The Rise of Iran

This essay wants to describe how was Iran come up, especially the emergence of Iran as a regional power in the Middle East. The Shia revival is inevitably intertwined with the rise of Iran. With almost 70 million people, 90 percent of who is Shia, Iran is the largest Shia country. It has enjoyed close ties the other pillars of Shia revival in the Middle East as well as with the economically influential Shia communities in the Persian Gulf, many of whose members are Iranian in origin. The Shia revival may have begun in Iraq, but Iran benefits from it and will also play an important role in leading it and defining it.

In many regards, Iran presents the modern face of Islam. No other countries in the Muslim world is so rife with intellectual fervor and cultural experimentation at all levels of society, and in no place in the Muslim world is modernity and its various cultural, political, and economic instruments examined as seriously and thoroughly as in Iran. The cultural dynamism of the country will also be a force that will define the Shia revival. The hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims who travel to Iraq along the highway from Mehran to Najaf are also a conduit for ideas, investment, and broader social and economic ties.

In many regards Iran presents modern face of Islam. Iranians are actively engaged in discussions about Western thought. Since the Khomeini revolution, Shia centers of learning in Iran, especially in the city of Qom, have prospered. There are large new libraries in Mashad and Qom, each housing millions of books and manuscripts, electronically catalogued with searchable databases and the latest technology for retrieving and maintaining them.

The imperative of ruling a modern country has pushed Qom to step beyond its time-honored traditions to chart new paths for Shia learning. After the events of September 11, 2001, the world became obsessed with reforming Islamic education. Madrasahs have noticed that while the rest of the Muslim world has been grappling with introducing English and science to religious school, seminaries in Qom have made great advances in incorporating many aspects of modern education into their curricula. Most now teach their students modern social sciences and Western thought.

The prospect of a nuclear Iran will now ensure that the post-2001 strategic gains will not be reserved. An Iranian bomb will also be a Shia bomb, confirming Shia power in the region and protecting Iran’s larger footprint. Also Iran’s position depends on the network of Kalashnikov toting militias that form the backbone of Shia power represented by the web of clerics and centers of religious learning.

From Hezbollah in Lebanon to the Badr Brigade and Mahdi Army in Iraq, the Baseej volunteer force in Iran, and the Army of Muhammad in Pakistan, Shia militias project Shia power and enforce the will of the cleric. All these militias have been organized, trained, and funded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards –itself Shia militia before it grew into a full-fledged military force. They are links in a chain that represents the muscle of the Shia.

In Political arena, Ahmadinejad which is chosen as major of Teheran in May 3, 2003 was a member of Baseej and then Pasdaran (Iran’s Revolutionary Guards). Most of Iranians was inspired by Iran revolution that made them dislike colonization like what USA done to Iran. Ahmadinejad and Iranian begin to invite Muslim world to against USA, although many of West press media usually drive them into a corner.

Oleh: Akhmad Jenggis. P

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