“Fanatic,” “dogmatic,” “fundamentalist”—these are the words most often used in the West to describe the Ayatollah Khomeini. The essays in this book challenge. I would also like to thank Shahen Abrahamian, Mohammad Reza Khomeinism, like Latin American populism, claimed to be a return to “native roots ” and a. Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic, Ervand Abrahamian,. London: I. B. Tauris and Berkeley: University of California Press, , xi +. pp., $
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Khomeinism by Ervand Abrahamian – Paperback – University of California Press
Preview — Khomeinism by Ervand Abrahamian. Essays on the Islamic Republic by Ervand Abrahamian. The essays in this book challenge that view, arguing that Khomeini and his Islamic movement should be seen as a form of Third World political populism—a radical but pragmatic middle-class movement that strives to enter, rather than reject, the modern “Fanatic,” “dogmatic,” “fundamentalist”—these are the words most often used in the West to describe the Ayatollah Khomeini.
The essays in this book challenge that view, arguing that Khomeini and his Islamic movement should be seen as a form of Third World political populism—a radical but pragmatic middle-class movement that strives to enter, rather than reject, the modern age.
Ervand Abrahamian, while critical of Khomeini, asks us to look directly at the Ayatollah’s own works and to understand what they meant to his principal audience—his followers in Iran. Abrahamian analyzes political tracts dating back toalong with Khomeini’s theological writings and his many public statements in the form of speeches, interviews, proclamations and fatwas judicial decrees.
What emerges, according to Abrahamian, is a militant, sometimes contradictory, political ideology that focuses not on issues of scripture and theology but on the immediate political, social, and economic grievances of workers and the middle class.
These essays reveal how the Islamic Republic has systematically manipulated history through televised “recantations,” newspapers, school textbooks, and even postage stamps. All are designed to bolster the clergy’s reputation as champions of the downtrodden and as defenders against foreign powers. Abrahamian also discusses the paranoia that permeates the political spectrum in Iran, contending that such deep distrust is symptomatic of populist regimes everywhere.
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Jan 21, Nariman rated it really liked it.
Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic
View all 3 comments. Dec 27, Homa Zd rated it really liked it. May 21, Zohra Star rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone Curious about the Iranian Regime. This book demystifies the Iranian regime by “reading” the campaign that Khomeini had launched.
The best thing I learned from this book is how the Iranian regime, while acting holier-than-thou is actually heretical, according to Ebrahamian, in many ways and it is best compared to South American Labor movements. Munch on this book the next time you want to blurt out generalizations about Islam at your next get-together. Nov 30, Theodora rated it really liked it Shelves: Loved the comparison to South American labor struggles.
Could provide interesting reading for those into liberation theology but might know nothing about the Islamic Republic Oct 29, Eric Randolph rated it it was amazing. Brilliantly useful, engaging and rare — left me wanting much more.
Apr 27, Chris Kelly rated it liked it Shelves: There are few political figures who inspire more emotional reactions in the modern world than Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and there are few events that have garnered more divisive analyses than the Iranian Revolution of Whether receiving the blind support of followers or the derision of detractors, Khomeini and the movement that he led into power, has often been reduced to a singularly uncomplicated phenomenon, guided too often by the content of his rhetoric and not by the many nuances There are few political figures who inspire more emotional reactions in the modern world than Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and there are few events that have garnered more divisive analyses than the Iranian Revolution of Whether receiving the blind support of followers or the derision of detractors, Khomeini and the movement that he led into power, has often been reduced to a singularly uncomplicated phenomenon, guided too often by the content of his rhetoric and not by the many nuances of his writings and the reality of the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ervand Abrahmian seeks to cut through the simplistic labels of “fundamentalist” or “black reactionary” that are often heaped onto Khomeini by western policy makers and journalists, to paint a picture of a more complex figure.
Abrahmian argues in these five essays that Khomeini’s long public record of writings and speeches show a man whose political views changed over time in response to the varied political circumstances that he faced. From an elite cleric critical of the policies of the Pahlavi monarchy, to a radical revolutionary who spoke out on behalf of the “mostazafin” the oppressedto a national leader who sought to defuse revolutionary furor in favor of bolstering the propertied middle class, Khomeini has behaved, in Abrahamian’s view, more like any populist third world leader than a religious fundamentalist.
He rejects the view of Khomeini as a backwards looking religious fanatic – arguing that in fact Khomeini’s guiding political ideology of “velayat-e fagih” guardianship of the jurist was a radically new concept in Shi’i Islam and not an attempt to turn the clock back to the seventh century as some critics have suggested.
Book review: Ervand Abrahamian, “Khomeinism: essays on the Islamic republic” – LSE Research Online
The five essays in this book examine Khomeini’s and the Islamic Republic’s record in both theory and practice on issues such as tradition vs. Implicit in Abrahamian’s argument is a strong criticism of the regime and its raison d’etre, illustrating that behind the strong rhetoric used by the revolutionaries of the ‘s, the Islamic Republic has behaved much more like a government of men rife with compromise than like the utopian representative of God’s will that it promised to deliver.
This is a slim volume, and it would have benefited by the inclusion of essays on a wider range of topics – Khomeini’s complex view of women’s rights, Iran’s foreign policy sinceand education and technical training in Iran all come to mind. Nonetheless, Abrahamian’s objective look at the reality of the complexities of Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic is a welcome one in an era of reductionist and simplistic analysis of Iran.
It is noteworthy, that the book was published in during the “moderate” presidency of Rafsanjani. It would be interesting to see how Abrahamian would update the book to cover the past twenty years that have included the rise and fall of the reformist movement and the election of Ahmedinijad in Yorgos rated it liked it Jun 10, Javad rated it did not like it Aug 05, Elham Naeej rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Harry Miktarian rated it really liked it Jun 13, Meredith J LoBello rated it it was amazing Jan 09, khomsinism Anvari rated it liked it Apr 29, Khashayar rated it really liked it Feb 01, Damian rated it really liked it Mar 10, Cemile rated it really liked abrahamiam Nov 08, Klyv rated it really liked it Jan 26, Ali Emre rated it it was amazing May 08, Mike rated it really liked it Apr 16, Rola rated it really liked it Feb 18, Usman Butt rated it really liked it Aug 23, Mathew rated it liked it Apr 11, Rune Norheim rated it really liked it Aug 15, Sepide Fallah rated it ihomeinism was amazing May 16, Cecilia rated it liked it Feb 01, Sean Namei rated it it was amazing Jan 08, Paul rated it liked it Nov 30, Abdi rated it really liked it Aug 14, Eduardo khomeinksm it it was amazing Aug 31, Sara Fabulous rated it liked it Dec 01, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Columbia Universityan Armenian born in Iran and raised in England, is well qualified by education and experience to teach world and Middle East history. He is currently working on two books: Books by Ervand Abrahamian. No trivia or quizzes yet.
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