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”
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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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
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Mustafa
Atatürk
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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
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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”
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Technically included a constitution and
an elected parliament
 In reality = the ulama and other
religious leaders had dominant
power
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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

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