For Love of the Father: A Psychoanalytic Study of Religious Terrorism

By Ruth Stein | Go to book overview

Appendix B

From Dr. Ali Shariati's After Shahadat

The following text is from a speech of Dr. Ali Shariati (1933–77), an Iranian sociologist and Islamologist, a charismatic speaker and prolific writer. Shariati refers to both Islamic and Western sources in inciting Iranians to a simultaneous religious revolution and social reform. His mix of Third Worldism and Shiite Islam was a potent impetus for the spectacularly popular Iranian revolution of 1979. Note the idealistic, ideological, and self-sacrificial tone of this appeal, the frequent rhetoric of blood in his inflaming message for his Shiite countrymen who revere Hussein as their saint-martyr. The text is revolutionary and martyrological at the same time. It calls for its audience to assume the global responsibility of a community which can be a model for humanity as a whole by serving as witnesses to Hussein's martyrdom (at the hands of Yazid, the treacherous caliph). The speech is a passionate call to continue where Hussein, and his family and supporters left. Shariati's rhetoric makes it sound as if the Shuhada, the martyrs, just left the stage a few minutes ago, and the listeners should turn now to pursuing the heroic deeds of Hussein and his entourage as “we have remained in eternal mourning.” Timelessness, or rather, ever-presence is of the essence here. Ever-presence seems to signify the overcoming of the humiliation of defeat and the finality of death. Accordingly, there is no end to mourning, and the spilt blood of the martyrs becomes a life-dispensing liquid for humanity. The frequent mention of children evokes powerful images of victimhood, innocence, sacrifice and offerings. Like Atta's letter, this is not a letter of hate, but one of love and hope and the active, willing embracing of martyrdom. The Shiite branch of Islam is the minority compared to the Sunnis who

-149-

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For Love of the Father: A Psychoanalytic Study of Religious Terrorism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface xv
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Evil as Love and as Liberation: the Mind of a Suicidal Religious Terrorist 21
  • 2 - Fundamentalism as Vertical Mystical Homoeros 45
  • 3 - Purification as Violence 61
  • 4 - Regression to the Father Clinical Narratives and Theoretical Reflections 74
  • 5 - The Triadic Structure of Evil 102
  • Appendix A - Mohammed Atta's Letter 143
  • Appendix B - From Dr. Ali Shariati's After Shahadat 149
  • Notes 157
  • References 191
  • Index 211
  • Meridian - Crossing Aesthetics 221
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