In 1979, journalists and diplomats reported from Iran on a revolution against the shah. They were mistaken. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his followers were thinking bigger. Their goal was a global revolution — a revolution against the United States and other “oppressor” powers.
The ayatollah famously called America the Great Satan. This, too, was misunderstood. His intention was less to insult than to describe: He knew that freedom, the rule of (man-made) law, peace, and equal rights for both the servants and enemies of Allah are seductive ideas that could subvert the truths and laws revealed by the Prophet as interpreted by him. Promoting such ideas is what makes America Satanic.
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