|“||Anyone who will say that religion is separate from politics is a fool; he does not know Islam or politics.||„|
|~ Ruhollah Knomeini|
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini (Persian: سید روحالله موسوی خمینی [ruːhoɫˈɫɑːhe χomeiˈniː]; 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989), known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was the Supreme Leader of Iran from 1979 to 1989. He was a religious extremist authority that enforced fundamentalist Islamic laws and was the de facto leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the last shah (king) of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy.
His crimes including ordering the mass execution of dozens of officials from Mohammad Reza Shah's government, cracking down on secular and moderate parties in Iran (sometimes brutally), supporting the hostage-taking of America diplomats for 18 months, pro-longing an eight-year brutal war against neighboring Iraq, etc.
He is also responsible for the four decades of tension between Iran and the United States; following his rise to power, all relations between Iran and the U.S. were severed and the two countries have been hostile ever since (though the precise reasons as to why remain a matter of debate.) Khomeini infamously referred to America as "the Great Satan", which his supporters continue to refer to America as to the present day.
An austere cleric who was based for much of his life in Iran's holy city of Qom, Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was born in 1902 in Khomeyn, Persia (Qajar era) in what is now Iran's Markazi Province. His father was murdered in 1903 when Khomeini was five months old. He began studying the Quran and the Persian language from a young age and was assisted in his religious studies by his relatives, including his mother's cousin and older brother.
After World War I arrangements were made for him to study at the Islamic seminary in Isfahan, but he was attracted instead to the seminary in Arak. He was placed under the leadership of Ayatollah Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi. In 1920, Khomeini moved to Arak and commenced his studies. The following year, Ayatollah Haeri Yazdi transferred to the Islamic seminary in the holy city of Qom, southwest of Tehran, and invited his students to follow. Khomeini accepted the invitation, moved, and took up residence at the Dar al-Shafa school in Qom. Khomeini's studies included Islamic law (sharia) and jurisprudence (fiqh), but by that time, Khomeini had also acquired an interest in poetry and philosophy (irfan). So, upon arriving in Qom, Khomeini sought the guidance of Mirza Ali Akbar Yazdi, a scholar of philosophy and mysticism. Yazdi died in 1924, but Khomeini continued to pursue his interest in philosophy with two other teachers, Javad Aqa Maleki Tabrizi and Rafi'i Qazvini. However, perhaps Khomeini's biggest influences were another teacher, Mirza Muhammad 'Ali Shahabadi, and a variety of historic Sufi mystics, including Mulla Sadra and Ibn Arabi.
Khomeini was a marja ("source of emulation") in Twelver Shia Islam, a Mujtahid or faqih (an expert in Sharia) and author of more than 40 books, but he is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last shah. In his writings and preachings, he expanded the theory of welayat-el faqih, the "Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist (clerical authority)", to include theocratic political rule by Islamic jurists. This principle (though not known to the wider public before the revolution), was appended to the new Iranian constitution after being put to a referendum. According to The New York Times, Khomeini called democracy the equivalent of prostitution. Whether Khomeini's ideas are compatible with democracy and whether he intended the Islamic Republic to be democratic is disputed.
He was Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1979 for his international influence, and Khomeini has been described as the "virtual face of Shia Islam in Western popular culture". In 1982, he survived one military coup attempt. Khomeini was known for his support of the hostage-takers during the Iran hostage crisis, his fatwa calling for the murder of British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, and for referring to the United States as the "Great Satan" and Soviet Union as the "Lesser Satan." Khomeini has been criticized for these acts and for human rights violations of Iranians (including his ordering of execution of thousands of political prisoners, war criminals and prisoners of the Iran–Iraq War)
While his successor, Ali Khamenei, is hardly a saint compare to him, Khomeini is certainly much worse than him. He was also the mastermind behind the 1988 Political Massacre where he secretly ordered the execution of around 30,000 people which included many members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, the Tudeh (Communist) Party, etc. He disliked Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, who disliked him back, due to Saddam being a Sunni Muslim and Khomeini being a Shia Muslim (which Saddam hated). His calls for overthrowing Saddam Hussein's secular government eventually lead to the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, which ultimately ended in a stalemate.
He has also been lauded as a "charismatic leader of immense popularity", a "champion of Islamic revival" by Shia scholars, who attempted to establish good relations between Sunnis and Shias, and a major innovator in political theory and religious-oriented populist political strategy. Khomeini held the title of Grand Ayatollah and is officially known as Imam Khomeini inside Iran and by his supporters internationally. He is generally referred to as Ayatollah Khomeini by others. In Iran, his gold-domed tomb in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahrāʾ cemetery has become a shrine for his adherents, and he is legally considered "inviolable", with Iranians regularly punished for insulting him.
|“||The author of The Satanic Verses book which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Qu'ran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them wherever they find them, so that no one will dare to insult the Islamic sanctions. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr, God willing.||„|
|~ Fatwa against Salman Rushdie.|
|“||Negligence of God increases the indignation of the heart, gives the ego and Satan domination over man, and increases corruption in him daily. [On the contrary,] mindfulness and remembrance of God bestows serenity on the heart, burnishes it and makes it a mirror reflecting the Beloved. It purges and purifies the soul and saves man from the bondage of ego.||„|
|~ From Pithy Aphorisms: Wise Saying and Counsels.|
|“||Through the political agents they have placed in power over the people, the imperialists have also imposed on us an unjust economic order, and thereby divided our people into two groups: oppressors and oppressed. Hundreds of millions of Muslims are hungry and deprived of all form of health care and education, while minorities comprised of the wealthy and powerful live a life of indulgence, licentiousness, and corruption. The hungry and deprived have constantly struggled to free themselves from the oppression of their plundering overlords, and their struggle continues to this day. But their way is blocked by the ruling minorities and the oppressive governmental structures they head. It is our duty to save the oppressed and deprived... The scholars of Islam have a duty to struggle against all attempts by the oppressors to establish a monopoly over the sources of wealth or to make illicit use of them. They must not allow the masses to remain hungry and deprived while plundering oppressors usurp the sources of wealth and live in opulence. The Commander of the Faithful (upon whom be peace) says: “I have accepted the task of government because God, Exalted and Almighty, has exacted from the scholars of Islam a pledge not to sit silent and idle in the face of the gluttony and plundering of the oppressors, on the one hand, and the hunger and deprivation of the oppressed, on the other.||„|
|~ From Islam and Revolution, Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini.|
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