By Aijuka Andrew
KAMPALA: February 11th this year marks the 41st anniversary of The Islamic Revolution of Iran. The Revolution was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarchy of Iran, Ruler Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the replacement of his government with an Islamic Republic under the Leadership of late Imam Khomeini(RH) .
Speaking to, Mr. Muhammad Reza Ghezelsofla the cultural consul of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Uganda, he described the era of the ruler as a period of “slavery”.
“Iranians fought the dictatorial government and many lives were lost every day because of the protests against the Ruler’s corruption policy and his tyranny by the army to shoot directly at protestors”
“Before that there was no democracy, no free and fair elections, no real democratic Parliament, no peace and no dialogue, because it was just one person as a head and Ruler who was implementing the Western polices .
However, after the revolution Mr. Muhammad Sofla describes the situation in Islamic republic as one that changed to Republic from Monarchy. Explaining further he said the kind of Islam the Iranian people practice is not the extreme sort of thought.
“When I say Islamic, I mean what the Holy Quran accepts not the extreme idea of Islam that some countries have …Islamic Republic of Iran’s Islam is that of the prophet Mohammad (SW), no more no less”
“In Iran after the Revolution, people choose their leadership, president, Members of Parliament and city councils.
The Islamic Revolution in Iran
The Islamic Revolution of Iran was launched in order to fulfill some sacred goals. The goals which were completely spiritual and value-based and according to the teachings and values of the pure teachings of Islam
Culturally, eliminating the symbols of social and moral corruption in the ruler regime, purging the main cultural arenas (TV, radio, cinema, music, books, magazines, dailies) of corruption, reviving the dignity and identity of mosques as a place of spiritual refinement and self-perfection, declaring the value and worth of women far from western abnormalities, adopting the proper stances in face of the anti-cultural orientations throughout the world, directing the public attention towards the great potential of the Islamic-Iranian culture, developing the culture of self-sacrifice and martyrdom, reviving the Friday prayers, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, are regarded as the prominent achievements of the Islamic Revolution in the domain of culture.
Scientifically, making efforts to realize the unity between seminary and university, paying attention to the new and fundamental knowledge such as Nanotechnology and Biotechnology, witnessing the growth of women’s attendance at the scientific and research centers as well as keeping their dignity, systematizing the dispatching of students to abroad, promoting the level of gaining scientific ranks in the international Olympics, completing the cycle of nuclear fuel production on the laboratory scale, increasing the research credits in the scientific centers are regarded as a part of the most important scientific achievements of the Islamic Revolution.
Among the economic achievements, there was eliminating the corrupted economic enterprises based on usury in Shah regime, producing and exporting oil, making efforts to get rid of the single-product economy, developing and launching more economic enterprises, making efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture, constructing dams and controlling flood and developing hydroelectric power plants, developing the telecommunication network and gas even to the furthest villages, establishing cooperatives and supporting them with the aim of institutionalizing the group economic activities, controlling inflation and increase productivity, replacing the valueless industries with the youth’s intellectual power are regarded as the most important economic achievements of the Islamic Revolution.
Mr. Muhammad R.Gh. Sofla urged Ugandans to be hardworking, patriotic and peace loving. He observes that “, Ugandans love their country and there are hospitable and educated.” The Consul also added that Iranian Culture is similar to Uganda’s. He attributed patriotism, hard work, tolerance and independence as some of those similarities.
The Consul also believes that Ugandans with their own efforts can develop their own country.” Modernization is different from development, unlike modernization, development starts from inside.”
According to the Iranian Cultural Consul, Iran is willing to share its experience in all aspect of life including education. “Some Ugandan students are studying various courses in Iran Universities” “… Iran is ready to offer scholarships to students from Uganda. The nature of Iran is not to colonize … Iran is kind in nature and following the prophet’s teachings. A student can be accepted on scholarship from bachelor level to PhD.”
Mr. Muhammad Sofla stressed that Iran’s willingness to assist Uganda in furthering a culture for development, unity and peace. Other areas Iran is capable of cooperating with Uganda are fisheries, pharmaceutical industry, and engineering especially in dam construction.
Culturally, the Consul stated that Iran and Uganda have a common understanding of defending their cultures. Stressing that culture should be for development, hard work, tolerance and patriotism.
“All of us have to join hands and protect the constructive culture of Africa and constructive culture in Iran… culture is like wealth, if you are not serious to protect your culture, gradually this culture will be eroded then something bad will replace the good culture.”