Institutional Affiliation :
Academic Bio :
Ronen A Cohen has a Ph D In Middle Eastern and Iranian Studies with a focus on modern Middle Eastern history. He is the author of the book The Rise and Fall of the Mojahedin Khalq, 1987–1997: Their Survival after the Islamic Revolution and Resistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran (Sussex Academic Press, U.K., 2009). His current research interests include USA policy in Iran during the Shah’s period, and Iran as an Islamic culture.
Concise Paper Title :
The Hojjatiyeh: The Real Creators of the Islamic Revolution of Iran
Paper Abstract (maximum of 400 words) :
One of the major religious developments of the 20th century was the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which brought to an end twenty-five hundred years of monarchic rule. The Shah's fall meant more than just a change in the regime's orientation but also a change of beliefs, mainly inside the Shi'a itself. When examining the spectrum of Shi’a beliefs in the light of Khomeini's phenomenal success in that revolution, we will see that the emphasized aspects were marginal for the Shi'a: They were merely an object of scholastic discussion among the Shi'a Mujtaheds (Ayatollahs) during the last two centuries, but became core issues for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
While stabilizing the revolutionary forces, Khomeini enabled various parties to flourish, to express their beliefs and carry out propaganda in the media, in order to find their place in the new political order. The Hojjatiyeh were one of these groups. Distinct among the agents of the revolution-- old and new--the Hojjatiyeh were more than a political party, and more than just a religious wing. Their story had started much before the parties could flourish. The Hojjatiyeh was established as an organization during 1953 by the cleric Mahmoud Halabi, and was banned by Shah Mohammad Reza along with other parties that the Shah thought were a danger for his fragile monarchy just after the Mossadeq crisis. But the Hojjatiyeh were prevented only from forming a party, and not from being a religious wing.
This paper examines the Hojjatiyeh's organization, belief system and political action, and poses questions like : Who are the Hojjatiyeh? What are their Shi'a aspects? What are their methods, and who do they represent by using them?