By By (author) Kingshuk Chatterjee
This ebook tells the tale of ways Shari'ati constructed a language of political Islam, talking 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
Although in the initial years Reza Shah treaded carefully in handling the ‘ulema, the agenda of secularization was never really in doubt. The most significant change came in the realm of laws. Since the days of the Abbasid Caliphate, Islamic laws had gradually become the foundational logic of state power in Persia. The Safavid dynasty had made Ithna ‘Ashari Shi’ism the official religion of Persia, and in the process Ja’fari Shi’i fiqh was institutionalized in the kingdom. Ithna ‘Ashari jurisprudence remained pivotal to the Persian judicial system till the mashruteh revolution began to talk of a constitution with a corpus of laws derived from various European juridical traditions.
Of the 326 regular and irregular, national and regional newspapers and journals published in Iran that are listed with the Library of Congress for the period, 38 carry the term Iran or Irani, 17 carry mellat, and 13 carry mardom (people). In fact, the most significant feature of Iranian politics in the Pahlavi era was that political allegiance was neither sought for, nor given to, the person of the reigning monarch or the institution of monarchy. ” Addressing the most pressing concerns in contemporary Iran, the Pahlavis had successfully appropriated the political category of the people and harnessed it to the state.
Some of 32 ‘ALI SHARI’ATI AND POLITICAL ISLAM IN IRAN these individuals did not favor the western democratic model, but they generally preferred to have the ruler’s authority subject to some sort of popular control. This preference turned into a necessity when Reza Shah’s modernization program started to attack those aspects of Iranian social life that many among the traditional middle class cherished—namely, the symbols and customs associated with community living. 41 They found the ban on headgear, unveiling of women, restrictions on conventional religious practices, et cetera, to be an assault on their dignity and identity.