And it isn’t the one you think.
The first Islamic State since World War II celebrates its anniversary this week. And it isn’t the one you might think.
ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is the late-comer to the world of Islamic-inspired murder and mayhem. The regime that invented the genre will celebrate its 37th anniversary on Feb. 11. It’s official name: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
You can’t really call a regime a Republic when it has a Supreme Leader whose wishes trump every single elected official, institution, and law in the country.
So let’s call the Iranian regime by the title it has earned: the Islamic State of Iran.
Everything that you see ISIS doing in Iraq, Syria and now Libya, the Islamic State of Iran has been doing for 37 years to its own people.
Chopping off hands in application of the Sharia law punishment for thievery? The Islamic State of Iran began that practice at the outset of the Revolution in 1979. Same goes for gouging out eyes, ripping out tongues, and dismemberment using jeeps attached to the arms and legs of the condemned person.
Stoning women for allegations of adultery? Check. Just watch the Stoning of Soraya M if you would like to get a feel for the gristly details.
The Islamic State of Iran leaders and their apologists would have you believe that women in Iran are more “free” than in neighboring countries, such as Saudi Arabia. In Iran, after all, they go to co-ed universities, work, and drive cars.
What the Islamic State of Iran’s apologists would prefer you not see is that its Sharia-law constitution officially relegates women to second-class citizenship status, so they can be married off at the age of nine, sold into “temporary marriage” (sigheh) by clerical pimps, and need a married relative’s approval to leave the country.
If it was good enough for Mohammad and his wives, it’s good enough for Iranians living in their Islamic State.
How about terror? The Islamic State of Iran began its existence washed in the blood of terrorist atrocities, starting with the execution of 3,000 members of the Shah’s officer’s corps.
It set up “revolutionary courts” that hunted down enemies of the regime and murdered them in public. When that wasn’t enough, it rounded up Baha’is, Jews, and Christians, and sent troops to massacre Kurds, ethnic Arabs, and Balouchis.
The Director of National Intelligence, Lt. Gen. James Clapper, told Congress on Tuesday that ISIS leaders “seek to strike the U.S. homeland.” (Like Obama, for some reason Clapper refers to them as ISIL, an abbreviation that uses the old Colonial term for Syria, the Levant.)
What slouches! The Islamic State of Iran began its very existence with an attack on America, by taking our embassy and diplomats in Tehran hostage on Nov. 4, 1979. It went on to blow up our embassy and U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983, and more recently, to kill U.S. soldiers using IEDs equipped with explosively-formed-penetrators (EFPs) in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Today, the Islamic State of Iran boasts that America as we know it “will cease to exist” because of its actions. I believe that is a pretty clear reference to a well-known plan in Iran to build an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) nuclear device, to take out our national power grid.
Terror in Europe? The Islamic State of Iran has carried out dozens of terrorist acts over the past 37 years in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and elsewhere. It has bombed trains, metro stations, and shopping centers, and sent out professional hit teams to gun down more than 200 dissidents living overseas.
Just like ISIS, early on the Islamic State of Iran decreed that its goal was a worldwide war of jihad, and set up jihadi groups in Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, and elsewhere. It even went to Argentina in 1992 to blow up the Israeli embassy, and struck there again in 1994 to hit the AMIA Jewish community center.
And its reign of torture and mayhem continue. Just last year – Year Three in the reign of the latest “pro-Western” “moderate” President, Hassan Rouhani – Iran once again became the execution capital of the world, according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed.
For every person put to death these days by the Islamic State of Iran, a dozen more get thrown into secret prisons, where they are brutally tortured, sexually abused, and often murdered. Those who live to tell their stories will bear the scars forever.
Like Stalin in his time, the Islamic State of Iran even extends its reign of terror to the children its own supporters, just to make sure they toe the line. Just look at this chronology of the 2009 post-election protests from the Foundation for Democracy of Iran.
This week, supporters of jailed Iranian cleric Seyed Hossein Kazemini Borujerdi wrote to three Republican members of Congress who are trying to visit Iran to monitor the upcoming sham “elections,” begging them to visit the jailed cleric and bring him medical supplies.
Borujerdi was arrested in 2006 along with dozens of family members and thousands of his supporters. While most of the others have since been released, he has been held without bond on the orders of a Special Court of the Clergy. “His crime: advocating the separating of religion and state and defending democracy and freedom,” his supporters wrote.
It’s time for Congress to pay as much attention to the murderers inside Iran who are killing and torturing their fellow citizens as it does to the genocidal aspirations of the Iranian regime. Why? Because murder starts at home.
Ronald Reagan understood this. Every time he visited with President Gorbachev, he brought a list of Soviet refusniks and other political prisoners that he handed to the Soviet leader.
While Secretary of State John Kerry boasts of having negotiated a “prisoner exchange” with the Islamic State of Iran that set four Americans free, has he ever raised his voice as Reagan did in all of his meetings with his Iranian counterpart?
True, the Islamic State of Iran will be watching. And they will target those who dare to stand up to them and to call them out for the murder and mayhem they spread at home and abroad.
But that is no reason to stand down. On the contrary, that is all the more reason to fight harder and to call the murderers by name.