History of Islamic Fundamentalism

40 years after an authoritarian regime seized power in Iran under the banner of Islam, a quarter of a century after the Persian Gulf War, 18 years after September 11, 2001 and the war in Afghanistan, 16 years after the US invasion of Iraq which opened its doors to the Islamic extremist ruling Iran, and in the eight years of Bashar Assad and the Iranian regime’s bloodbath in Syria, there is hardly any place in the world that has remained safe from the harms of Islamic extremism and terrorism.

Since the hijacking of the 1979 revolution in Iran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the world witnessed the emergence of a new phenomenon, the Islamic extremism.

Khomeini sank the country in a merciless religious dictatorship that spared neither women, nor students, nor minorities.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), constantly warned against the abuses of the new regime, including the repression of women, minorities and all opposition forces.

Because of MEK’s believes in a democratic interpretation of Islam, the became the main defender of freedoms and the main ideological athetizes of Islamic extremism under the leadership of Khomeini.

The MEK quickly built up an expanding base of support in the Iranian population, especially among young people and intellectuals. In less than two years, MEK became the largest political movement in Iran. This led to dark era of terror and bloodily suppression of the democratic forces and MEK members and supporters by Khomeini. Just in 1988 more than 30.000 political prisoners were massacre in cold blood in few weeks by a fatwa of Khomeini.

Different major developments in the twentieth century in their own right impacted the formation and rapid advance of fundamentalism.

The reactionary mullahs in Iran offered, for the first time, a model for fundamentalist groups to follow, the very groups who have now become the source of terrorism and war in the Middle East region and elsewhere.

But the questions one can ask is:

Is theis the emergence of fundamentalism, a confrontation between the Islamic world and the West?

Is it a face-off between Islam on the one hand, and Christianity and Judaism on the other?

The answer is no. The heart of the conflict is not between Islam and Christianity, nor between Islam and the west and nor between Shia and the Sunni.

The problem and conflict is about fundamental freedoms versus suppression and dictatorship; between equality on one hand and oppression and misogyny on the other.

The Islamic extremism direct its punishments and violence toward women. Why? First, because its characteristic nature is based on discrimination of women. And second, because during the 1979 revolution of Iran the Islamic extremism is challenged and being challenged still today with an immense yearning for freedom and equality, which pivots around women’s emancipation.

That is the reason why misogyny lies at the core of Islamic extremism mindset by suppressing women oppresses and intimidates society as a whole.

Islamic extremism is a defensive reaction to the freedom and equality movement and can certainly not withstand the determination of Middle East nations to move forward and attain freedom and equality. And confronting that, only requires a comprehensive solution, including a cultural response.

It misuses the name of Islam, as a weapon to go on the offensive. On the contrary, is the answer is in Democratic Islam, the antithesis to Islamic extremism. These two phenomena are diametrically opposite one another.

One is a dictatorial ideology and the other is the religion of freedom, which recognizes sovereignty as the most important right of the people.

One defends religious discrimination; the other is an Islam which defends equal rights for the followers of other religions.

One is monopolistic and dogmatic; the other is a tolerant Islam, which promotes respect for the belief in other ideas and religions.

One is a religion imposed through force; the other is an Islam which rejects any compulsion in religion.

One practices misogyny; the other promotes gender equality.

By underscoring this reality, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran challenged Islamic extremism.

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian resistance has said:

“One interpretation of Islam “is the harbinger of darkness while the other is the standard bearer of freedom, unity and emancipation. But the battle between these two, which is at the same time, a battle of destiny for the Iranian people and history, is one of the most important tests of contemporary humanity.”

Now this question must be answered that what the political solution to Islamic extremism is.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi testified by Video Conference before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade of the US House on Terrorism Nonproliferation and Trade, emergence of ISIS and ways to confront this phenomenon.

Maryam Rajavi stated to the U.S. congress:

“Today, Islamic fundamentalism and extremism, under the name of ISIS or Shiite paramilitary groups, have launched a vicious assault on countries in the region and beyond including America and Europe. The Iranian regime has served as the main source of this ominous phenomenon in the region and across the world”, adding “The primary objective of Islamic fundamentalists, including ISIS, is to establish an Islamic Caliphate and enforce Sharia law.”

 “Aggressiveness and violence are two common features of Sunni and Shiite extremists,” concluding “as such searching for moderates among them is an illusion,” said Mrs. Rajavi.

She also said that “the experience of the past three decades shows that in the absence of a firm policy vis-à-vis the epicenter of fundamentalism, namely the regime in Tehran, there will be destructive consequences.”

Regarding the roots of emergence of ISIS Maryam Rajavi stated “crimes committed by the Quds Force and Bashar Assad in Syria and the massacre and exclusion of Sunnis in Iraq by Maliki coupled with Western silence, empowered ISIS.”

The Iranian regime represents the most of the atrocities and evil which extremist groups have perpetrated and are perpetrating by using the mullahs’ rule as a role model.

Like stoning to death, eye gouging and limb amputation as punishment.

And the massacre of largest political prisoners since World War II.

Like issuing fatwa to murder foreign authors and using the reactionary caliphate as a role model.

That is why the velayat-e faqih regime, is the godfather of terrorism and the enemy of the people in the Middle East and primary threat to global peace and security.

The shocking and heart wrenching crimes committed by ISIS in recent years are only a small part of the catastrophe the Iranian people have had to endure for the past 40 years. Since it was the mullahs’ regime which initiated terrorism under the banner of Islam. The Iranian regime serves as the founder, the patron and the guide for Islamic extremism in the world today.

Therefore, overthrowing this regime, which acts as the godfather of ISIS, is an urgent imperative, not only for the Iranian people but for the Middle East region and the world.