Experiments with Culture: The Role of Islam in Turkey and Iran

Report
Experiments with Culture:
The Role of Islam in Turkey and Iran
AP WORLD HISTORY
CHAPTER 23
“INDEPENDENCE AND DEVELOPMENT IN
THE GLOBAL SOUTH”
Arab Independence
 Saudi Arabia became
independent after World War I
 Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and
Jordan gained independence
after World War II with little
difficulty
 Complete autonomy was
difficult
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Egypt due to Suez Canal
Cold War tensions
Other states due to oil

OPEC
Creation of Israel
 Israel was created by a
UN mandate in 1947
 Israel seized control of
Jerusalem & all of
Palestine except the
West Bank & Gaza
Strip in 1949
 Israel easily wins the
Arab-Israeli War of
1967 and the Yom
Kippur War in 1973
Arab Nationalism
 Problems facing Arab nationalism
 Cold War splits nations as some allied with the U.S. and
others the USSR
 Differing government types (monarchy, military
dictatorships, Islamic revolutionary)
 Sunni-Shi’a split
 Anwar Sadat facilitated peace process between
Arab world & Israel (1978-1980)

His reward? He was assassinated in 1981
 Sadat’s assassination made Saddam Hussein leader
of the Arab world
Palestinian Liberation Organization
 Created in 1964 by
Yasser Arafat to promote
Palestinian rights
 Often resorted to
“terrorism” against
Israel
 Negotiated limited
Palestinian self-rule in
1993 and 1995

PLO was replaced by
Hamas as the leading
anti-Israeli organization
in Palestine
Yasser Arafat, founder of the PLO,
and Yitzak Rabin, Israel’s prime
minister, shake hands after signing
the Olso Accords in 1994
Experiments with Culture
 Common issue all across the
developing world = how to
balance older traditions with
modernity and Western
culture/outlooks
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Older traditions: Hinduism,
Confucianism, Islam, etc.
Western outlooks: scientific
outlook, technology, capitalism,
focus on material values, etc.
 Good examples of two very
different approaches to this
issue = Islam in Turkey vs.
Islam in Iran
Islam in Turkey
 Turkey = new nation created
out of the remnants of the
Ottoman Empire
 1st leader = General Mustafa
Kemal Atatürk
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

Wanted to transform Turkey into a
modern, secular (non-religious)
state
Believed modernization required
the removal of Islam from public
life, leaving it only to the
personal/private realm
Result = he ended the direct
political role of Islam in Turkey
Atatürk: Political and Religious Reforms
 Eliminated position of sultan
 Abolished the “caliphate” system
 Closed many Sufi organizations,
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
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
sacred tombs, and religious
schools
Abolished many religious titles
Dissolved Islamic courts
Replaced the sharia with secular
law codes
Encouraged the celebration of
pre-Islamic Turkish culture
Entertainment at the Turkish
Olympics
Atatürk: Social Reforms
 Ordered men to abandon the





Mustafa
Atatürk

traditional fez and wear
brimmed hats instead
Women not forced to wear a
veil
Encouraged European-style
clothing
Abolished polygamy
Women granted equal rights in
divorce, inheritance, and child
custody
1934 = women granted the right
to vote and hold public office
Public beaches opened to
women
Modernization in Iran
 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi


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
ruled Iran from 1941 to 1979
Promoted Iran’s modernization
with his “White Revolution”
Redistributed land to many of
Iran’s poor peasants
Granted women the right to vote
Invested in rural health care and
education
Started many industrial projects
Offered workers a share of
industries’ profits
Built a solid alliance with the U.S.
Modernization in Iran: Growing Opposition
 Local merchants = threatened
by an explosion of imported
Western goods and competition
from large businesses
 Ulama (religious leaders) =
offended by secular education
programs that bypassed Islamic
schools, as well as state control
of religious institutions
 Educated professionals = found
Iran’s dependence on the West
disturbing
 Rural migrants to the cities =
faced rising costs and
unemployment
Modernization in Iran: Growing Opposition
 Mosques = became the
main centers for this
growing opposition
movement


Led by Shi’ite religious leaders
Emerging leader of this
movement = Ayatollah Ruholla
Khomeini
 In 1979 = massive urban
demonstrations, strikes,
and defections from the
military forced the shah to
abdicate the throne and
leave Iran
The Iranian Revolution (1979)
 Also known as the Islamic
Revolution
 Cultural revolution = exact opposite
of Atatürk’s revolution and reforms
in Turkey
 Goal = increased Islamization of
public life
 New government = an “Islamic
Republic”

Technically included a constitution and
an elected parliament
 In reality = the ulama and other
religious leaders had dominant
power

Headed by Khomeini
The Iranian Revolution: Political Reforms
 Purpose of
government = to
apply the law of Allah
as expressed in the
sharia
 Judges not competent
in Islamic law =
dismissed
 Secular law codes
under previous shah
= discarded
The Iranian Revolution: Educational Reforms
 200 universities and colleges
closed for 2 years while
textbooks, curricula, and
faculty were “purified” of nonIslamic influences
 Elementary and high schools
= now gave priority to
religious instruction and
teaching Arabic
 40,000 teachers fired because
not “devoted” enough to Islam
 Pre-Islamic history and
literature = abandoned
The Iranian Revolution: Women
 1983 = all women required to
wear a hijab – head-to-toe
covering
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Militants/guards = enforced this
Punishments for a “bad” hijab =
harassment, public lashings, or
even imprisonment
 Sexual segregation in schools,
parks, beaches, and public
transportation
 Legal age of marriage for girls =
reduced to 9 with parental
consent; 13 (then 15) without it
 Married women could not file
for divorce or go to school
“Exporting” Islam
 Khomeini wanted to spread
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Islam throughout the world
Wanted the replacement of
insufficiently Islamic regimes in
the Middle East
Appealed to Shi’ite minorities in
Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi
Arabia, and Iraq
Intensified the divide between
the Shi’ite minority and the
Sunni majority
1980-1989 = war between
Khomeini’s Islamized Iran and
Saddam Hussein’s highly
secularized Iraq
Maintaining Economic Modernity in Iran
 Oil revenues in
Iran = fund its
development
 Early 21st century =
Iran was pursuing
nuclear power and
(perhaps) nuclear
weapons
Religion and Global Modernity
 Despite modernity and
science, religion has played a
powerful role in the last
century
 4 major religious trends:
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Further spread of major world
religions
Resurgence of religions in new
forms
Opposition of religions to elements
of a secular and global modernity
Religions’ political role as a source
of community identity and conflict
Religion and Global Modernity
 Examples of the further
spread of religions:
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Buddhist ideas like meditation
and yoga became very popular
in the West
Christianity spread widely in:
non-Muslim Africa, South
Korea, parts of India, and
China
Millions of migrants from the
Islamic world planted their
religion solidly in the West
Fundamentalism on a Global Scale
 Fundamentalism = one type of
religious response to the modernizing
and globalizing world

Strict religious devotion that is defensive,
assertive, and exclusive
 Fundamentalism emerged because
many religions felt threatened by
features of the modern world:
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Scientific and secular focus of modernity
challenged the core beliefs of supernatural
religion
Social upheavals connected with
globalization = upset the traditional class,
family, and gender relationships valued by
many religions
Nation-states (often associated with certain
religions) = undermined by the global
economy and influence of “alien” cultures
Christian Fundamentalists in the U.S.
 Outraged with: “scientific” and
critical approaches to the Bible,
Darwinian evolution, and liberal
versions of Christianity
 Wanted to get back to the
“fundamentals” of Christianity
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Literal truthfulness of the scriptures
Belief in the virgin birth and physical
resurrection of Jesus
Belief in miracles
 Came to oppose:
 Political liberalism and “big
government”
 The sexual revolution of the 1960s
 Rights for the LGBT community
 Abortion rights
Hindu Fundamentalists in India
 Known as the Hindutva
movement = Hindu
nationalism
 Believed India was, and had
always been, a Hindu land
 Goal for India = to make it a
purely Hindu nation again
with a Hindu-based
government
 Opposed the existence of
other religions, beliefs, etc. in
India

Christians, Muslims, Sikhs,
Secularists
Resistance and Renewal in the World of Islam
 Disappointments within the
Muslim world that fueled
Islamic renewal:

“Western” and secular policies not
successful  created overcrowded
cities with few services, widespread
unemployment, pervasive corruption,
slow economic growth, and a
widening gap between the rich and
poor
 Issues with the West that fueled
Islamic renewal:
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A foreign presence still existed in the
Muslim world even after
decolonization  example: the
creation of Israel in 1948
Increasing presence of Western
culture that was offensive  Barbie
dolls, alcohol, scantily clad women,
American movies, secular schools,
etc.
Soldiers in Iran disposing
of illegal alcohol
Examples of Violent Muslim Fundamentalists
 Egyptian Islamic Jihad =
assassinated President Anwar
Sadat (1981) because of his
breakdown on Islamic and
Islamic opposition groups
 Radical Islamic groups in Mecca
= sought the overthrow of the
Saudi government because of its
modernity, relationship with the
West, and un-Islamic lifestyle
 Hamas in Palestine & Hezbollah
in Lebanon = target Israel
because they believe its
existence is illegitimate
Resistance and Renewal in the World of Islam
 Various expressions of Islamic
renewal:
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In their personal lives, many people =
became more religiously observant,
attended mosque, prayed regularly, fasted,
etc.
Many women = adopted modest Islamic
dress and the veil voluntarily
Many governments = sought to anchor
themselves in Islamic rhetoric and practice
Creation of Muslim organizations that
operated to provide social services that the
state offered inadequately
Islamic activists = took leadership roles in
unions and professional organizations
Another expression of Islamic renewal =
sought the violent overthrow of what they
saw as “compromised” regimes in the
Muslim world
Examples of Violent Muslim Fundamentalists
 Al-Qaeda = created by Osama
bin Laden
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Grew more radical when his
homeland (Saudi Arabia) allowed
the stationing of “infidel” U.S.
troops in Islam’s holy land during
and after the first American war
against Iraq in 1991
Mid-1990s = he found a safe haven
in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan
 Great enemies of al-Qaeda = not
Christianity itself or even
Western civilization, but:
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Irreligious Western-style modernity
U.S. imperialism
An American-led economic
globalization

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