The Cause Of Iran's Islamic Revolution

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To many young people in the west, Iran seems like a belligerent, hostile, and backwards foreign power that has a long-standing hatred for western countries. However, for most of it 's modern history, Iran was very friendly towards the west, especially Britain and the United States. All of this changed in 1979, when tensions had been mounting for almost 3 decades. The Iranian people led a violent revolution against the king, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, motivated by deep economic troubles, cultural differences, and religious reactions to the king 's secular policies. On April 1, 1979, an Islamic republic was founded, with religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini as its supreme leader. The Islamic republic led to a wave of extreme Islamic conservatism …show more content…
During the 1970s, protests became increasingly common, especially among students and Muslim scholars. Speeches that were critical of the king by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a prominent religious scholar living in exile, were smuggled into the country, making the religious aspect of the revolution more prominent. The government 's military response killed hundreds of protestors. Unfortunately for the regime, this only made the population more angry. Some of those killed in protests were revered as martyrs for the revolution 's glorious cause. In 1979, fearing for their safety, the Shah and his family fled the country, setting up a provisional government in his place. One month later, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile in France and was welcomed by thousands of Iranians who supported him. In a referendum, the people of Iran voted overwhelmingly in support of an Islamic republic. Within months, the provisional government was overtaken and the Islamic Republic of Iran was founded, with Khomeini as it 's …show more content…
The rights of women and religious minorities were ignored, and a new legal system based on Shi 'a Islam was strictly enforced. In speeches, Khomeini attempted to cover up the non-religious aspects of the revolution, and claimed that revolution had been achieved through the power of Islam alone. (See Appendix I.) Khomeini also promoted anti-Western attitudes, leading to a widespread cultural shift from being allied with the West to shunning it, especially the United States. Ties were cut with many Western countries, culminating in The Iranian Hostage Crisis in late 1979, when more than 50 Americans were kidnapped from the American Embassy in Tehran and held hostage for 444 days. Though the constitution of the new republic claimed to protect women 's rights, (See Appendix II,) the Islamic republic oppressed and continues to oppress women and many ways. Rather than truly freeing women, the writers of Iran’s constitution argued that women are the most free when they are fulfilling the role that they believed God ordained for them, to be stay at home and be subservient to and separate from men.Women were expected to stay at home and not work alongside men. It became compulsory for women, even non-Muslim women, to wear the hijab (a veil covering the head and chest, mandated by Islam,) when in public or in the presence of men outside their family. Women were also discouraged from getting

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