Taleqani's Last Sermon

Mahmud Taleqani

in Liberal Islam

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116212
Published online November 2007 |
  Taleqani's Last Sermon

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Ayatollah Mahmud Taleqani (Iran, 19111979) established a reputation as a reformist within the Shii Muslim religious establishment in the early 1960s when he helped to lead (along with Mehdi Bazargan, whose work is also included in this volume) a religious movement aimed at revitalizing both Islamic theory and Iranian politics. 1 Arrested and jailed repeatedly by the monarchy for his political opposition, Taleqani was released for the last time in the fall of 1978 and immediately became one of the most respected leaders of the Iranian Revolution. Upon the shah's fall in early 1979, Taleqani began to chart a course somewhat independent of the official policies of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, particularly in his defense of Islamic leftists and local elections. 2 The final sermon before his death in September 1979, excerpted here, is famous among Iranian oppositionists for its sharp criticism of religious oppression. The sermon's reference to Sanandaj (capital of the Kurdish region of northwest Iran) concerns Taleqani's attempted mediation between Kurds who sought autonomy through local councilsa political structure that Taleqani preferredand the central government in Tehran, already organizing itself in an authoritarian direction. Taleqani's mediation failed and the councils were crushed militarily. 3 Brief portions of this sermon have been translated in more colorful language by Suroosh Irfani. 4

Chapter.  1389 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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