Iran has always, it seems, been the breeding ground for some kind of political upheaval or another. In recent times, back in 1979, there was a major revolution which was, in some ways, similar to the revolution we are seeing today. The people were angry and they were tired of being controlled by the government that was in power. They had concrete ideals and were incredibly passionate about their revolution. The revolution Iran is experiencing today does not appear to be quite as passionate and does not appear to maintain a belief in any real solid political system. They just know they want something different. In the following paper we present an illustration of the current revolution that is taking place. We detail why it is occurring, why it seems heavily associated with Egypt, and why it may well pose a threat to the Western world, in terms of Islamic fundamentalism.
1.Why is Iran leading a worldwide Islamic revolution
In order to understand what is happening now, we must first go back in history. And, in examining this we should understand how history repeats itself in many ways. For example, we can look at the 1960s of this country and see a small illustration of a cultural revolution. Now, while we have not seen anything quite like this since, we had seen such in previous generations, like the 1920s when people were openly rebelling against the constraints of a society. Countries and the citizens who live within them will always come to particular periods in their historical lifeline where there is a great deal of conflict. Obviously with Iran, their history has been full of such conflict. And, in discussing their present revolution, we must first examine some similar aspects of the revolution of 1979:
"Iran's pre-revolutionary students (many of whom were communist rather than Islamist or democratic) were far better organised than the current lot. They had the determined aim of getting rid of the shah, his corrupt entourage and his western ways and buddies. They were in tune with many sections of the population, alienated from the shah and his security apparatus. Moreover, by the late 1970s, the shah's support had crumbled. He had no solid base fighting to keep him in power" (Anonymous Iran's second revolution? 13).
Now, the revolutionists today began with a limited protest set against a law that was designed to reverse the relative press freedom that one of the reformist government's tangible achievements. This was one reverse too far, for Iran's young "cherish a packet of grievances, ranging from the acute shortage of jobs to the social restrictions that ban most boy- and-girl outings. Restrictive though it is, the system allows discussion of these complaints, and many niggling rules have been quietly eased since Mr. Khatami took over" (Anonymous Iran's second revolution? 13). It was, however, after the police and their allies, the Islamist bully-boy militia, raided the dormitories in Tehran University, where they killed at least one student and probably more, that the shout for change began to penetrate "out-of-bounds areas. The students started to call for fundamental reforms, questioning the legitimacy of clerical control" (Anonymous Iran's second revolution? 13). They even went so far as to challenge the sacrosanct heart of Iran's Islamist edifice, the ultimate authority of the "supreme leader."
Clearly the young Islamists are unhappy with the current state of affairs and their apparent lack of freedom of the citizens of Iran. But, at the same time it is also believed that they are very eager to become a more active participant in Western society. They long for the media and the influence that is felt here in the United States. Ebtekar, the highest ranking woman to serve in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in an interview with Gradels, illustrates this in the following:
"The doors of the world today are wide open, whether we like it or not. Our youth, like...
Cited: Abdelnasser, Walid M.. "Islamic organizations in Egypt and the Iranian revolution of 1979: the experience of the first few years.," Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), (1997) : Spring, v19 n2, pp. 25(15).
Anonymous. "Iran 's second revolution? (Brief Article).," The Economist (US), (1999) : July, v352 i8128, pp. 13.
Anonymous. "The Islamic threat. (to Arab governments) (Editorial).," The Economist (US), (1993) : March, v326 n7802, pp. 25(2).
Gardels, Nathan. "The Islamic revolution: from the Shah to the Spice Girls. (interview with female Iranian politician Masoumeh Ebtekar)(Interview).," New Perspectives Quarterly, (1998) : Spring, v15 i2, pp. 36(4).
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