Letter of Imam Khomeini to Mikhail Gorbachev
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Mercful
Your Excellency Mr. Gorbachev,1
Chairman of the Presidium of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
With due wishes for the happiness and prosperity of Your Excellency and the people of the Soviet Union.
Since your assumption of ofice there has been the impression that Your Excellency, in analyzing world political events, particularly those pertaining to the Soviet Union, have found yourself in a new era of reassessment, change and conrontation; and your boldness and initiative in dealing with the realities of the world is quite likely to bring about changes that would result in upseting the equations of power dominating the world. I have therefore found it necessary to bring certain maters to your atention.
Even if your new approach and decisions are merely used as a means to overcome the party crisis, and to solve some of the problems conronting your people, your courage in reappraising a school of thought that has for decades enchained the revolutionary youth of the world behind its iron curtain is indeed worthy of praise. If, however, you are considering taking a further step forward, the irst thing that will ensure your success is that you reevaluate your predecessors' policy of obliterating God and religion rom society,2 a policy that has no doubt given the heaviest blow to the Soviet people. Rest assured that this is the only way whereby world problems can be dealt with realistically.
Of course it is possible that as a result of wrong economic policies of former communist authorities, the Western world, an illusory heaven, will appear to be fascinating; but the truth lies elsewhere. If you hope, at this juncture, to cut the economic Gordian knots of socialism and communism by appealing to the center of Western capitalism, you will, far rom remedying any ill of your society, commit a mistake which those to come will have to erase. For, if Marxism has come to a deadlock in its social and economic policies, capitalism has also bogged down, in this as well as in other respects though in a different form.
Reality must be faced. The main problem conronting your country is not one of private ownership, reedom and economy; your problem is the absence of true faith in God, the very problem that has dragged, or will drag, the West to vulgarism and an impasse. Your main problem is the prolonged and futile war you have waged against God, the source of existence and creation.
It is clear to everybody that rom now on communism will only have to be found in the museums of world political history, for Marxism cannot meet any of the real needs of mankind. Marxism is a materialistic ideology and materialism cannot bring humanity out of the crisis caused by a lack of belief in spirituality””the prime affliction of the human society in the East and the West alike.
You may have not in theory turned your back on certain aspects of Marxism””and may continue to profess your heartfelt loyalty to it in interviews””but you know that, in practice, the reality is not so. The leader of China3 struck the irst blow to communism and you have
3 Mao Zedong's policies in early years were based in many respects on. as Mao later said, "copying from the Soviets." But soon Mao took steps that were to lead to the breakdown of the political and ideological alliance with Moscow. The source of
struck the second and, apparently, inal blow. Today we have no such thing as communism in the world. I earnestly call on you, however, not to get trapped, while tearing down the walls of Marxist illusions, in the prison of the West and the Great Satan.4 I hope you will atain the honor of removing the decayed layers of 70-year communist aberration rom the face of history and of your country. Today those allies of yours that are genuinely concerned about their homelands and people are no longer willing to sacriice their subterranean and surface resources to keep alive the myth of the success of communism””an ideology whose din of collapse has already reached the ears of their children.
When ater 70 years the call, "Allah is Great" and the testimony to the prophethood of the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his posterity) were heard rom the minarets of the
mosques in some of your Republics, all the followers of the pure Muhammadan Islam were moved to tears out of ecstasy. Therefore, I have found it necessary to remind you to reflect once again on the materialistic and theistic worldviews. Materialists consider sense to be the sole criterion of knowledge and are of the opinion that whatever cannot be known through the senses falls outside the realm of knowledge. They identify existence with mater and consider as nonexistent anything that has no material body. Inevitably, they regard the world of the unseen””God Almighty, Divine Revelation, Prophethood, and the Resurrection””as mere fiction. On the other hand, theists consider both sense and reason to be the criteria of knowledge, and maintain that whatever can be known through reason lies within the realm of knowledge, although it is not perceptible. To theists, therefore, existence is inclusive of both the unseen and the manifest. For a thing to exist it is not necessary to have a material body. In the same way that a material thing depends on an incorporeal thing,5 sensory perception is dependent on rational perception.
Source: "A Call to Divine Unity" book
The Supreme Leaders View of the Majlis
Imam Khomeini (r.a) and the Majlis