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Syrian Hitler in the making – Bashar al Assad

Since the Arab Spring Uprisings I have been observing the entire phases of the Syrian Revolution which though was started modestly but largely the protests were organized outside Syrian state domain but there was something an incident which will fume the hearts of Syrians with the fire of freedom and the moment came which provoked the greater revolt of the 21st century Arab World in a Tunisian style by Hasan Ali Akleh who set himself on fire by pouring gasoline the same way as Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia did on 17 December 2010 who actually laid the foundation of Arab Uprising whereas the later laid the foundation stone for the historic Syrian revolution but why this happen in a country where people love to live in happiness, where even though the state is ruled by Islamic regime but secularism and freedom of religion is guaranteed under constitutional provisions.

However I looked back to the history of Syrian politics and its political sufferings of its citizens under the draconian laws nexus which forced them to stay behind closed doors of the silent streets. This uprising has its roots tracing to the event which would change the scenario of the entire Syrian heartland on 10th June 2000 when former President of Syria Hafez Al Assad passed away who was succeeded by his direct hair apparent Bashar Al Assad.

A bright looking with soft touch President of Syria – Bashar Al Assad used to be man who when took presidential oath in 2000 after his father’s death Hafez Al Assad who ruled Syria for 29 years until his death every Syrian thought that he is the leader who will give them their freedom, their authority to live freely in a democratic and fundamental society, a leader who will raise their lives in from the state of pariah where they will have values to live, where they can practice their rights to stand against the injustice being done from decades under the emergency rule which was imposed on them un-necessarily in 1963 but the eyes of this new wolf of Bashar were betraying the faith of his citizens.

From the date he was elected as the Syrian Premier countless allegations were made against him and his regime. Since the implementation of the emergency state the record of human rights has remain poor throughout which has now worsened and is termed as the worst in the world after 26 January 2011 uprising whose light continues to shine brighter. After the bloodiest of all massacre in Hama by Bashar’s father in 1982 by any Arab regime in modern day Middle East against its own people more than 10 – 40000 people were brutally killed under scorched earth which even today haunts the entire Arab world specifically Syrians.

Though belonged from a Alawite community which is a section of Shia Islam and is minority in the Sunni majority Syria, has been ruling the country now for more than 40 years but there had never been any problem in the lives of people much larger until the holocaust of Hama did not happened then with this incident of horror created the already much widened fault line between the historically divided people of this nation. Who had knew the one day even after that terrified event the land of silence will broke its silence and will raise its head against the monster who would never like to watch anyone taking a mass stand against it.

The protest started on 28 January 2011 in Ar-Raqqah for the killing of two soldiers of Kurdish descent but this will going to shape into a new raging storm hence Day of Rage wall called on February 5th through social networking sites of Facebook and Twitter which played an important role in organizing the entire series of protests across the country. Within no time world smells the flavor of Syrian air all across the globe in front of Syrian embassies which goes for sometime but with no response to receive from the deaf authorities while the developments in the oppositions were on the rise the city of Daraa was preparing to become the centre of first violent spree where over 100,000 people gathered to march against the regime in which at least 20 protestors were killed.

Since then the violence spread throughout the national territory and clashes now has become the daily part of everyone’s lives there. More than 3000 people have been killed so far by the political forces and more than thousands detained for breaching the law and for defaming the government. People in Syria are fighting for their rights since independence but whenever the demand arises it was crushed brutally by force.

The promising decade old leader Bashar too had denied the freedom and liberty to his people for which now he is facing the music playing with the lives lost fighting against him. He is turning no stone unturned to crush the rebellion which has shaken the very foundation of his Baa’th Party. The revolution is now progressing in its eight months of blood bath battling with no means to stand guard against the heavily armed and in control their president who has become an admirer of Adolf Hitler is now walking on his footsteps. Bashar al Assad regime though has always been criticized by the international community but has never been more brutal than ever before as it now.

When the innocent people are being slaughter in Syria by this monster dictator the international community is still enjoying its sleep in the warmth of its comfort. Till now the progress has been slow so far in terms of bringing the Baath regime and its leader the main guilty Bashar Al Assad who has not even forcefully tortured his own people but also have killed them brutally just like a butcher slaughter the speechless innocent animals in the same way he is slaughtering his own people just like anything.

Though International Court of Justice had said about the Syrian regime and its forces of being guilty but nothing till now has been concretize neither diplomatically nor strategically. But in order to break the complexities of Syrian protest killings and come out with any solution one needs to understand the Syria’s strategic importance and its undisrupted relations with Iranian Mullah Regime and terror outfits of Hezbollah and Hamas. Since the Iran’s Islamic revolution Syria has been the closest ally of Iran who had always supported unconditionally in every circumstances whether it was Iraq – Iran war of 1980 and 1988, providing strategic positioning and lobbying for Iranian cause or when USSR tried to isolate Iran from being a powerful neighbor of Afghanistan during Soviet invasion in the bordering country.

In return Iran too has always been supporting the Baath party government with economic and financial aid in large amount, technology, even with cheap oil supplies to Syria at time of embargo. This connection is not only on the basis of support but also on terms of the religious ideology which serves as the bond between the Shiite nexus which spreads from Persian Gulf to Eastern Mediterranean which places Syria in a centered location strategically placed.

Though dominated by the Sunni Muslim population but the Alawite minority which traces its roots to Iran Shiites has been ruling the country from last four decades crushing all the uprisings with a heavily armored fist. This makes the Assad Family the closest allies and aide to not only Iran but also Hezbollah. Bashar who enjoys the leadership position in the Shiite world had very holocaustic ideology against the other factions and sections of not only Syrian community but also the regional one.

Even though the secular state has been guaranteed under the adopted constitution but it’s only for the name sake which never has seen the reality where people who are Kurd, Sunnis, Catholics and Jews continue to face the discriminatory use of forces against them by the their so called leader Bashar Al Assad who had used and applied everything possible to crush the opposition voices.

With the help of Iran he had now procured the technology to monitor the communication of the people by tracing the mobile messaging, calls, internet and other communication network through highly sophisticated and electronic and cyber control system which has been recently introduced to control and monitor the revolt and break down the protests spreading like a wild fire in all the corners.

Technology is not the only way this butcher president through which he is able to closely monitor and trace the progress of this rebellion but also through illegal arms supplies from the Lebanese black markets where since the outbreak of Arab Spring uprisings the prices are going sky rocketing with the increase in demand along with the uninterrupted indirect supplies of advance ammunition from Iran helping Bashar to curb the all kinds of protests and voices raising their head against him and fortunately he is able to hold his position more stronger than before making him to successfully destroy every hurdle coming in his way of his political empire.

Apart from these indirect and direct support from friendly countries he has also followed his own measures of enforcement which he applied by cutting electricity and water supplies first in the unrest areas like Homs, Daraa and many other cities where even the food / ration supplies have also been stopped has changed the prosperous and flourishing settlements into a famine like situation where people not only dying from bullets but also from hunger and utilities shortage. The leader must be the savior not the killer but this hungry and thirsty beast has left no stone unturned to snatch away the lives of those who wanted a live in democratic free environment.

Nevertheless the story for his success which looks so simple is not so simple his forces and militants though have been able to control the revolution but the there is someone who has been sending his forces to support this devil to fight against the opposition and that supplier of the hidden army is Iran who has been accused several times for sending the direct forces of revolutionary guards well trained enough to handle these crisis and to save his best ally from the toppling of the Baath party government.

The uprising is not only for the freedom or liberty of their denied rights but between the two different ideologies which lives in the Muslim of world. This is all being done in order to tap the resources for their personal exchequer and challenge the very autonomy of other Arab states in the if Syria is gone from the hands of Iran the whole existence of the Iran regime and its diplomacy will be thrown away into the darkness of isolation. The existence of Bashar indirectly helps Iranian regime to play its strategic games in the region which provides it the safe gateway to both the extreme regimes of this volatile and unstable region.

So, in order to tackle the mess of this Assad rule then the world have to bring down Iran first who has created the whole mess in the friendly world of Middle East by aiding terrorism, supporting extreme regimes like of Syrian Baath Party Government under the control of those who just have the fascist ideology to live with and carry on to other regions. Hundreds and thousands of people have lost their lives under the rule of the Assad family and their Dictatorship which have no space for freedom, liberty, fundamentals of the human rights, peace and love.

This regime only knows to kill people, torture them hard, suppressing them brutally; being the leader of the masses doesn’t that everybody must be treated like slave. The cruelty of the Hafez’s rule and atrocities of Bashar’s governance has not only spread the discrimination but also the terrorism across already unstable Middle East. If the governments of the world along with UN are serious to bring stability and democracy in the lives of innocent people there then they have to bring down the Bashar Al Assad’s regime by all means possible and should work towards bring the normalcy through democratic process and under the more liberal constitutional framework.

Imposing the sanctions of the hostile regimes will not solve the crisis as it has already proven that even though after sanctions Bashar’s regime was successful in holding its position and surviving strongly on the basis of various parallel illegal channels which are out of bounds under the lose global monitoring system but through proper negotiations and bringing the culprits like Bashar and his armed personnel to trail in the International court of justice in Hague and sending them to life term imprisonment or hang them until dead.

World must take strong action against this Syrian Hitler before it’s too late to take any action if world is serious in bringing the region and the globe to a normalcy. As the land of silence has now become the raging storm so the global community should also break its silence stand united against these vampire of this modern world sucking the blood of his own people.

 

Turkey. A role model for Egypt?

Turkey is regarded as a model for a regime that will strengthen the democracy, but the differences between the two countries are large. There are two large and important non Arab Muslim majority countries in the Middle East; Turkey and Iran. The possibility that the revolution in Egypt would provide the Muslim Brotherhood increased influence has led to fears in the neighboring countries that it would end up with an extremist Islamic regime just like in Iran.

The Origin

Turkey and Egypt was once a part of the Ottoman Empire, but ever after it collapsed at the time of First World War, the development of the two countries has turned different directions.

The Egyptian constitution states that “Islam is the State religion” and that “The most important basis for the legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” The Turkish constitution on the other hand states that the country is a secular, non-religious republic, and the basis for the state’s population. The modern day’s Turkey’s founder; Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wanted to create a modern nation. One of the examples is that the traditional headscarf was prohibited in public places and the Arabic alphabet was replaced with the Latin alphabet. The military was tasked by the government in 1961 to protect the Turkish republic’s integrity and secularism as described in the constitution something the army takes very seriously.

Sole ruler

Both under Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar al-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, Egypt as a modern state has been characterized by sole ruler to a limited extend and haven’t allowed political oppositions. Nasser was a charismatic leader and Mubarak was a leader with not much support but with a determination to rule as long as possible. Despite all the differences, we can speak about Turkey as a model because of its bright developments over the past 10 years.

The road to democratization

After being a candidate in the EU in 1999, the requirement to fulfil the Copenhagen criteria for membership weakened the military’s role in Turkey. The National Security Council, where national security policy issues are discussed, have also been reformed and now consists of more civilian members than before when there was an emphasis on military officers. An attempted military intervention was still made as in 2007 it was revealed that there existed a right-wing military network that was planning a coup.

Since March 2003, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been in power. It is a moderate Islamist party, such as; that wishes to go in for a Turkish EU membership. This kind of moderate form of Islamic rule won’t happen over night in Egypt and if it would happen, then it does need a better functioning multi party system.

Statistic numbers

A survey conducted by the polling institute Pew Research Center before the protest wave began, shows clear differences between Egypt and Turkey. 72% of Turks see democracy as the absolute best form of government. 50% Egyptians do the same. 85% of Egyptians believe it is positive that Islam has an influence in politics and the number in Turkey is only 38%. When it comes to Islamic extremism, 61% of the Egyptians are strongly or partly concerned about it, while in Turkey 40% of Turks feel the same. While 52% of Turks see a conflict between the forces that will modernize the society and the fundamentalists, only 31% of Egyptians think the same. These numbers show that the Egyptians do want religion to play a role, but it gets disturbed by the extremists. In Turkey, the democratic way of thinking is quite strong, and soon 90 years of separation between state and Islam seems to have entrenched themselves. Turkey is an important model not only for Egypt but for the whole Middle East as it appears as a mediator whenever the storm hits its neighbours.

This was proven when President Abdullah Gül was awarded with the 2010 Chatham House Prize in London. Abdullah Gül has been a smooth operator and described as “the first proudly observant Muslim to be head of the secular Turkish state that wants to put an end to mutterings in Western capitals about Turkey’s shift to the East.” He was contributed this prize “for his contribution both to international relations and Turkeys development as a vibrant democratic state.”
While Gül will be remembered for his positive achievements, the Arab leaders will be remembered for their dictatorship, corruption and lack of respect for democracy.

Facts:

  • Turkey;

  • Governance: Republic.
  • Population: 77, 8 million.
  • Capital: Ankara.
  • Important export: Electronics, textile, agriculture products.
  • Economical growth: 4,7 %.
  • Living: Number 83 on UN’s list over 182 countries.
  • Corruption: Number 56 on Transparency s list over 180 countries, where 1 is least corrupt.
  • Surface area: 783.562 sqkms.
  • Egypt

  • Governance: Republic.
  • Population: 80 million.
  • Capital: Cairo.
  • Important export: Oil, cotton, metal products.
  • Economical growth: 4, 6 %.
  • Living: Number 101 on UN’s list over 182 countries.
  • Corruption: Number 98 on Transparency s list over 180 countries, where 1 is least corrupt.
  • Surface: 1 million sqkms.

Februar 11, Iranian Revolution day

The period from February 1 to 11, is celebrated every year in Iran as the “Decade of Fajr.” February 11 is the “Islamic Revolution’s Victory Day”, a national holiday with state sponsored demonstrations in every city.

The Iranian Revolution also known as the Islamic Revolution or 1979 Revolution, (Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the event that overthrew Iran’s monarchy, the Pahlavi Dynasty under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) as it was replaced by the Islamic republic under Ayatolah Ruhollah Khomeini. The demonstrations against the Shah started already in January 1978 as it continued until December. The Shah did not see any other solution but to leave for exile in mid January 1979 before Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Teheran.

The royal monarchy collapsed shortly after on February 11 when rebel troops overwhelmed troops that stayed loyal to the Shah in an armed street fight. On April 1, 1979, the Iranians voted by national referendum to become an Islamic State and Khomeini became the Supreme Leader of the country on December 1979.

Background of the revolution

The revolution started as being a populist and nationalist revolution and later became Shi’a Islamic. It was against the Westernizing and secularism efforts of the Western supported Shah and as the Iranians claimed, a puppet of the United States whose culture was impacting on Iran. The Shah’s regime was also known as being oppressive, brutal, corrupt and very extravagant that brought shortages and inflation to the country.

Ruhollah Khomeini

The leader of the Iranian revolution and Shi’a cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini first came to political prominence in 1963 when he led opposition to the Shah and his “White Revolution”, a program of reforms to break up landholdings (including those owned by religious foundations) and allow religious minorities to hold government office. This led to the arrest of Khomeini in 1963 after he declared that the Shah was a “wretched miserable man who had embarked on the destruction of Iran.” He had preached that revolt and martyrdom against injustice and tyranny was a part of Shi’a Islam. Three days of major riots followed throughout Iran as 15,000 supporters of Khomeini died in police fire. Khomeini was later released after 8 months of house arrest and continued on condemning the regime’s close cooperation with Israel and USA. In November 1964, Khomeini was re-arrested and sent into exile where he remained for 14 years until the revolution day.

Away from Iran, Khomeini developed the ideology of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist) as government, that Muslims (in fact everyone) required a “guardianship,” in the form of rule or supervision by the leading Islamic jurist or jurists. Such rule was even “more necessary than prayer and fasting” in Islam, as it would protect Islam from deviation from traditional Sharia law, and in so doing eliminate poverty, injustice, and the “plundering” of Muslim land by foreign non-believers. This ideology, spread through his book Islamic Government, mosque sermons, smuggled cassette speeches by Khomeini and his network consisting of students and traditional business leaders.

The first militant anti Shah demonstrations happened in October 1977, after the death of Khomeini’s son Mostafa. The protesters were a few hundred but increased into several thousands. In January 1978, the army was sent into Qom were religious leaders and students were demonstrating. The protests ended with the death of many students. The cycle repeated itself, and on March 29, protests began across the nation. Luxury hotels, cinemas, banks, government offices, and other symbols of the Shah regime were destroyed; again security forces intervened, killing many. On May 10 the same occurred. Security forces were unable to deal with protests and demonstrations and the large size of anti Shah Movement showed that there were “too many to arrest,” overwhelming the security forces.

Black Friday

A new prime minister, Jafar Sharif-Emami, was installed in late August and reversed some of the Shah’s policies. Casinos were closed, the imperial calendar abolished, activity by political parties legalized — to no avail. By September, the nation was rapidly destabilizing, and major protests were becoming a regular occurrence. The Shah introduced martial law, and banned all demonstrations but on September 8 thousands of protesters gathered in Tehran. Security forces shot and killed dozens, in what became known as Black Friday.

Departure of shah

By December 1978, Shah’s position had deteriorated so much that soon he would “only be allowed to stay in Iran,” and he was turned by the opposition. On January 16, 1979, the Shah and the empress left Iran. Scenes of joy followed and within hours, the Pahlavi Dynasty was destroyed. Bakhtiar dissolved SAVAK, freed political prisoners, ordered the army to allow mass demonstrations, and promised free elections and invited Khomeinists and other revolutionaries into a government of “national unity”. After stalling for a few days Bakhtiar allowed Ayatollah Khomeini to return to Iran, asking him to create a Vatican-like state in Qom and calling upon the opposition to help preserve the constitution.

Khomeini’s return and fall of the monarchy

On February 1, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran in a chartered Air France Boeing 747. The welcoming crowd of several million Iranians was so large that he was forced to take a helicopter after the car he was being transported in from the airport was overwhelmed by an enthusiastic welcoming crowd. Khomeini was now not only the undisputed leader of the revolution, he had become what some called a “semi-divine” figure, greeted as he descended from his airplane with cries of “Khomeini, O Imam, we salute you, peace be upon you.” Crowds were now known to chant “Islam, Islam, Khomeini, and We will follow you.”


Khomeini appointed his own competing interim Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan on February 4, ‘with the support of the nation’ and commanded Iranians to obey Bazargan as a religious duty. “Through the guardianship (Velayat) that I have from the Holy Lawgiver, I hereby pronounce Bazargan as the Ruler, and since I have appointed him, he must be obeyed. The nation must obey him. This is not an ordinary government. It is a government based on the Sharia. Opposing this government means opposing the Sharia of Islam. Revolt against God’s government is a revolt against God. Revolt against God is blasphemy.

As Khomeini’s movement gained power, soldiers began to defect to his side. On February 9, a fight broke out between loyal Immortal Guards and the pro-Khomeini rebel Homafaran element of the Iranian Air Force, with Khomeini declaring jihad on loyal soldiers who did not surrender. Revolutionaries and rebel soldiers gained the upper hand and began to take over police stations and military installations, distributing arms to the public. The final collapse of the provisional non-Islamist government came at February 11 when the Supreme Military Council declared itself “neutral in the current political disputes… in order to prevent further disorder and bloodshed.” Revolutionaries took over government buildings, TV and Radio stations, and palaces of Pahlavi dynasty. March 30 and 31, 1979, a referendum to replace the monarchy with an Islamic Republic passed through with 98% votes in favour of the replacement.

For further reading, you can read my other blog article about February 1st, Return of Khomeini https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/february-1st-1979-irans-spiritual-leader-returns-from-exile/

Pharaoh of Modern Egypt-Hosni Mubarak

Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak محمد حسني سيد مبارك‎,

Introduction

Born May 4, 1928 is the fourth and former President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

He was appointed Vice President in 1975, and assumed the Presidency on October 14, 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar El Sadat. He is the longest-serving Egyptian ruler since Muhammad. Before he entered politics Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force, serving as its commander from 1972 to 1975. Beginning on January 25, 2011, a popular uprising called for his resignation as president of Egypt. On February 1, 2011, Mubarak announced that he will not seek another term in the upcoming presidential election.

On February 5, 2011 Egyptian state media reported that senior members of the ruling National Democratic Party, including President Hosni Mubarak, had resigned from leadership roles within the party. It was later clarified that Mubarak would stay on as president however.

Military Ref

In November 1967 Mubarak became the Air Force Academy’s commander and two years later he became Chief of Staff for the Egyptian Air Force. As chief of staff of the Egyptian Air Force in 1971, he bluffed his Soviet air force advisers into a humiliating defeat. It was during the 1969-71 War of Attrition that followed Egypt‘s total defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. About 18,000 Soviet military advisers were in Egypt, courtesy of Gamal Abdel Nasser. His military career reached its pinnacle in 1972 when he became Commander of the Air Force and Egyptian Deputy Minister of Defence and the following year he was promoted to air chief marshal in recognition of service during the October War of 1973. Estimates of the wealth of Mubarak and his family range from US$40 billion to $70 billion as per military contracts while Mubarak was an Air Force officer.

Assassination attempts

According to the BBC, Mubarak has survived six assassination attempts. In June 1995 there was an alleged assassination attempt involving noxious gases and Egyptian Islamic Jihad while he was in Ethiopia for a conference of the Organization of African Unity. He was also reportedly injured by a knife-wielding assailant in Port Said in September 1999.

Stance on the invasion of Iraq in 2003

President Mubarak spoke out against the 2003 war on Iraq, arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved first. He also claimed that the war would cause “100 Bin Laden s’. However, President Mubarak does not support an immediate US pull out from Iraq as he believes it will lead to probable chaos.

Awards

Mubarak was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1995. Mubarak was honored for his “unique role in providing stability and progress to his country, in upholding the Arab cause, in promoting peace and understanding in the region.

February 1st, 1979. Iran’s spiritual leader returns from exile

Bells rang out from schools, trains and boats at 9.33am, the moment Khomeini’s aircraft touched down on February 1, 1979, on his return from exile in Paris, France. After living in exile for almost 15 years Ayatollah Khomeini returned back to Iran where he was met by 5 million people lined in the streets of the Nation’s capital Teheran, to witness his homecoming. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 78, was imprisoned by the Shah in 1963 for his opposition to reforms and for criticizing the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for his westernization and the ties with USA and Israel. The year after in 1964 he was expelled out to Iraq through Turkey. While Khomeini was in exile in France, he formed an opposition against the Shah as he called for general strikes, turning the people against the government and coordinating the revolution.

Khomeini had for long insisted that he would not return back to Iran unless the Shah would leave, and indeed the Shah did left on January 17 1979 on vacation but never returned back again. In the plane back to Iran, the ABC News reporter Peter Jennings asked Khomeini:”What do you feel in returning back to Iran?” Khomeini answered “hitch”, meaning nothing. On his arrival on board on Air France jet, Khomeini then 76, vowed to establish a new government in Iran.

Ayatollah, meaning the Sign of God, emerged out from the airplane looking tired as he was welcomed by 1,500 religious and political leaders that were allowed inside the terminal building. The police force that consisted of 50,000, quickly lost control over the heavy crowd outside the airport who had came to get a glimpse of the Ayatollah. They were shouting his name as their hands were raised in greeting and appreciation while the car Ayatollah was sitting in made a slow progress in driving.

From the airport, Khomeini travelled to the nearby cemetery called Behesht Zahra cemetery where many martyrs of the revolution lay buried as millions of his supporters cheered his name and hundreds of thousands gathered at the cemetery to speak to him. Here he said:”I must tell you that Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, that evil traitor, has gone. We are saying this man, his government, his government is all illegal. If they were to continue to stay in power, we would treat them as criminals and would try them as criminals,” Khomeini declared. “I shall appoint my own government. I shall slap this government in the mouth. I shall determine the government with the backing of this nation, because this nation accepts me. ” he said addressing to the 250 000 followers inside the cemetery. The Prime Minister then who was in charge after when the Shah fled, Shahpur Bakhtiar, responded to this by saying; “Don’t worry about this kind of speech. That is Khomeini. He is free to speak but he is not free to act.” Shortly after, Khomeini appointed his own prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan, and public revolts spread throughout the country. Weakened by the uprisings, Bakhtiar’s government collapsed on February 11, 1979 when the military declared itself neutral, allowing the revolutionaries to take control. March 30 and 31, 1979, a referendum to replace the monarchy with an Islamic Republic passed through with 98% votes in favour of the replacement with the question: Should the monarchy be abolished in favour of an Islamic Government?

Who was Ayatollah Khomeini?

Born in September 22, 1902, Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician as well as being the head leader of the revolution in 1979 which resulted in the overthrowing the Shah of Iran.

Khomeini was described as “slim,” but athletic and “heavily boned.” He was known for his punctuality: ”He’s so punctual that if he doesn’t turn up for lunch at exactly ten past everyone will get worried, because his work is regulated in such a way that he turned up for lunch at exactly that time every day. He goes to bed exactly on time. He eats exactly on time. And he wakes up exactly on time. He changes his cloak every time he comes back from the mosque. Khomeini was also known for his aloofness and stern demeanor. He is said to have had “variously inspired admiration, awe, and fear from those around him. His practice of moving “through the halls of the madrasas never smiling at anybody or anything; his practice of ignoring his audience while he taught, contributed to his charisma.

In November 1979, the new constitution of the Islamic Republic was adopted by National referendum and Khomeini himself became the country’s supreme leader, a position that was created in the constitution as the highest ranking both political and religious authority over the Nation until his death. On February 4th 1980, Abolhassan Banisadr was elected as the first President of Iran. In the Muslim world abroad, he was described as the “virtual face in Western popular culture of Islam, known for his support of the hostage takers during the Iranian hostage crises when students stormed the US embassy in Teheran in November 1979 and took hostages for 444 days as they wanted Washington to sever ties with the Islamic republic, and the fatwa, calling for death of British citizen Salman Rushdie. During his conservative rule, Iran became embroiled in a debilitating conflict with neighboring Iraq, then under Saddam Hussein’s rule and over a million people were killed on both sides during the eight-year long war.

After eleven days in a hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding, Khomeini died of a heart attack Saturday 3rd of June 1989, 22:22 hrs local time, at the age of 88. Iranians poured out into the cities and streets to mourn Khomeini’s death in a “completely spontaneous outpouring of grief. Despite the hundred-degree heat, crushing mobs created an impassable sea of black for miles as they wailed, chanted and rhythmically beat themselves in anguish. As the hours passed, fire trucks had to be brought in to spray water on the crowd to provide relief from the heat, while helicopters were flown in to ferry the eight killed and more than four hundred injured. Two million people attended his funeral. Iranian officials aborted Khomeini’s first funeral, after a large crowd stormed the funeral procession, nearly destroying Khomeini’s wooden coffin in order to get a last glimpse of his body. At one point, Khomeini’s body almost fell to the ground, as the crowd attempted to grab pieces of the shroud. The second funeral was held under much tighter security as Khomeini’s casket was made of steel, and heavily armed security personnel surrounded it. In accordance with Islamic tradition, the casket was only to carry the body to the burial site.

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