Parallel Betrayals: Iranian Revolution and Arab Spring

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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Many are the lessons to be learned between the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the current revolutions of the Arab world.

Consider the issue of the hijab, the female “veil”—the proliferation of which, according to one former Islamist and associate of al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri, is associated with a Muslim society’s downward spiral into oppression and terror.

Prior to Egypt’s presidential elections, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Muhammad Morsi, assured the nation’s liberals and secularists that, as president, he would certainly not enforce the hijab:  “Many people are speaking nonsense, saying that I will impose the hijab against the will of the people; no one is going to force anyone to wear a specific uniform.”

These are famous words, spoken almost verbatim some 33 years earlier, in Iran, at the time of the 1979 revolution. In fact, during the early days of the revolution, Ayatollah Mahmud Taleghani, a popular mullah of the revolution, in an article meant to reassure the secularists who participated in the overthrow of the Shah that an Islamic government would certainly not interfere with their freedoms, declared in the March 11, 1979 edition of Iran’s newspaper, Ettela’at, that “The hijab will not be a matter of coercion.”

The rest is history.  Within months of the founding of the Islamic Republic, the 1967 Family Protection Law was repealed, female government workers were made to wear the hijab, women were barred from becoming judges, sex-segregation laws were promulgated, the marriage age for girls was dropped to 13, and married women were barred from attending regular schools. Today, Iranian women are regularly beaten if they are not dressed in appropriate hijab.

The parallels between Iran and Egypt do not end with the hijab.  While today it is standard to think of the 1979 Iranian revolution as a purely Islamic affair, in fact, many of the revolutionaries were secular, liberal, Marxist, non-Muslim, etc.  The one goal that glued them altogether was the desire to overthrow the autocratic Shah.  Many of these Iranians did not want an Islamic government, certainly not a theocracy.  And indeed, not just the Ayatollah Taleghani, but the Ayatollah Khomeini, played down Sharia’s draconian role to mobilize all these divergent segments of society—until he was fully entrenched in power, that is.

In short, the Iranian Revolution began as a heterodox affair, with different revolutionary factions and different ideological agendas, but it ended with the rise of a totalitarian Islamic republic.

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  • DR.MUSIC

    We the planet as a whole are dealing with a cult …a Blood Cult, unlike any religion, This BloodCult mandates its followers to violently conquer the world. As of today not even one religion commands its followers to do murder. Even in a country like India where natives have faced the barbarism of this Blood Cult’s persecution for centuries very few in the present generation understand the actual “objectives” of this Blood Cult. Denying and ignoring the facts will only lead to more and more needless bloodshed in the future. This BloodCult hates everything we stand for and will never coexist with us, unless we submit ourselves and our sons and daughters and sweet grand-children to this dirty cult . If we don’t do something super drastic as a final solution now …our grand-children will not be grand….they’ll be PureMads.

    I personally don’t want any of my future family to come in contact with this BloodCult started by some deranged and totally unhinged nut in a cave 1400 years back in the super-heat and dust of some idiotic desert who hallucinated pure rubbish . PureMad.

    In Bangladesh they cannot have a law against paedophilia because 1400 years ago supreme Cult Leader married a child of 7 and sexually did her at 9 . So if Cult Leader did anything vile or evil it has to be right and if human law comes into force Cult Leader will be proved wrong which is blasphemy because Cult Leader did not do any any any wrong ever and Cult Leader is the model man to be emulated and copied …just imagine…. . to be exactly like PureMad in regressive thinking and lack of morals and hygiene and clothing and dirty beards and all the c r a p that comes with being PureMad.

    There are nearly 2 billion PureMads around…. who will do what for the ultimate peace prize though deafening violence?

    Has to happen! Will !!

    BLACK MAN Obama should do it . He’s black and well read. He MUST

    know that this cult and it’s main book

    which cannot be questioned ever has in store as slavery and rape for future little black girls and

    boys. Let’s see.

    BLOODCULT HAS NO PLACE ON THIS EARTH.

    BLOODCULT HAS NO RIGHT TO EXIST.

    BloodCult Is slavery and it’s happening right under our noses. We have to smash it . Muhammad Ali’s grandson “became a bar mitzvah” (converted to Judaism?) and blood-cultee father and boxer Muhammad Ali was seen in a synagogue attending the ceremony.

    “To fight the darkness do not draw your sword, light a candle” – Zarathustra

    To reach Blood Cultic goals Sharia entrusts Blood-cultees to use practically any means; lying, exaggeration, slander, convincing and if that does not work, then outright violence and terror is encouraged under the name of jihad if it is for the benefit of Blood Cult. Everyone and his dog now knows BloodCult is the problem. Those that participate in BloodCult will pay a price beyond this physical world…

    Karma’s a bitch! A true revolution in the Blood-cultee world that would bring true freedom and democracy should be a revolution against BloodCult itself and removing Sharia from the Egyptian constitution, an act that will not happen in the present or the near future in Egypt or any Blood-cultee country. Sharia and freedom cannot co-exist, period.

  • Steve Chavez

    Talk about a "WAR ON WOMEN" that Obama accuses the Republican's of and yet he supports the Arab Spring, meets with the Muslim Brotherhood but can't dare meet with a Republican.

    Obama didn't lift a finger to aid the Green Revolution and NEDA which would have solved countless of the world's problems if the Mullahs were overthrown.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, who Obama touted as just a minor part of the Egyptian uprising, is now claiming a Presidential victory AND AIDED BY WOMEN WHO WILL BE FORCED BACK INTO THE HIJAB and even worse, Sharia Law that Egyptian-born NONIE DARWISH has been warning everyone about but was recently shouted down by Occupiers at the University of New Mexico and who broke at least three Code of Conduct rules concerning speakers, and Darwish, A GUEST SPEAKER, and nothing has been done therefore allowing them to continue their anarchy on any speaker.

    University groups are now siding with every terrorist group like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and their implementation of Sharia Law while at the same time holding protests in support of International Women's Day. Their brainwashed logic is CULTISH!

  • Shery

    Very very true about the Islamists in Egypt. Stop it now or you will regret later, big time. Please do something, help the army before it is too late. An iranian