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Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Abol-Qasem Kashani

(d. 1962)


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(d. 1962)

Iranian cleric and nationalist. Political leader during the 1950s movement to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. Saw the separation of religion and politics as a colonial plot. Supported technological modernization, adoption of certain aspects of Western institutions, and political reform. Revived the traditional leadership role of ulama as spokespeople for popular discontent, as apparent in clerical opposition to the government after 1963 and in the developments leading to the 1979 revolution. Emphasized a messianic mission for ulama, which Ayatollah Khomeini expanded into the doctrine of vilayat-i faqih. Most important legacy was the idea of a nonaligned political bloc of all Muslim states, which Khomeini proclaimed as the policy of “neither East nor West.”

Subjects: Islam.


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