American professor, Kevin Barrett says the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini was “a visionary leader who embodied the true Islamic principles of standing up for justice and struggling against oppression.”
Barrett also appreciated Imam Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei for his steadfastness in the face of the global oppression.
The American professor made the remarks in an interview with the Qods News Agency (Qodsna) a few days ahead of the 27th demise anniversary of the late father of the Islamic Revolution.
The text of the interview follows.
Qosdna: Many are of the idea that the freedom seeking character of Imam Khomeini prompted him to designate al-Quds day, what is your opinion?
Barrett: Imam Khomeini was a visionary leader who embodied the true Islamic principles of standing up for justice and struggling against oppression.
He liberated Iran from the tyrannical foreign occupation of the USA, and also sought to help liberate Palestine from the tyrannical oppression of the Zionists.
Imam Khomeini advocated pan-Islamic unity and pan-Islamic resistance to imperialism and Zionism.
Qodsna: If Imam Khomeini did not commence the Islamic Revolution, how would the state of oppressed people around the world including the Palestinians be?
Barrett: The Islamic revolution brought Islam into the liberation struggle of oppressed people all over the world.
Prior to the Revolution, Islam had been a factor in various anti-colonial and pro-justice movements, but they were generally isolated.
The Islamic revolution announced that not only was the Islamic Awakening here to stay, but also that Islamic ideals of justice and struggle against oppression would join forces with larger worldwide struggles.
And the most important of these, especially in the Muslim world, is the struggle of the Palestinians.
Since the Islamic Revolution, resistance to Zionism has become increasingly identified with these Islamic ideals, as the secular Palestinian Authority has become weak and corrupt, while Islamic resistance groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad have moved to the forefront of the struggle.
It is unlikely that these Islamic resistance groups would be playing such a prominent role had it not been for the Islamic Revolution.
This is one reason why the Zionists see Iran and its Islamic Revolution, with its ideals of pan-Islamism and anti-Zionism, as their most formidable enemy.
Qodsna: Given the previous question, how do you see the role of the serving Iranian leader regarding the world oppressed people specially the Palestinians?
Barrett: His steadfastness in resisting pressure from the forces of empire and Zionism, while helping Iran achieve steady progress economically, educationally and technologically, is a feat matched by few if any global leaders of the 21st century.
Such patience, tenacity and wisdom will also be the hallmarks of the long-term project for the complete liberation of Palestine.