What the Iranians believe in

Robert Spencer quotes a passage by the Ayatollah Khomeini, which is quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook:

I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.

What are we going to do to protect ourselves from these would-be world-destroyers? Win their hearts and minds?

* * *

N. writes:

“Either we all become free,” writes Khomeini, “or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom.”

So Bush is right, and by extension so is Fukuyama: all humans want freedom. Of course, not all humans define “freedom” in the same way…

Absolutely correct. And Khomeini was not merely manipulating a Western word when he talked about freedom. He and other Muslim teachers are sincere about it. As I’ve commented on that remarkably clear thinker Sayyid Qutb:

It’s also interesting how much stress Qutb lays on the idea that war is not waged to force people to become Muslims, but rather to bring them under Islamic rule and thereby to free them to choose Islam freely. He seems to be saying that people are only truly free to choose Islam if they are under an Islamic ruler.

Not for Qutb and Khomeini our modern, rootless Western freedom, as in the Bob Dylan song “Jokerman”:

Just around the corner from you.
But with truth so far off
What good will it do?

But if Islamic freedom means the denial of individual freedom under absolutist Islamic rule, which supposedly frees a person to follow the truth of Islam, and if modern Western freedom means an unhindered personal freedom that separates us from truth, what then is the answer? Christian freedom.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 09, 2006 02:52 PM | Send

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