supervisory committee of senior clerics to ensure that legislation passed by theelected Parliament conformed to the sacred law.Khomeini began his political career with typical Shii ambiguities. His firstpolitical tract,
(1943), denounced the recently deposed Reza Shahfor a host of secular sins: for closing down seminaries, expropriating religiousendowments, propagating anticlerical sentiments, replacing religious courts withstate ones, permitting the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the playing of "sensuous music," forcing men to wear Western-style hats, establishingcoeducational schools, and banning the long veil
thereby "forcingwomen to go naked into the streets."
In this early work, however, he explicitlydisavowed wanting to overthrow the throne and repeatedly reaffirmed hisallegiance to monarchies in general and to "good monarchs" in particular. Heargued that the Shii clergy had never opposed the state as such, even whengovernments had issued anti-Islamic orders, for "bad order was better than noorder at all."
He emphasized that no cleric had ever claimed the right to rule;that many, including Majlisi, had supported their rulers, participated ingovernment, and encouraged the faithful to pay taxes and cooperate with stateauthorities. If on rare occasions they had criticized their rulers, it was becausethey opposed specific monarchs, not the "whole foundation of monarchy." Healso reminded his readers that Imam Ali had accepted "even the worst of theearly caliphs."
The most Khomeini asked in
was that the monarch respectreligion, recruit more clerics into Parliament
and ensure that state lawsconformed with the sacred law. The sacred law, he argued, had prescriptions toremedy social ills; and the clergy, particularly the
who specialized in thesacred law, were like highly trained doctors with knowledge of how to cure thesesocial maladies.
had limited demands, after therevolution Khomeini's disciples claimed his central ideas were all spelled out inthis early tract.
However, one would search it in vain to find any discussion of such key subjects as revolution
the oppressed masses
and even jurist's guardianship
Khomeini retained traditional attitudes toward the state throughout the1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Even in 1963 when he emerged as the most vocalantiregime cleric, he did not call for a revolution or for the overthrow of themonarchy. Rather he castigated the shah for secular and antinationaltransgressions: becoming an unwitting tool of the "imperialist-Jewish conspiracy";