3. Islamic revolution
The majority of Iranian public being under educated and religious, it was very easy to get them emotional with strong beliefs and ideas.
The main message of the Islamic revolution was in two parts:
1. God, religion, heaven (promise for a good life after death, since the life before death was not that good after all) for the ones who were religious.
2. Oil money for who were rather materialistic.
It worked very well. They got the mass very quick. Quick enough that in a short 9 months Ayatollah Khomeini went from not being known by majority to leading the country.
I remember the days everybody became more religious, involved in politics, talking about the oil money that Shah did not share with them. People did the math on the income of the oil and how it should have been distributed, like a senior financial advisor:). As per their calculation everyone would be so rich that no one had to work. The everyday people discussed politics all over. Very frequently these conversations got heated, to the extent that in most of public places notes were placed pleading people to stop talking about politics. Interesting enough majority had the slightest clue on the topic.
Strong opinions are more frequently due to lack of knowledge than abundance of knowledge
My dad being an army man, plus we were not originally from Dezful, we became more distant from the people in Dezful. We were looked at as bad people. There was this kid who wanted to fool me into burning myself. I was around 11 years old at the time. On a few occasions he told me that I can soak my arm with gasoline and set it on fire and I would not get hurt, and that he had done it himself. I am sure that was something that his elders had taught him to do. After all they looked at us as the enemy. I never discussed this with my parents, however I told him I would love to see how he did it before I do it. I think this kid’s parents were religious and uneducated as well, thinking by fooling me into hurting myself they would have got back at Shah, the current leader of the country.
For our safety, all army members and their family, including my family, were moved to the army base for several months.
The alley that we lived in was called "Nazari (my last name) Alley", this was because my dad wanted to be recognized, and registered the name of the alley in his own last name. After all, army had power and people were a bit scared of them, what my dad loved to see.
After revolution most of the street and major places were called "Imam Khomeini" including our alley. This became quite confusing for finding places.
For a short while after the revolution people were very kind to each other, calling each other "brother" and "sister", like one big family. This was all very short lived. I remember my dad was in a car accident where he was at fault but the other party did not ask for any damages, however the other party did not ask for damages. At that time we had no car insurance and normally the one at fault had to pay the cost of the repair for the other party.
Shortly after the revolution, all those good emotions and treating one another out of kindness and as one big family died down. A lot of Shah’s patriots were executed with minimal or no trial. All in the name of God. Most of the educated and wealthy people left the country.
hoping to get a position and power in the new revolutionary government, a lot of people became radically in favor of the government, their qualification was not as important as their connections. Religion was the best excuse to justify their wrong doings.
I have no doubts that if there was no strong religious ideas, we would have never had a revolution nor the aftermath chaos
Most people who were logical, left the country or felt a terrible pain with no hope of recovery and at times literally went crazy. The only way was to support the new government, or you would be tortured or killed in the name of god and/or torsion.
The same emotions and strong uneducated beliefs, often became the base for the young people, to create or join different opposition groups. All opposition groups were eradicated one after the other.
My cousin, Reza, was executed at age 21 for carrying publication materials for one of the opposition groups called Mojahedin. Again all in the name of god, since no other cause could justify the extent of the crime.
Ironically my cousin, Reza, considered himself a true Muslim, such as the ones who executed him
Luckily less than a year after the revolution, in 1980 my dad retired from the army and we left Dezfool for good. And shortly after the war between Iran and Iraq started , Dezfool was bombed by Iraq numerous times, killing thousands.
Although I really would have liked us to move to Karaj where we had a big family from my dad's side, we ended up moving to Shiraz where my mom's family lived. After all we have an expression that goes like this: they asked this guy "Where are you from", he answered "I don't know, I am not married yet".
Author: Mohammed Nazari
In : All about me