Iranian Islam and Democracy: Paradox of State and Religion

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Title: Iranian Islam and Democracy: Paradox of State and Religion
Creators: Khalaji, Mehdi
Contributors: Flemming, Kyle
Keywords: Iran
Issue Date: 2012-05-08
Publisher: Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies
Series/Report no.: Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Islam and Democracy Speaker Series
Abstract: By declaring Shiism the official state religion and granting the Shiite jurist (ayatollah) guardianship over the government, the Islamic Republic has changed the nature of the religious institution and religiosity of Iranian society. On the one hand, it has empowered religious institutions; on the other, it has deprived them of their independence and their civil nature.The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is cementing its political and economic power over both the clergy and the country. This might possibly lead to the Islamic Republic's secularization. However, the fact that the Islamic Republic is becoming more militarized and less clerical makes Shiism still the central theoretical and practical issue surrounding the democratization of Iran.
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