The 'war on terror' tends to circumscribe crucial developments in the Islamic world within a narrow definition of 'Islamic terrorism'. This partial and incomplete perspective fails to comprehend the links between today's scenario and the Iranian revolution of 1979 - a revolution fought in the name of God and spearheaded by religious scholars. Since then, Islamic ideology has become a powerful motivating force behind insurgency in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Algeria and Iraq. There have however been few explorations of the role of Quranic doctrine in fomenting revolution. Najibullah Lafraie systematically analyses the Quran as a revolutionary text, and identifies different strands of revolutionary ideology within it. He examines its potential to delegitimise existing social, political and economic arrangements, what kind of values it promotes, what societal goals it outlines, what kind of collective action and personal principles it calls for, and how it establishes its claim to truth. In doing this, Lafraie establishes the paradigm from which most subsequent Islamist revolutionary ideology has emerged. He goes on to demonstrate the diversity that is possible within this paradigm by examining the ideologies of six key figures in the Iranian revolution, and shows how their emphases differ. Focusing on three lay intellectuals and three clerics, Lafraie's taxonomy of the Islamic Revolution's ideologues provides an essential backdrop for understanding the battle between moderates and radicals in Iran today. The book ends by assessing the relevance of the 'Quranic' model of revolutionary ideology to contemporary Islamist insurgents. 'The Ideology of the Islamic Revolution' is an essential companion to anyone seeking to understand both the Iranian revolution and the wider phenomenon of political Islam.
Revolutionary Ideology and Islamic Militancy
The Iranian Revolution and Interpretations of the Quran