TEHRAN 20 Feb. (IPS) Recently, the conservative daily Jomhoori Eslami (Islamic Republic), which belong to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, came out strongly against the calls from a majority of Iranians for democracy, reform, and human rights, accusing them of "fighting Islam" and identified them "as enemies of the Islamic Revolution".

"Those who spread slogans of reform, liberty, democracy, and human Rights are in fact fighting Islam", the paper said in an editorial, adding that such demands by the reformists are the same as those of "Bush, Sharon, and Jack Straw (the British Foreign Secretary)".

To strengthen its case, the paper repeated that the Soviet Union collapsed because its last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev did not took Grand Ayatollah Khomeini seriously, referring to a letter the leader of the Islamic Revolution had sent on January 1989 Gorbachev.

In the letter, Khomeini, among other things, had "invited" Gorbachev to convert into Islam. "First of all, the path that would ensure your success is your revision and modification of the path of your predecessors – who distanced themselves from God and religion. This thinking has dealt a great blow to the people of the Soviet Union. You must know that there is only one way to solve the problems of the world – and that is turning to the truth. Your country's main problem is not ownership, economics, or freedom. Your main problem is the lack of true belief in God", Khomeini told the Soviet boss

"Unfortunately, today, 14 years after this historic letter, there are some in the country who oppose and fight against this undeniable and progressive thought. Their hypocrisy and political gymnastics are a struggle that bodes ill for religion. These people, who can truthfully be called 'politically backward remnants of the last century,' have today begun to implement the concept of separating religion from state…", Jomhoori Eslami wrote.

"Slogans such as "religion is the opiate of the masses" and "religion and politics are separate" were born 80 years ago, along with Communism. Unfortunately, today they emerge from the mouths of people who have benefited from Iran's glorious Islamic Revolution… and who have occupied positions of responsibility – thanks to the Islamic Revolution, under Khomeini's wise guidance. Yet now they question the essence of those principles".

"Before the revolution succeeded, in some of the first messages in which he exposed the colonialists' diabolical conspiracy to separate religion from politics, Imam Khomeini fought this deviationist tendency. This was when he was in Paris, and the American agent (Dr. Shapoor) Bakhtiar, (the last Shah’s Prime Minister) deviously brought up the question of separating religion from politics, saying: "If the clergy want it, (we can give it) an independent enclave in Qom, like the Vatican". This could be regarded as the most devious way of deceiving the people and of telling them that religion should be separate from politics. But the Imam said: "…Islam is not just worship, not just study, not just following (edicts). Islam is politics; it is not distant from politics. Islam is great government; it is one great kingdom. Islam is a regime [and] a political regime".

"Today, those who spread slogans such as reform, liberty, political development, democracy, and human rights... are fighting religion and... with their demonic and colonialist theories, they call for separation of religion and state or support people who pursue these principles. They must realise that they are moving in the opposite direction from the path of Imam, and, as the Imam said, "maybe these people do not realise that the words against religion and against Islamic values that come from their mouths are the same words coming from the mouths of people like Bush, Sharon, Jack Straw, and others in power in the dictatorial colonialist regimes". ENDS ENEMIES OF ISLAM 20203