Freedom from Imam Khomeini’s Viewpoint

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the June 5 or the 15th of the Iranian month of Khordad 15, the anniversary of the great uprising of the same name that took place in Iran in 1963, when the British-installed and American-supported Pahlavi regime dared to arrest the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace).

 

The event could be called the official launching of the Islamic movement of the Iranian people against domestic despotism and foreign hegemony. It was Islam that Imam Khomeini aspired for and he made it clear that freedom has no meaning without Islam. Though the Imam was exile from Iran, thanks to his foresight the Islamic Revolution eventually triumphed 16 years later in February 1979 and the dawn of real freedom and independence for the Iranian people under the dynamic Islamic Republic system.

Today, when revolutions are sweeping across the Arab lands to get rid of the West's puppet regimes, we can say that the inspiration behind this Islamic awakening is surely the Islamic movement of the Iranian people under the enlightened leadership of Imam Khomeini.

Over the past 32 years, Iran has presented itself as the perfect Islamic model to the Muslim people of the region with its holding of fair and free elections for the presidency, for the parliament, for the assembly of experts, for the urban and municipal councils, as well as referendums. The process has shaped establishment of civil organs, independent press and political awareness amongst the Iranian people, who are aware of the chaos in the region that has made them more appreciative of Islamic freedom and independence which they will never trade for any western-orchestrated seditious moves.

Therefore one can say that the Islamic Revolution, despite the intensity of the plots it is facing from the Great Satan the US and its devilish minions, has never forsaken the ideals of freedom and independence, much the frustration of the West.

Today, the global message of the Islamic Revolution with emphasis on faith and freedom is inspiring people in the region, after negating the deviated doctrines of liberalism and socialism. Political analysts in the West are beginning to admit these facts.

For instance, Belgian expert for Middle East issues Chris Johnson says: the Islamic Revolution of Iran, from its beginning, has not only been the model for the combatant and freedom-seeking nations but has been the symbol of campaign against Imperialism for Latin American states like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.

It means western analysts have reluctantly realized the truth and are beginning to admit it, since today, freedom and concepts like justice and real representative rule by the people, have become the most important issues in politics. Freedom is very comprehensive term. Islam is based on freedom and justice, and unlike other creeds it does not have a narrow and one-track perspective. Imam Ali (PBUH), the First Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (blessing of God upon him and his progeny) says: “Do not be the slave of any one since God Almighty has created you free.”

It means that Islam considers freedom as the natural and divine right of mankind. That is in Islam, the right of freedom is like the right of life. A person is free in enjoying all personal rights and making efforts to make talents and creativity blossom. But for this freedom, a framework has been determined so that the freedom of a person does not mislead him and does not harm others.

In view of these facts, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, referring to the legal and political organs established by the Islamic Republic, said: The worth and value of life is based on freedom and independence, and we do not attach any worth for life under foreign hegemony. He considered achievement of freedom to be the duty of every person and regarding its importance, said: Freedom is a divine trust which God has bestowed upon us.

The Late Imam said: People have risen up and this uprising is the one which all of us are duty bound to pursue. The people have the right to demand their basic human rights. All citizens of a nation are free to express their ideas in order to determine their own fate, and this means the US and the other self-styled defenders of human rights who indulge in conspiracies, have no pretext to continue their hegemony.

According to Imam Khomeini, the backwardness of a person or society is because of deprivation of freedom and yielding to others, since growth and development takes place in human societies only in the light of freedom. He divided freedom as useful and harmful, since freedom that is undefined and transgresses the bonds of faith and morals, is actually a slavish attitude of carnal and exploitative desires, and this is harmful for both the individual and the society.

Islam seeks growth and sublimity of human societies and hence forbids whatever words and deeds that are offensive to others and in the move towards perfection of mankind. It was but natural for the Late Imam to denounce as harmful the uncontrolled, uninhibited animal-like freedom of the West that only drags mankind towards destruction despite superficial scientific achievements and economic wealth. He pointed out that the West is against ethics, adding: The West does not give us any useful thing. It does have useful things but it does not give these things to us; it does not export them; whatever it gives and promotes is moral decadence in the name of freedom and liberties that drag our people and countries to destruction.

In the ideal government of Imam Khomeini, the state does not hinder civil liberties and personal freedom provided the actions of the individuals are not offensive to other members of the society. In other words, freedom becomes meaningful within the framework of human rights and the dynamic Shari’a of Islam.

Thus, it was in the light of the teachings of Prophets that the Father of the Islamic Revolution preached freedom in various dimensions in Iran including social freedom, freedom of expression and ideas, as long as they are not harmful to the citizens and the society, freedom of women in the real sense under the liberties of the hijab, and freedom of religious minorities to practice the tenets of their faiths and personal laws without interference by the Islamic state. Because of his firm belief in the freedom and independence of the people Imam Khomeini always criticized the despotic regimes ruling Muslim countries under the patronage of the West. He called on the people of these repressive and dependent states to rise up for their denied rights, for freedom and for independence.

Today, although the Founder of the Islamic Republic is no longer in our midst physically, his thoughts and the practical precedents he set in establishing the Islamic system of government, are alive. These are the ideals now, 48 years after the historic 15th of Khordad Uprising and 22 years after his passing away that have inspired the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, and last but not the least, Bahrain and what is called Saudi Arabia, to rise up for their rights.

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