Has any other muslim nation shown as much pride in its pre-conquest history as Iran even while the Coup government does everying possible to stamp out that past? Along with the Turks, Iranians are unique among muslims in having retained their own spoken language rather that adopting arabic speech. Originally both were forced to accept the Arabic alphabet when it came to expressing their language in writing. However, Turkey switched to the western alphabet as part of Kemal Ataturk's efforts at creating a modern secular government (de-arabization). Thus one of the first things that strikes visitors to Turkey are the street signs, newspapers and stores: No arabic anywhere.
Iranians may speak Farsi but they still retain the Arab alphabet--a vestige of conquest--when it comes to writing. Assuming Iranians someday replace the present tyranny with a democracy, have Iranians considered the relative advantages and disadvantages of switching to another alphabet. From a nationalistic point of view, Iranians have little reason to feel any loyalty to the Arabic alphabet and many reasons to feel resentment. When it comes to modernization, travel, trade and emigration, a change could be advantageous. A substantial proportion of Iranians seem to have experience with the alternate alphabets, especially the western alphabet though Chinese is anohter option. Any decision regarding the written alphabet is for Iranians to make and no one else.
Assuming a conqueror wants to guarantee PERMANENT control of a conquered people and reshape them for good, the extermination of the former elite is an essential place to begin. I refer to the ruling class, the nobility (if any) and the native intelligensia. Since the 20th century teachers of history, social studies and the humanities have been special targets when it comes to reshaping the conquered.
When Nazi and Soviet armies seized control of eastern Europe one of their first steps was to slaughter the elite (look up Katyn Forest as an example). That done, locals could then be "sovietized" or "aryanized" though in Hitler's case the conquered population must be considered "racially redeemable." Thus many Polish youth were hauled off to Germany for re-education and forced adoption.
Similarly, the first thing Arab conquerors did took after overruning a new people was to exterminate the previous elite--often by mass beheadings--followed by distribution of the the spoils of war, including womenfolk. It's an excellent way to motivate one's troops. Next came arabization which only partially included imposing Islam by force at first. As an ideology Islam was as useful to Arab imperial ambitions as communism was to Russian imperial ambitions. Arabization also required a change in language, both written and, where possible, spoken.
Conquered people who were reluctant to accept Islam were tolerated on condition that they were willing to accept second-class citizenship and substantially restricted rights. As generations passed and as descendants of the conquered forget what their ancestors had endured, voluntary conversion became easier, especially considering the political, judicial and economic advantages in doing so. Thus even as late as 300 years Egypt was conquered, most of its population remained coptic Christian. Today there are only persecuted remnants.
In any muslim country where the Islamist movement has great influence (Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Taliban-ruled areas) negative pressures on minorities are substantial and minority emigration a consequence. Islamist attempts to eliminate any trace of pre-Islamic history continue even in the 21st century. After all it was not until the arrival of western archeologists that Egyptians, that many people in Islamic countrries even became aware of their pre-conquest heritage. Nationalism's spread, though condemned as "un-Islamic," encouraged local such interest. Historians say nationalism first appeared in the West during the Hundred Years War between France and England. The first true nationalistic hero anyway was Joan of Arc.
Like nationalism, western ideas about "natural" and "inalienable" (pay attention, Mr. Khamenei) and "universal" human rights--products of the 18th century Enlightenment) inevitable spread to colonial subjects. Rather than being imposed by force, they had a striking natural appeal. Ironically the more conquered people absorbed such western ideas, the more likely they were to reject colonial rule or any totally domestic tyranny.
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