The emergence of fundamentalism stems from a multitude of factors, including social and historical circumstances, as well as policies pursued by the international community.
Major developments in the twentieth century in their own right impacted the formation and rapid advance of fundamentalism. But none has been as determinative as the rise to power of the reactionary mullahs in Iran. This is particularly the case because the ruling regime in Iran offered, for the first time, a model for fundamentalist groups to follow, the very groups who have now become the source of terrorism and war in the Middle East region and elsewhere.
But is the emergence of fundamentalism, as some assert, a face-off between the Islamic world and the West; or more specifically, is this a confrontation between Islam on the one hand, and Christianity and Judaism on the other?
Indeed no! In reality, the crux of the conflict is not between Islam and Christianity. Nor is it between Islam and the West, and nor between the Shia and the Sunni. The conflict is over freedom versus subjugation and dictatorship, between equality on the one hand and oppression and misogyny on the other.
Indeed, why do more than all others, fundamentalists direct their vengeance and violence towards women? First, because their backward nature has rendered them misogynous. And second, during the 1979 revolution in Iran as well as in social movements in other Middle East countries, the fundamentalist were challenged and are being challenged today with an immense yearning for freedom and equality, which pivots around women’s emancipation.
For this reason, misogyny lies at the core fundamentalist mindset, which by suppressing women oppresses and intimidates society as a whole.
Fundamentalism is a defensive reaction to the freedom and equality movement and can certainly not withstand the determination of Middle East nations to move forward and attain freedom and equality.
Confronting fundamentalism requires a comprehensive solution, including a cultural response.
By invoking the name of Islam, fundamentalism uses this religion as a weapon to go on the offensive.
Thus, the answer is in Democratic Islam, the antithesis to fundamentalism.
I must therefore emphasize that these two phenomena are diametrically opposite one another.
One is a dictatorial ideology and the other is the religion of freedom, which recognizes sovereignty as the most important right of the people.
One defends religious discrimination; the other is an Islam which defends equal rights for the followers of other religions.
One is monopolistic and dogmatic; the other is a tolerant Islam, which promotes respect for the belief in other ideas and religions.
One is a religion imposed through force; the other is an Islam which rejects any compulsion in religion.
One practices misogyny; the other promotes gender equality.
By underscoring this reality half a century ago, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran challenged Islamic fundamentalism.
Speaking about these two Islams, the Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi said that one interpretation of Islam "is the harbinger of darkness while the other is the standard bearer of freedom, unity and emancipation. But the battle between these two, which is at the same time, a battle of destiny for the Iranian people and history, is one of the most important tests of contemporary humanity.”
Now, we must answer this question: politically speaking, what is the solution to fundamentalism?
The Iranian regime is the founding state for most of the atrocities and evil which fundamentalist groups have perpetrated and are perpetrating by using the mullahs’ rule as a role model.
Indeed, who made stoning to death an official practice in the last two decades of the Twentieth Century?
Who enacted in law eye gouging and limb amputation as punishment?
Who massacred the largest number of political prisoners since the Second World War?
Who issued a fatwa to murder a foreign author?
Who revived and used a reactionary caliphate as a role model?
Indeed, it is the velayat-e faqih regime, the godfather of terrorism, the enemy of Middle East nations and the primary threat to global peace and security.
As we mark the International Women’s Day, I must say that Khomeini and his cronies have perpetrated many heinous crimes and assaults against women most of which have remained untold even now.
The reality is that the shocking and heart wrenching crimes committed by ISIS in recent months are only a small part of the catastrophe the Iranian people have had to endure for the past 36 years.
It was the mullahs’ regime which initiated terrorism under the banner of Islam. Fortunately, leaders of Western powers have unequivocally distinguished between Islam and fundamentalism. Chancellor Merkel recently said that terror under the banner of Islam was an insult to God.
Indeed, the Iranian regime serves as the founder, the patron and the guide for fundamentalism in the world today.
For this reason, bringing down this regime, which acts as the godfather of ISIS, is an urgent imperative, not only for the Iranian people but for the Middle East region and the world at large.