She once explained that fundamentalism stems from many factors and has been seen in many places around the world in the past two centuries alone, but that no fundamentalist rise to power has been as “determinative” as the Iranian mullahs because this group actually offered a blueprint for other fundamentalist regimes.
Maryam Rajavi said that the emergence of fundamentalism is not some confrontation between Islam and the other Abrahamic religions, but it is a case of oppression versus freedom that cannot be attributed to a whole religion.
She has asked why fundamentalists, above all other systems of rule, seek to increase violence against women and came to the conclusion that, regarding Iran, the “backward nature” of the mullahs makes them misogynous, to begin with, but that they also know that women are the biggest single group of people in Iran who can and will form a force for change.
Maryam Rajavi said: “For this reason, misogyny lies at the core fundamentalist mindset, which by suppressing women oppresses and intimidates society as a whole. Fundamentalism is a defensive reaction to the freedom and equality movement and can certainly not withstand the determination of Middle East nations to move forward and attain freedom and equality.”
She advised that confronting fundamentalism requires a “comprehensive” solution and cultural response, which she determines to be Democratic Islam, for if the regime can use religion to attack, it should be used as the defense as well.
Maryam Rajavi said: “These two phenomena are diametrically opposite one another. One is a dictatorial ideology and the other is the religion of freedom, which recognizes sovereignty as the most important right of the people. One defends religious discrimination; the other is an Islam that defends equal rights for the followers of other religions. One is monopolistic and dogmatic; the other is a tolerant Islam, which promotes respect for the belief in other ideas and religions. One is a religion imposed through force; the other is an Islam that rejects any compulsion in religion. One practices misogyny; the other promotes gender equality.”
She explained that the regime is the founding state for atrocities that fundamentalist groups have perpetrated, including the punishments of stoning to death, limb amputation, and eye-gouging, the mass imprisonment of the “largest number of political prisoners since the Second World War”, and the use of “reactionary caliphate” as a role model.
Maryam Rajavi said: “The velayat-e faqih regime [is] the godfather of terrorism, the enemy of Middle East nations and the primary threat to global peace and security. The reality is that the shocking and heart-wrenching crimes committed by ISIS [are] only a small part of the catastrophe the Iranian people have had to endure for the past  years.”
Then, she reminded us that the regime is “the founder, the patron, and the guide for fundamentalism” in the modern world, but that this is not synonymous with Islam being the same.