Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

It is characteristic of modern social revolutions to seek moral improvement of the population, as well as redress of the injustices of the ancien regime. In 1794, Paris echoed with calls to “righteousness”; in 1917, the Bolsheviks denounced the bourgeois decadence of the czarist era. For Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and other clerical leaders, the Islamic Revolution of 1979 was not only a seizure of political power, but also the moment of revival of Islamic morality, which had been systematically weakened by the secular Pahlavi regime. The clerics set out to build in Iran “a spotless society.” [1]

To continue reading this article, please login or subscribe.

How to cite this article:

Azam Khatam "The Islamic Republic’s Failed Quest for the Spotless City," Middle East Report 250 (Spring 2009).