Human Rights in Iran: The Abuse of Cultural Relativism

By Reza Afshari | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The Right to Life

The international community considered the taking of life by summary
or arbitrary execution, whether or not justified to combat insurgency or
terror, an assault upon a fundamental right.

—William Korey

The Shiite ulema’s understanding of the medieval Islamic laws meshed with the overreaching power of the contemporary state, determining the applicability of the death penalty, its frequency of use, and the methods of executions. In 1979, many of the Shah’s generals and high civil servants (and later radical participants in the revolution) heard for the first time in their lives the deadly concepts of the Ayatollah’s justice. As capital crimes, the mofsed fel arz (one who sows corruption on earth) and mohareb (warring against God) called for divine retribution, now meted out by the authoritarian modern state. The clerics used frightening, unfamiliar terms—in Arabic largely unintelligible to the Persian-speaking Iranians—to signify the advent of the Islamic justice system. The mofsed fel arz, even the very sound of it, struck fear in the hearts of prisoners. The Islamists emptied the term of its traditional Islamic notions related to sins and imbued it with new shades of meaning, derived from the experiences of nation-states in the twentieth century. An Islamic judge explained the novel meaning of “sowing corruption on earth” for a helpless defendant, facing certain death. It means spreading wretchedness, depriving people of their rights and freedoms, and undermining the independence, security, and well-being of the country.1 The contemporary jargons of the nation-state would have confounded the medieval jurists who had formulated the shari‘ah.


Through the Prism of Prison Memoirs

Paya’s Prison of Monotheism is valuable because it offers a prison description before the hard-line Islamists had established their total control. In this

-33-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Human Rights in Iran: The Abuse of Cultural Relativism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 411

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.