Iran's Final Solution: New Book Examines Mullahs' Genocidal Intentions
The late Islamologist Maxime Rodinson warned four decades ago of a broad academic campaign “to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world,” a dangerous mindset that subsequently came to infect U.S. and Western policymakers alike, whatever their political affiliation: left, right, or center. “Understanding [of Islam] has given way to apologetics, pure and simple,” Rodinson had warned. As if to prove it, a February 2014 Weekly Standard essay -- while correctly dismissing both “wishful thinking built around Cold War analogies” and the notion that President Rouhani or his peers “are moderates” -- simultaneously and illogically posited that these not-to-be-trusted immoderates “perverted Shia Islam with the state takeover of religion” in lieu of some “older quietist school” of Shiite Islam, with “many adherents.”
Clearly, however, we should no more trust Khamenei today than we should have trusted Rehollah Khomeini in 1979. Moreover, we should dispose at once of the fanciful notion that any otherwise unidentified form of Shiism represents a more mainstream and tolerant Islamic ethos. If anything, Cold War study should warn us against falling into such facile ideological traps.
As historian Robert Conquest observed in Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History, the Soviet Union stood unmistakably committed to unappeasable conflict until the bitter end. Soviet Foreign Minister Andre Gromyko in 1975 perhaps best-described this revolutionary resolve: “The Communist Party of the Soviet Union subordinates all its theoretical and practical activity in the sphere of foreign relations to the task of strengthening the positions of socialism, and the interests of further developing and deepening the world revolutionary process.” These facts registered with President Ronald Reagan, who in March 1983 observed communism's “totalitarian darkness” at the National Association of Evangelicals, noting that its leaders “preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth.”
We need today, one concludes from Bostom's frank discussion of current Iran policy, a leader or leaders with a similar clear-eyed view of the totalitarian concepts and philosophy underpinning both Shiite Islam and Iranian government thinking. Indeed, Bostom notes that Communist apostate Whittaker Chambers in 1947 had compared the “violently avowed” ideas of adherents to 20th century secular totalitarianism, namely communism, a fanatical fervor unseen since the advent of Islam. Chambers and Rodinson were not alone in their view, moreover. It was shared by a wide range of intellectuals, like atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, devout Catholic thinker G.K. Chesterton, French sociologist Jules Monnerot, and doyen of Islam Bernard Lewis, and also Pakistani Muslim thinker Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, a disciple of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna.
To wit, Bostom devotes his book to answering questions ever more urgent with every passing day.
Readers come to learn that sharia, the Islamic body of law, derives primarily from the 7th century Koranic text attributed to Muhammed; and from his “traditions,” namely Muhammed's sayings and deeds as recorded by his most trusted companions, noted in voluminous sacred texts known as the Haddith; and in his biography (Sira). Sharia remains critical not only within Iran but also relative to its foreign policy. Islamic law “exists to serve the interests of the Muslim community and Islam,” Ayatollah Khomeini stated on July 31, 1981. That same day, he moreover elaborated, so as “to save Muslim lives and for the sake of Islam's survival it is obligatory to lie, it is obligatory to drink wine [if necessary].” (emphasis added in Bostom's text)
The encouragement to lie, of course, becomes particularly relevant in recent Iranian history, given official Iranian references to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah -- a 7th century agreement of Muhammed with the pagan Meccan Quraysh tribe so that the former could gain strength and ultimately defeat his enemies. In an interview that aired Dec. 11, 2013, former Iranian regime adviser Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini effectively admitted the much-heralded November agreement to be a sham. “This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in Geneva, and it will be followed by a 'conquest of Mecca',” he said.
Generally speaking, Islamic jurists never recognize a treaty covering a period of more than 10 years, and often substantially less, for sharia has long since established that Muslims may use treaties merely to establish a temporary truce. In other words, no territory shall see permanent “peace” until Islamic law governs there completely. Permanent peace, from an Islamic perspective, is strictly a Western concept that, outside any Islamic realm, represents a total contradiction in terms.
Of course the book also discusses the Islamic institutions established under sharia, including the perennial institution of jihad that commands Muslims to relentlessly spread Islam, through all available means, until it subsumes all other faiths and beliefs and extinguishes all other cultures and ways of life.
Most useful are sacred texts Bostom provides, Islamic judicial statements and records of specific historical events, both current and long past, showing that enforcement of strict sharia is as critical to Shiite Islam now as it was throughout Islamic history and within all four schools of Sunni Islam.