HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: Ahmad Kasravi and secretary assassinated (1946)

Notable Iranian linguist, historian, and reformer, Ahmad Kasravi and secretary are assassinated in open court by followers of Navvab Safavi, a Shi’a extremist cleric. (March 11, 1946)

A prolific writer, Kasravi was very critical of both the Shi’a clergy and of the policies of the central government. He had liberal views on religion, was a strong supporter of democracy, and expressed them in satirical pamphlets like What Is the Religion of the Hajis with Warehouses? that infuriated many readers. His views earned him many powerful enemies such as Ayatollah Khomeini.

His detailed account of the Constitutional Revolution still stands out as one of the most important sources on the events, even though Kasravi was a teenager at the time of the revolution and cannot claim the full authority of a contemporary witness that his writing at times suggests.

Kasravi is known for his solid research work on the ancient Azari language and origin of the Azerbaijani people. He showed that the ancient Azari language was an offshoot of Pahlavi language. Due to this discovery, he was granted the membership of London Royal Asiatic Society and American Academy.

Arguing that ancient Azari language had been closely related to Persian language and the influx of Turkic words began only with the Seljuq invasion, Ahmad Kasravi believed that true national language of Iranian Azerbaijan was Persian and therefore advocated the linguistic assimilation of Persian in Azarbaijan 

On March 11, 1946, while being tried on charges of “slander against Islam,” Kasravi and one of his assistants were knifed and killed in open court in Tehran by followers of Navvab Safavi, a Shi’a extremist cleric who had founded a terrorist organization called the Fadayan-e Islam (literally Devotees of Islam). The same group had failed in assassinating Kasravi earlier in April 1945 in Tehran. Ayatollah Borujerdi and Ayatollah Sadr issued fatwas for killing Ahmad Kasravi.

More on Kasravi Here

Some of his more famous books are:

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