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Among the Believers notes

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Boston College
Political Science
POLI 1042

Among the Believers V.S. Naipaul • Gain a glimpse of how personal doctrines are • 1979 = revolution where Khomeini took over Shah o Shii regime based on Sharia • Sadeq = first interpreter o Naipaul didn’t like him (judgemental)  Sadeq = trying to be something he’s not, even though he’s a peasant (deferential but resentful) • Collars his sensibility • Behzad = second interpreter  improvement o Doesn’t try to pretend to be something he’s not  Ideals/positions parallel who he is o More objective, without faith • Tehran  Capital of Iran • Qom  center of religious learning of Shii Mullahs • Avicenna = Persian philosopher • 3 major divisions of Shii Islam th o Zaydis = Zayad is Imam (Fivers) (Zayad = 5 grandson of Husayn). Any descendent of prophet can be Imam o Ismailis = Seveners o Twelvers = majority  believe end of Imamate occurred in 874 and are waiting for Mahdi (leader) to return (waiting in occultation)  Occultation = in hiding/obscured • August 1979 = time of political transition (Shah to Ayatollah Khameini) o Shah was backed by West and arose as westerners wanted influence  Unpopular, regarded as a “puppet of the west” corrupted • Overthrown and reclaimed Iranian identity through revolution that is distinctly Muslim and Persian  Shii revolution • Ayatollah = manifestation of God o Receives special status for his wisdom, allowed to release statements of religion, leader of Shiis, Grand Imam • Magazines = reaging against wet carried through the end of the 70s o Doesn’t separate spiritual from secular  Intersection from private and public life • Return to a theocratic society • Some western technology is neutral, part of global bazaar • Mullah = religious professor who teaches at universities around Iran  Qom • Ayatollah = kind of Imam but very rare, distinguished for intellect, leading Shii community, legally binding documents they can announce o Hierarchy = Ayatollah, Imam, Mullah • Caliph = distinguished more politically than Imam, not as religious o Imam = regarded as infallible, sinless, religiously enlightened as well as political, Final interpreter of God’s law • Shii  view that they are an expression of purer form of Islam, more devout and more literal in interpretation o Ayatollat Khalkali (Shii) = hanging judge for Kameini o Community known for viewing themselves as victims as well as martyrs  Long history of being oppressed by foreign powers (oppressed minority) o About 15% = Shii • Ismaelis (Shiis) believe in exoteric and esoteric meaning to Koran o Koran has a surface and interior meaning  Meaning meant for the vulgar and meaning for the elite o Believe the Koran was written for the mass as well as the elite • Egyptian dynasty was formed by the Ismaelis = Fatime Dynasty o Hereditary monarchy • Dar-al-Hurb vs. Dar-al-Islam o Realm of war vs. realm of Islam  Israel = realm of world governed by the Shah  War = Realm of world not governed • Religious law meant for everyone  proselytizing law • Shiis wanted to create a theocracy (overthrew Shah) o Promotion of morality in politic • Shirazi = teacher, regal, scholar o Islam leads to freedom (Naipaul = confused)  Believe obedience is key to freedom as opposed to freedom from restraint • Submission = freedom • Khalkhalli’s house o Hanging judge = notorious for sentencing people to death for religious crimes  Not that frightening • Incongruities within book • References Firdowsi’s tomb o He was Persia’s great poet against imposition of Arabian culture on Persia • Communism and Islam o Economic difference o Our view of freedom differs from Islam/communistic view of freedom o Both Communism and Islam need you to fully believe and have enthusiasm  doctrinal • Pakistan born in 1947 o Born to be a fully Islam state separate from India, which is predominately Hindu • Secession in 1971 created nations of Bangladesh • Politics is combined with religion in Islam o Intellectual who put forth idea of separate Indian Muslim state = Iqbal in 1930  There will not be Martin Luther equivalent in Islam because no central religious authority to revolt against (no pope of Muslim world) • Political authority who was the first leader of Pakistan = Jinnah • Mr. Deen and assistant o Assistant = wearing green sari  In civil-service, educated, husband died, member of Akmadi • In Islam, Muhammad = seal of the prophet • Akmadi claims that Ahmad was still receiving revelations o Mr. Deen = from India, migrated to Pakistan • Mr. Mirza = intellectual role, dolling out wisdom, religious authority without title o World view = dark o In regards to Islam, believes it is a solution because no separation, it’s a complete way of life  World view that I not bifurcated • Mr. Salahuddein = direct, born in India o Promise of Pakistan = similarity of religion, total Islamic state, in action, working in contemporary context  See if it’ll be solution to the world • Pool Scene at Hotel Continental o Despite orthodoxy of faith, tension between faith and world around  Strict view of islam and squashing feelings of lust and western culture vs. not squashing animal needs o Temptation in modern society  should you completely separate from it?  It’s an intoxicant along with liberalism • TV introduces western decadence into homes o Pipedream of perfectly Islamic society is not attainable/impossible o All comes down to women  why is there a tension between women and Islam? • Chachnama  care about writing because suggests a description of Islam’s golden age which they long for now o By writing a history of conquest, it’s history in a fictional reconstruction  Took a fact and embellished it (narrative) • Elevated those who participated into god-like people o Don’t have a set foothold to build on in Islam • Spread of Islam involves assimilation in nature of invader (pillaging, killing, “conquistador-like,” civilize them, bloodshed o Can’t convince people through words when they want to expand • Concepts of jihad o People conquered by Islam can convert, pay poll tax, or die  Poll tax = gain protection but keep your own faith • Conquered people are called dhimmi (pay poll tax) • “time before Islam is a time of blackness”  jahiliyya o Time of paganism and tribal authority • “History has to serve theology” o When we read historical
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