Had Iran remained Sunni...?

Jul 2012
1,942
Bahrain
Iran were largely a Sunni state until the safavid time....How matters would be different had it remained Sunni all over....


I tend to think that it will unlikely result in an ultra religious state like Saudi Arabia, but would rather lean more toward a secular state but is still controlled by segments of the society....something that is close to Egypt...

The reason for that is that I think the Sunni sect doesn't entail a similar "Obediance" to religious figures as much as the Shiite sect. Religious scholars in the Sunni world are strong influencers in some cases but command or imply loyalty or strict adherance to their ways....We can judge this by looking upon the Arab countries with Sunni majority, where we saw acceptance of a lot of ideaologies (beside their own sect)....we saw a rise of Communist wave during the 1950s and 1960s which has subsequently waned in the 1970s and 1980s....

Under such assumption, the economic expectation is likely to be positive too....

In terms of foreign policy, I don't expect a bigger change.....there has always been a drive in Iran to manifest itself in the region on the back of a romantisized view of old Iranian empires, a theme that is present in both the secular face and religious face of Iranian regimes....
 
Jun 2013
973
I am a native of Rasht in Iran, but i live in Denm
In terms of foreign policy, I don't expect a bigger change.....there has always been a drive in Iran to manifest itself in the region on the back of a romantisized view of old Iranian empires, a theme that is present in both the secular face and religious face of Iranian regimes....
By religious face of Iranian regimes you mean something resembling the Islamic Republic of Iran right? if so, then no, they deny Pre-Islamic Iranian history and destroy things that are Pre-Islamic, Khomeini even wanted to destroy Persepolis! and said that the Iranians wouldn't exist without Islam.
 
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Jul 2012
1,942
Bahrain
Hell no, by religious face of Iranian regimes you mean something resembling the Islamic Republic of Iran right? if so, them no, they deny Pre-Islamic Iranian history and destroy things that are Pre-Islamic, Khomeini even wanted to destroy Persepolis! and said that they Iranians wouldn't exist without Islam.
But isn't that only Khomeini ?

He himself said: "Arabs and Turks ruled the the Islamic world, Why not Persians"

We need to consider a broader perspective, not just the one pertaining to the current Iranian regime....considering Iran being Sunni all that time...
 
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Jun 2013
973
I am a native of Rasht in Iran, but i live in Denm
But isn't that only Khomeini ?

He himself said: "Arabs and Turks ruled the the Islamic world, Why not Persians"
No it's not only him, and who says that he exactly was talking about an Iranian Empire? no my friend, he was talking about a Caliphate. He was nothing more but a crazy fundamentalist with fake dreams, his successor Khamenei is trying to achieve what Khomeini wanted. That is why Syria and Iraq are puppet countries of Iran and why the Hezbollahs are in Lebanon and now in Syria.
 
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Feb 2011
1,595
Isn't it that national forces in Iran and Turkey face a similar problem? In both countries, there are parties in power which emphasize the Islamic heritage over the national culture. The only difference is that in Turkey the Islamocentrists claim the imperial (Ottoman) past for their aims, whereas in Iran the glory of past dynasties is invoked by the nationalists against the Islamists.
 
Jun 2013
973
I am a native of Rasht in Iran, but i live in Denm
Isn't it that national forces in Iran and Turkey face a similar problem? In both countries, there are parties in power which emphasize the Islamic heritage over the national culture. The only difference is that in Turkey the Islamocentrists claim the imperial (Ottoman) past for their aims, whereas in Iran the glory of past dynasties is invoked by the nationalists against the Islamists.
Well, the problem is here that the Pre-Islamic and secular supporters, do not have any power at all in Iran, since it is controlled by a Islamic dictator who denies the Pre-Islamic Iranian past.
 
Feb 2010
1,563
Well, had not the Iranians converted to Shia Islam, there wouldn't be a dictatorship ruled by Islamic clergy today, but it doesn't mean that it would be more secular or prosperuous at all, unless there were a strict and talented secular ruler like Atatürk in Turkey. Essa mentioned Egypt, which is in a deplorable state today, and the Egyptian society is probably significantly more religious than the Iranian one. But there are many other examples in the whole region.
 
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Sep 2013
1,110
Abu Dhabi
Iran were largely a Sunni state until the Safavid time....How matters would be different had it remained Sunni all over....


I tend to think that it will unlikely result in an ultra religious state like Saudi Arabia, but would rather lean more toward a secular state but is still controlled by segments of the society....something that is close to Egypt...
Well, I think the only way Iran could remain Sunni was to be conquered by Ottoman Turkey before Ismail I capture of Ak Koyunlu realm.

Any other scenario with any other Turkish dynasty ruling over Iran would have brought us again to the real life scenario when it was separated on a sectarian principle. In that case Iran could have ended up again Shiite or perhaps more Alawite.

But assuming the first scenario, I tend to agree that after eventual independence from Turkey (could be same after WWI like with Arab countries) Sunni Iran would have probably resembled Egypt.


In terms of foreign policy, I don't expect a bigger change.....there has always been a drive in Iran to manifest itself in the region on the back of a romantisized view of old Iranian empires, a theme that is present in both the secular face and religious face of Iranian regimes....
Fully agree here.
 
Jan 2014
55
NJ
They would have found change

Iran were largely a Sunni state until the safavid time....How matters would be different had it remained Sunni all over....


I tend to think that it will unlikely result in an ultra religious state like Saudi Arabia, but would rather lean more toward a secular state but is still controlled by segments of the society....something that is close to Egypt...

The reason for that is that I think the Sunni sect doesn't entail a similar "Obediance" to religious figures as much as the Shiite sect. Religious scholars in the Sunni world are strong influencers in some cases but command or imply loyalty or strict adherance to their ways....We can judge this by looking upon the Arab countries with Sunni majority, where we saw acceptance of a lot of ideaologies (beside their own sect)....we saw a rise of Communist wave during the 1950s and 1960s which has subsequently waned in the 1970s and 1980s....

Under such assumption, the economic expectation is likely to be positive too....

In terms of foreign policy, I don't expect a bigger change.....there has always been a drive in Iran to manifest itself in the region on the back of a romantisized view of old Iranian empires, a theme that is present in both the secular face and religious face of Iranian regimes....
In my opinion, even if Iran remained Sunni the Empire and later nation would have still found a way to differentiate itself. I mean take a look at Sufiism, Persians found a way to take their rich, poetic, and romantic culture and transfer it into religion.

Although you're right about the Sunni sect not demanding obedience to religious figures, I feel like the reason Shia Iranians look up to their holy religious figures like Imam Ali is not due to the religion but due to the fact that in Iran's history, The population was always very generally Patriarchal. From the times of Cyrus to Nader Shah to Reza Pahlavi, Iranians love a strong powerful ruler to look up to and admire. The fact that Iranian Shias are so passionate about their religious idols is a very Persian trait.

Egypt is the FURTHEST thing from a secular state. I mean on paper it is, but what many people fail to realize is that the majority of the population is very religious. I mean just look at who won the election.
 
Jan 2014
296
Tasmania, Australia
I can't understand the violent conflicts between Sh'ia and Sunni Muslims. I suppose it's much like the religious wars between Protestants and the Catholics some 500 years ago. But that was then! Why can't Sunni and Sh'ia simply agree to disagree and get on with life?
 
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