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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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Chapter 4. A Just Ideology, Justification and Fiction


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This chapter will discuss the fragmented nature of the Arman-e Mostadha’fin’s (hereinafter AeM) ideology but first one must remember that when discussing this revolutionary ideology one should bear in mind that on the eve of the Islamic many revolutionary ideologies were being fed, sold and distributed to the people like free mind-changing drugs. The movement of ideas from one revolutionary organization to another based upon the ideas of one ideologue or another was so widespread and rapid that many groups and movements soon lost their unique ideological identities and become more hybrid as they updated to the latest attractive ideology. The common denominator of all these revolutionary ideologies was their eagerness and passion to win the people’s hearts and souls and so become more and more influential and respectable.

In the reality and atmosphere of the pre-revolution period when this group was relying on Sharia’ti’s ideology, especially at a time when other groups were probably chanting the same message, it was extremely hard for the AeM to affect other prominent radical groups in Iran. From 1977, the year when they lost their guru with the surprising death of Sharia’ti in the UK, up till the outbreak of the revolution their voices were fundamentally loud and clear in their opposition to both the Shah and the clerics but compared to the other ← 77 | 78 → revolutionary groups, their voice and the agenda they were promoting was...

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