An intellectual history of the Green Wave
The New Republic / Abbas Milani
13-Jul-2009 (3 comments)

Ali Shariati, who some have called the Luther of Shiism, would become his faith's most influential reformer. His eclectic use of Marx, Freud, Sartre, and Fanon, and his attempt to combine them with elements of Shia faith, allowed him to create an ideology appealing to the intelligentsia and the Iranian middle class. It was part fashionable piety (the way Kabbalah is the spiritual fad of Hollywood) and part facile radicalism. To many in the current generation of reformists, he is known simply as "the teacher." He provided the possibility of a new reading of Shiism--one as compatible with Marx's idea of praxis as with Muhammad's notion of piety. But, as soon became evident, Shariati's ultimate goal was less the reform of Shiism than using it as an instrument for social change. Many of today's reformists, though inspired by his ideas, have not adopted this "instrumental" disposition toward their religion. Ironically, however, one person who did come to share Shariati's "instrumental" attitude toward Islam was Ayatollah Khomeini. And this is an area where the traditions of Na'ini and Nuri--that is, reform and absolutism--would combine to legitimize despotism.

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Darius-khan, He is not my joonjooni

by alexarjomand on

I had not heard of my joonjooni prior to reading this article.  I included the article because he made good points and seemed to include high level access to some of the main players.   Milani is not a top analyst and what I have read of his suggests that he takes liberties with the facts, some are deliberate, most the result of being sloppy.  There is no reason to mix Majd's and Milani's articles. One attempts to define the intellectual history of the Green Wave without having done his research or having any grounding in his chosen topic, whereas the other is simply providing a first hand and interesting account of the pre-election period. 

It is too much to expect an incredibly high level of consistency from people all the time.  A lot of those who are the strongest and in some casest bravest activists in the movement to remove the IRI, and before you pounce, I am not including Majd in either of those categories, are the same people who demonstrated in the streets of Iran in 78 and 79 for the overthrow of the Shah or, as Majd suggests, the same people who have collaborated with the IRI post 1979. 

The opposition to the regime encompasses a very big umbrella because Iran is a very big and diverse country.  Some of the people under the umbrella are genuinely unpalatable to anyone with a modicum of sensibility--some of the Reformists even talk of Khalkhali as a misunderstood Iranian who made positive contributions, which makes me sick to my stomach!  Having said that, at times like this it is hard and not very productive to be too selective.  In retrospect I am probably too judgmental and harsh with respect to your joonjooni,Milani, and apologies for having offended both or either of you, but there you go nobody is perfect and always consistent...

Darius Kadivar

Milani is Certainly More Credible Than Your JoonJooni Majd ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Hooman Majd is worthy of the Hezbeh Baad and his NIAC/AIC counterparts ...

He should Stick to Producing his boring movies instead. Too many NIAC/AIC Caviar Parties and eating Rafsanjan Pistachios and drinking Sharabeh Sardasht have blurred his vision.

Last TIme he said Iranians called Khatami "Khoda Biamorz"

Coming from the Renegade Son of a former Diplomat in the Shah's regime turned IRI Apologist. I am not surprised by Houman Majd's sudden change of mood.

Hezbeh Baad indeed ...



Milani is not credible

by alexarjomand on

Milani's scholarship is very dodgy.  His account of prominent Iranians, Eminent Persians, is riddled with errors and he was reportedly paid to include (& amend) passages on certain individuals.  I find it difficult to take anything he does or says seriously.