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Tags Mohammed bin Salman , Saad Hariri , Saudi Arabia incidents , Saudi Arabia issues , Saudi Arabia politics , US-Saudi Arabia relations

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Old 6th November 2017, 02:17 PM   #1
a_unique_person
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Saudi Arabia - whats going on there?

Looking like a one man coup at the moment. Since this is Monarchy and not a democracy there is no real way to take control other than becoming the king. Effectively it was a tribal collective of the original king. No more.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sa...-idUSKBN1D620Q

Mohammed bin Salman, the next in line to throne, is clearly pulling all the strings at the moment. Previously untouchable Princes and other power brokers are now holed up in the Ritz under house arrest.

MBS as he is apparently known is keen to modernise SA and reduce the reliance on oil. The long term strategy of appeasing and appealing to the fundamentalist Muslims is going to be wound back.

In the meantime a long range rocket from Yemen has caused minor damage to their main airport and the proxy war with Iran is due to go to the next stage now that ISIS is reduced to a scattered terror organisation. This could end up anywhere.
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Old 6th November 2017, 02:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
MBS as he is apparently known is keen to modernise SA and reduce the reliance on oil.

A subtext of these events is that they want to sell parts of Aramco, and the US wants then to trade it at the NY stock exchange. Trump tweeted as much two days ago. While the Chinese want to buy all of it wholesale.
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Old 7th November 2017, 12:46 AM   #3
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Power grab.
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Old 7th November 2017, 05:57 AM   #4
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Speaking of Saudi Power grabs,

Quote:
The head of Lebanon's powerful militant group Hezbollah accused Saudi Arabia Sunday of forcing the country's prime minister to resign after less than a year in his post, as Bahrain ordered its citizens in Lebanon to "leave immediately" and banned travel there.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri stunned Lebanon and its leaders Saturday when he announced his resignation in a televised statement recorded in Saudi Arabia, citing Iranian and Hezbollah meddling in Arab affairs.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/...banon-50942602

So did the Kingdom pressure him to resign? Or offer him some support that made him feel like he could resign? It seems like SA would want him to stay because he opposes Iranian backed Hezbollah, but it's Hezbollah complaining about his resignation?

So very confusing.
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Old 7th November 2017, 08:40 AM   #5
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Old 7th November 2017, 09:01 AM   #6
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I think it's also worth keeping in mind Russian meddling. Remember that brouhaha a while back where the the Saudis supposedly said something rude in a letter to someone in Yemen that was then denied by Saudi Arabia? I'll have to dig it up.
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Old 7th November 2017, 09:05 AM   #7
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Then there's this:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41881058

"A senior Saudi prince and seven other officials have been killed in a helicopter crash near the country's border with Yemen, state media report."
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Old 7th November 2017, 11:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I hate when that happens, but... +1
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Old 7th November 2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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Another prince dead, this one in a firefight resisting arrest. The youngest son of the late King Fahd.
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Old 7th November 2017, 11:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Speaking of Saudi Power grabs,



http://abcnews.go.com/International/...banon-50942602

So did the Kingdom pressure him to resign? Or offer him some support that made him feel like he could resign? It seems like SA would want him to stay because he opposes Iranian backed Hezbollah, but it's Hezbollah complaining about his resignation?

So very confusing.

News on this:

The Lebanese president has not accepted Hariri's resignation and says he will only do after Hariri returns to Lebanon. That's because there are indications that he is held hostage and was forced to make that statement. Nobody even of his allies knew about this step, and yes even Hezbollah is complaining. Now UAE media has released a photo of Hariri "in what appeared to be the same suit and tie that he wore in photographs of his meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Monday and to deliver his resignation speech on Saturday which was broadcast live by Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya television channel." Showing him with the Crown Prince of the Emirates, who he is said to have visited per plane and then returned to Saudi Arabia.

In other news, Abbas is scheduled to visit King and Clown Prince. Will he return?

edit: Oh, and Yemen's western-puppet pseudo-president Hadi who has been in exile in Saudi Arabia for years is now also under house arrest in Riyadh.
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Old 8th November 2017, 12:32 PM   #11
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This might have severe repurcessions for Rupert Murdoch: The arrested Prince was a major shareholder in Newscorp and was an ally in helping Rupert beat back some very serious stockholder revolts over the Murdoch's dictorial management of the company.
With a shareholders meeting in the near future. Murdoch needs Some huge coup to beat off the challengers, That might be behind the talks between Fox and Disney about the possible sale of the Fox film division to The MouseProduce something Rupert can herald as a success.
Talks are on hold for the moment but the deal is very much alive.
Me? I am in favor of it because I really, really, want a GOOD Fantastic Four movie, and that won't happen until the FF are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Old 8th November 2017, 12:54 PM   #12
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He already sold most of his Newscorp shares in 2015.
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Old 8th November 2017, 04:15 PM   #13
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It sounds like it's getting all Game of Thrones over there...
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Old 8th November 2017, 06:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
It sounds like it's getting all Game of Thrones over there...

Look what the Internet has already made:
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Old 9th November 2017, 01:06 AM   #15
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According to this article by Frank Gardiner on the BBC website, it's a combination of power-grab by Mohammed bin Salman and an attempt to eliminate some of the worst of the corruption in Saudi Arabia (though focused on those from whom he wishes to grab power).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41905942
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Old 9th November 2017, 08:49 AM   #16
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When Salman dies or resigns, there will be a constitutional crisis, as it is the first time the Heir Apparent is not the oldest living son of King Abdulaziz. Hence, the fact that they are neutralizing potential pretenders should really come as a surprise to nobody. Not a lot of governments like to risk civil war.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:14 AM   #17
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If you have an hour and are into podcasts, I can recommend the interviews with analysts Marwa Osman and Elijah Magnier. Not that they can make much sense of the events, but you will likely be able to express a much more informed WTF? after consumption.

f.e. I learned that the shot son of King Fahd was Saad Hariri's best buddy since childhood days.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Looking like a one man coup at the moment.
One-man coups don't exist. There is always a broader elite backing the publicly announced leader. In this case, also an international elite, including USA.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:32 PM   #19
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The US is still treating Hariri as prime minister and made some general statements that nobody should use Lebanon as proxy playground.
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Old 10th November 2017, 06:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This might have severe repurcessions for Rupert Murdoch: The arrested Prince was a major shareholder in Newscorp and was an ally in helping Rupert beat back some very serious stockholder revolts over the Murdoch's dictorial management of the company.
With a shareholders meeting in the near future. Murdoch needs Some huge coup to beat off the challengers, That might be behind the talks between Fox and Disney about the possible sale of the Fox film division to The MouseProduce something Rupert can herald as a success.
Talks are on hold for the moment but the deal is very much alive.
Me? I am in favor of it because I really, really, want a GOOD Fantastic Four movie, and that won't happen until the FF are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
LOL. There's a major social, political, and military shift happening in the Middle East, and your takeaway is Rupert Murdoch's bottom line?
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:05 PM   #21
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This is all part of the upcoming increase in the intensity of the 1,000 year old Sunni vs Shia war. Like most countries Saudi has doves and hawks. In Iran the Hawks are in charge when the Hawks get full control of SA expect more intense proxy wars between the two groups.
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
This is all part of the upcoming increase in the intensity of the 1,000 year old Sunni vs Shia war. Like most countries Saudi has doves and hawks. In Iran the Hawks are in charge when the Hawks get full control of SA expect more intense proxy wars between the two groups.

Utter nonsense. The sectarianism of our days is completely one-sided, and that is the side of Wahhabism, which isn't even Sunni if you ask mainstream Sunni scholars. Erdogan, who with all his flaws is a ballsy guy, just stood up to the clown prince as almost the only one in the Sunni camp calling him out for his "moderate Islam" claims. There's only one Islam, says Erdogan, and nowhere in the Quran it says that women shouldn't be allowed to drive, so screw you if you think allowing them is a turn to anything moderate.
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Last edited by Childlike Empress; 11th November 2017 at 05:10 PM. Reason: +link
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:08 PM   #23
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The official position in Lebanon now is that Hariri has been kidnapped.
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Old 11th November 2017, 07:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Utter nonsense. The sectarianism of our days is completely one-sided, and that is the side of Wahhabism, which isn't even Sunni if you ask mainstream Sunni scholars. Erdogan, who with all his flaws is a ballsy guy, just stood up to the clown prince as almost the only one in the Sunni camp calling him out for his "moderate Islam" claims. There's only one Islam, says Erdogan, and nowhere in the Quran it says that women shouldn't be allowed to drive, so screw you if you think allowing them is a turn to anything moderate.
The Shia would agree there is only one correct Islam - their version and in particular Khomeini's ideology of velayat-e faqih

Moderate? No I was saying the opposite, social moderate perhaps but a hard liner in the S vs S war - are you actually unaware of Shia actions since the revolution and their goals? Those goals clash with the goals of the Wahhabis and 'moderate' Sunnis too

Last edited by Hans; 11th November 2017 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11th November 2017, 08:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
The Shia would agree there is only one correct Islam - their version and in particular Khomeini's ideology of velayat-e faqih

I challenge you to show us a contemporary speech of Khamenei, Nasrallah, Sistani or any other Shi'ite leader of importance that contains rhetoric against Sunni Islam.
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Old 12th November 2017, 02:13 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
The Shia would agree there is only one correct Islam - their version and in particular Khomeini's ideology of velayat-e faqih
*spit take*

Do you know how ridiculous velayat-e faqih is from the perspective of Islamic Jurisprudence? It has very little precedent and was cooked up by Khomeini in 1970. It is far more influenced by philosophy and revolutionary movements Khoneini encountered in the West than any traditional interpretation of Islam; some suggest the idea of philosopher-kings in Plato's Republic was one key influence.

Don't get my wrong, Khomeini is venerated by many twelver Shias, but his system of government is not really key to that. It's a weird quasi-revolutionary religio-nationalist system.

I think the only one eith comparable thought I know of would be Sayyid Qutb, who was Sunni.
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Old 13th November 2017, 06:32 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
*spit take*

Do you know how ridiculous velayat-e faqih is from the perspective of Islamic Jurisprudence? It has very little precedent and was cooked up by Khomeini in 1970. It is far more influenced by philosophy and revolutionary movements Khoneini encountered in the West than any traditional interpretation of Islam; some suggest the idea of philosopher-kings in Plato's Republic was one key influence.

Don't get my wrong, Khomeini is venerated by many twelver Shias, but his system of government is not really key to that. It's a weird quasi-revolutionary religio-nationalist system.

I think the only one eith comparable thought I know of would be Sayyid Qutb, who was Sunni.
I'd bet if you transposed the population of Iran into an alternate reality where they had religious and political freedom, you'd probably see the bulk of the population revert to "orthodox" Twelver and probably a considerable resurgence of Zoroastrian worship, as well.
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Old 13th November 2017, 06:56 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
I'd bet if you transposed the population of Iran into an alternate reality where they had religious and political freedom, you'd probably see the bulk of the population revert to "orthodox" Twelver and probably a considerable resurgence of Zoroastrian worship, as well.
How did you arrive at this conviction?
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Old 13th November 2017, 10:49 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
How did you arrive at this conviction?
That people given religious freedom would us it?

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Old 13th November 2017, 11:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
That people given religious freedom would us it?

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The "bulk" of the population? That's ridiculous.
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
The "bulk" of the population? That's ridiculous.
I interpreted "orthodox" in this context to mean whatever version was popular before the revolution when the state took over and chose the version for you.

But hey, maybe not.
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:30 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I interpreted "orthodox" in this context to mean whatever version was popular before the revolution when the state took over and chose the version for you.

But hey, maybe not.
You mean before Shah Ishmail in the 16th century? Or before Timur? Maybe before the Sassanids?
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Old 13th November 2017, 01:17 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
You mean before Shah Ishmail in the 16th century? Or before Timur? Maybe before the Sassanids?
Why wouldn't you think I wasn't referring to the Iranian revolution of the late 1970's?

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Old 13th November 2017, 01:19 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Why wouldn't you think I wasn't referring to the Iranian revolution of the late 1970's?

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Awful double negative. Of course I meant, "why would you think I wasn't referring to the Iranian revolution of the late 1970's."

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Old 13th November 2017, 06:23 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Why wouldn't you think I wasn't referring to the Iranian revolution of the late 1970's?

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Because it's the most intuitive reading, surely there has to be a twist!

This is where the tapatalk signature that annoys people used to be
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
That people given religious freedom would us it?

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There are more options to go than "orthodox twelver shia" and "zoroaster". Agnosticism, liberal new age islam, sunni radicalism...
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:33 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Because it's the most intuitive reading, surely there has to be a twist!

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Well, the twist is that Velayat-e Faqih really is quite ridiculous from a more traditional Islamic Jurisprudence point of view and demonstrates that Khomeini was too polluted by Western thought to be taken seriously. It's HELLENIZATION, but the revolutionaries had guns so the rest had to listen and agree.

And yet, almost 50 years later it still holds sway of over 80 million people, and you know it's read and studied by countless others who are lured by the idea of a modernist justification of an Islamist state. They want to believe, so who knows if a few centuries from now it won’t be considered the beginning of an Islamic reformation? Maybe in that time Islamic governance will have spread across the globe, and people could be happy with it?

It's times like this I wish A'isha were here to offer informed commentary for I'm sure that what I just said was pulled from my arse and if there was any sense to it It’s only from coincidence. Still, if Velayat-e Faqih doesn’t mesh well with it’s precedents then your observation that modern Iranians transported to a parallel world where they have the choice to do so would revert to previous belief systems unsullied by Khomeini’s rantings. So I am confused because TubbaBlubba should agree with you, and yet he does not?

Explain, TubbaBlubba! Explain!
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Old 14th November 2017, 04:15 AM   #38
TubbaBlubba
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Still, if Velayat-e Faqih doesnít mesh well with itís precedents then your observation that modern Iranians transported to a parallel world where they have the choice to do so would revert to previous belief systems unsullied by Khomeiniís rantings. So I am confused because TubbaBlubba should agree with you, and yet he does not?

Explain, TubbaBlubba! Explain!
OK, I will try. First, keep in mind that velayat-e faqih was only published in 1970. Khomeini was, to say the least, a household name before then. He symbolized, at the very least, the opposition of traditional religious elements to the shah. Many believed him to be the Mahdi, a messianic figure, a claim that Shah Ishmail I of the Safavids made 500 years ago, after forcibly converting the country to twelver Shia Islam. I would argue that the system of government gains legitimacy from Khomeini's role in creating it, and its "nativity". To my understanding, accepting Khomeini's system of government (to be clear, that is what velayat-e faqih is. It's not a school of theology) did not trigger some massive shift in peoples' religious beliefs.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's a widespread idea that Iran wasn't all that religious before the "revolution" (or coup, if you prefer). This is to a great degree due to propaganda by the the Pahlavi Shahs and other nationalists, and the fact that most Westerners were only really exposed to the very liberal, very propped-up and ostensibly prosperous Tehran. Meanwhile, it is notable that, for example, university attendance rates in the country was around 5% in the 60's and 70's, I believe, and most of those studied abroad. (Today it's something like 35%, the majority being women.) Iran was very non-urbanised, and the countryside was very religious and conservative.

Prior to the Pahlavi dynasty, the history of religious oppression in Iran is very long, arguably going back to pre-Islamic times, though to what degree there exists a continuity there is debatable. Indeed more freedom was allowed under that dynasty (unless you were a socialist) but the Pahlavis simply weren't all that popular. Most of Iran was very religious before them, continued to be under them, and continued to be after them. The idea that the BULK, including non-urban population, are only religious in the way they are due to constant oppression is based on a propaganda-inflicted misperception of Iran and its history.
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Old 14th November 2017, 05:48 AM   #39
Delphic Oracle
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
OK, I will try. First, keep in mind that velayat-e faqih was only published in 1970. Khomeini was, to say the least, a household name before then. He symbolized, at the very least, the opposition of traditional religious elements to the shah. Many believed him to be the Mahdi, a messianic figure, a claim that Shah Ishmail I of the Safavids made 500 years ago, after forcibly converting the country to twelver Shia Islam. I would argue that the system of government gains legitimacy from Khomeini's role in creating it, and its "nativity". To my understanding, accepting Khomeini's system of government (to be clear, that is what velayat-e faqih is. It's not a school of theology) did not trigger some massive shift in peoples' religious beliefs.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's a widespread idea that Iran wasn't all that religious before the "revolution" (or coup, if you prefer). This is to a great degree due to propaganda by the the Pahlavi Shahs and other nationalists, and the fact that most Westerners were only really exposed to the very liberal, very propped-up and ostensibly prosperous Tehran. Meanwhile, it is notable that, for example, university attendance rates in the country was around 5% in the 60's and 70's, I believe, and most of those studied abroad. (Today it's something like 35%, the majority being women.) Iran was very non-urbanised, and the countryside was very religious and conservative.

Prior to the Pahlavi dynasty, the history of religious oppression in Iran is very long, arguably going back to pre-Islamic times, though to what degree there exists a continuity there is debatable. Indeed more freedom was allowed under that dynasty (unless you were a socialist) but the Pahlavis simply weren't all that popular. Most of Iran was very religious before them, continued to be under them, and continued to be after them. The idea that the BULK, including non-urban population, are only religious in the way they are due to constant oppression is based on a propaganda-inflicted misperception of Iran and its history.
It seems as though you are arguing against the premise that Iranians would become more secular. I'm not sure anyone asserted that.

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Old 14th November 2017, 07:21 AM   #40
TubbaBlubba
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
It seems as though you are arguing against the premise that Iranians would become more secular. I'm not sure anyone asserted that.

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Sorry, I got the discussion mixed up at some point. However, I would not take the revolution to imply any large shift in religious practice in general.
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