Failing to understand Shariati
By M. Mohsen
April 20, 2004
Dear Mr. Ebrahim Nabavi,
I read your article on criticizing Dr. Ali Shariati
for what he believed about the rule of the ruler, the Imam. [See
Ali Shariati, moalem-e shahid-e maa"]
Well, if it was about anybody else I would probably
still stay in my dark corner and watch how you mess people up but
First of all, Dr. Shariati's targeted audience,
the buzzword these Westerners use a lot, was not ordinary people.
He was a humanist
sociologist and his audiences were mostly students. This means
he had a very narrow definition about Imam and leadership. As you
see the subject, leadership, is a major component of any social
this gets very interesting that you divert what Dr. Shariati meant
about Imam to what people picture in their mind
When you say Imam people picture the Time magazine cover
... and the 80s. But what Ali meant is far beyond what you are
trying to illustrate. I am looking for a word to explain better.
Let me put
it in this way.
How do you picture Cyrus the Great? How do you wrap him up
with holly words? Don't you even say he was a prophet? Why is the Shahnameh so
popular? More popular than your freaking weblog.
Can't we criticize Ferdowsi with the same standards that you
Why we fail to understand why Shariati chose very
strong words to define a leader is the answer we all lack. Because
been such a long time we haven't seen such a tremendous leader,
some 10 million times bigger than Reza Shah who dumped an
opportunist baker into his own oven. Does anybody remember anything,
trace of any leader with some impacts after Qajar era?
For people who don't know Shariati well, I have
to say that Shariati was always one of the harshest critics of
That's why despite of his distinct rule in forming Iranian
he was soon forgotten by them.
To get the full picture of Shariati, you got to
read his books and put the puzzle together slowly.
One thing is enough to say that he was an IRANIAN thinker
who influenced intellectual people form India to Morocco
were smoking pots, and running bare butts down the street.
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