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Prof: Khomeini book set forth ‘grand strategy’ for Islam

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–As William Wagner sifted through the pages of Ayatollah Khomeini’s book on Islamic government, an outline became apparent that was far more than the basics of how government works in the Muslim world. It was a guide for militant Muslims to take worldwide control.

“Khomeini wrote that it was his desire to see all of the surrounding countries of Iran become Islamic republics,” said Wagner, author of the book “How Islam Plans to Change the World” and professor of missions at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.

“This would include countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan,” Wagner said. “Thus one of the desires of Iran — which is the main supporter of Hamas [the upset victor in the recent Palestinian elections] — is to basically take over the governments of those countries.”

Wagner said Khomeini’s book outlines a five-step plan for the takeover of the world, beginning with the overthrow of the Shah in Iran. The second step is to take control of the countries surrounding Iran and turn them into Islamic republics, followed by a push to drive Israel out of existence. The fourth step is to take control of Western Europe. The final step in the plan involves America, which Wagner said Khomeini believed would collapse on its own from moral degradation.

“[Muslim radicals are] working now on a combination of the second and third stages, which is to take over particularly Iraq and the other countries, which would also include Palestine, and set up Islamic republics, all with the intention of driving Israel into the sea,” Wagner said. “It is all a part of a grand strategy.”

While Islamic Sharia law is not in place in various countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Wagner said radical groups are at work to eventually implement it. Radical groups in Turkey, for instance, are seeking Sharia law even as the government remains on a secular path, he said.

“The more countries that become Islamic republics, the more that strengthens the radical element in more moderate countries, thus leading to the possibility of a stronger Islam in the Middle East,” Wagner said.

One of the specific instructions laid out in Khomeini’s book, Wagner noted, was for radical groups to go along with the government when it appears that the government is opposed to what they are doing. They should do this, he said, until the groups can take over the governments.

“If it looks like other people have control, you kind of sit back a little bit and work with them until you can take them over, and that’s exactly what they are doing in Iraq today,” Wagner said. “The Shiites are the ones being sponsored by Iran, and they are the ones following Khomeini’s advice…. They are the ones that have the control of Iraq at this point; they are in the majority.”

Similarly, Wagner said such attempts took place in Lebanon in the form of a civil war, but the attempt failed there because at least half of the population regards Christianity as their faith.

Although Khomeini’s book has been around for many years, however, radical Muslims have some new tactics to aid in their effort, one of which is Internet and e-mail usage, Wagner said.

“The Iranian revolution was called an ‘audio-tape revolution’ because they purchased an enormous number of audio tapes and distributed them all around the country,” he said. “Now what they are doing is they are using, very effectively, e-mails and the Internet.”

Additionally, Wagner pointed out that following the first Gulf War, Aljazeera, the Arabic language news network, has come on the scene and helped in the efforts of these militant groups.

“They are starting news agencies and starting their own television and radio stations,” Wagner said, “and that is going to be an ever-increasing part of Islam’s strategy.”

One of the ways Americans hold forth democracy is through political elections, Wagner pointed out, noting the difficult situation America faces as, in some cases, elections could fuel the overall strategy of radical Muslims rather than move a country toward true democracy.

“We are the ones that are trying to pressure the people in the Middle East into having elections, but in most cases this has not been a good route to take because the fundamentalists basically have the ear of the people at this time,” Wagner said. “They may not have the hearts of the people, but they do have the ear of the people.”
Olivia Tulley is a Dallas-based freelance writer who lived two years in Northern Africa before pursuing a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies.

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