Anthro250Final - Holland 1 DJ Holland Diane Baxter Anthropology 250 December 6 2016 Islamic Influence versus Western Influence During the ten weeks

Anthro250Final - Holland 1 DJ Holland Diane Baxter...

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Holland 1DJ Holland Diane Baxter Anthropology 250 December 6, 2016 Islamic Influence versus Western Influence During the ten weeks of this intensive course my peers and I learned about the formation of the nations in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Their origins and history as well as how the influences of foreign powers affected the the way politics and economics are shaped. A book that I feel exemplifies some of these influences is Young and Defiant in Tehran by Shahram Khosravi. This book touches on how a rebellious generation has been created by a strict islamic rooted government. This generation seems rebellious because it advocates western ideals and the liberal society that accompanies them. In the Middle East conservatism is very popular among the countries that make up the region. Of these countries Iran is one of the most conservative. Their capital and the city that is the focus of Khosravi’s book, Tehran, exemplifies through social, political, and economic methods its resistance to the ways of the West. As well as how the oppressed and tense society came to be due the demand to follow the Islamic institution. Islam plays a huge role in Iranian life, arguably the most important. Government law enforces its following and influence. Khosravi begins the book with an illustration of public discipline that is familiar in the Middle East, flogging. He explained how this practice reinforced the strict moral guidance of that muslims follow. This punishment that seems so medieval and unnecessary is one that has impacted the life of Shahram deeply in his account he says “...red lines remained on my back to testify how the new social order had been embodied.” (Khosravi 16). This quote exemplifies how these punishments were not just physical but dug deep into the psyche of the Iranian society forcing them to conform or be punished. This archaic form of punishment displays a clear connection how Iran’s antiquated political ideology influences the society in way that isolates them from the West. Religion is taken seriously and punishments are severe. We can see this when Shahram is flogged for simply trying to smuggle a bottle of alcohol. The institutionalization of Islam and its collaboration with the state. This combination has created a powerhouse that has not only kept citizens oppressed but also kept the state in an
Holland 2outdated condition. This ongoing condition has been reinforced by local organizations and patrols that are managed by government associations. Due to these laws a political divide has been created, against those who choose to accept the law and those who desire modernization and a connection to the West. Currently the government views the West as an infection, something that is plaguing Iran and destroying their culture and devotion to Islam. Another archetype of conservatism in Iran is the Kabala politicization. This ideology states that the only way to improve oneself is to have a strict discipline in self-control. This systematic accentuation of accountability creates a standard to

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