Yousra Y Fazili; SAIS Review of International affairs; Winter-Spring 2010

Between Mullahs’ Robes and Absolutism: Conservatism in Iran

  • Fazili ,Yousra Y.; Between Mullahs’ Robes and Absolutism: Conservatism in Iran; SAIS Review of International affairs, Vol. 30, No.1, Winter-Spring 2010, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 51-53.

Abstract
The contested 2009 presidential elections revealed deep divisions among Iran’s ruling elite at a political and clerical level, calling into question what a society governed by jurists and Islamic law truly means. As the leadership attempts to maintain its tenuous hold on power while suppressing a popular reformist movement, the question remains: How to resolve the tension between divine law and popular will? What does it mean to be a conservative in a country where both the right and the left are committed to an Islamic government? The new reformist movement in Iran reveals the unresolved tensions that exist in a theocracy, the contradictions between faith, modernity and democracy. Conservatives have used their commitment to Khomeinism to consolidate their hold on power, but without Ayatollah Khomeini’s unifying presence, what it means to mix religion and politics is no longer clear, as both conservatives and reformists claim Khomeini’s legacy.

 

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