Recent events in the Middle East
region have unequivocally shown that an assertive version of the Shi’a
political Islam has been unabatedly pursing its militant quest for ideological
hegemony across the region. Overt consequences of such ideological pursuits
have strongly marked the socio-political fate of the region for the last four
decades and for a foreseeable future. Hence there was a need to have a deeper
understanding of the historical and intellectual foundations of this ideology
in a region strongly affected by its radical political agenda.
Dr. Vahid Nick Pay, an assistant
Professor in PIR department, presented a seminar within the framework of the
UKH’s Lunch Seminars’ third session, on October 26, 2017. The presentation was
a general introduction to the Shi’a political ideology presuming no prior
knowledge of the historical developments of the Shi’a branch of Islam.
It started by presenting a
historical overview of the main ideologues of Shi’a in an attempt to bring
certain contemporary manifestations of the politicized Shi’a ideology into a
better light of appreciation. Particular attention was given to the
religious foundations of various central elements of Shi’ism, the structure of
power in the Islamic Republic of Iran, its narratives symbols, semiotics and
actual course of action in the contemporary Middle East politics.