Advertisement

Contemporary Islam

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 287–301 | Cite as

Two Pro-Mostazafin Discourses in the 1979 Iranian Revolution

  • Siavash Saffari
Article

Abstract

A number of studies have examined the role of the economically marginalized classes in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the events which transpired in its immediate aftermath. It has been suggested that the mass mobilization of these classes, often referred to collectively as the mostazafin (downtrodden) in the official literature of the Islamic Republic, was instrumental in the success of the revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Islamic Republic under the leadership of Ruhollah Khomeini. The present paper contrasts Shi’i liberation theology and Shi’i Islamism as two distinct pro-mostazafin discourses that emerged in mid- and late-twentieth century Iran, and which facilitated the participation of the lower- and under-classes in the revolutionary movement. It argues that while it was developed originally by Shi’i liberation theologians, Islamist forces were able to successfully appropriate the pro-mostazafin discourse and gain the support of the economically marginalized classes in the crucial final phase of the revolution, and in doing so create an important social base for their political power.

Keywords

Iran 1979 Revolution Islamic Republic mostazafin economic justice Shi’i liberation theology Islamism post-Islamism Mohammad Nakhshab Ali Shariati Mahmood Taleqani Ruhollah Khomeini Mohammad Beheshti Morteza Motahhari 

References

  1. Abrahamian, E. (1980). The Guerrilla Movement in Iran, 1963–1977. MERIP Reports, 86(March/April), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrahamian, E. (1989). Radical Islam: The Iranian Mojahedin. London: I.B.Tauris.Google Scholar
  3. Abrahamian, E. (1993). Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Abrahamian, E. (1999). Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Abu-Rabi’, I. (1996). Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Afary, J. (1987). The Pitfalls of National Consciousness in Iran: The Construction of a Militant Muslim Ideology. Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 15(Fall), 279–284.Google Scholar
  7. Akhavi, S. (1988). Islam, Politics and Society in the Thought of Ayatullah Khomeini, Ayatullah Taliqani and Ali Shariati. Middle Eastern Studies, 24(4), 404–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Algar, H. (1983). Roots of the Islamic Revolution. London: Open Press.Google Scholar
  9. Alizadeh, P. (2000). Introduction. In P. Alizadeh, H. Hakimian, & M. Karshenas (Eds.), The Economy of Iran: The Dilemma of an Islamic State (pp. 1–28). London and New York: I.B.Tauris.Google Scholar
  10. Amnesty International Report. (1993). London: Amnesty International Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Arjomand, S. A. (1988). The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bashiriyeh, H. (2010). Counter-Revolution and Revolt in Iran: An Interview with Iranian Political Scientist Hossein Bashiriyeh. Contellations, 17(1), 61–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bayat, A. (1997). Street Politics: Poor People’s Movements in Iran. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bayat, A. (2005). What Is Post-Islamism? ISIM Review, 16(5), 5.Google Scholar
  15. Bayat, A. (2007). Islam and Democracy: What is the Real Question? Leiden: Amsterdam University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bayat, A. (2013). Post-Islamism at Large. In A. Bayat (Ed.), Post-Islamism: The Many Faces of Political Islam (pp. 3–34). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bayat, A., & Baktiari, B. (2002). Revolutionary Iran and Egypt: Exporting Inspirations and Anxieties. In N. R. Keddie & R. P. Matthee (Eds.), Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics (pp. 305–326). Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  18. Beheshti, S. M. (no date). Sermon on the Occasion of the Month of Ramadan (sokhanrani beh monasebat-e mah mobarake ramezanm). The Institute for the Dissemination of the Works and Ideas of the Martyred Ayatollah Doctor Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti. http://www.beheshti.org/?p=751. Accessed 19 October 2015.
  19. Bokhari, K., & Senzai, F. (2013). Political Islam in the Age of Democratization. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cabezón, J. I. (1996). Buddhist Principles in the Tibetan Liberation Movement. In C. S. Queen & S. B. King (Eds.), Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia (pp. 295–320). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  21. Calvert, J. (2008). Islamism: A Documentary and Reference Guide. London: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  22. Campo, J. E. (2009). Twelve-Imam Shiism. In J. E. Campo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Islam (pp. 676–682). New York: Facts on File.Google Scholar
  23. Cone, J. (1969). Black Theology & Black Power. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  24. Cone, J. (1970). A Black Theology of Liberation. New York: J. B. Lippincott Company.Google Scholar
  25. Dabashi, H. (1993). Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Dabashi, H. (2000). The End of Islamic Ideology. Social Research, 67(2), 475–518.Google Scholar
  27. Dabashi, H. (2008). Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Dabashi, H. (2009). Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Ellis, M. H. (1987). Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  30. Engineer, A. A. (1990). Islam and Liberation theology: Essays on Liberative Elements in Islam. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Esfandiari, H. (1997). Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Euben, R. L., & Zaman, M. Q. (2009). Introduction. In R. L. Euben & M. Q. Zaman (Eds.), Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from al-Banna to Bin Laden (pp. 1–48). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Halliday, F. (1983). Iran’s Revolution Turns Sour. Marxism Today (December), 32–36.Google Scholar
  34. Halliday, F. (1996). Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics in the Middle East. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  35. Ismail, S. (2011). Being Muslim: Islam, Islamism and Identity Politics. In F. Volpi (Ed.), Political Islam: A Critical Reader (pp. 16–28). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Jahanbegloo, R. (2011). Iran and the Democratic Struggle in the Middle East. Middle East Law and Governance, 3, 126–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kassab, E. S. (2010). Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Khomeini, R. (1996[1971]). Governance of the Jurist (Velayat-e faqih), translated by Hamid Algar. Tehran: Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, International Affairs Division.Google Scholar
  39. Khomeini, R. (2010a). Sahifeh-ye Imam (Volume 20): Collected Works (February 1986 – February 1987) (Sahifeh-ye emam (jeld-e bistom) – Majmoo-e asaar (esfand 1364 – esfand 1366)) – Fifth Edition. Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.Google Scholar
  40. Khomeini, R. (2010b). Sahifeh-ye Imam (Volume 21): Collected Works (March 1988 – March 1988) (Sahifeh-ye emam (jeld-e bist-o yekom) – Majmoo-e asaar (farvardin 1367 – ordibehesht 1368)) – Fifth Edition. Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.Google Scholar
  41. Mahdavi, M. (2013). Ayatollah Khomeini. In J. Esposito & E. E.-D. Shahin (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics (pp. 180–201). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Mahdavi, M. (2014). One Bed and Two Dreams? Contentious Public Religion in the Discourses of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati. Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, 43(1), 25–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maljoo, M. (2006). Worker Protest in the Age of Ahmadinejad. Middle East Report, 36(241). http://www.merip.org/mer/mer241/worker-protest-age-ahmadinejad. Accessed 10 Nov 2016.
  44. McCarthy, R. (2015). Protecting the Sacred: Tunisia’s Islamist Movement Ennahdha and the Challenge of Free Speech. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 42(4), 447–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mirsepassi, A. (2000). Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mohammadi, M. (2015). Political Islam in Post-Revolutionary Iran: Shi'i Ideologies in Islamist Discourse. London and New York: I.B.Tauris.Google Scholar
  47. Mohammed, A. (2011). Deciphering Islam’s Multiple Voices: Intellectual Luxury or Strategic Necessity? In F. Volpi (Ed.), Political Islam: A Critical Reader (pp. 44–54). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Motahhari, M. (1993[1979]). Regarding the Islamic Revolution (Piramoon-e enghelab-e eslami) – Ninth Edition. Qom: Sadra.Google Scholar
  49. Motahhari, M. (2003[1979]). A Brief Overview of the Islamic Movements in the Past Century (Barresi-e ejmali-e nehzathay-e eslami dar sad saleye akhir). Qom: Sadra.Google Scholar
  50. Motahhari, M. (2006[1981]). The Future of Iran’s Islamic Revolution (Ayandeh enghelab-e eslami-e Iran) - Twenty Fifth Edition. Qom: Sadra.Google Scholar
  51. Nakhshab, M. (2001). Collected Works (Majmooeh asaar). Tehran: Chapakhsh.Google Scholar
  52. Osman, T. (2016). Islamism: What It Means for the Middle East and the World. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Rambachan, A. (2015). A Hindu Theology of Liberation: Not-Two Is Not One. Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  54. Reda, L. A. (2014). Khatt-e Imam: The Followers of Khomeini’s Line. In A. Adib-Moghaddam (Ed.), A Critical Introduction to Khomeini (pp. 115–148). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Roy, O. (1994). The Failure of Political Islam, translated by Carol Volk. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Salehi Esfahani, H. (2005). Alternative Public Service Delivery Mechanisms. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 45(2–3), 497–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Salehi-Isfahani, D. (2009). Poverty, Inequality, and Populist Politics in Iran. The Journal of Economic Inequality, 7(1), 5–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shahibzadeh, Y. (2016). Islamism and Post-Islamism in Iran: An Intellectual History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Shahpari, H., & Hojjat, T. A. (2015). Religion, Virtuous Conduct, Justice, Vocation and the Ethics of Hard Work: A Descriptive View of Islamic Sociocultural Systems and Economics. In A. J. Ali (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics (pp. 49–84). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shariati, A. (1966). What is Islam? (Eslam chist?). Collected Works 30. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  61. Shariati, A. (1967). Letter to Ehsan (Nameh beh Ehsan). Collected Works 1. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  62. Shariati, A. (1969). Why Is Mythology the Spirit of All Civilizations? (Chera asatir rooh-e hameye tamadon-hay-e doniast?). Collected Works 11. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  63. Shariati, A. (1970). Religion versus Religion (Mazhab alaih- e mazhab). Collected Works 22. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  64. Shariati, A. (1972). Letter to Father (Nameh beh pedar). Collected Works 1. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  65. Shariati, A. (1974). Self-Awareness and Ideological Stupefication (khod-agahi va estehmar). Collected Works 20. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  66. Shariati, A. (1977a). Islam’s Class Orientation – Book One (Jahat giri-e tabaghati-e eslam – daftar-e aval). Collected Works 10. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  67. Shariati, A. (1977b). Islam’s Class Orientation – Book Two (Jahat giri-e tabaghati-e eslam – daftar-e dovom). Collected Works 10. Ali Shariati: The Complete Collection of Works [CD ROM]. Tehran: Shariati Cultural Foundation, 2010.Google Scholar
  68. Speidl, B. A. (2015). Conceptualisation of Power in the Thought of Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah. Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Arab and Islamic Studies. University of Exeter. https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/18333. Accessed 28 Mar 2017.
  69. Strawson, J. (1993). Encountering Islamic Law. Essay presented at the Critical Legal Conference held in New College, Oxford, September 9–12 1993. http://www.iium.edu.my/deed/lawbase/jsrps.html. Accessed 2 Apr 2017.
  70. Taleqani, S. M. (1983). Islam and Ownership, translated by Ahmad Jabbari and Farhang Rajaee. Lexington: Mazda Publishers.Google Scholar
  71. Tibi, B. (2008). Islamist Parties: Why They Can’t be Democratic. Journal of Democracy, 19(3), 43–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Volpi, F. (2011). Introduction: Critically Studying Political Islam. In F. Volpi (Ed.), Political Islam: A Critical Reader (pp. 1–7). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asian Languages and CivilizationsSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations