Most political scientists and other observers of international affairs agree that the sudden collapse of one of the closest US allies in this region following unrelenting, ever-increasing popular protests and street fighting, followed by a new social and government structure "a religious society, and a religious system of governance" in Iran was truly shocking and almost unprecedented, specially in modern times.
What was more unprecedented about this particular revolution was that its foundations were meticulously laid, over decades, and watered with love and tears, by an old scholar and high servant of Islam, Imam Khomeini, who had captured the hearts and minds of most Iranians, and with much wisdom and perspicacity led it to a glorious triumph, against all odds and predications. This particular revolution also shattered many beliefs, theories, and political equations believed by the elite policymakers in the West hitherto.1
Ayatollah Khamenei, speaking of the great impression left by Iranian Islamic Revolution on contemporary global political literature says:
"The victory of the Islamic Revolution and the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, focused the world's eyes on Iran. Many, including politicians, scientists and thinkers, and the masses of people all over the globe suddenly became aware of a new event and phenomenon. A system of governance had arisen from the Iranian revolutionary movement, which, with one hand, held aloft the name and flag of Islam, and with the other, gestured to itself and claimed being 'popular.'... Thus it became that the school of thought that set, led, and entered the stage has since been called the "the pure Mohammedan (PBUH) Islam."2
Thus, the world suddenly came face to face with the first religious government of contemporary Islamic history whose formation heralded a new era in which a society's unlimited potential could be correctly tapped and directed toward material prosperity and limitless spiritual growth and perfection. Of course, international reaction to this fact and phenomenon varied in various places and governments, but one can roughly categorize them into three groups:
1 "The countries "nations and government" that are neutral towards this issue and advocate establishment of relations on the basis of the principle of mutual respect.
2 "The countries that have been close to the Islamic Republic of Iran and advocated brotherly ties. Of course due to the anti-oppression nature of the Islamic system and its commitment to protection of freedom and man’s dignity, a stronger feeling of fraternity and solidarity have prevailed among the disinherited masses, particularly the Islamic ummah.
3 "The countries hostile to the Islamic Republic. They mainly included the colonialists, exploiters and arrogant countries.
Hence, the establishment of the Islamic government in Iran is a warning to the global arrogance, for the religious government due to its divine mission has always defended the deprived and oppressed masses of the world, particularly the Muslims and will not spare any efforts to continue this policy. This ideal is in serious confrontation with the interests of the global arrogance, which is interested in the colonization and exploitation of the masses and plundering of their human and material assets.
On the other hand, the establishment of the Islamic government in effect functions as a theoretical and practical support for the disinherited. In fact the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic government is the strongest proof for the disinherited masses particularly the Muslims to have faith in the capabilities of Islam and ability of the Muslim leaders to bring about deep social changes and guide the society towards felicity and perfection in the light of the Islamic ideology and culture. Also the establishment of the Islamic government in an Islamic country could raise hopes in many disinherited masses, encouraging them to realize that they can utilize the religious government to put forth the idea of their supervision at international level.
Commenting on the impact of the Islamic uprising of the Iranian nation on the revival of the Islamic culture, Imam Khomeini states:
“They were destroying Islam; they were trampling upon the Quran under their boots. The uprising of the Iranian youth, the uprising of the Iranian nation, which was a divine uprising, revived the Quran; revived Islam and resuscitated Islam.”3
Also alluding to the capabilities of Islam in bringing about changes in the social, governmental structures and establishment of a popular revolution and government, the Imam says:
“The great change that has emerged in the nation was a change that did not aim only to eliminate the regime…the nation wanted an Islamic government. It was the fundamental issue, that is, they wanted the Quran to rule supreme. They removed the hurdles in this country to establish an Islamic government.”4
The victory of the Islamic Revolution, which occurred after protracted struggles against all symbols of oppression, inequity, infidelity, paganism, and arrogance, was achieved by paying high human and material costs. However in a short period it could introduce fundamental changes in the thought and culture of the Iranian people. As a result the idea of return to the indigenous-religious culture and revival of the Islamic values as the only source for responding to the needs and questions and the only certain path of guidance became evidently clear.
Such a fundamental change, which became possible under the sagacious leadership and guidance of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was so amazing that astonished all thinkers and scholars of the world.
Micheal Focault,-----(1926-1984), a renowned Western thinker, visited Iran after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Upon his return from Iran, he wrote:
One of the significant aspects of this revolutionary event is the reality that it demonstrates the absolute collective will a very few people have had such an opportunity in the history.5 Elaborating on the concept of collective will, he writes: the collective will is not a political myth with the help of which the lawyers and philosophers try to analyze or justify the institutions; the collective will is a theoretical instrument; no one has ever seen the collective will….6
Obviously, this great event in the contemporary world enjoys diverse communication possibilities and has had a widespread repercussion in the entire world particularly among the Muslims and the deprived, oppressed peoples of the world. Its profound impact on the culture and political thought and language of the liberating struggles, particularly those of the Muslims, is quite palpable.
*Adopted from the book: "Palestine Throbbing Heart of the World of Islam"
1- There are a number of theories of revolution expounded by the Western thinkers. Among them one may mention Karl Marx, the German philosopher of the late 19th century and early 20th century. The common feature of the theories of these thinkers, despite their superficial differences, is that they are all based on materialistic culture prevailing in the Western culture. They consider human material needs the base of the revolution and there is no place of religion and man’s inclination towards revival of religious values in their theories.
2- Characteristics of the Islamic Revolution in Viewpoint of the Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei (Cultural Institute of Qadr Wilayat, 2002), 2nd Ed. P. 10.
3- Sahifeh-e Nour, Vol. 5, P. 140.
4- Ibid. Vol. 7, P. 60.
5- Iran, the Spirit of the Spiritless World (and nine other interview with Focault), Tr. by Sarkhush, Nikoo and Jahandideh, Afshin (Tehran, Nashr Nei, 1992), 1st Ed. P. 43.