Islamic Fundamentalism poses the “most significant threat” to the world, especially in the Middle East.
Nefarious activities and support for terror organizations have grown since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini hijacked the 1979 revolution in Iran. At the time, the world witnessed the emergence of a new phenomenon: Islamic extremism.
In 1992, Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the NCRI Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a book titled “Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat” warning the world about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
Although the theoretical roots of this evil phenomenon date back to the first decades of Islam, it was only after the establishment of theocracy in Iran that Islamic fundamentalism turned into the serious global threat that it is today. While the differences between Shiite and Sunni fundamentalists are minimal, they have a common major objective: establishing an “Islamic rule” for the enforcement of Sharia law.
On the contrary, only democratic Islam can pose the ultimate challenge to the fundamentalist interpretations of the religion.
At that time, Mohaddessin’s book was dismissed as exaggerations by an opponent of the Iranian regime. But, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the world saw the brutality of fundamentalism firsthand. Yet even then the US made a major strategic blunder by invading Iraq.
As subsequent mistakes were made, the heart of fundamentalism in Tehran took advantage while projecting power further into the Middle East, thus laying the groundwork for the emergence and spread of ISIS as the Sunni counterpart to Iran’s Shiite fundamentalism.
Rise of ISIS
In an article in June 12, 2015, published on MEK’s website Mr. Mohadessin said: “Fourteen years on, Europe is dealing with what could be its own 9/11. And Tehran is poised to seize the opportunity once again. Iranian officials and media outlets are already blaming French policies for the attack. They want to convince Paris to support the Iran-allied Syrian president under the pretext of fighting terrorism. This is exactly what the regime did after September 11, 2001 when Iranian agents and affiliates like Ahmad Chalabi helped to manipulate the US into the war with Iraq. Now, some in the West are willing to take the bait again. Both Iran and ISIS stand to benefit.”
Mrs. Mohadessin added that “The real solution is exactly the opposite. It includes steadfast support for the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. After all, Assad’s brutality and Iran’s sectarianism are major contributors to the social landscape that has allowed ISIS to attract more Sunnis to its extremist ideology. If the conditions were different, ISIS ideology and tactics would quickly collapse.”
Yes, indeed the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his affiliated militia forces in Iraq and Bashar Assad, have created the most suitable conditions for ISIS to thrive, by killing 1 million people in Syria and by marginalizing and alienating the Sunnis in Iraq.
Iranian Regime’s Nuclear Ambitions
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian regime President and head of regime’s State Exigency Council, who was the regime’s No. 2 man from the outset, made unprecedented confessions in an interview with the regime’s official news agency IRNA on 26 October 2015, and said that the regime was looking to acquire nuclear bomb when it initiated its nuclear program and has never abandoned the idea.
In November 1991, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) revealed the secret communications between the regime and Pakistan on the nuclear projects and announced that the regime had allocated $5 billion for its cooperation in the nuclear realm with Pakistan (AFP – November 16, 1991).
In a press conference in Washington on 20 February 2003, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed a company called Kala-Electric and its workshop that operated under cover of a watch factory company. Despite the fact that the regime barred IAEA access to this site for many months, finally in environmental sampling of the area in IAEA inspections it was determined that centrifuges had been secretly assembled and tested there. Traces of highly enriched uranium used in construction of the nuclear bomb was discovered at the site.
Iranian regime’s President Rouhani, in his book entitled “National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy” writes that everything was proceeding well in Natanz and experts had made plans to get 54,000 centrifuges spinning by February 2003, but the press conference by the PMOI in summer 2002 raised a tumult.
Source of instability in the Middle East
Indeed, since the 1990s the Iranian resistance has been warning that Islamic fundamentalism is the new global threat. But the international community ignored the global threat posed by Iran. Iranian regime is a global threat conducting terrorist and criminal activities all over the world. Iran is the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and the world. It sits at the nexus of nearly every major global threat: the Syrian crisis, the rise of ISIS, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the crisis in Iraq that threatens gains won with U.S. blood, and the chaos in Yemen.
The expansion of Islamic Fundamentalism is a product of two developments in the region:
- The Iranian regime’s occupation of Iraq after the war in 2003 and the brutal crackdown on Sunnis by the mullahs’ puppet government in Iraq.
- Suppression of Syrian people and dissidents by Bashar Assad’s government, backed and led by the mullahs’ regime.
Iranian Regime A Role Model
With the inception of the mullahs’ rule in 1979, a concrete, practical model was created for all fundamentalist groups.
All fundamentalist groups share the following:
Imposing religion by force through Sharia laws; export of terrorism; hegemonic ambitions beyond their borders and enmity to the West; and misogyny.
When the Soviet Union was at its powerful, communists around the world were split into dozens of different factions – you had the Trotskyists, the Leninists, the Marxists, the Maoists – they all hated each other, but they all looked to Moscow as the godfather of international communism.
The same is happening with Islamic Fundamentalism. We have Daesh (ISIS), the Taliban, al-Qaeda, al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Hezbollah – they all have difficulties with each other, yet the western view that there’s a Sunni/Shiite divide between them is not correct.
All of these different [factions] who also fight like cats in a sack, they look to Tehran as the godfather of international Islamic fundamentalism. In the same way as when the Soviet Union collapsed, we saw communism fade away. There were a few pockets left, like North Korea, Cuba, perhaps Venezuela, but it has almost faded from the international picture.
Why Regime Change in Iran is A solution
If we achieve a regime change in Iran, the same fate will occur to fundamentalist Islam and it will slide off the international agenda.
That is the reason why the MEK has repeatedly called on the International Community not to ignoring the global threat posed by the Iranian regime.
The MEK repeatedly called on all world powers to totally isolate Iran and cut off its financial sources through sanctions.
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI has argued true democratic change in Iran will only be achieved by providing this type of political support to the resistance so a weakened Iranian regime can be overthrown from within.
The Iran November 2019 nationwide protests was one of these scenes. It was a showdown between protesters, young people and resistance units on the one hand, and on the other hand the regime in its entirety, including its suppressive forces and its political apparatus. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) took over control and command for suppressing protests. All suppressive forces acted under the direct command of the IRGC. Yet, they failed to bring the situation under their control.
Maryam Rajavi emphasized that “the massacre of 1,500 youth intensifies the Iranian nation’s rage and strengthens the Iranian people’s resolve for freedom. The bloody November uprising also dashed certain myths and illusions about the regime. It showed that no one in Iran has pinned any hope on change from within the regime. The only solution is the overthrow of the regime in its entirety, and this will definitely happen.”
In her remarks on May 2, 2016 at the European Parliament Mrs. Rajavi explained in five steps how to confront the Islamic Fundamentalism.
- Military force is not enough in confronting fundamentalism, rather you need a cultural alternative. In Iran, the formation of an organized movement against the regime and offering an intellectual and cultural alternative ultimately led to the social and ideological defeat of fundamentalism.
- Women have a central role in this battle. Women’s equal status with men as well as their equal and active participation in political leadership is an essential condition. The Iranian Resistance led by women will ultimately overcome Islamic extremism and fundamentalism.
- The success of this battle also depends on men’s emancipation from male dominated culture. Better understanding and voluntary acceptance of the need for women’s participation in political leadership is the most serious blow to the ideology of male dominance.
- There is an effective anti-thesis to extremism under the banner of Islam. It is a tolerant and democratic interpretation of Islam which brings fundamentalism to a deadlock. Supporting this alternative is an essential element of this struggle. A movement that believes in separation of religion and state, gender equality and freedom and democracy for all the people.
- The epicenter of fundamentalism which inspires misogyny is the regime ruling Iran. To confront Daesh and uproot extremism under the banner of Islam, the Iranian mullahs’ occupation in Syria, Iraq and other places must be terminated.