What Were The Significant Influences of Religion Upon Ayatollah Khomeini’s Leadership Style? Ayatollah Khomeini was born in 1902. After his initial religious training he taught in the major Shi'i theological school at Qom, but was exiled for his opposition to the government of the Shah, Reza Khan. Living in Paris after 1978 he orchestrated the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran. He became both the political and religious leader of the country throughout the protracted Iran-Iraq war, until he died in 1989. Ruhollah Khomeini can be portrayed as one of the most seminal and enigmatic characters of the twentieth century. In no small way has his influence touched our lives, even, or perhaps especially, here in the detached atmosphere of a western first world country, and herein lies the dilemma: Khomeini represents a type of politico-spiritual leader virtually unheard of in the West save the token titles of ruling monarchs in Victorian England. This, combined with the different social implications of Islam compared to Christianity leaves a wide gap in our perceptions, and therefore our ability, to produce an objective analysis. There are many factors to be considered when evaluating the leadership of an individual, and th
"As an intelligent, introverted and frustrated young man embittered by the decline and decay of the clerical establishment, discovering the inner illumination of mysticism was a turning point for Khomeini" Unfortunately for him, the more orthodox Islamic leaders perceive mysticism with distrust and suspicion, and in Iranian society this was usually translated into death threats and assassinations, so he was careful to keep his thoughts to himself. Unusually for an active religio-political group they advocated and used violence to achieve their aims. It is undoubtedly this that prompted the Iran-Iraq war just a year later as Khomeini sought to integrate the Iraqi Sunni branch of Islam with his own more activist Shi"tmi branch. (Here is perhaps the first indication of a violent extremist group stemming directly from the Islamic religion. During his rule he actively encouraged the young Iranians to use violence to achieve their goals, declaring that it was their religious duty to do so. ) Khomeini"tms own opinions lay between the elite and the Feda"tmiyan, being a firm believer in religious solidarity yet adamantly opposed to a secular state. There is no doubt that he was an incredibly inspiring orator and greatly respected for his wide-ranging religious education, but his motives were almost unequivocally power-orientated. It is in effect a tribute to his ability to stimulate the emotions of a populace that they granted him the title of Imam on his return from exile in 1979. This political environment was all but poised to transform Iran into a contemporary secular state, thus depriving the clergy of many of its functions and in their eyes threatening the position of Islam itself. As was the custom of the time he was brought up to follow in his father"tms religious footsteps, and he began to study under a well-known and influential cleric in Qom. In it he expected the government to "follow religious rules and regulations and ban publications which are against the law and religion and hang those who write such nonsense in the presence of religious believers"tm and the "mischief makers"tm should "be uprooted so that others would avoid betraying religious sanctity. This was apparent by his attempts to eliminate all elements of Western culture, followed by a ruthless suppression of any resistance to his regime. It is this purpose that drives the individual to greatness, or alternatively, excess, and in Khomeini this manifested itself in the form of religious fanaticism. It is also possible that religion was his weak point as well; he thought that Islam was the answer to any and every possible question in life, but he obviously ignored the modern Western "religion"tm of commerce and capitalism, and the effects this has on all countries across the globe.
Some topics in this essay:
Ayatollah Khomeini, Al-Musavi Al-Khomeini, Western Powers, Discovery Secrets, Trade Centre, Constitutional Revolution, Victorian England, Prayer Mystics,
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