The Role of Shia Theology in The Revolt


Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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28 Responses

  1. And how is the use of this phrase anything less than a perfect parallel of so much of what Sullivan derides as “Christianism”?Report

  2. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    And you wonder why I get so mad.
    John….Iran is a THEOCRACY.
    Sad day for the xianists, we live in a pluralist republic with a separation between the church and the state.

    4- I ask the police and army personals not to “sell their religion”, and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before god. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today censor and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

    Actually Chris, that is one of the 5 pillars, or the 8 practices in case of Shi’ia Islam…salihat, or just deeds.
    Most Americans seem to have bought into the cartoonish construct of Islam ginned up by Bush the Comick Rustick and the axis of [islamophobic] idiots–Steyn, Daniel “crack” Pipes, Malkin, Roobart Spbunsar, Spengler, etc….in their apparent drive to cheerlead the lowerhalf of the bellcurve (socons) onwards to the Clash of Civilizations.
    This is not an uprising against Islam……the greens are more devout than Nejad’s fundies. The legality of the election is in question, and that will be decided by Islamic jurisprudence, and not by western secular law.
    Sayeed Ayatollah Montazeri is pointing this out.
    Islam is all about justice.
    One of the 99 names of God is “the Just”.

    When the sky is torn
    When the stars are scattered
    When the seas are poured fourth
    When the tombs are burst open
    Then a soul will know what it has given and what it has held back


  3. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    can’t but eventually lead to the mass secularization of Iranian society and politics

    Not true.
    No more than in our society. Nejad’s fundamentalists are analogous to American religious conservatives, except for the Israel thing…..they are in favor of virtue, social mores and taboos imposed as law, conservation of tradition, etc.
    But Islamic jurisprudence is rooted in sharia law, and the Islamic judiciary is not very analogous to western lawyers and western judges.Report

  4. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Sayeed Ayatollah Monzeri is saying that election fraud is not only illegal, but a sin.Report

  5. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Oh I forgot VDH.
    Also a charter member of the axis of idiots.Report

  6. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    i’m with you on the lunacy of the axis of idiots as you call them.

    when i’m talking secularization i’m talking i can see the government officially heading that way. not necessarily that everyone (or even a majority of the population) will not be religious. but i think the religion will increasingly conform to a secular world: where it’s generally held in personal/private space.


  7. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    How do you see the islamic judiciary changing?
    Even Iraq has sharia writteninto its constitution.Report

  8. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    And I changed your honorific.
    kun would mean young man in your context, more of a peer to my chan.

  9. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    Well I could imagine a scenario in which people tire of (a version of their) religion interfering in politics and vice versa and calling for an end to it.

    There could be an intermediate step I suppose. But since Iran is the first Islamist state I have to think it will probably be the first post-Islamist state as well.

    Regarding Iraq, I think it’s headed to a de facto Shia strongman with a Constitution that has Islam as a founding element of the government on paper but probably not much in terms of real force of law.Report

  10. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Pakistan was the first Islamic state.Report

  11. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    I like the kun btw.

    I said Iran was the first Islamist state–not Islamic (which does belong to Pakistan). I would not characterize Pakistan as Islamist. It certainly has Islamist parties and the influence of Mawdudi/Deobandi types, but not Islamist. Not in the way Iran is I don’t think.

    Interestingly what Iran may be moving towards is looking more like Pakistan where the military are the power behind the throne and have veto over anything.Report

  12. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    full circle
    Is Islamist like Christianist?Report

  13. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    As best as I understand Sullivan, he is putting primacy on liberalism–classical liberalism. i.e. Rule of law, inherent rights, etc. So he allows for religious language and logic within the bounds of liberal society. He doesn’t adhere to a view that–a kind of ideology in my opinion–that all religious language should be totally shunned from public discourse/debate.

    But any discourse he finds irreconcilable with liberalism and religious he lables “ist”. The danger of course is that he broad brush labels everyone who disagrees with him as illiberal. (Which in some cases I’m sure he’s right about, others I’m not entirely sure). Particularly in very difficult debates where both sides are invoking rights: say abortion…Report

  14. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    So is Christianist Islamist.

    There certainly are elements like Christian Reconstructionists who want to takeover the US gov’t and impose a Christian theocracy. They are in my opinion very fringe however much some of the rhetoric from other figures (like a Huckabee) bleeds over.

    Islamism as a movement is of course quite mainstream and is the only organized resistance and alternative in much of the Arab world in particular. Christianism is more a retrograde movement in the US. It’s mostly become the vehicle for fears of the cultural hegemony of white Protestant America. I also think unlike many forms of Islamism it just doesn’t have the numbers.

    So in a general sense I think there are some parallels. But when you dig a little deeper there are significant differences. Just bandying the terms about and calling people Christianist or whatever I think is usually pretty unhelpful.Report

  15. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Chris_kun, a major huge difference is that is Islamic scholarship and Islamic jurisprudence are valued far more in Islamic societies than Christian scholarship is in ours. Christian jurisprudence doesn’t exist in our society.
    In American culture a college degree in secular law or medicine or science is the greatest good….in Shi’a Islam….the lawyers are the clergy.
    So Montazeri’s statement packs a whallop. That part of the Assembly of Experts (Rafsanjani and his allies) and part of the Guardian Council dissent against Khameini and Nejad is simply huge.
    The more Nejad and Khameini crack down on the dissidents, the more they lose legitimacy. The cost to stay in power I think is too large.
    The regime would have to pull a Tianaman to accomplish that.
    2500 dead and 20,000 wounded?
    That would mean the end of the regime.
    I see signs that the army would not support that.Report

  16. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Chris_kun, how about this analogy?
    Green Revolution Islam is like MLK Christianity.
    Jihaadi-fundie Islam is like KKK Christianity.Report

  17. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    that analogy may work. definitely the later half of it is right. we’ll have to see how this plays out. but so far they are employing what Gandhi called “truth-force” satyagraha. And it has deep roots in Shi’ism just as MLK’s movement was deeply Christian.Report

  18. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Chris_kun, you must admit that this is not the rebellion of westernized college students against Islamic authority.
    This is the contest of two different visions of al-Islam.
    And…..imho Qom will decide the outcome.Report

  19. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    should I just give up?
    not my way.
    Qom will decideReport