In The Late 20Th Century, The World Was Shaken With The

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In the late 20th century, the world was shaken with the news of two major Islamic revolutions. The first one happened at Iran and the second one happened in Afghanistan. As a result Islamic law and religious oppression ruled both of these countries. Although religious fundamentalism played a big role in these revolutions, both of them had very different cultural, political and economic reasons for happening.

One would think that with one of the largest oil reserves and the second largest gas field in the world Iran would be one of the most prosperous countries. After all during Reza Shah’s reign from 1941 to 1979 new modern buildings and massive infrastructure projects were being built, the army was a equipped with the latest military
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Iran’s culture was also rapidly changing. Iran’s historic culture was being replaced with western culture. As one writer put: “Iranian magazines feature the latest Hollywood films and Broadway play reviews. Urban women become mere consumers of western cosmetics. News of the world is supplied to Iran through the lens of Reuters or UPI press services.” (Hanson) The cultire of Iran and the west conflicted on every front. The education system of Iran also changed overnight. Suddenly, the Iranian schools started to teach western curriculum and neglect Iran’s own culture and issues. The local community saw all these events as sign of westoxification. For most Iranians, change was happening too fast with no benefit on the majority.

As a result of economic and cultural issues opposition to the shah’s regime immediately began after these changes. First, the protesters were mostly consisted of liberals who were particularly strong in the urban landscape. Instead of listening to the problems of the opposition, shah chose oppression as a solution. In order to quell any unrest, a secret police trained by CIA torture experts formed that was called SAVAK. As time passed the notoriety of SAVAK grew, as they were responsible for making many opposition members disappear overnight. Initially the opposition consisted of Liberals, Marxists and
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