Khomeinism, the Islamic Revolution and anti-Americanism


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Rezaie Yazdi, Mohammad (2016). Khomeinism, the Islamic Revolution and anti-Americanism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran was based and formed upon the concept of Khomeinism, the religious, political, and social ideas of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini. While the Iranian revolution was carried out with the slogans of independence, freedom, and Islamic Republic, Khomeini's framework gave it a specific impetus for the unity of people, religious culture, and leadership. Khomeinism was not just an effort, on a religious basis, to alter a national system. It included and was dependent upon the projection of a clash beyond a “national” struggle, including was a clash of ideology with that associated with the United States.

Analysing the Iran-US relationship over the past century and Khomeini’s interpretation of it, this thesis attempts to show how the Ayatullah projected "America" versus Iranian national freedom and religious pride. This projection used national interest and the religious and social culture of Iranians to mobilise the masses to overthrow a secular and pro-American political system, replacing it with an Islamic, anti-American system.

However, while anti-Americanism was an essential part of Khomeinism, it was a conditional and impermanent concept. As the historical investigation shows, hostility between Iranian and American communities has been exceptional for much of the period since 1850. That recognition, as well as the critique of Khomeinism, offers possibilities for improvement in future relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the West, especially the US.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
E History America > E11 America (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations


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