A Practical Strategy towards Confronting the Arrogant Super-Powers from the Perspective of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

A Practical Strategy towards Confronting the Arrogant Super-Powers from the Perspective of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

We must emphasize the important, strategic fact that we have never submitted to the pressures exerted upon us by the arrogant superpowers, nor will we submit to them in the future. Through the blessings of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been transformed in to an example of what is possible. Other nations, including those of Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, as well as many others have in turn rejected the pressures of the Global superpowers and they have decided to stand up to America and the Zionist Regime.‌

The great anniversary of the 13th of Ābān is the day of the struggle against the arrogant superpowers and it brings to mind the great fervor of the revolutionary youth of this land against the oppression of the United States. It is interesting to note that the embassy of one of the most powerful industrialized countries of this world, which always clamors about the defense of human rights, has been found to be a nest of spies employed by the CIA.  These supposed polite and worldly diplomats were in reality not diplomats but rather agents of the aforementioned agency who worked towards undermining the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

When we examine the word ‘Istikbār’ (a state of arrogance also expressed by the behavior and beliefs of the superpowers) as found in the verses of the Quran, we find that it is described as one of the most reviled of human characteristics. It is a characteristic which is considered to be the potential root of a great many sins and it can even be the root source of disbelief in Allah. It is furthermore the root of many horrendous crimes and various forms of serious oppression.  In today’s world, the arrogant superpowers  are the main cause of corruption that reaches in to every corner of the world, as well as the economic, social, and other types of inequalities which exist amongst us today.

Everyone is being burned in the ‘fires’ stoked by this issue but very few are thinking about a way of saving themselves and those around them from it.  It is therefore necessary that we think of various solutions towards confronting this very serious issue. Through the use of the valuable solutions proposed by Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, we will now delve in to the most important strategies in confronting the Global superpowers who are a manifestation of this all-encompassing state of arrogance.


A Reflection on the Essence of the Concept of Istikbār

In describing the concept of Istikbār, we find that there are two potential meanings which it can hold. The first is that a human being strives and works hard to grow in a positive fashion and he prepares all the necessary conditions which will help him in this regard. This is a type of Istikbār which is praiseworthy. The second is that a person will attempt to portray himself as being great without being worthy of such a grandeur. This second type of Istikbār is blameworthy and it is condemned in the Quran.

In one verse, the Quran has mentioned the following in regards to Satan: ‘He refused (to prostrate to Adam) and was arrogant’.[1] Thus, it is clear that while the term Mustakbar (arrogant) generally applies to all those who are arrogant, it is more specifically used in relation to those who showed arrogance towards the invitation of the prophets (‘a) and refused to accept their divinely revealed message.


The Necessity of Confronting Arrogance

There is no doubt that the characteristic of arrogance bears many  d e l e t erious consequences in relation to the one’s soul, as well as one’s personal beliefs and ideas.   Furthermore, a thorough examination of this issue reveals that it entails the same negative consequences at the social level as it does on the individual level. These negative consequences include such corruption as polytheism and disbelief, the creation of circumstances through which sins are more easily committed, the creation of disunity and hatred amongst the people, as well as various battles and conflicts which lead to great bloodshed, suffering, and mass destruction.

These are all consequences arising from this issue of arrogance. Typically, a number of selfish individuals end up taking control of the various nations and each one wishes to prove his superiority to the other. In time, this quest for superiority fueled by arrogance causes various conflicts between these rulers, where much innocent blood is spilt, and many homes are utterly destroyed as a result.

It is interesting to note that when it comes to the necessity of propagating resistance to these arrogant superpowers, we find that this issue is not something new which belongs to the modern era; it is rather something which has existed from the earliest point in the history of man. According to Islamic traditions, the first sin in the history of man was committed by Satan, and it was a sin which caused the worst types of corruption to appear in our world . The reason behind this sin was a sense of arrogance and superiority entertained by Satan and it was this arrogance which caused him to dispute with Allah and become a disbeliever.

It is interesting to note that as a result of this arrogance, Satan not only became a disbeliever but he also misled many others who came to share his views.  When we look at today’s world, we realize that this issue does not only affect the Muslim world ; it is rather something common to the entire human race. The arrogant elite of every society make use of this current to divide their respective societies and these divisions bring about many bloody and destructive wars fought by one group in a society against their fellow brothers. It is this current of arrogance which is the root of these various issues where one group is fooled in to believing that they are somehow better or more superior to another.

Moreover, this same spirit of arrogance is reflected in issues such as the first and second World Wars , as well as the veto powers enjoyed by certain superpowers (and denied to others). It is this spirit of arrogance which has torn the very system of this world apart, leaving it in chaos and suffering.  There is a tradition which states that ‘There is submission to the truth, or there is its opposite which is Istikbār (arrogance)’.  In light of this, everyone must work hand in hand in an intelligent and discerning manner in order to neutralize the plots of the enemies and the arrogant superpowers.


Recognizing One’s Enemies is a Prerequisite to Combatting the Arrogant Superpowers

Obviously, in order to resist the arrogant superpowers, it is first necessary to recognize their plots. Until one has recognized them, it is naturally impossible to resist them effectively.  Unfortunately, it must be said that we have not collectively recognized our friends and foes, for we see some cases where some Muslims work hand in hand with countries such as America or Israel in order to destroy groups such as the Lebanese resistance groups. This is while the Shia resistance in Lebanon is one of the very symbols of resisting the hegemony of the super-powers!  

Similarly,  in the war which was imposed on Iran by Iraq, virtually all of the Muslim nations worked hand in hand against Iran, supplying Iraq with much money and weapons in order that it defeat Iran in the war. Yet, when we look at this strange situation, we realize that Iran had not occupied even a handful of the soil of these nations, nor had it killed even one person from them unjustly.  During recent years, we have also seen the situation in Syria where the global superpowers are doing their best in order to achieve their geo-political goals. They have gathered all of their resources towards this end and they are sending vast amounts of weapons, ammunition, and cash to various terrorist groups in Syria.

In the midst of all this, should Turkey also step in and help these superpowers in achieving their goals as well? We really didn’t expect Turkey to enlist so much of its own resources in enabling the superpowers in their quest for greater power in the Middle East.  There is no doubt that if we Muslims were able to differentiate between our friends and our foes, the situation would be quite different than what it is today.


True Islam: A Key Strategy in Resisting the Superpowers

It must be mentioned that our leader, Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a), was a man who defended Islam and who fought against every form of oppression. He has stated that: ‘I rose up for war while I had not even reached the age of twenty while today I am over sixty years of age.’    The fact of the matter is that merely crying tears for the oppressed Muslims or for the religion is not going to resolve anything. It is necessary to rise up in opposition to these various forms of oppression in order to defeat them.  When we examine the superpowers themselves, it is clear that they also view the religion of Islam as their primary enemy; this is made even more acute in their eyes due to the reason that Islam is neither reliant on the Eastern powers, nor on the Western powers--- it solely relies on its own power.

Confronting the Influence of the Superpowers- Fundamental Principles in Combatting Arrogant Powers

It must never be forgotten that some countries such as America or various countries in the European continent seek to increase their influence across the globe. Towards this end, they utilize what has become all too ordinary in the political landscape of pursuing their individual ‘personal interests’. Due to this overriding principle, the imperialists are constantly busy changing their outward appearances and how they show themselves to the world. Thus, an important point, which must never be forgotten, is how quickly these imperialists alter their outward appearances.

In some cases they appear as an entity which desires material and technological progress, while in other cases they appear as an entity which heralds the start of an era of open mindedness and free thinking. In other cases, they manifest themselves as a force for cultural change and the advancement of science. In yet other cases, they can even appear in the guise of ascetics who have eschewed the worldly life! During the current era, theimperialist powers have tended to show themselves as a force for democracy and freedom.

When we look throughout history, we see so many different manifestations: sometimes they show themselves as a force for building hospitals and providing people with free healthcare, or building libraries and increasing literacy, or the building of universities and the spread of knowledge, or the giving out of university grants, or the building of light or heavy industrial works, or the organization of worldwide conferences and exhibits, or through the guise of various international organizations and agencies. In any case, none of these things are actually important. What is important is that these superpowers must be recognized in whatever guise they have put on and through whichever manifestation they are currently presenting themselves. It is necessary to first recognize them and then reject them and their ultimate end goals.

For example, when we look at the  nuclear deal between Iran and the western powers, it is clear that America, and other western powers, feels that they can use this as a means of extending their influence within Iran and in implementing their various plans in the Islamic Republic. The reality is that the enemies have their hearts set on using these negotiations as a means of weakening the moral and ethical foundations of this nation. At the same time, it is also clear that they may not even stand by their own agreement; they may turn their backs on it in the futureTherefore, it is absolutely necessary that we remain constantly vigilant over the potential for these superpowers in gaining influence within the Islamic Republic by means of these negotiations.

The Necessity of Fostering Unity and One Mindedness in the Fight against the Arrogant Superpowers

Let us first begin by delving in to the foundations of the divisive politics utilized by America (as well as other superpowers):
1.    The creation of disputes and conflicts amongst various groups of people. There is the famous saying in this regard: ‘Divide and Conquer’.
2.    Fostering ultranationalism. Every group of people is taught that they are distinct and they should only worry about themselves and their own interests. For example, Iranians are told that they shouldn’t worry about what is happening to the Afghans or to the Lebanese; they should only worry about themselves. The same thing is told to the Afghans and the Lebanese in turn.  This is all done in order to divide the various  Muslim nations and divorce them of their common history as Muslims.

Unfortunately, today the Muslim world suffers from great disunity and due to the plans of the superpowers they are busy tearing one another apart.  One of the first things that these arrogant superpowers do is that they create conflict between various peoples and ethnic groups in a nation. After this has been achieved, they enact their other evil plans which now have the potential of succeeding due to  such conflicts. All throughout history, these superpowers have attempted to implement this strategy of conflict and dissension in the Muslim nations and today, they wish to weaken the Muslims through robbing them of their economic and cultural wealth, while disrupting their political systems towards a final solution of dominating them completely. Due to this reason, there is no doubt that we must be unified in the face of such plans.

Rejecting a State of Dependency and Submissiveness- A Practical Strategy in Combatting the Arrogant Superpowers

Without a doubt, one of the defining characteristics of the arrogant superpowers is their policy of ever increasing levels and depths of dependency. This is true whether it relates to industrial and technological dependency, or whether it relates to farming, animal husbandry, politics, etc… Whenever we see a type of politics that is defined by dependency, we must be sure that the evil imperialists are present there, whether covertly or overtly, to extend such dependency to all aspects of a nation’s life. In the end, indeed the very lifestyle of the people in question will be one which is dependent.   

The Superpowers first begin by sending their technology to various nations. They then send the necessary technicians and experts in order to maintain this technology. Afterwards, they begin to export their very methods and culture of governance. Through such means, they gain complete control over the economy and culture of the nation in question and the nation is made utterly weak and impotent. If at some point the people wish to rise up or resist in various ways, it is very easy at that point for the superpowers to place a chokehold on the industries of the nation and bring the entire country to a complete standstill.  

During earlier periods, the superpowers gained control over various countries through colonization, while during later periods, they achieve the same goal by rendering various nationseconomiclly and culturally dependent, all done in order to undermine Islam.  Even today, many of the enemies of Islam have created a state of war within Muslim countries, occupied their lands, and taken control of their natural resources.  Any positive action from the Muslims today must be taken to secure their freedom and independence from the forces of domination.  The reality is that one of the objectives of Islam is  to secure the freedom of the weak and to rescue them from the domination of the oppressors and tyrants; it is a force which can end the era of domination and control.

For example, the best economic model for those nations who wish to live free and who wish to be independent from the influence and domineering of the superpowers is the well known slogan, ‘Neither East, Nor West’. This is a model which refrains from any type of dependency, whether it is on the Eastern superpowers, or on the Western superpowers. This is a model which will bring self sufficiency and advancement to those who follow it. In any case, it is a model which allows us to be ourselves and not to be strangers to ourselves.  Practically speaking, the best way to arrive at this goal is through following the economic model of Islam. Islamic economics contains all of the necessary anti-imperialistic characteristics, while being free from any inclination towards the economic systems of the East and West.

Combatting the Arrogant Superpowers  through a Complete Rejection of Aggression and War-Seeking

It is worth mentioning that the spirit of arrogant superpowers such as America necessitates that they target various helpless nations under the pretext of protecting their ‘national interests’; in time, the world has come to understand the reality of the nature of such powers.  It is inter-esting to note that whenever they attack a nation or encroach upon their rights, they use the pretext of spreading human rights, democracy, and freedom! In today’s world, those who bring about completely unnecessary wars tend to use the excuse of human rights and they use the Mass Media in order to prepare the minds of the people as to why a specific country must be attacked.

They then use the cover of such false reasons in order to attack a given nation and to occupy it.  Another common pretext used by the war mongers is the  promotion of democracy. For example, they attacked Iraq using the pretext of ousting the dictatorship of Saddam and establishing democracy. Clearly, this was only the outer appearances of such things and the true goal of the war mongers  was to dominate the enormous oil reserves in Iraq.  Another pretext used by the war mongers is the idea that a certain country ‘lacks freedom’. Using this pretext, they then occupy that land and attempt to force ‘freedom’ down their throats. The people of that nation are taken as complete hostages to the whims and fancies of these superpowers.

For example, when we examine the plots of the superpowers in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria, it is clear that they have left nothing but death and destruction in their wake. Every country which they enter is left in an utterly destroyed state. When we examine the state of Syria, we ask why don’t the superpowers leave this country alone so that it can decide its own fate? There is no question that the people of Syria should be deciding the fate of their nation and a resolution can only be found through their hands.  There is no doubt that much of the misfortune, bullying, encroachment of rights, and loss of human rights which is taking place in various nations is happening due to the policies of certain countries such as America. This Great Satan has set the entire world on fire and it has engaged in every type of criminal act in order to reach its illegitimate ‘national interests’.

Comittment to the Fulfillment of One’s Duty- an Essential Guideline in Combatting the Superpowers

It must be understood that in the materialistic world of today, psychological peace is something which is quite rarely found. Psychological illnesses continue to rise day by day and if things continue in this same way, we will see an era where the entire world is one giant hospital  filled with people with various psychological illnesses.  The reality behind this issue is that the belief in Allah is a force which resolves all issues; the remembrance of Allah is something which gives calm and peace to the human heart and soul. If we live upon the path of truth and we struggle and strive in the way of Allah, then His divine help will encompass us as well.

As an example, just look at America with all of its military power. In spite of their unrivaled military power, they still fear Iran. When we look at Israel with all of its formidable weapons, we find that they too fear Iran like nothing else. Is not this fear a type of divine help placed in to the hearts of the enemies? This same type of divine help was also clearly witnessed in the 33 day war between the Lebanese Resistance and Israel.  We Iranians have witnessed this divine help during other instances as well; for example, during the time of the Islamic Revolution, as well as during the Iran-Iraq War which lasted for eight long years. The only thing which protected us and gave us victory against the global superpowers was this divine help which was brought about by the faith of our youth. This is why we always emphasize that the faith of the youth must be strengthened, for this is the best insurance policy for the continued success of the Islamic Revolution.

Combatting the Superpowers--- The Best Strategy in Confronting those Who are Fighting against Islam

In strengthening the logical basis of resisting the superpowers and their oppression, it must be said that these superpowers, such as America, their allies, and the illegitimate state of Israel are all at war against Islam. They have done everything in their power towards this end and this is their end goal.  Therefore, one must resist any disbeliever which is in a state of war against the Muslims.

Supporting the Oppressed- An Essential Aspect of Combatting the Superpowers

In explaining this concept of supporting the oppressed, let us refer to a verse of the Holy Quran (the 75th verse of Surah Nisāʾ) which states: ‘And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?"’

In light of this verse of the Quran, it is not surprising if we see the Iranian nation openly proclaiming their support of other oppressed nations such as Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This is something which is completely in line with the aforementioned verse of the Holy Quran. The reality is that the call of every oppressed person must be answered, whether they are in places such as America all the way to places in Africa, Asia, or Australia. These oppressed people must be aided to whatever extent possible and they must be saved from the bloody claws of the oppressors. If the oppressed are saved, it is hoped that the oppressors will learn their lesson and not repeat their evil acts anymore.

 Surprisingly enough, certain ‘Islamic’ countries  act contrary to the aforementioned verse of the Quran; they not only do not help the oppressed Muslims such as those in Palestine but they in fact establish good relations with their oppressors. The end result is that these so called ‘Muslim’ nations work hand in hand with the Zionists in oppressing the Palestinians, as well as many other similarly oppressed groups all around the world.

A Final Word

In conclusion, it must be emphatically stated that we have never submitted to the arrogant superpowers, nor will we ever do so.  The threats of America against Iran, such as the oft repeated statement of ‘all options are on the table’, are enough indication of the barbarity and animalistic nature of this enemy.  Through the blessings of the revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been transformed in to a model of what is possible. Many nations, such as Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen are now following suit and rejecting the threats and influences of the superpowers; these nations have decided that it is time to make a stand against America and Israel.

From this perspective, the participation of the people in the mass protests which take place against America heralds a force which will neutralize the plots of the arrogant superpowers. Today, the people are more aware than ever and so they shout ‘Death to America’ with even greater fervor.  We have hope that Allah will give a complete victory to the forces of Islam in all of the places they are at. We have hope that Allah will give them victory against the forces of disbelief, oppression, and neo colonialism.


[1]. Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 34.