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Revolution in the MIddle East

Religion ISU 2013
by

Sarah Chan

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Revolution in the MIddle East

MODERN MIDDLE EASTERN REVOLUTIONARY EXPERIENCES THESIS: The history of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran is currently repeating itself in Egypt. Key Terms REVOLUTION - a forcible overthrow of a government for a new system SHAH - king of Iran SHARIA LAW - the moral code and religious law of Islam dealing with secular law Key Figures Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi - Shah of Iran from 1941-1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - Islamic radical, leader of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, later Supreme Leader of Iran until his death Hosni Mubarek - fourth president of Egypt, ruled Egypt from 1981-2011 Mohamed Morsi - current president of Egypt, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD - one of the largest Islamic movements in the world BEFORE THE REVOLUTION... IRAN BEFORE 1979 Iran's leader was the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi who had the support of Western powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Iran was becoming more modernized and Westernized much to the dismay of Islamic radicals. These pictures show the Western influence on Iranians before 1979 Relations with other countries EGYPT BEFORE 2011 Egypt's leader was Hosni Mubarek, president of Egypt for 30 years. He was supported by the Americans and was against Islamists. COPTIC CHRISTIANS - the largest Christian group in Egypt. Largest minority religion in Egypt. What caused the revolution? The Shah lived a life of luxury while most of the population lived poverty The Shah had exiled Islamic leader Ruhollah Khomeini in 1965, who opposed the Shah's views on the Western world and Islam The people of Iran were unhappy with the Pahlavi dynasty and wanted change as well as social justice Hosni Mubarek and Corruption Mubarek was a very corrupt leader. Here are some of the things he did that the Egyptians didn't like... Political opposition leaders as well as young activists were imprisoned without trial The police were given the authority to violate citizens' privacy by using unconditioned arrests according to the emergency law The Emergency Law: The emergency law in Egypt was put in effect in 1958. This law gives more power and authority to the police, suspends constitutional rights of citizens and enforces heavy censorship. It also prohibits all non-governmental political activity as well as bans all unregistered donations. There was a high unemployment rate, low minimum wages and high inflation of food prices. Meanwhile, Mubarek lived in luxury and his family was said to be worth about $70 billion. Although Mubarek promised security to Coptic Christians, they believed he didn't do enough for them as they were still being persecuted by Muslim radicals. Egypt was a staunch ally of the United States and was on peaceful terms with Israel. However, Islamists did not support peace between Egypt and Israel and wanted to destroy Israel. The United States needed Mubarek to contain the Islamists in Egypt, which is why the Americans supported him. Israel's president Shimon Peres said, "No matter what they say, we owe Mubarak true gratitude for being as steadfast as a rock and for working towards peace and stability in the Middle East" AYATOLLAH - a title given to ranking religious leaders of the Shi'a sect of Islam. Means "Sign of Allah". WESTERN - referring to North American or European traditions Abolhassan Bani-Sadr - Iranian economist and human rights activist; first president of Iran POVERTY High inflation of food prices Most Egyptians were living off of $2 (US) a day High unemployment rates Similar to Iran, the discontent and anger of the common people created a perfect opportunity for Islamists to overthrow the ruling government. The Islamic fundamentalists were able to manipulate this dissatisfaction to their advantage. DURING THE REVOLUTIONS AFTER THE REVOLUTIONS "These people are trying to bring back the regime of the late Shah or another regime. I will strike with my fists at the mouths of this government. From now on it is I who will name the government." "Don't listen to those who speak of democracy. They all are against Islam. They want to take the nation away from its mission. We will break all the poison pens of those who speak of nationalism, democracy, and such things." Iranians, mostly students in their twenties, demanded the United States of America to extradite the Shah, who was seeking cancer treatment in America. In November 1979, they took 52 Americans hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran. The Americans would be released 444 days later in January of 1981. In April of 1980, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, an Iranian human rights activist and economist, was elected the first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, Bani-Sadr quickly fell out with Khomeini due to clashing political views and was impeached in 1981. Feeling that his impeachment was a threat to democracy, Bani-Sadr asked for a referendum but was denied by Khomeini who said, "if 36 million people can say yes, I can say no", demonstrating his absolute power. In Iran... In Egypt... After Mubarak was ousted, Egypt's Armed Forces assumed power, however, the people remained unhappy and protests continued. On June 24, 2012, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, was declared the winner of the election and the next president of Egypt. In December 2012, Morsi and his government filled with Islamists, signed into law a new constitution, which puts Morsi above the law and gives him an unreasonable amount of authority over the people. Already, many Egyptians are protesting him and his government. Although President Morsi pledged to protect the rights of religious minorities, the tensions between religious groups are worse than ever. Coptic Christians are subjected to more violence than during the Mubarek regime and last week, St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo was attacked. CONCLUSION Looking at political, socioeconomic and religious factors, one can conclude that the history of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran is repeating itself in Egypt as they are similar in their situations before, during and immediately after the revolution. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22058570 Whether for better or for worse, these two events have changed Iranian and Egyptian society forever. The future of Egypt remains uncertain but looking at the Egyptian Revolution's similarities with the Iranian Revolution, we can say it's possible that Iran's present will be Egypt's future.
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