The Iranian Times

Tuesday, October 27, 1998 / Aban 5, 1377, No. 592

The Society for Iranian Studies

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr


    Baba Taher


Let the occasional chalice break
Abdolkarim Soroush and Islamic liberation theology

Ahmad Sadri and Mahmoud Sadri's introduction to a volume of articles by Abdolkarim Soroush -- Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam -- to be published by Oxford University Press in the summer of 1999.

Soroush belongs to the genre of the "religious intellectuals." The Charisma of the first generation of post coup d'etat super-intellectuals like Mehdi Bazargan and Yadollah Sahabi emanated from their mastery of modern exact sciences while maintaining and revising their lay piety in the light of modern science. "Yes," they would aver in words and deeds "it is possible to be religious, modern, and nationalistic all at once."...

Soroush's magnum opus, is a tome entitled The Hermeneutical Expansion and Contraction of the Theory of Shari'a. It ... poses such question as, "What can we as mortals hope to know about the mind of God, and to what extent ought we take the edicts deduced by Islamic Juristconsults as literal and immediate divine commandments?" The clergy who have posed similar quandaries, do not object to these discussions as such. They are, however, outraged by Soroush's recklessness for exposing the laity to such sensitive subjects... GO TO FEATURE


* Barbie, 'Titanic' Show Good Side of 'Great Satan'

By John Lancaster
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 27, 1998; Page A01

TEHRAN - Sasson, 28, is a child of the Iranian revolution, reared on a diet of anti-American bile. He grew up in a country that marks the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy here with public celebrations, where newspapers denounce the United States as the "Great Satan" or "Global Arrogance." In high school, he heard his teachers blame Washington when they ran out of chalk.

When it comes to American-made entertainment, however, Sasson has nothing but praise.

Not for him the propaganda-laden war epics or mournful, chaste love stories that fill Iranian movie screens, if not theaters. Like thousands of Iranian young people, Sasson is nuts about "Titanic," the lavishly produced Hollywood blockbuster that began circulating here on bootleg videocassettes -- taped inside movie theaters with hand-held cameras -- within days of its U.S. release... FULL TEXT

More Letters

* Why insist on being around Iroonies?

Nargess Shahmanesh writes: Circumstances, political upheaval, forced geographical relocations, have admitidly changed our people, but so have many other nations been faced with similar, if not worse, historical/political upheavals in the past decade. I'm not sure if these changes are necessarily for the worse. For every LA nouveau riche tacky Iroonie, there are hundreds and hundreds of highly original minds, very exciting and innovative individuals, who are also a lot of fun to have around.... FULL TEXT

Mark your calendars: During November 13 - December 3 Walter Reade Theater in New York will present a retrospective of Dariush Mehrjoui's films plus films by other directors made before 1979. Be there... PROGRAM INFO

Thanks to Babak Nassirian


Book of the Week

Scent of Saffron:
Three Generations of an Iranian Family

By Rouhi Shafii

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More news

Central Bank wants end to fixed rial rate

TEHRAN, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian Central Bank official called in remarks published on Tuesday for dropping fixed rial exchange rates, saying this would make the economy more resilient to shocks such as a slump in oil prices. ``The fixed currency system has outlived its use...and cannot be effective anymore,'' the daily Hamshahri quoted Central Bank Deputy Governor Mohammad Jafar Mojarrad as saying... FULL TEXT
* The dollar now offered at up to 670-680 tomans

Khatami tries to push Iran reforms

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Outfoxed in a national vote for a powerful clerical assembly, allies of Iran's moderate president are now turning to upcoming city and town elections to try to push forward his reforms. Supporters of President Mohammad Khatami said Tuesday that because a hard-line council will not have to approve candidates -- as it did in last week's balloting -- moderates will stand a better chance in the elections in Iran's 10,000 municipalities... FULL TEXT

Conservatives 49, Moderates/independents 37

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Break down of which factions won seats in Friday's elections... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

U.S. rights group backs jailed Iran cleric

DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A U.S. human rights group expressed support for a Shi'ite Moslem cleric jailed in Iran after he published articles supporting women's rights. The New York-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, in a statement received by Reuters on Tuesday, urged lawyers to write on behalf of Mohsen Saeidzadeh to Iranian head of judiciary Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi and Iran's envoy to the United Nations ... FULL TEXT

Soccer players in good shape

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - After first day of training, national soccer team nominees appear to be in good shape... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Young chess players pass first round

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - All six members of the Iranian youth chess team have come out victorious after the first round of the world youth chess championships in Spain... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

$ Rate

The dollar now offered at up to 670-680 tomans

Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel:602-595-0777

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Iran Azin

Decorative arts and architecture monthly magazine now online from Tehran. It looks like Iran's version of "Better Homes and Gardens" - very colorful.

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Quote Unquote


If, as the Christian West has shown, the establishment of, and disenchantment with, a visible "City of God" leads the way toward the "Secular City," then Islamic civilization is on the verge of a decisive, and more importantly, familiar, breakthrough.

Ahmad Sadri and Mahmoud Sadri
"Let the occasional chalice break"
The Iranian
October 27 1998

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