7 in succeeding years 1979 1981 clerics with the

This preview shows page 9 - 11 out of 14 pages.

7 In succeeding years (1979-1981), clerics with the support of thousands of armed revolutionary committees defeated secular contenders for power from the middle class, the left and regionalist movements (Kurds). Perhaps 10,000 Iranians were executed and one-half million, mostly middle-class professionals, went into exile. And it was during this period that the regime held American diplomatic personnel hostage. The Shah never abdicated his throne and militants, fearing a repetition of 1953, did not believe that he was simply seeking medical treatment in the West. They sought the repatriation of the Shah to stand trial and the return of the billions he had taken out of the country with him: 1953 had come back to haunt the United States. b. The Clergy in Power 1. Culture . Earlier twentieth-century revolutions had brought a new revolutionary elite (e.g., the Communist party) to power; in Iran the ulama formed the basis of this elite. 8 In power, the clerics attacked the Shah's Westernization of Iran. They pursued a "Cultural Revolution," in which young Revolutionary Guards played a leading role in driving out more moderate forces. (Think, for instance, of the students who held American Embassy personnel hostage.) The revolutionaries rejected Western and Communist culture (and its defining 7 Yet the Iranian Revolution does not fall outside the Western historical experience. The closest parallel would perhaps be the seventeenth-century Puritan Revolution with its reaction against the court's luxury, deep intolerance of others' religion, restrictive dress codes for women, etc. 8 The ulama , interpretors of God's law, are learned men, not a priesthood. They make no claim to mediate between man and God. They are guardians of God's law, but have no spiritual power themselves (and consider such claims blasphemous).
Image of page 9

Subscribe to view the full document.

10 elements like women's rights) as degrading and immoral, and imposed various degrees of ideological conformity on the population. The Shah’s policy on veils was reversed; women were required to wear them. Members of the Baha'i faith--perceived to be an heretical offshoot of Islam—were singled out for treatment reminiscent of that of Jews under the Nuremburg Laws in Germany in the 1930s. The code prepared by the Supreme Revolutionary Council in 1991 denied employment and school enrollment to Baha'i and mandated a series of measures intended to destroy the roots of the faith in Iran. 2. Politics . The revolutionary state quelled all formal opposition to the regime (from religious and ethnic minorities and secular political parties) and has used a variety of means to cow latent opposition among dissident clerics, intellectuals and businessmen. However, there is an elected parliament. While only those who accept the legitimacy of the revolutionary regime can run for office, there is significant debate and discussion within the parliament over the policies the government should pursue.
Image of page 10
Image of page 11

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Get FREE access by uploading your study materials

Upload your study materials now and get free access to over 25 million documents.

Upload now for FREE access Or pay now for instant access
Christopher Reinemann
"Before using Course Hero my grade was at 78%. By the end of the semester my grade was at 90%. I could not have done it without all the class material I found."
— Christopher R., University of Rhode Island '15, Course Hero Intern

Ask a question for free

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern