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Iran’s Supreme Leader: If It’s Not Revolutionary, It’s Not Islam

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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One of Iranian regime’s key religious figures said Monday that any conception of Islam that does not include the use of violence as a central tenet is not really Islam, and should more appropriately be referred to as watered down, “American Islam.”

True Islam, according to Ayatollah Sayyed Yousef Tabatabaeinejad, is revolutionary, AhlulBayt News Agency reports, and Muslims the world over should be emulating the events that brought about Iran’s own revolution in 1979.

“Some say our Islam is not revolutionary Islam, but we must say to them that non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam,” Tabatabaeinejad added. “Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies and be kind and compassionate toward each other and not be afraid of anything.”

Tabatabaeinejad currently serves as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative in a province of Iran called Esfahan. He lashed out at the false idea that Muslims should accept oppression as a survival strategy without using violence in response.

For Tabatabaeinejad, this revolutionary Islam is baked into the Iranian constitution and is key to resisting foreign domination, for the warrior spirit is not just about praying and fasting. The warrior spirit also mandates fighting against Islam’s enemies.

“Principally, our Islam is revolutionary and revolutionary Islam has created the Islamic Revolution and this revolutionary spirit must be maintained,” he said.

The Islamic Revolution in 1979, while not primarily violent, in the aftermath sometimes exhibited levels of violence higher than during the shah’s reign. The Revolutionary Guards, created by Ayatollah Khomeini, crushed dissent and any attempts at a CIA-backed coup.

Khamenei alluded to this conception of Islam when he stated in late March that missiles, not just negotiation, are key to the future of Iran as an Islamic nation.

Khamenei said that anyone who disagrees with the prioritization of military might is either ignorant or a traitor.

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