IISMM-EHESS (Institute for the Study of Islam and Societies of the Muslim World/School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), meeting room at the first floor, 96 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris
THURSDAY 7TH MARCH 2013, 13h-17h
Vanessa Martin, Royal Holloway, University of London
« The Emergence of Islamic Constitutionalism in Iran 1906-8: The National Dimension » (This communication will be delivered in French)
The period of the Constitutional Revolution in Iran 1906-11 saw the development of a national consciousness among a wider population than the small intellectual elite who had initially fostered it, and who were inclined to secularism. However, immediately before the revolution the larger public still thought of Iran as an Islamic country, and therefore conceived of the movement for reform in Islamic terms. The principle influence on their thinking at this time was the pan-Islamic vision of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani. With the granting of a reform policy through the adalatkhana in 1906, people began to think less of a Pan-Islamic agenda of regeneration and more of an Iranian national one. This trend was reinforced with the establishment of what many saw as Majlis-i Shura-yi Milli-yi Islami, an institution which was in their view the focus for the emergence of an Iranian Islamic constitutional state. It was to be characterised by the development of government through the, in their eyes, Islamic principle of consultation. However, their view was also in accordance with the secular vision of government in parliament through debate. In other points also there was agreement between the two visions as to the measures needed to reform and strengthen Iran. These included accountability of government, the development of trade, industry, and communications, and the creation of a modern army. There was a common emphasis on justice and respect for rights. Nevertheless, there were a number of differences not only as between the Islamic and secular visions, but also as between the Islamic visions themselves. My talk will give an overview of these latter arguments with reference to Sayyid ‘Abdullah Mazandarani of Najaf, Shaikh Fazlallah Nuri of Tehran, Aqa Nurallah Isfahani of Isfahan, Sayyid Ahrami of Bushehr, and Sayyid Lari of Shiraz. The approach will be thematic, and will address the nature of the authority of the Majlis, the questions of the compatibility of divine will and popular sovereignty, of parliamentary law vis ŕ vis the shari‘a, including the issue of equality before the law, and the accountability of the monarchy and the government.
Denis Hermann, CNRS, Mondes iranien et indien
« Systčme parlementaire et consultation selon Thiqat al-Islâm-i Tabrizi et Shaykh Ismâ’il Mahallâti » (This communication will be delivered in French)
Houchang Chehabi, Boston University
« The Myth of Moses and Pharaoh in Iranian Islamism » (This communication will be delivered in French)
The importance of the Karbala Paradigm in the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is well known. However, Husayn's battle against Yazid ended in political defeat, limiting the mobilizational power of a political movement that wants to succeed. By contrast, the story of Moses' triumph over Pharaoh, as told in the Bible and the Koran, has frequently provided a model for revolutionaries, both in the Christian world and among Muslims. Among Shiites, it is particularly poignant, since the relationship of Moses and Aron is likened to that between Muhammad and Ali. This presentation traces the reworking of the Myth of Moses and Pharaoh in Iranian Islamist thought and its reenactment in the unfolding of the revolution of 1978-79.
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