"Islamic Republic: The Future of an Illusion"

Ahmad Sadri speaking at Emory University seminar

The seminar titled "Iran 2009 Election: Precursors, Observations, and Consequences" was held in Atlanta, Georgia on August 29, 2009. Dr. Sadri is Professor Sociology and Anthropology and Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College.


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Bahram G

Mr. Fateh

by Bahram G on

I recall in one of your posts you said something to the effect that you read books and it is a major way for you in gathering information and viewpoints. Excellent.

So, you must have come across the notions that I am about to share with you. I am doing that just for a reminder and nothing more. You see, holding to what you call "jafangiat" has a lot to do with the time and circumstances of being subjected to them.

In a way, for example, nothing seems to be more absurd than a duckling adopting a walking old man with a bucket in hand as its mother. Ducklings adopt any moving object as their "parent" during a critical period in their life. They are genetically programmed to become imprinted on the first moving object, person, or duck that they encounter during the short period after they hatch.

Now, with humans, a similar process, albeit much weaker, seems to operate. That is, information, in the broadest sense of the term, when provided to the very young tend to stick and shape the person. That's why nearly all children of Catholics become Catholic and stay Catholic for life. The same is true with Muslims and various sects of Islam and any and all other religions. It is the early input into the blank slate of the young child that penetrates deeply and becomes most resistant to dislodging.

It is for this reason that Saint Augustin said something to the effect of giving him the young until he is seven years old or so and that child will be his forever. Or, Freud placed immense importance to the early experiences of childhood. And a noted Behaviorist J, B. Watson claimed that given a dozen healthy and well-formed infants and his specified conditions he would make those infant anything he wished -- doctors, lawyers, beggarman or thieves.

And there is also an Islamic saying: Al elmo fel seghar kal naghsho fel hajar (training/educating at the young age is akin to carving in the stone).

Now. The point is that it is indeed hard to dig all that pounded in stuff from the mind and re-build one's cognitive world from scratch. It is by far easier to rationalize and do whatever it takes to not rock the boat of the mind. Some people do succeed in so doing. Even these people pay a price for so doing. Yet, a great many just take the middle course. They may make some adjustments. Others may neither fully subscribe to the stuff, nor dump them altogether.

In short, it is hard to purge the mind of the early stuffed-in software and write one's own program to run one's life. And we humans, by nature, tend to avoid exertion. And cognitive exertion can be even more demanding and daunting than physical exertion.

I hope that this little friendly note helps you to be more understanding of those of us who are unable or unwilling to give up our early installed "jafangiat."

Bahram G 



by timothyfloyd on


Darius Kadivar

It is indeed the Begining of the END ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on


When you have believed in

by Faramarz_Fateh on

When you have believed in something that is mostly jafangiyat, its very hard to admit to it. For some, its like admitting to stupidity.

Thats why you see people on this site try to hold on to this outdated belief system at any cost sometimes with utter shamelessness.

What they don't realize is that continuing to believe in these jafangiyat is more stupid than admitting that you used to believe in them.

Islam and democracy are like oil and water.  They don't mix well. 

Farah Rusta

Distorting Shiite history

by Farah Rusta on

It did not take five minutes for Sadri to redefine and whitewash the entire history of Shiite Iran and the emergence of Guardianship of Jurisconsult (Velayate Faqih).

Quiet Shiism? (can't imagine the Safavids' imposing Shiism on Iran can be described as quiet!)

Khomeini devised the concept of velayte faqih? (Mola Mehdi Naraqi woud turn in his grave hearing such nonsnse - and so will Fath-Ali Shah - his sponsor).

Islamic republic is a theocracy-democracy?!! (is akin to suggest Stalinist Soviet Union was a zionist-socialist state).

 One of the leading charcteristics of this generation of Islamic wannabe intellecuals is their appetite for covenrsion and distorsion of historical facts.

Still, thanks for posting - it was quite revealing.



delluded conspiracy theorists


we have so many of them on this site... fortunately iranians inside are far more educated than the ones outside.