Imam Khomeini – Reformer and Revolutionary

On June 4, 2009 – Iranians and member of Islamic movement around the world marked the 20th anniversary of the death of the Leader of Islamic Revolution (1979) Imam Khomeini. “Millions of people including 900 members from 47 countries assembled at the tomb to pay homage to the Imam (Turkish Weekly, June 5, 2009)”.

“Imam Ruhullah Musawi al-Khomeini (September 24, 1902 – June 3, 1989) is among those iconic figures of history about whom everybody thinks they know much more than they actually do. His name and image, and a few basic facts about his life and work, are so familiar, so instantly recognisable, that any deeper consideration of his life and work seems superflous. And yet he is in fact one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented figures of recent history. This is because the images and impressions people have of him are largely those generated and promoted by the West-dominated international media, for which he became a hate-figure after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1978-79. In the Muslim world, moreover, enemies of the Islamic Revolution, and of political Islam generally, have not only adopted the West’s negative image of him, but have further added the sectarian label of “Shi’t” to try to neutralise his influence on Islamic movements and activists there…..” – Iqbal Siddiqui in the book titled Imam Khomeini: Life, Thought and Legacy.

Former Cuban president, Fidel Castro, is a great admirer of Imam Khomeini. While attending Imam’s funeral in 1989 – Castro remarked: “Today the world has lost one of its greatest revolutionary.” In April 1998, Castro told visiting Iranian health minister, Mohammad Farhadi: “A world order based on Qur’anic model, which was proposed by Imam Khomeini as a substitute for Western models of state administration, must figure in the agenda of every future forum for alternate world models. We also have a common enemy that always threatens us – an enemy that has invaded all the countries of the world.” Castro also played host to Imam’s grandson, Hojatoleslam Hassan Khomeini in Havana in July 2001.

“Almost three decades after the Islamic Revolution, there are many people in the Islamic movement who cannot remember the world without Islamic Iran, or without Imam Khomeini. With each generation, perceptions change. Islamic Iran is no longer a marvel to be wondered at, but an established feature of the geo-political lanscape. And, for some – even within the movement – Imam Khomeini is no longer quite the presence once he was. But the movement today exists and work in a world shaped by his achievement. The challenge we face demands that we all work in the spirit of brotherhood and unity that he showed in his every action….” – editorial Sandhaanu, June 23, 2008.


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