster their resolve Imam Khomeini issued a fatwa[1]:

"I now address the workers of the oil company and tell them that it is their religious duty, it is their divine obligation to make their strikes universal and stop the export of oil".

Imam Khomeini ordered the clergy to set up councils in all the provincial towns and regions to see to the requirements of the striking workers across the country. He ordered that money from religious taxes (sahm-i imam from Khums, and sahm-i sadat) be used to set up a strike fund to help alleviate the striking workers economic hardships[1]. (also see *)

At the time Iran had been the the main supplier of crude oil to Israel, when reports emerged that to counter the oil workers strike the Shah was to bring in Israeli experts to help keep the oil flowing, Imam Khomeini declared[1]

"If the Israelis come to Iran in order to export the oil, it will be the duty of all Muslims to throw them out or kill them... Not one Israeli..."

It is here that Imam Khomeini goes out of his way to ensure the safety of Iran's Jews, in case someone misunderstood his instructions, by adding:
"I'm not talking about the Jews here, no one has the right to lay a finger on the Jews in Iran, they are under the aegis of Islam and the Muslims; no one has the right to attack the Jews or the Christians who adhere to a religion revealed by one of God's prophets"

Lies peddled as News

On 19th May 2006 the National Post ran a front page story claiming Iran, like Nazi Germany, had passed a law that would require Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth sewn in front of their clothes to to make them identifiable in public. The story featured a half-page photo from Nazi Germany showing Jews forced to wear the star of David.[7]

Newspapers in Canada, the US, Australia and the UK all ran with the story and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the US State Department all issued condemnations of Iran with the Simon Wiesenthal Center warning of impending Holocaust: "This is reminiscent of the Holocaust.. Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

In reality the story didn't have a shred of truth in it, it was a complete hoax planted by neocons. The legislation made no reference to Jews and was in fact about securing government subsidy to support the local fashion industry in promoting regional traditional designs to counter imported fashions.

Whilst the National Post was eventually forced to issue an apology and retraction[8], the damage was done - media lapdogs had handed Israel another propaganda coup.

In fact, 4 years on, the stories are still featured on the National Post website with no mention of their falsity and the subsequent retraction.

Incidentally, one of the first actions Imam Khomeini ordered after the victory of the Islamic Revolution was to place sanctions on both apartheid regimes of South Africa and Israel. At the time Iran, under US control, had been the main supplier of crude oil to both these regimes fulfilling most of their oil requirements - overnight they lost their main source of crude oil - it hit them hard. According to the United Nations Centre against Apartheid (30th January 1981), this action alone by Imam Khomeini made an effective oil embargo against South Africa feasible for the very first time.

In March 1979, the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid commended Iran for its action and appealed to all other petroleum exporting countries to follow the example of Iran and to implement a strict oil embargo against South Africa, and in December 1979 they pushed for a UN resolution calling for an oil embargo against South Africa.

P.W. Botha, President of apartheid South Africa, later admitted this had a devastating effect on apartheid [Windhoek Advertiser on April 25, 1986]:

"There were times when it was reported to me that we had enough oil for only a week.. we couldn't bring our motor cars and our diesel locomotives to a standstill as our economic life would have collapsed."

In the end it was the United States and Thatcher's Britain that, having voted against this UN resolution, gave apartheid a life line. Thatcher authorized "swap" arrangements through British Petroleum (BP) to break the embargo and ensure a supply of oil reached South Africa. Similarly, the United States through Mobil and Caltex (a joint venture of Chevron and Texaco) broke the embargo.

Judaism vs Zionism

In the following video clip Imam Khomeini makes a clear distiction between Zionism and Judaism:
"We know very well that the Jewish and Zionist communities are not the same. We are against the Zionists and our opposition with them is because they are against religion all together - they are not Jewish. They are political people who commit actions in the name of Judaism. Jewish people have also grown to resent them. In fact, all humans should resent their actions."

[ To watch video need the Flash Player ]

Better future for Jews

And again, in an interview on 14th January 1979 with foreign journalists[3], Imam Khomeini, talking of post-revolution Iran, makes clear that his opposition to Israel does not extend to Jews:
"Any kind of relationship with Israel will be severed, however, the Jews will be free to remain in Iran and live in an environment which will be freer than at the time of the Shah's rule, for Islam respects all religions."

His promise of a better future for Jews in Iran after the revolution than during the Shah's rule has also born true with independent reports showing that in a society where religious values and morals rule supreme, Judaism has flourished. Iran's Jewish community have come back to their faith, synagogues once abandoned for cinemas and clubs are once again the centre of community life. The forgotten Sabbath is once again respected.

Robert Khalder, a board member of Tehran's Synagogue, in an interview with Australian TV[2] reiterates this:

"I think that a positive outcome of the Islamic revolution for the Jewish community is that most Iranian Jews in Iran have become more religious. Obviously, living in a religious environment is more conducive to becoming religious than living in a non-religious environment.. We are comfortably doing everything we want to do here. We can perform all our religious, cultural, and traditional celebrations. Our schools, our holy days, we have all those in complete freedom.. maybe this is not projected in the West."

[ To watch video need the Flash Player ]

Less than 0.05% of the population

Imam Khomeini's Islamic constitution guaranteed Iranian Jews, who form less than 0.05% of the population, a place in Iran's 290 seat parliament (article 64). And the position is not as a stooge of a political party (like we see in the UK where Muslim MPs represent Labour or Tory interests) but rather, they are given a platform to specifically voice the concerns of Iran's Jewish minority in the halls of power.

In 2007 Israel offered $60,000 cash incentive to each Iranian Jewish family if they would leave Iran for Israel, this on top of the benefits already on offer by Israel to any Jew who will come and settle on stolen Palestinian land. The Society of Iranian Jews responded saying "their national identity was not for sale" and Iran's Jewish MP Morris Motamed called the offer an "insult"[4].

To this day, despite such lucrative incentives and full freedom to leave the country, Iran is home to the largest community of Jews in the Middle-East outside of Israel. This is a testament to Imam Khomeini and a damming indictment of Israel, whose leaders ludicrously compare the Islamic Republic to Nazi Germany each Holocaust Remembrance Day[5][6], and the media lapdogs that echo the lies.

* As a side note, its interesting how this factual record is at odds with the false narrative that many on the left have bought in to, one which pits Iranian workers against Imam Khomeini's leadership and suggests that the Islamic Revolution was some sort of coup d'état against a 'workers revolution'.

Perhaps it was in anticipation of this rewriting of history that Imam Khomeini, upon the victory of the revolution, insisted on holding a national referendum to allow people to choose if they wanted an 'Islamic Republic'.

The referendum was simple - do you want an Islamic Republic yes or no, allowing people to choose 'no' if for any reason they were not happy with an Islamic Republic. Whether you were a communist, a royalist, or championing a western style liberal democracy your 'no' votes would be tallied together against the 'yes' votes for Islamic Republic. The idea was that an Islamic Republic could only be formed if it was the overwhelming will of the people, just being the most popular out of a list of other types of government was not good enough. The referendum was held over two days, on March 30th and 31st 1979. Men and women, 16 years of age and over, cast their votes and a resounding 98% chose the Islamic Republic.

Work immediately began on the creation of an Islamic constitution and on October 24th 1979 a second national referendum was held, this time to approve the new constitution which codified exactly what an Islamic Republic would mean - the notion of leadership of Wilayat al Faqih, the implementation of Sharia law, etc. Again the people gave their overwhelmingly support and this is how the Islamic Republic was born.

[1]Speech 86, Kauthar Vol 3 - An anthology of the speeches of Imam Khomeini 1962-1978, pg 309-328

[2]Video clip from SBS Dateline, broadcast 16 May 2007 (Australia)

[3]Imam's interview with foreign journalists, 14 January 1979. Sahifa-yi Nur, Vol. 4, p. 219

[4]Iran's Jews spurn cash lure to emigrate to Israel, by Robert Tait (The Guardian 13 July 2007)
also http://www.inminds.com/article.php?id=10164

[5]Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010, Israel's deputy prime minister Lieberman: 'Iran, Nazi Germany must be compared', Jerusalem Post 27 January 2010

[6]Holocaust Remembrance Day 2009, Israel's deputy prime minister Silvan Shalom: Iran is like 'Nazi Germany', Al Jazeera 22 April 2009

[7]Yellow journalism and chicken hawks, By Jim Lobe 24th May 2006

[8]Our mistake: Note to readers, Douglas Kelly Editor-in-Chief, National Post. (Wednesday, May 24, 2006)

Source: www.inminds.com

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