Audio: Torab Saleh on the Iranian revolution

Poster for meeting

Last night I caught the end of a meeting on the 'Iranian Revolution – the hidden history' organised by Hands off the People of Iran (HOPI).  The speaker was Torab Saleh who took part in the movement of 1979 and whose talk concentrates on the anti-capitalist mass movement that overthrew the Shah's regime.  He also talks about how it was that the religious opposition came to dominate the movement.


Torab Saleh on the Iranian revolution of 1979 - HOPI meeting in Dublin by Andrew Flood on Mixcloud


I'd been at a Seomra Spraoi meeting so I only caught the last 10 minutes, fortunately I'd arranged with a friend to record the whole session (thanks Farah!). She gave me a hard time about an article I wrote on Islam back in 2002/3. I have to admit it was a hastily constructed article intended to try and spark some debate on Islam at the time and I rather hoped it woud produce some replies but perhaps it still might?  It was part of a project that started with the two pamphlets I put together Against War And Terrorism 1 (October 2001) and 'Against War and Terrorism 2' (March 2002) both of which were an attempt to rapidly put together an anarchist analysis of the post 9/11 situation including a number of articles on Islam.

These recent conversations along with the Choice Ireland meeting that I blogged and Waye Prices article for on Anarchism & Religion have given me some cause for reflection around the topic.  I'm a pretty hardline athiest, very much shaped by the experience of growing up in a country where religious rule had a very direct effect on life.  Inevitably I've worked with christian liberation theologists on occasion, in particular in relation to Zapatista solidarity and I've told there are crudely equivalent currents in Islam.

I'm very wary of the approach that tends to see criticism of religion as a bad tactic because of the assumption that the masses are too weded too religion and that such an approach can only therefore alienate them.   My perspective has however shifted, in relation to Islam, or rather the priority the western (and exile) left assigns to it, I'm quite influnced by the arguments put forward by another comrade, Sevinc, in the latest (and last) issue of Red & Black Revolution - hopefully this will be online soon.  The history of the Iranian revolution is quite central to this discussion although its very much more complex then a clash between the left and the religious movements after the revolution.  I think as I finish up (for now) my reading andwriting on Chinese anarchism it might be the next thing I put some effort into reading on.

The audio which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes long has been posted to at

WORDS Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )


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