Chapter

Religion and Liberty

Mehdi Bazargan

in Liberal Islam

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116212
Published online November 2007 |
  Religion and Liberty

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Born into a devout family of merchants, Mehdi Bazargan (Iran, 19071995) was a Frenchtrained engineer, a lay Islamic scholar, and a long-time pro-democracy activist. A deputy prime minister when the nationalists came briefly to power in the early 1950s, Bazargan also participated with Ayatollah Mahmud Taleqani (chapter 3) and others in a reform movement in the early 1960s aimed at democratizing the Shii clerical establishment. 1 Bazargan was imprisoned several times during the 1960s and 1970s for his nonviolent opposition to the shah of Iran through groups such as the Liberation Movement of Iran, which he cofounded in 1961, and the Iranian Human Rights Association, which he cofounded in 1977. When the shah was forced out of Iran by revolution in 1979, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini appointed Bazargan as provisional prime minister, but he resigned within a year, complaining that radical clerics were undermining his government. He continued to serve in the Iranian parliament for several years, harassed by his radical opponents, then lived in a sort of political limbo until his death in early 1995, a barely tolerated symbol of opposition to the radical-Islamic government. 2

Chapter.  8581 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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