The Flourishing of Racist Ideology: From Pahlavi Monarchism to the Islamic Republic
World War I (1914–1918) significantly altered the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated into a number of states under British and French rules, with the Turkish Republic emerging as an independent entity. Meanwhile, the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia created a new atmosphere for the flourishing of the idea of struggle for a variety of social, political, economic, and cultural rights in the region. Throughout Iran, various anticolonial and antioppression movements started to form. For instance, a liberation movement took place in southern Azerbaijan in 1919–1920, led by Sheikh Mohammed Khiabani, a progressive Azeri nationalist. Khiabani’s “Democratic Party of Azerbaijan” put out a newspaper called Tajaddud [Progress] and began spreading revolutionary and democratic ideas in Azerbaijan. Invoking the memory of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, Khiabani came to symbolize Sattar Khan, the legendary leader of Iran’s Constitutional Movement. Within a short period, the Khiabani movement was able to gain the support of the Azerbaijani people, disarm the central government’s forces, and declare Azerbaijan an autonomous republic called Azadistan or “the Land of Freedom” (Azeri, 1955).
KeywordsPrime Minister Democratic Party Islamic Republic Democratic Movement Racist Ideology
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