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The ideological challenge for Iranian democrats

The ideological challenge for Iranian democrats

Since the rapid fall of two authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, the differences between the situation of  Iran and it’s theocratic dictatorship and those two countries have been widely discussed. In an Interesting piece, Nader Hashemi contributes in this debate, urging Iranian democrats to incorporates “the contemporary Muslim identity” in their struggle with authoritarian rule. An excerpt: Iranian democrats ...

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Olivier Roy on Ben Laden’s Death

He writes at New Statesman: Osama Bin Laden was already dead before the Americans attacked his compound in Abbottabad – politically, at least. The political death of al-Qaeda occurred on 17 December 2010 at Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia when the street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight. Bouazizi’s suicide, whatever its personal motivation, was a political event, but this suicide ...

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Khamenei – Ahmadinejad Face-off

I think the important ongoing power struggle between Ali Khamenei  and the president is going to persis. It could  lead to Ahmadinejad’s fall, before finishing his second term in office, but  it would be not easy for Khamenei to throw away the man whom he has so heavily supported. The conservatives around Khamenei are now trying to discredit Ahmadinejad. The ...

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Can Non-Violent Resistance Work in Iran?

The Carnegie Endowment hosted Iranian political scientist Ramin Jahanbegloo and Italian diplomat and author Roberto Toscano to discuss the prospects for non-violent resistance in Iran. Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour moderated. See the video here. With popular protest movements engulfing the Middle East, Iran’s opposition movement hopes to rekindle the momentum that brought millions of Iranians to the streets in the summer ...

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“Who Defines Islam?”

Shirin Ebadi speaks with Deniz Kandiyoti on the women’s interpretation of religious text: It is quite natural that the discourse of the ulama is a paternalistic discourse, but we have to be equipped with the same weapons to be able to prove that Islam can be something different. They may have political power and reject women’s interpretations, but bear that ...

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Gene Sharp: “Nonviolent uprisings are political campaigns”

Since the success of nonviolent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Gene Sharp gets much attention from the media “as the world’s top theorist of nonviolent strategy”. The Nation has an interesting piece of discussion with him. An excerpt: Nonviolent uprisings are, at their essence, political campaigns. According to the complex analysis of power that Sharp has painstakingly developed over the ...

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“People Reloaded”, Reviewed by Jahanbegloo

In a piece at resetdoc, Jahanbegloo reviews the recently published People Reloaded by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel.  An excerpt: The Green Movement remains the most promising indigenous democracy movement in the history of Iran. A new generation of Iranians has been taking to the streets of Tehran and other cities of Iran clamoring for change and making themselves heard. ...

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Why is the Iranian regime so afraid of Nasrin Sotoudeh?

Why is the Iranian regime so afraid of Nasrin Sotoudeh?

It is clearly frustrated that an Iranian woman’s work is shining a light on the deplorable human rights situation in Iran. Nasrin is fearless in taking on cases that other lawyers carefully avoid, and for that she has earned respect around the globe. She took on the case of Zahra Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian who was arrested for participating in post-election ...

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“Iran’s State of Fear”

We are witnessing today the intensification of the post-election crackdown, perhaps the severest the country has experienced since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. This campaign is aimed not only at the usual dissidents among the intelligentsia, political activists, students, and journalists, but also at men once considered regime insiders. Iran’s leaders have turned against their former comrades-in-arms, fearing ...

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Extinct Species…?

Extinct species? Is the age of Middle-Eastern autocrats over? The vast majority of academic specialists on the region were as surprised as everyone else by the upheavals that toppled, until now, two Arab leaders and that are threatening several others. It has also revived the fires of the Iranian opposition. I think it’s just too early, however, to make substantive ...

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