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The Secularization and the fundamentalization of Iran

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Andy Shi

on 17 March 2015

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Transcript of The Secularization and the fundamentalization of Iran

The Secularization and the fundamentalization of Iran From the 1920s to 1970s
Intentions vs Consequences
Reza Shah intended to secularise Iran and eliminate the influence of the Shi'a clergy upon the government and the society. During his reign, the first instances of Islamic extremism and terrorism appeared in Iran as a backlash against his secularist policies, which gave the fist hint of the rise of fundamentalism in Iran.
E.g. Navab Safavi, A lionized assassin.
The WWII Anglo-Soviet Invasion
With the invasion, Rezā Shāh was deposed from office, and the era of secularism in Iran briefly ended. From 1941 until 1953, democracy was properly restored to Iran, but the Shi'a clergy also were able to return to their previous level of power and influence because of their primary base of support in rural parts of central Iran.
Iran in 1924
Secularism in Iran was established as state policy shortly after Rezā Shāh was crowned Shah in 1924.
-public display or expression of religious faith (hijab ,facial hair by men) made illegal
-Public religious festivals (Muharram, Ashura) was banned
-Islamic clergy were forbidden to preach in public, and mosque activities were heavily restricted and regulated.
The Fall of the Secular State
In 1979, after the deposition of the government of Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar in February of that year, an interim government was established under Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan. Bazargan's government resigned en masse in November 1979 immediately after the US Embassy takeover by radicalist students.
The end of Bazargan's government officially marked the end of state-directed secularism in Iran.
Restoration of Secularist Legacy
After the succession of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, he increasingly took steps to restore Reza Shah's secularist policies and eliminate the influence of the Shi'a clergy and organised religion from the government and public life.
-forced the Shi'a clerical novitiates to attend public state-run universities in order to gain religious certification and license to preach. (1960s)
-excluding Shi'a clergy from participating in the Parliament and to impose restrictions on public displays of religion and religious observance. (1970s)
Theocratic state in Iran
The Islamic Republican Party established the current theocratic government of Iran, with Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader of Iran.
"Those who are trying to bring corruption and destruction to our country in the name of democracy will be oppressed."
-Drop in economic standards
-Suppression of opposition
-Oppression of minority religions
Discussion Question
Is secularization an ideology that destabilize,and ultimately disenchant and destroys traditional order or is it a instrument to modernize and demystify in order to achieve a rational state?
Full transcript