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Khomeini and Persian Literature - Essay Example

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Khomeini often backed his claims to speak for and represent the people on the basis of various hadith of the Prophet. 'The scholars are rulers over the people', he would cite. His political writing and commentary - and he had a lifetime's scholarship behind him - thus had a powerful logic, since they were derived from early Islamic thought and history…
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Khomeini and Persian Literature
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Download file to see previous pages At the same time he had in no way compromised with the Shah's regime. Because of this unimpeachable position Khomeini occupied and held the high moral ground. The Shah did not have a chance once his army and secret police began to unravel.
No one understood better than Khomeini himself the importance of mobilizing the masses through traditional religious symbolism. He used the tazyah processions which commemorate Karbala, the seminal historical occasion when Hussain was martyred, to mobilizing the people (p. 119). In 1978 he sent messages from abroad to Iranians asking them to prepare for the massive marches of the month of Muharram (p. 120). These would break the spirit of the military, who had no will to kills their own people. By converting the traditional mourning for Hussain during Ashurah into a challenge to the Shah, Khomeini again touched a deep chord in people (p. 121). Hussain's martyrdom was in the cause of justice and his fight against tyranny. Modern Iranians understood the message. The Muharram of 1978 was used to agitate for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of an Islamic state and to further challenge the USA (Baqer 1999, p. 245). In the next Muharram Khomeini directed people to return to their own neighborhood, in an attempt to calm things down.
All this is not to suggest that Khomeini was manipulating people. ...
250). Indeed it took considerable argument to persuade him to speak only of Iran in order to mobilize the Iranian people. It required further discussion to convince him that the President of Iran must be an Iranian, not just a Muslim. It must be recalled that the first foreign dignitary he received after the revolution was Yasser Arafat (p. 252). Though an Arab, Arafat symbolized an Islamic cause, that of liberating the holy placed of Palestine.
Islam for Khomeini meant Ithna Ashari or twelve Imam Shiism (Fereydoun 2003, p. 65). While providing the Shias with an immense reservoir of religious passion, this inevitably acted as a barrier between Shia and the Sunni areas and thereby created obstacles for Khomeini on the larger Muslim world stage (p. 67).
Yet Khomeini did move Shia and Sunni towards each other by declaring they were one. Throughout the Muslim world, he had earned the respect of the people. His challenging the USA, his reputation for integrity and public espousal of the Islamic cause were widely supported (p. 92). He had come to embody the moods of Islamic revivalism.
As the USA became the focus of both cultural and political opposition, and because it was the age of the Western media, Khomeini's image, in turn, became the symbol of all that was wrong with Iran in the USA. Khomeini was depicted as a humourless, cruel and medieval monk (p. 110).
Bearded clergy in flowing black robes, women covered in dark sheets, rituals centred around martyrs long dead, national hatred concentrated on the USA as the Great Satan - where does Iranian society related to the USA How do we make sense of the close relationships between the two up to the 1970s and then almost obsessive mutual hatred from the 1980s The answers are as complex as any ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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