Arman-e Emrooz, a reformist daily, on December 10 filed a report on the remarks of Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with members of a committee charged with reviewing the so-called Jungle Movement [led by Mirza Koochak Khan in Gilan province in the early 20th century against the Qajar Monarchy]. What appears below is the translation of what he had to say in the meeting:
Ignorance in a society plays into the hands of rulers who want to put down [people’s] uprisings. Awareness depicts a promising future for societies. Informed youngsters are a precious asset societies can tap into if they seek to walk down the path to a better future.
The youth, students and people are expected to get familiar with the point in history during which Mirza Koochak Khan led an uprising which is a key historic, Islamic and national issue.
Many tried to tarnish the name of Koochak Khan to consign his movement into history books. This reminds you of what some did to Amir Kabir [Naser al-Din Shah Qajar’s chief minister who was widely known in Iran for his selfless endeavors to build the country].
The rapid increase in awareness is the result of the information explosion. Those who raise their awareness work out solutions to their own problems and those of society through logic.
What the colonialism and despotism have done to plunder the resources of nations are like a double-edged knife. Although colonialists and despots have pinned much hope on hardliners to guarantee their survival, when the Muslim youth get equipped with knowledge and awareness, no enemy will be able to confront them.
Through a preplanned plot, colonialists and arrogant powers have created the terrorist groups to divert popular uprisings in societies, especially in the Islamic nations. Arrogant and colonial powers’ interference is to blame for the emergence of terrorism in the [Middle East] region.
Taking on terrorist groups is tough but possible. Muslim scholars should do what it takes to stop attempts which aim to blacken the name of Muslims. A case in point is what some do to displace and kill people in the name of religion.
Recent developments in Egypt over the past years are a jarring example of cooperation between colonialism, despotism and hardliners which are the three sides of an ominous triangle.
People in Egypt who have an impressively good track record in human civilization and Islamic culture rose up and staged a revolution, but you saw how hardliners took the popular uprising hostage, helped military men return to politics and caused the despot to be acquitted.
In the early years after the victory of the Islamic revolution, people’s presence [on the scene] together with the matchless stewardship of the late Imam Khomeini denied the terrorists the opportunity to disintegrate the country and mount blind revolts.
When compared with the fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we can find two standout features about the Islamic revolution in Iran. The popularity of the revolution and Imam Khomeini’s leadership are the two reasons which make the struggle of the Iranians and their [ultimate] triumph which manifested itself in the Islamic revolution starkly different from other uprisings.