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The Soviet historiography of Islamic revolution in Iran: problem of studying religious and ideological aspects



In article the short review of the main features of judgment by the Soviet historiography of a phenomenon of Islamic revolution of 1978-1979 in Iran in tsepy and its religious and ideological aspects in particular is given.

The paper provides a short review of the most significant peculiarities of the Soviet historiography of the phenomenon of Iran Islamic revolution (1978-1979) in general and its religious-ideological aspects in particular.

Islamic revolution of 1978 — 1979 became one of the most significant phenomena in the history of the 20th century. Most of researchers admit the fact that this event marked a certain new stage in political development of the countries of the Islamic world, having brought to life and having given different mass character to movements of an Islamic revayvalizm. The suddenness and unexpectedness of the events which were taking place in Iran nonplused many researchers in the West and in the USSR, finding it difficult to give an unambiguous assessment to a phenomenon of the Iranian revolution and the more so somehow to predict further succession of events.

At once after the victory of Islamic revolution the historians, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, culturologists and economists in the West and in the USSR began to analyze sources and the reasons of this revolutionary movement. They put forward various theories and approaches to consideration of essence of this revolution leaning on various methodological positions and research discourses. Sharply negative perception of the events which are taking place in Iran which were contrary to theories of modernization and progress, habitual for them, united most of researchers, caused in their consciousness images of the medieval past to which, according to them, Iran hurried to return.

On the other hand, Islamic revolution opened serious illusions of specialists in Iran and the countries of the Muslim world in general concerning a role of Islamic ideology in political development of these countries. Only having realized that Islam was an ideological basis of grass-roots revolutionary movement in Iran, namely imamitsky sense of Shia Islam, some of them convulsively addressed studying religious tradition of Shiite Iran in which they distinctly looked through values, the ideas, installations which defined the person of the last Iranian revolution. Thus, the effect which is had by Islamic revolution in the modern world urged on the interest of many scientists-iranistov in Islam over time and made impact on a historiography of the Iranian history in tselom1.

The most significant aspect in specifics of the Iranian revolution of 1978 — 1979, in our opinion, is its religious ideological content which just and became a subject of the most brisk

1 See: E.A. Doroshenko. Shiite clergy in modern Iran. — M, 1975, page 7.

Ismagil Rustamovich GIBADULLIN is an alpirant of department of modern and contemporary history of the Kazan state university

discussions. In the ideological plane also the key to understanding of intrinsic characteristics of this revolution lies.

The domestic historiography of Islamic revolution in 1980 — 1991 was under all-consuming influence of official ideology of the CPSU and Marxist-Leninist methodology. This circumstance left not enough space for discussions and discrepancies in understanding of specifics of the Iranian revolution that predetermined somewhat unanimity of the Soviet researchers in the main approaches to this question. Nevertheless certain divergences in their treatments were available, however they concerned generally private moments and did not affect intrinsic characteristics of this revolution.

Elaboration of approaches to understanding of specifics of the Iranian revolution of 1978 — 1979 in many respects was defined by the general line of the management of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The report of the Central Committee of the CPSU to the XXVI congress of the CPSU and immediate tasks of party in the field of foreign and domestic policy of February 23, 1981 contained the following characteristic of the Iranian revolution in which also the Islamic component of this revolution is not ignored: "Revolution in Iran which became an important event in the international life of the last years has special character. At all the complexity and discrepancy it at the heart of the anti-imperialist revolution though internal and external reaction seeks to change this its character...

In some countries of the East recently Islamic slogans actively move forward. We, communists, are respectful to religious beliefs of the people practising Islam, as well as other religions. The main thing is in what aims are pursued by forces proclaiming any given slogans. Under a banner of Islam the liberating fight can be developed. Experience of history including the most recent demonstrates to it. But it says that with Islamic slogans also the reaction lifting counter-revolutionary rebellions operates. Everything put, therefore, in what actual content of any given movement." 1.

1 A.B. Reznikov Iran: falling of the shah mode. — M.: Politizdat, 1983, page 15 — 16.

However, as one would expect, the religious and ideological aspect of Islamic revolution if was not left by the Soviet historians indifferently, then, at least, was not apprehended by them seriously. In focus of attention of historians-iranistov were social and economic and to a lesser extent — socio-political aspects of revolutionary events in Irane2. Signs of a revolutionary situation were analyzed, the reasons and prerequisites of revolutionary fermentation of masses were found, detailed characteristic of social-class processes and the productive relations in the Iranian society of a prerevolutionary time was given. The ideology, according to the dogmatizirovanny concept of Marxism-Leninism, was an element of a superstructure and in itself was deprived of the active historical and creative beginning. If it was talked of the "become obsolete" and "conservative" religious ideology.

The aspiration to prove the accidental and short-term nature of Islamization of the mode was important feature of the Soviet historiography of Islamic revolution of 1978 — 1979. The Soviet historians firmly trusted in force of historical regularities which eventually had to lead the Iranian people to communism. The Islamic mode was a barrier on the way of progressive development of the Iranian society in this direction and therefore it was doomed to a historical non-existence. The Soviet researchers in a predictive part of the works hoped that in the Iranian society other trends more corresponding to ideological stamps of Marxism-Leninism will prevail over time.

The lack of systematic studying ideology of the revolutionary Shiite clergy based on the aspiration to understand internal logic of these ideas, their interrelation with a historical and sociocultural context especially unwillingness to allocate objective and significant elements which would help understanding and theoretical judgment of the phenomenon Islamic revo-

was other essentially important point
2 S.M. Aliyev. Problems of political development of Iran//Asia and Africa today, 1980, No. 11; S.L. Agayev. Iran in the past and the present. — M.: Science, 1981, page 261-262.
201 0& 1 0

Lucia. The specifics of this unique phenomenon lie in the area of the ideas and concepts. Historians obviously scornfully treated concepts of Islamic figures, including their "populist", "demagogical", "reactionary", "retrograde", "not adequate to the current state of society", "mythologized", "irrational", "eclectic", "unrealizable in practice", "manipulative", "primitive" and kind of the marginalized and pauperizirovanny layers intended for perception obshchestva1. All these stereotypes will a little be coordinated with that reality which we observe today. Thirty years later, despite all external threats and pressure, the Islamic mode in Iran keeps stability that is explained by existence of a certain model of development which is guided by the complete religious and ideological doctrine.

Nevertheless it is possible to allocate the whole group of the Soviet researchers who were more focused on studying ideological and culturological aspects of prerevolutionary history of Iran and events of Islamic revolution (E.A. Doroshenko, V.B. by Klyashtorina2, A.K. Lukoyanov3,

1 Zhdanov N.V., Ignatenko A.A. Islam on the dawn of the 21st century. - M.: Politizdat, 1989, page 98-107.
2 V.B. Klyashtorina Iran of the 60-80th years: from cultural pluralism to Islamization of cultural wealth (Ideology, policy, literature). - M, 1990.
3 "The oppositional bourgeois social thought of the monarchy was based on Islam. The specified circumstance played an important role that when in the country the revolutionary situation began to develop and the Shiite clergy began to make efforts for seizing the revolutionized consciousness of masses, the soil for this purpose was loosened" (A.K. Lukoyanov.

Majdi Bazargan//Iranian revolution 1978-

1979. Reasons and lessons. - M.: Science, Main edition of east literature, 1989, page 82).

V.K. of Zotov4, G.S. Efremova5, etc.). This group of iranist to some extent managed to track those trends in cultural and public life of Iran on the basis of which there was a registration and the approval of slogans of "Islamic board" (eslama hokumat-a) and "the Islamic republic" (eslama dzhomkhuri-ya). It is necessary to notice that in focus of attention of researchers there were, first of all, ideas of secular Islamic figures (Dzhelalya to Ahmad, Ali Shariati, Majdi Bazargan, Seyyed Hossein Nasr's Alya) and least of all - ideology of the politized Shiite clergy, for example the ayatollah R.M. Khomeini, M. Motakhkhari, Bekheshti, Talegani, Shariatmadari, etc. In the field of studying ideological heritage of Shiite thinkers in a domestic historiography of Iran the noticeable lacuna which was not filled by anybody was formed.

Can tell

that the domestic iranistika after 1991, enduring the serious crisis connected with withdrawal from world outlook and teoretiko-methodological installations of Marxism-Leninism did not develop new approaches to an explanation of the Iranian phenomenon. At the same time, strangely enough, many stereotypes and stamps of an old Soviet historiography continue to prevail over the researchers working on studying any given aspects of Islamic revolution and postrevolutionary reality of Iran.

4 V.K. Zotov. Ideology of the Islamic mode//Iranian revolution of 1978 — 1979. Reasons and lessons. — M.: Science, Main edition of east literature, 1989.
5 G.S. Efremova. Illumination of some social and political questions in Ali Shariati's works//the Historiography of Iran of modern and latest times. — M.: Science, 1989.
Helland Halvard
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