political corruption of the Shah’s regime. Khomeini addresses the need for ridding Iran of the Shah and his impious, corrupt regime, but in a strictly Islamic rhetoric: The persistence of these governments in their transgressions means obstructing the system and laws of Islam whereas there are numerous provisions that describe every non-Islamic system as a form of idolatry and a ruler or an authority in such a system a false god… At the same time, we are responsible for preparing the right atmosphere for bringing up a faithful generation that destroys the thrones of false gods and destroys their illegal powers because corruption and deviation grow on their hands. This corruption must by wiped out and erased and the severest punishment must be inflicted upon those who cause it. In His venerable book, G-d describes Pharoah as ‘a corrupter.’ Under the canopy of a pharonic rule that dominates and corrupts society rather than reform it, no faithful and pious person can live abiding by and preserving his faith and piety. Such a person has before him two paths, and no third to them: either be forced to commit sinful acts or rebel against and fight the rule of false gods, try to wipe out or at least reduce the impact of such a rule. We only have the second path open to us (Khomeini 25- 26). Khomeini Islamized the need to rebel against the corruption of the Pahlavi regime, a sentiment that was well received by the discontent Iranian masses. However, if Iran had not experienced such immense socioeconomic difficulties, which were the preconditions for the emergence of Islam as a revolutionary ideology, Khomeini’s rhetoric would not have motivated the masses towards collective action. If the Iranian society and economy were not in a state of decline, most likely the Iranian populous would have been content with maintaining the status-quo, resulting in less of an adherence to the revolutionary discourse espoused by Khomeini. Fortunately for Khomeini such was not the case and his calls for Islamic reform were met with fervent support, support that resulted in the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime and the instatement of Khomeini as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The 1979 Iranian Revolution and Formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
40 In the moments leading to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime, several disparate groups, all of which had their own ideas regarding the formation of the subsequent post-revolutionary government, united in a show of solidarity against the Shah. One of the most influential groups was in fact not an organized entity but rather a personification of the social ills that had resulted from the Shah’s disenfranchising and corrupt policies. This group, the mustazafin , a Qur’anic word referring to oppressed people, or in an Iranian sense, the disinherited, were used as a rallying cry for the overthrow of the Shah’s oppressive regime. “In fact, service to the oppressed from not just Iran but the world was seen as one of the goals of the revolution” (Martin 148). Other important political groups that played a role in the revolution were
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- Summer '19
- Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Pahlavi dynasty