Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Mad Rant: Befriending Revolutionary Iran
That anyone claiming to be a monarchist or a lover of tradition could have any sympathy at all for the Islamic Republic of Iran, frankly, leaves me nearly speechless. Like the proverbial mosquito in the nudist colony, I know what to do, I just don’t know where to start. If you are a monarchist, if you are a traditionalist, if you believe that not everything in life should be subject to change on the whim of the temporary majority, there is absolutely, positively no reason, at all, for you to support the Islamic Republic. Anyone should be able to see, that is, anyone with any measurable intelligence, should be able to see that, beyond the superficial things like (gasp) women being educated, wearing short skirts or people going to see Hollywood movies, the Imperial State of Iran was far more traditional at heart than anything that has succeeded it. It looked with pride back on the entirety of Persian history and not merely that most recent Islamic era and it maintained the existing, traditional views of religion (yes, religion) and politics that had far deeper roots than anything the Islamic revolutionaries later came up with. Iran, under its last dynasty, was going through something of a mini-Renaissance, in some ways similar to the Renaissance experienced by Catholic Europe.
However, the claim is often made that traditionalists or conservatives should have been opposed to the Imperial State of Iran because there were very un-Islamic things like nightclubs, cinemas and, again, those vile skirts that caused innocent men to be driven into frenzies of lust by the sight of a calf or perhaps even a bit of thigh. Obviously, I am making somewhat light of this because I do not consider it a damnable offense for a woman to allow her ankles to be seen in public but then, I am not a Muslim. However, back in my university days I did study Islam and the history of the Middle East (from Egypt to Iran was our definition) and so, while not an expert, I am not totally ignorant of the subject and will make my thoughts known (it is your choice to read them or not). From my understanding, if we are to assume that one is a Shiite Muslim as the majority of Iranians are, there is still absolutely no justification for anyone supporting the Islamic revolutionary regime. As I recall, Shiite Islam was based on the idea that no one can speak for God until the Mahdi, the expected one, comes from heaven to lead the faithful to their ultimate triumph. The Ayatollah broke, radically, with this long-established, traditional view of Shiia Islam by claiming unprecedented powers for the Shiite clerics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Today, although we have touched on this in the past, it bears repeating, we also have those who at least sympathize with the forces of the Islamic Revolution in Iran because they claim to oppose the decadence and immorality of the modern west. That mentality, is not only stupid, it is stupid to the point of being suicidal. It is suicidal because these types seem not to grasp the fact that these fanatics consider the west at its most religious and conservative to be just as immoral as in our own liberal, permissive, present day. These are people who would hold the Christians of the Middle Ages as perverse because they danced touching each other, who would condemn the Popes as immoral for having nudes painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, people who were calling America the “Great Satan” back in the days of Bishop Sheen and “Leave It to Beaver”. Anyone who thinks that these fanatics would show any kindness to someone just because they consider a few of the same things to be immoral is soundly mistaken. They hate the Christian west no matter how truly Christian it actually is. Besides that, however, is the fact that what they hate about the west is more often based on the power and influence held by western nations and has nothing to do with religion or morality at all. Otherwise, how would one explain their cozy relationship with Communist China, an officially atheist, anti-religious regime that persecutes Christians, Buddhists and Muslims and carries out such things as forced abortions and sterilizations? Any tradition-minded person in the west who thinks they can make common cause with the Iranian regime is sorely mistaken.
Other monarchists made the mistake of thinking they could make common cause with Iran and were shown how wrong they were. For instance, in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, King Khalid of Saudi Arabia sent a friendly message to Iran calling for Islamic solidarity. He was met only with anti-monarchy bigotry with the Ayatollah responding by saying that Mecca was under the control of “heretics”. Needless to say, relations between the two countries have never been friendly. In several other countries, monarchist and republican alike, Iran has worked consistently to support subversive elements and oppose any with monarchist sympathies. Those who would sympathize with the Iranian regime as some sort of traditional fortress set against the “evils” of modernity might also remember that the former President of Iran took the exact opposite point of view and boasted of how much more progressive, democratic and liberal his country was when compared to a country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As recently as Friday, January 24, 2014 an article appeared in Britain’s “The Telegraph” proposing that the west should reach out to the Islamic Republic of Iran because it is “now” a more liberal and democratic country than Saudi Arabia.