Shia Clerical Opposition Stands Before Shah's White Revolution

  November 04, 2020   Read time 1 min
Shia Clerical Opposition Stands Before Shah's White Revolution
White Revolution was indeed in one sense tantamount to liberalization of Iran in all fields including society, culture and social relations. Here the problem of women and their liberties was a critical one for the conservative clerics and the traditional minds in Iran. This spurred a wave of protests.

The new policies of the shah did not go unopposed, however; many Shiʿi leaders criticized the White Revolution, holding that liberalization laws concerning women were against Islamic values. More important, the shah’s reforms chipped away at the traditional bases of clerical power. The development of secular courts had already reduced clerical power over law and jurisprudence, and the reforms’ emphasis on secular education further eroded the former monopoly of the ulama in that field. (Paradoxically, the White Revolution’s Literacy Corps was to be the only reform implemented by the shah to survive the Islamic revolution, because of its intense popularity.) Most pertinent to clerical independence, land reforms initiated the breakup of huge areas previously held under charitable trust (vaqf). These lands were administered by members of the ulama and formed a considerable portion of that class’s revenue (Source: Britanica).


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