Monday, 31 August 2020

Ali Shariati and Red Shi'ism

باسمك اللهم
وصلاتك وسلامك على نبيك وعبدك محمد
وعلى آله وازواجه وذريته
Ali Shariati (1933-1977) was a radical leftist who is considered among the theorists of Iran’s so-called “Islamic” revolution of 1979. There is no doubt this individual was highly influenced by revolutionary Marxism, and sought to introduce such alien concepts into Islam.

Let's analyze Shariati's book Red Shi'ism and see how his interpretation of Shi'ism is through a Marxist-Leninist lens. This may be understandable, as some concepts in Shi'ism are similar to revolutionary Marxism, but Shariati has taken it to the extreme. Hence the title of the book "Red Shi'ism", red is clearly a reference to its association with the radical Left, socialism, communism, Marxism, etc.. Shariati writes:
"Choose justice and overthrow the system of paradox and discrimination in ownership"
"Like a revolutionary party, Shi'ism had a well-organized, informed, deep and well-defined ideology, with clear-cut and definite slogans and a disciplined and well-groomed organization."
"opiate for the masses" [plain use of Marxist language and terminology]
"This is what causes Shi'ism, during this period, to appear as the fountainhead of rebellion and the struggle of the downtrodden and oppressed masses, especially among the rural people. It flourished wondrously in multiple facets and directions, moderate or extreme, in the form of various movements of the masses against the powers of the day, like the terrorism of Hasan Sabbah, the communal living of the Qaramateh, the extremist cultural and religious beliefs of the Ghalat, and the rebellion for free-thinking of some of the Sufi sects of the revolutionary and Shi'ite school of thought, against the harsh prejudices and the soulless, petrifying censorship of the theological and legal system attached to the ruling group."
Observe how Ali Shariati actually praised the "terrorism of Hasan Sabbah" and the Qaramitah. He was being quite honest when he characterized them as among the "multiple facets and directions" of Shi'ism!
"a revolutionary movement based on Alawite Shi'ism, against foreign domination, internal deceit, the power of the feudal lords and large capitalists, arises in arms for the salvation of the enslaved nation and the deprived masses, led by peasants seven hundred years ago, under the banner of justice and the culture of martyrdom"
Carefully analyze the language and terminology of Ali Shariati. There is the unmistakable influence of revolutionary Marxism and Leninism. He speaks of a class struggle between peasants and feudal lords and large capitalists. He uses the term "opiate for the masses", the phrase coined by Karl Marx to describe Religion. He says Shi'ism is a "revolutionary party", the same phrase and concept behind the creation of Communist workers' parties. He speaks about overthrowing the system of discrimination in "ownership".

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