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V. The iranian revolution: The multiple contexts of the iranian revolution

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Chapter Summary

The Iranian Islamic Revolution, the only continual regime constituted by a modern fundamentalist movement, shares many of the characteristics of the Great revolutions. The movement, under the leadership of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and their Islamic ideology and traditional religious institutions such as mosques, allowed the leaders to assert themselves against one of the strongest regimes of the Third World with a distinguished but repressive state apparatus. The origins of Islam as a political ideology and praxis can be traced back to the gradual expansion of European capitalism and its corresponding civilization from the nineteenth century in the Islamic lands of the Ottomans, Persians, and Indians. The Abbasid revolution can in many ways be seen as one point in the Khaldounian cycles of political dynamics of Islam. In Shi’ism there is a fundamental agreement that there is no leadership of the ulama but the leadership of the Twelfth Imam.

Keywords: Abbasid revolution; European capitalism; Iranian Islamic Revolution; Islamic ideology; Shi’ism; Third World; Twelfth Imam; ulama



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