Religious Minorities in Iran

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Eliz Sanasarian's book explores the political and ideological relationship between non-Muslim religious minorities in Iran and the state during the formative years of the Islamic Republic to the present day. Her analysis is based on a detailed examination of the history and experiences of the Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahais and Iranian Christians, and describes how these communities have responded to state policies regarding minorities. Many of her findings are derived from personal interviews with members of these communities as well as careful analysis of primary documents. While the book is essentially an empirical study, it also highlights more general questions associated with exclusion and marginalization and the role of the state in defining these boundaries.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sanasarian provides a clear and unadulterated picture of the intimidation, discrimination, and persecution of Armenians, Assyrians, Baha'is, Chaldeans, Iranian Christian converts, Jews, and Zoroastrians under the rule of the Ayatollahs. This very valuable addition to the contemporary history of Iran thoroughly explores the political and ideological relationships between non-Muslim religious minorities and the state, a subject seldom covered by other scholars." Choice

"...makes significant contributions to Iranian studies, as well as to the general area of majority-minority relations." Human Rights Quarterly

"...original and significant...a great contribution to our field and offers much to our understanding of state-minority relations and minority responses. Religious Minorities in Iran should be well-received by specialists and non-specialists alike." Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

"...those wishing to better understand the dynamics of the relationship between Iran's Islamic government and the country's various non-Muslim groups will find in this work a wealth of informative detail not readily availbe elsewhere." Journal of the American Academy of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521029742
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Middle East Studies Series, #13
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of tables
Notes on transliteration and bibliography
Introduction: an overview of politics and society 1
1 Ethnic anatomy and politics of non-Muslim minorities 34
The Armenians 34
The Assyrians and Chaldeans 40
Missionary activities 43
The Jews 44
The Zoroastrians 48
The Bahais 50
Comparative dynamics 54
2 The Assembly of Experts: debut in the year of destiny 58
Interactions between the non-Muslim and Muslim deputies 64
3 Policy sphere of recognized religious minorities 73
Religion 74
Education 76
Communal Life 84
The first and the second Majlis: 1980-88 93
Two distinguishing features 100
4 Distinctions and designations as policy output 106
The severity of treatment of the Jews 110
The persecution of Bahais 114
The troubled path of nonethnic Christian groups 123
Particularities as the end product 127
Limitations and the legal domain 129
5 Prevalent responses of recognized religious minorities 136
Similar responses 136
Responses unique to each group 147
The meaning of the response 152
Conclusion: the perils of marginality 154
Notes 164
Bibliography 209
Index 225
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