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Looking Towards Western Culture

Looking Towards Western Culture

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The Islamic Revolution, also known as the Iranian Revolution or the Revolution of 1979, lead by Ayatollah Khomeini, brought about numerous changes to the nation of Iran.
The Islamic Revolution, also known as the Iranian Revolution or the Revolution of 1979, lead by Ayatollah Khomeini, brought about numerous changes to the nation of Iran.

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Published by: Devin Elizabeth Berry on May 30, 2011
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Berry 1Devin BerryCultural ThemesPrakasamDecember 1, 2010Looking Towards Western CultureThe Islamic Revolution, also known as the Iranian Revolution or the Revolutionof 1979, lead by Ayatollah Khomeini, brought about numerous changes to the nation of Iran. Prior to the revolution, Iran was a monarchy, but Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlaviwas overthrown and it was replaced with an Islamic Republic. While the Revolution did bring about many positive changes like health care for the poor, many of the other changes were deemed to be a negative thing by the Iranians. Throughout this time thecultures of other countries were of great interest to the younger generations. During andfollowing the Islamic revolution there were many radical changes in Iran, in most aspectof its culture, which have left lasting results.The Islamic republic that was introduced into Iranian life in 1979 brought aboutnew programs that previously did not exist in Iran. Education was broadened, literacyrates increased, and infant mortality dropped. However, at this time other programs werestarted that not all Iranians agreed with. The government began to promote Islam;secularism was eliminated, as were all American influences. A large emphasis was placedon religious devotion and it caused the older and younger generations to disagree greatly.
 
Berry 2Other mandates of the new government were not as beneficial to many people.Those not belonging or not practicing Islam were not recognized in society. They werenot protected and did not have civil right. Deviations from the new laws wereunacceptable. “Khomeini used the Revolutionary Guard to execute or assassinate over 11,000 dissenters; to deny women basic social, political and economic rights; to condemnhomosexuals to death and to impose cultural restrictions on dress, music, dancing anddrinking, Parsa said” (Dooley). Anything deemed against Islam, too western, American,or deviant was punishable.Women in particular suffered under the new government. They strict Islamicideals enforced an equally strict dress code for women. They were forced to wear veils or chadors, something they previously were not required to wear. The veil would serve as protection from the male population that would be attracted by the sight of female hair.“They insulted me. They said that women like me should be pushed up against a wall andfucked and then thrown in the garbage. …And that if I didn’t want that to happen Ishould wear the veil” (Satrapi 74). Females were banned from certain schools and werenot allowed to serve in certain positions such as a judge or on a jury.Westerners were supporting the Shah and therefore the new authorities werecompletely against western influence in the new Iran. “In sum, Reza Shah’s greatest wishwas to make Iran a modern society through Westernization. For him, as for most of theConstitutionalists, Westernization would be achieved by mimicking and importingmodern institutions” (Fazeli 47). They were especially against American influence. Theywrote laws and came up with punishments for those in possession of thing that deviated

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