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Newly-Independent Countries: Preserving westernisation Some looking to Islam as solution to lack of prosperity.

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Presentation on theme: "Newly-Independent Countries: Preserving westernisation Some looking to Islam as solution to lack of prosperity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Newly-Independent Countries: Preserving westernisation Some looking to Islam as solution to lack of prosperity

2 1794 Qajar dynasty takes control of Iran, reigns until Mirza Taqi Khan, first minister to shah, arrests chief religious scholar of Tabriz 1851 Shah dismisses Mirza Taqi Khan and agrees to his murder 1891 Protests against granting of tobacco monopoly to British, led by religious scholars, force shah to cancel it

3 Dec 1905 Authorities order flogging of merchants for raising sugar prices. Provokes strikes and protests by merchants and religious scholars July 1906 Another, larger protest, leading British to induce shah to institute legislative assembly (majlis) Oct 1906 Majlis set up, along with senate, independent judiciary, mandatory education, freedom of press and religion

4 Shah briefly suspends majlis, after which majlis gradually divides into Democrats (supporters of, among other things, separation of religion and state) and Social Moderates (supporters of religious scholars, landowners and nobility) 1907 Partition of Iran between British and Russians 1911 Majlis closed

5 World War I 1915 Re-opening of majlis Feb 1921 Reza Khan ( ) takes control of government 1924 Reza Khan meets with religious elite, elected shah Reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi

6 1925 Reza Shah Pahlavi enacts numerous reforms, including many intended to curb power of religious elite. Renames country Iran 1941 Reza Shah deposed by British, succeeded by son Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (r )

7 1953 Muhammad Reza Pahlavi takes control of majlis 1961 Shah dismisses majlis, rules by decree, opposed by many including Ruhallah Khomeini ( ), who is exiled 1963 Election won by New Iran Party, supporters of shah “Westoxication”

8 Causes of the Iranian Revolution, Autocratic rule of shah, including brutal suppression of opponents (incl. by SAVAK) Perceived subservience of shah to U.S.A. and Israel, seen by some as allowing Christianity and Judaism to corrupt Islam Uneven distribution of wealth, leading to disaffection of poor Cultural westernisation offending religious scholars and nationalists

9 Jan 1978 Government-inspired attack on Khomeini in press provokes demonstration by theological students. Suppressed and 70 people killed, seen as martyrs like al-Husayn (d. 680) 40 days later memorial demonstrations held, violently suppressed 40 days later more demonstrations…

10 16th Jan 1979 Shah leaves Iran, with power passing into hands of Khomeini Late 1979 Constitution creates new governmental system with chief theologian (i.e. Khomeini) as Supreme Leader and representative of Hidden Imam. Also parliament and Council of Guardians

11 Impact of Iranian Revolution: In west: Iran’s return to Middle Ages? In Muslim world: some horrified, others inspired

12 Lessons: Rulers initially working to present selves as champions of Islam, pacify religious elite Growing autocracy leading to growing discontent. Religion as one outlet Combined effort in Iranian Revolution, but religious elite then prepared to take control

13 Iranian aristocrat and supporter of Muhammad Reza Shah (r ) PM from Suppressed a number of revolts brutally. Was Minister at Court from Asadollah Alam ( )

14 Shi‘ite cleric Born in Khomein. Settled in Qom in Lectured and wrote on Islamic ethics and law Ruhallah Khomeini al-Musavi ( )

15 Became fierce critic of shah and government for their secularism and western orientation. Preaching led to protests against the shah Exiled in 1964, but continued to preach Returned in 1979 to rebuild Iran after revolution. Was Supreme Leader until his death Ruhallah Khomeini al-Musavi ( )


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