Secular Nationalism and Religious Orthodoxy in a Globalized Economy: An Overview of Pre and Post Revolutionary Years in Iran

Nuhu Ogirima


The obvious endurance of the Iranian government, in spite of the age-long sustained western opposition to her perceptible radical religious and political posturing, regionally and globally, remains a seemingly enigmatic phenomenon requiring some insight. Against this backdrop, and keeping in view contemporary Arab agitation for reforms; agitations which have resulted in political instability in the Middle-East and North Africa sub-region, vis-à-vis the realities of Iranian influence in the entire sub-region, this paper re-assesses the Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution and its government in Iran. The paper unravels the revolution and the emergent government as a model of religious orthodoxy. The West’s criticism of her human rights record and the agitations of secular nationalist ideologues in the context of the rapidly changing global economy notwithstanding, the paper also underscore the government as an emerging political and military power which has provided its citizenry the much desired good governance, and a source of inspiration to many religious ideologues. Given the current realities of the government’s resilience as a result of the accommodation of the two broad political fabrics – religious orthodoxy and secular nationalism – which virulent opposition hitherto informed the 1979 revolution, the paper recommends an in-depth study of the Iranian model of government for possible appreciation and possible modification as may be appropriate for similar socio-cultural settings given her achievement of relative peace and stability.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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