(Re)Definition of the Iranian Revolution
Via Dana Goldstein, Ali Gharib makes the stellar point that what’s going on in Iran is reaffirmation of the Islamic Revolution, not a repudiation of it. Kate Klonick finds that problematic. But why, really? If Gharib is right, then what’s unfolding is a measure of reconciling the revolution with greater openness. There isn’t sufficient evidence to support the proposition that the people out in the streets in Iran are liberals. But that doesn’t diminish from the fact that what they’re fighting is deeply illiberal, and what they’re fighting for as baseline propositions — the principles of sound, trustworthy elections; the right to be free from violence and harassment — are eminently supportable. If they can harmonize the Islamic Revolution with those concepts, they’ll have done themselves and the world a great service. It’s not the case that, as Mark Krikorian writes, “We’ll know it’s a revolution when Iranian women start throwing off their headscarves en masse.” The fact that they’re demonstrating in their headscarves is proof enough. Let Iranian opposition sort out the balance between their religiosity and their politics for themselves.