Imam Khomeini’s Approach to Political Struggle

Document Type : Science - Research


1 Associate Professor, Department of Political Thought in Islam, Research Institute of Imam Khomeini and Islamic Revolution, Tehran, IRAN.

2 Ph.D. Student, Political Science, Shahed University, Tehran, IRAN.

3 Instructor, Molavi Institute of Higher Education, Eyvanekey, Semnan, IRAN.


The developments in the contemporary world, particularly the revolutions, coups and wars, have led to development of many theories about social movements. One of the methods used in social movements to bring about sociopolitical change is nonviolence. Nonviolent method of struggle was theorized by Gene Sharp, who collected and introduced 198 methods of nonviolent actions, protest and persuasion. The present paper is an attempt to study Imam Khomeini’s approach to political struggle against the Shah’s regime. The focus of this paper is analysis of methods used by Imam Khomeini in his struggles until the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The main question of this paper is: What was Imam Khomeini’s approach to violence and nonviolence in his political struggles against the Shah’s regime? The hypothesis formulated based on the above question is as follows: In Imam Khomeini’s approach, ends do not justify the means, hence, he used many nonviolent methods and did not preach or use violence in the course of his struggles. Documental method has been employed for the purpose of this research. The Findings of this paper indicate that Imam Khomeini’s approach to political struggle was nonviolent and based on Islamic teachings, mainly employing "persuasion" and "nonviolent protests." The findings also indicate that these techniques are among the 198 techniques collected by Gene Sharp.