Once again, the incident of the attack on the British novelist of Indian origin, Salman Rushdie, puts us in front of the duality of “Sunni” and “Shiite” terrorists, and the duality of the American liberal political approach towards them. It is not important now whether Hadi Matar, the Shiite attacker, was in contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards prior to the attack, as some American security leaks to a number of prestigious media outlets report. We may not know whether the decision to attack came to Matar as a statement or suggestion, or if the young man acted out of his religious conviction that he is obligated to implement the fatwa issued by Khomeini to shed Rushdie’s blood in 1989, after the publication of his book “The Satanic Verses.”
Leaving such investigations to the judiciary is necessary, in order to stave off the politicization of the presumption of innocence, whose scent reeks of the vanguard of American political reactions, which hasten to say that there is no evidence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ involvement in the attack!
The issue here goes beyond – and must go beyond – the technical role, or its absence, of one of the Iranian regime’s tools in aggression, to the root of the issue, which is Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie, as it is the epitome of the problematic position of the entire Iranian regime in the world. The fatwa, insofar as it authorizes cross-border killing, is not only an assault on freedom; Rather, the international system as a whole, by exporting orders to kill and assassinate, as an objective extension of the idea of exporting the revolution, as the most prominent feature of the personality of the Iranian regime.
This puts us in front of the reality of the Iranian regime as a regime based on the “international jurisprudence of crime,” as a mobilization material against its ideological enemies and a material for conflict with them, and is characterized by the richness of the tools available to implement its aims. One of these tools is the professional exploitation of a new generation of potential terrorists residing in the West, who suffer from cracks in identity, as is the case of Mahdi Matar, whose mother stated that he revolted against her because she did not work on his religious upbringing, and did not know him on the (Shiite) path of Islam before she He begins his own research journey.
Therefore, the distraction every time by assuming individual motives behind any criminal incident, such as the attempt to kill Rushdie, or Rafik Hariri before him (he cannot be assassinated without a fatwa), and jumping over the fingerprints of the “Revolutionary Guard” or “Quds Force” or others, is a frequent fall in Iran’s traps, whose entire immunity is based on sheltering from the consequences of the law and its spatial and temporal powers, by its constant movement outside the spaces of positive law recognized in the world. Iran is moving in a world of jurisprudence, the unseen, magic, revelation and inspiration that is embodied by the idea of the “Khomeinist revolution”, which confuses the worlds of law in which natural states move, and limits its power and authority. For Hadi Matar to inspire the Khomeinist fatwa is what the law has no power over unless there is compelling evidence of incitement or participation in the killing.
Nevertheless, circumstantial evidence, in each incident, is almost sufficient to form a solid political opinion about Iranian direct responsibility for it.
First – as the young Iranian-American historian Afshon Ostovar, author of the book “Vanguard of the Imam” – points out, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard “is a highly professional and hierarchical organization, and it commands directly from the leader, which means that any operation outside Iran is preceded by approval from the highest levels. Iranian regime. The actions of the Iranian (Revolutionary Guard) are the actions of Iran.” Ostovar adds: “Assassinations are not a type of operation that members of the (guard) can engage in to achieve their personal goals. Assassination is a serious business, and when the regime wants to kill people abroad, it does so on purpose.” Indeed, the fatwa did not extend to Rushdie alone. In 1991, the Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed to death, while an Italian translator of the novel survived a knife attack. In 1993, the Norwegian book publisher was shot three times and survived, the Associated Press reported. This indicates the level of seriousness enjoyed by the fatwa and its subject, and the follow-up of its implementation.
Second, it would not be difficult to find an Iranian claim to the stabbing incident before it occurred. About a year before the incident, General Esmail Ghaani, commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, had advised former US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look at the fate of the British-Indian writer “as an example of what their lives will be like from now on.” He added, “The defeat of those responsible for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani has already begun.” In this way, Qaani combines the intentions of the Iranian state, which wants political revenge against Washington, with the intentions of Rushdie’s attacker, whose reaction is intended to appear as a unilateral act that does not bear evidence of the practical involvement of an apparatus of Iranian state apparatus. This amalgamation passes through the American media as nothing more than a result of political propaganda, and not as evidence of criminal intent or action on the part of the author and the representative.
Third, the Iranian media and non-media tools did not turn a blind eye on the incident. It was celebrated by the Iranian media, which was preceded by incitement from figures such as the Secretary-General of the Hezbollah militia, Hassan Nasrallah, urging the believers to implement the imam’s fatwa, and it happens that a Lebanese loyalist carried it out!
After the assassination of Revolutionary Guards colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaye in Tehran, who was blamed on the Mossad, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “For decades, the Iranian regime has practiced terrorism against Israel and the region through proxies and envoys; But the head of the octopus, Iran itself, is immune.” “As we said before, the era of Iranian regime immunity is over, and those who finance terrorists, arm terrorists and send terrorists will pay the full price,” he added.
This may be the most important development in political behavior towards Iran since 1979. But the most important immunity remains Iran’s immunity resulting from impersonation of the state and always acting as a transnational terrorist organization.
The Salman Rushdie incident is a wake-up call for understanding the behavior of the Khomeini regime from this angle.