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The Mostadha’fin’s Confusing Journey from Sharia’ti’s Revolutionary Utopianism to Khomeini’s Dystopian Reality 1976-1982

Ronen A. Cohen

Among the players in the Iranian Revolution were tens of groups, including the Mojahedin-e Khalq, the Forqan Group, the Hojjatiyeh, and the Tudeh, among others. Yet, one was not so well-known and, unlike others that embarked on revolutionary paths, this group was not big or active enough to do any serious damage to anybody, except perhaps to themselves, by scratching out their own innovative brand of ideological revolution. Sharia’ti’s ideology and revolutionary thought was on the front lines of the Revolution playing its modest part. Moreover, on second, third, or even fourth look, the Islamic Revolution could not have gone on without them. Though their contribution may have been modest and not easily detected, their role was nonetheless very important and must be understood to fully comprehend the main theme of the Revolution.

This book speaks to the Arman-e Mostadha’fin’s story. Confused and frustrated, this group tried to make its contribution to the Revolution’s spirit, in particular how to understand Sharia’ti’s ideological path. At the end of the day, their impact was too little to influence the wave of the Revolution; however, their existence within it helped to serve Sharia’ti’s ideology in a way that changed the shape of the Islamic Revolution’s first days.

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Books in English

Abrahamian, Ervand, A History of Modern Iran (UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran between Two Revolutions (Princeton, 1982).

Abrahamian, Ervand, Radical Islam: the Iranian Mojahedin (London, 1989).

Ahmed, S. K. Ishtiaque, Political Radicalism in Pre-Islamic Revolutionary Persian Literature of Iran—with Special reference to the writings of Dr. Ali Shariati (PhD Dissertation, submitted to Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2000).

Akhavi, Shahrough, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran: Clergy-State Relations in the Pahlavi Period (Albany: University of New York Press, 1980).

Boroujerdi, Mehrzad, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism (Syracuse, 1996).

Brumberg, Daniel, Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran (Chicago, 2001).

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