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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 5. Elimination and Dissolution

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ELIMINATION AND DISSOLUTION

In the previous chapter the Mostadha’fin’s ideology and their clear views about both the shah’s regime and the regime that would led by the clerics were discussed in detail. Their opposition to the establishment of a religious regime, at least to what Khomeini was proposing to establish, was similar to the approach taken by the ideologue Ali Sharia’ti. In addition, however, to the political discussion about who was supposed to rule and according to whose ideas, what bothered the Mostadha’fin was that the revolution in which they had taken part was a popular revolution that was being led by fraudulent ideas that were opposed to the spirit of Shia and the spiritual essence of the Shia reality in the world. Ruling the country was, in itself, not the goal but the means to realize noble ideas that had originated in the Shia religion but which, ironically, had not been introduced by clerics but by “secular” emissaries who were under their authority.

In this context it is important to note that Sharia’ti’s consistent opposition to rule by the clerics was not based on any purely religious view that saw their being in power as a distortion of the holy religious scriptures or as an objection to the idea of the exclusive rule of the Vanished Imam, but was an opposition to a religious regime that was of an orthodox conservative persuasion that was neither consistent with the essence...

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