Historical Who is Who

KHOMEINI, Ayatollah

1900 - 1989


Leader of revolutionary overthrow of the pro-western Shah of Persia to create the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 requiring strict observance of Muslim legal prescriptions. He was previously a well respected Shi’ite scholar and teacher of ethics, law and philosophy, exiled in 1964 for his theological challenge to the government. He continued this critique whilst in exile – in Turkey, Iraq and especially France, and he developed a persuasive case for Muslim clerical government in sharp contrast with the secular regime of the Shah. This was propagated through powerful speeches disseminated by tape recordings. His ten years as leading Imam had a dramatic effect on the country and the wider Islamic world. His promulgation of a fatwah death sentence on the author Salman Rushdie for his book Satanic Verses became an international advert of the belief that Islam should determine the whole of life and not just a religious compartment. Without doubt any moral education must be rooted in religious education.




Khomeini's first speech on returning to Iran in 1979 (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nvkeGmnvRs

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