How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of "One World" and Why That Fuels Violence

By Fathali M. Moghaddam | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
A Dangerous New World

There are moments in the history of a nation when all that has passed and all that is to come, everything before and after, are forever changed, never to be the same again. This was such a moment for Iran, this was such a time for Iranians, and I was there as a participant. It was the glorious spring of 1979 and along with tens of thousands of other jubilant Iranians I had rushed back from the West to hurl myself into the turbulent currents of fast-moving life in post-revolution Iran, giddy and amazed at the wondrous changes swirling around us.

What contagious excitement! What soaring ambitions and lofty hopes had suddenly sprung to life! We were experiencing the first exhilarating months after the miraculous revolution that had just toppled the Shah, the “king of kings,” who we dreamed would be the last in a long line of dictators that cast their hideous shadows far back on Iranian history.1 Freedom had arrived, so we believed, and we shouted “Freedom!” to one another and to the world.

Casting a cold eye back over the tragic three decades of bloody events in Iran since that tumultuous revolution—the politically motivated murders, the cruel imprisonments and torture, the suffocating spread of a culture of terror, and the emergence of a crushing dictatorship shaped by Islamic fundamentalism—it is difficult to believe how joyous and optimistic we had felt, women and men, in the sublime “spring of revolution.” The anguish of the last three decades has almost blotted out the exhilarating hopes we had experienced in that time of innocent bliss.

So many significant incidents come to my mind when I remember that rapturous time, incidents that should have told us of the crushing failures

-1-

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