In 1904, Iran saw the first strong movement for secularism. The platform for this movement was established with support from many renowned people in the field of art, literature, education and politics. But this movement was unfortunately defeated by a certain religious groups, feudal and the Reza Shah himself. As an alternative, Reza Shah introduced some partial secular reforms in tune with a dictatorial government, which was already deeply influenced by Islam. Later as many land reforms were enforced, feudalism began to decline and this gave a much needed boost to secular movement among people.
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In 1978, democracy was established for a short duration after the revolution against the monarchy. This short period of democracy provided new hopes for a secular and free Iran. But the Islamic revolution led by Khomeini managed to suppress the movement, and completed the task left unfinished by Mohammad Reza Shah.
The people in Iran are now in now relentlessly opposing the Islamic regime for their political freedom and civil rights. Secularism has a very good prospect in Iran. Due to the various strict policies and discriminatory measures, people are left with no choice but to take a political approach against the tyrannical Islamic regime. The depth of the movement is evident from the growing support among masses especially for women, against the compulsory veil, promoting women education, music, right to divorce, right to have custody of children etc.
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People are ready to accept the modern way of life and education and its advantages. Education plays the key role here as it will empower people to raise questions against any unjust practice. Women will be the most benefitted as they are the most suppressed and forced to be submissive to men in their households. The youth of Iran also wants to pursue a life of freedom and utilize technology, and not live like a student of theology. The fact remains that the movement of secular democracy has been pushed back by the religious role and people of Iran are well aware of it. This is why we are facing with a mass movement with the banner of ‘freedom and secularism’ to overthrow this regime.
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