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By By (author) Kingshuk Chatterjee

ISBN-10: 0230119220

ISBN-13: 9780230119222

ISBN-10: 1349295116

ISBN-13: 9781349295111

This booklet tells the tale of the way 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 info for ‘Ali Shari’ati and the Shaping of Political Islam in Iran

Example text

Reza Shah (r. 1925–41) never managed to systematically write about his vision of a modern Iran. A pattern emerges, nonetheless, from what he said and did in the course of three decades when he virtually presided over the destiny of his country. Confronted with the obvious weaknesses of the Qajar state, Reza Shah Pahlavi shared with many of his compatriots the desire to forge Iran into a powerful, integrated, and “modern” nation-state. Squabbles among the constitutionalists in the Majlis over the direction of modernization, however, apparently revealed the limitations of constitutionalism as an agent of rapid change in a traditional society.

Repression mounted in the late 1930s (and later in the late 1970s) precisely because the regime’s claims to speak for the people appeared thin. When the Allied need to open up a line of supply into the Soviet Union prompted the British and the Soviets to invade Iran and persuade Reza Shah to abdicate in favor of his son in 1941, the BBC launched a propaganda blitz targeting Reza Shah’s avarice and cruelty, stressing how these worked against the interests of the people. 45 The Making of 1979: The Struggle between the State and the People Reza Shah’s replacement on the throne in 1941 by his son, Muhammad Reza Shah, under Anglo-Soviet supervision triggered the debate about the significance of the mellat yet again.

Even as Reza Khan was becoming Reza Shah, an article in the reformist journal Ayandeh (the Future) seemed to anticipate the Pahlavi project: Our aim is to develop and strengthen national unity . . We mean [to establish] cultural, social and political solidarity among all the people who live within the present borders of Iran . . We will attain it by extending the Persian language throughout the provinces; eliminating regional costumes; destroying local and feudal authorities; and removing the traditional differences between Kurds, Lurs, Qashqayis, Arabs, Turks, Turkomans, and other communities that reside within Iran.

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‘Ali Shari’ati and the Shaping of Political Islam in Iran by By (author) Kingshuk Chatterjee

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