Politics and Religion

The ‘’relationship’’ between religion and politics has always been a hot topic and quite a controversial issue . These two concepts can been very compatible and totally adverse at the same time. Both history and today various countries choose their desired policy about it.

Secularism is the view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs.  A system where politics is seperated from religion. Term ‘’Secularism’’ was  created by the British writer George Holyoake in 1851, although this ideology was reflected  in earlier history by remarkable personalities: Epicurus, Markus Aurelius, Voltaire..

 Nowadays secularism is commonly found in Europe. Smart solution to manage the conflict that religious diversity brings. Such proposition doesn’t discirminate any variety of Christianity and other religions.

The story of Iran

When it comes to religion and politics, Iran is a pretty good example to mention. The Islamic Republic of Iran – name already shows that policy is closely linked to religion. It is important to know that this country has not always ruled by Islamic laws. After Reza Shah Pahlavi was crowned secularism in Iran was soon established as state policy. It means that people in Iran have experienced a very distinct ways to living.

The White Revolution

Attention should be given to a special period of time in Iran –  the White Revolution! The revolution launched in 1963 by Shah Reza Mohammad Pahlavi. He called for a national referendum in which 5,598,711 people voted for the reforms, and 4,115 voted against the reforms.

The main goal of the revolution was a radical Land Reforms Program and Abolishing Feodalism. It was a possibility for villagers, who had once been nothing more than slaves, to own the lands that they had been cultivating all their lives. Land Reforms Program brought freedom to approximately 9 million people ( 40% of Irans population ).

After the launching of the White Revolution: women gained the right to vote; the literacy rate in country raised from 26% to 46%; many small factories opened up; may roads were asphalted, railway was expanded. This is a small part of the benefits carried by the revolution.

Life in Iran became quite luxurious.

Boeing 747 (Jumbo Jet)  is among the world’s most recognizable aircraft and was the first wide – body airliner ever produced.  The first  747 – 100B order was for Iran. You couldn’t find this model in Europe. Imperial Iranian Airforce was a primary user  of the Grumman F – 14 Tomcat. F -14 is a supersonic, twinjet, two – seat, variable – sweep wing fighter aircraft.

The quality of life was better. In the Imperial State of Iran for 1 rial you could buy 7 dollars, but today you can buy a dollar for 3400 IRR.

There was no need to obtain a visa, if Iranian citizen was planning to travel. 

Students in the Park of Tehran University in 1971. Short skirts and open hair:

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The Islamic Revolution

The White revolution received most of its criticism from landlords and clergymen.  Clergy were angry at the reforms, because the education and family law removed much of their traditional powers , their influence in the rural areas decreased. Landlords were angry about the land reforms, their authority was reduced by government.

Unfortunately, was created a huge gap between the poor and the rich, between the rural and urban areas. This gap was a soil to form the Islamic Revolution. Person who most openly opposed the White Revolution and the Shah himself was Ruhollah Khomeini. He was the the leader of the Islamic revolution which happened in 1979.

Secularism was replaced by Islamic policy. The gap between the rich and the poor ones decreased. There were also other changes in the country. Economic situation worsened.

Establishment of modern judicial system to administer man made laws turned to cruel, inhuman punishments. In January, 2013 the Telegraph published an article ‘’Iran unveils finger amputating machine for use on thieves’’.

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Censorship and Iran. Censors goal is to maintain stability in the country.  It helps prevent unapproved reformist, counter – revolutionary, or religious proponents from organizing themselves and spreading their ideals. Censored is television, radio, print media, films, museum and gallery exhibits and, of course, the Internet. Iran is known as one of the leading suppressors of Internet freedom. The government operates one of the largest Internet censorship regimes in the world. Iran has an extensive list of blacklisted sites. On the Internet are censored almost half of 500 most popular sites. Most heavily Iranian regime censors pornographic Web sites. Also high percentage of news, art and society Web sites are blocked. 

Women became a second class citizens. Testimony of one man is equal to testimony of 2 woman. Man inherits twice as large share than a woman.

Are you sure all these laws and doings are closely related to the Koran? Is such functioning state worthy to bear the name  ‘’Islam”? Maybe it is a kind of religious sacrilege? It seems that political and religious interactions undermine the prestige of religion. 

What is the target of using religion in politics? Can religion be used as the weapon to make stronger position in politics? Could it be the way of manipulation?

 

 

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