Iranian Revolution

In Iran, Khomeini’s aim was to take the political power. He strongly believed in the establishment of Allah’s Government, which is founded on the principle that the concept of sovereignty finds its residence in Allah, and not on the people. He strongly believed that the sovereignty is exercised by Rahbar Imam on behalf of Allah. In addition, he had the goal of disabling, killing or imprisoning all rival political opponents or potential leaders who might threaten his political ambitions. In doing this, he would make use of imprisonment, selecting repression, executions or torture to disable and cripple any opposing groups. Moreover, he would concentrate power, prestige and authority as objects of emulation.

In the Islamic World, Khomeini had a goal of creating, supporting, and encouraging Islamic military movements and groups in the entire Islamic World. He wanted also to engage in the exportation of Shi’a Islamist Revolution into other designated Islamic countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, and Lebanon among others. Besides, he had an aim of increasing political contacts as well as economic ties with other developing nations with the view of converting them into Shi’a Islam as well as making them join Shi’a Imamate.

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In the entire world, Khomeini had a goal of waging Planetary Jihad so as to enable him conquer, and probably subdue the remaining Infidel nations with the aim of bringing them under the rule and control of Shi’a Islamist. His major aim was to conquer and rule the world on behalf of Allah till the return of Imam Mahdi, who was believed to have hidden from the people.

How did his anti-imperialist stance differ from Nasser's?

It is very interesting to note that Khomeini’s stance on anti-imperialism was more of a self-serving entity than a principled one witnessed with Nasser. He was strongly devoted to fighting the penetration of the western imperialism without necessary seeking support from other countries. In addition, he led strong Islamic forces that were against the secular nationalism as well as the left. He fought the dictators who came to rule and influence the governing system of Iran with impunity. This rebellion was against both the economic and political systems that were linked with the imperialism.  

However, Nasser’s anti-imperialist stance was quite different since his ideology was not as powerful as that of Khomeini. In fact, Nasser’s ideological views on imperialism lacked both the religious agenda and the outlook of clerical leadership that were possessed by Khomeini. The latter’s views were so powerful that the concept swept aside the entire leftist arguments. Besides, Khomeini’s view on the anti-imperialist revolution was very appealing due to its nationalist facets that were assimilated with little resistance from the Iranian people.

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Consider Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. How does Satrapi remember and characterize the revolution?

Satrapi uses both images and texts to remember and characterize the revolution. She argued that as a child she was not meant to have some political awareness since the dominant political ideology does not permit children due to their perceived innocence. The childhood narrator provides some unique insights concerning the events, which dominated the Iranian revolution. In her literary analysis, Satrapi argued that characters such Marji and Mehrri attended the Black Friday protest that was the bloodiest demonstration at the point of the Iranian revolution owing to their illiteracy and class. Though, they enjoyed this game, it portrayed the bloodiest revolution in the Iranian history. On their return home, Marji’s mother slapped them, and this invoked a lot of anger. This echoed violence on top of the revolution witnessed, and sparked a strong reaction to the role of the state and parent’s authority.

In the novel, Marji raised her hand declaiming her mother’s dictatorship. This can as well be compared to the Iranian revolution that came as a result of autocracy, which dominated the country’s political landscape. The child’s knowledge, as far as Satrapi could remember was often confined to the domestic atmosphere. Arguably, this limits the child’s perspective on the national views, and it supports the view that state violence, as the one witnessed in the Iranian revolution, disrupts and reshapes the dynamics of the family.

What do we learn from her narrative that we do not see in the more standard academic texts of Cleveland and Fischer?

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Satrapi’s narrative is more distinct in its literary analysis than other scholarly texts such those of Cleveland and Fischer since it carefully uses comic to portray the intended messages. The literary style challenges the expectations of the readers with the tactical use of both images and texts. With its simple style and use of child-focused narrative, it facilitates understanding of the literature, yet the text stimulates and forces the readers to analyze the meaning of the narrative. Contrary to other texts, Satrapi’s narrative comic requires the readers to engage in unpacking the book’s co-mixed images and words. In understanding the novel, it can be learned that the readers would be required to engage in working hard in order to successfully decode the co-mixed Western and Eastern cultural experiences.

It can as well be learned that this piece of literary work composes of empty spaces, which are often referred to as gutters. These gutters in Satrapi’s literary narrative are very unique in their own kind, and they can be filled with answers that are provided by the narrator’s dominant ideology. These gutters between the literary texts are instrumental to the readers since they engage the audience in interacting with the narrator as well as interpreting historical, cultural, and political silence. Indeed, it is these spaces within the narrative texts that give new meanings, which help in deflating the over-determined classifications of both the West and the East potentials that can be generated, and this is lacking in the standard academic texts of Cleveland and Fischer.

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