By By (author) Kingshuk Chatterjee
This e-book tells the tale of ways Shari'ati built a language of political Islam, conversing in an idiom intelligible to the Iranian public and subverting the Shah's regime and its declare to legitimacy.
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Additional resources for ‘Ali Shari’ati and the Shaping of Political Islam in Iran
The chapter deals with Shari’ati’s emphasis on the role of individuals (male and female) and human initiative as the real motor of historical progression. The seventh chapter deals with the resonances of the prerevolutionary language of political Islam in the Islamic Republic. It argues that the revolutionary ideology that the Islamic Republic has projected came into being only after the revolution, and shows even that ideological construct has been challenged from within and outside the ruling establishment with terms of references drawn from the prerevolutionary language.
The most potent argument against Reza Shah (just like that against his son in the 1970s) was that his reign had seemed to benefit the nation less and himself (along with his cronies) more. Repression mounted in the late 1930s (and later in the late 1970s) precisely because the regime’s claims to speak for the people appeared thin. When the Allied need to open up a line of supply into the Soviet Union prompted the British and the Soviets to invade Iran and persuade Reza Shah to abdicate in favor of his son in 1941, the BBC launched a propaganda blitz targeting Reza Shah’s avarice and cruelty, stressing how these worked against the interests of the people.
It contends that the disjunction of the interests of the state from those of its people left the state vulnerable to attacks mounted in defense of the interests of the people, the role that was played by protagonists of political Islam. The second chapter explores the three dominant strands of opposition to the regime (constitutionalism, Marxism, and clerical Islam) through three major protagonists—Mohammed Mossadeq, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The chapter indicates how varying usages of Islamic idioms mounted a challenge against the institutional, intellectual, and politico-social foundations of Pahlavi Iran, reclaiming the only discursive space in modern Iran that the state had not tried to occupy—religion.