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Small shopkeeper/merchant sector of the traditional middle class of Iran. Historically have participated in and financially supported various religious organizations. Have also funded mosques, educational programs, and religious leaders speaking out against state policies affecting the marketplace. Joined forces with ulama, using their economic power and a broad population base, to support the 1870s Tobacco Revolt, the 1905 Constitutional Revolution, Mosaddeq's 1950s coalition against the shah, and the 1979 Islamic revolution. These actions were all opposed to the state's support and protection of Western interests, to the perceived detriment of the interests of the Iranian people and Islam.

Subjects: Islam.

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