The Nature and Future of Shi'ite Fundamentalism
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The purpose of this paper is to study the major dissenting sect of Islam called Shiism, which comprises about one tenth of all Moslems. the Shiite community is of substantial interest to the West because of its apparent propensity for radical militant fundamentalism, which reached its zenith in 1979 with the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran. The paper examines the crucial differences in belief between Shias and most other Moslems, and traces how the sect has followed a unique and sometimes violent path towards the unattained utopian goal of a supra-national Islamic state. This paper concludes with a forecast for the future, which suggests that although the appeal of Shiism has been recently degraded by war and privation, the root causes of militant radicalism remain. After a pause to shore up the faiths economic, military and political position, further extreme manifestations of Shiite fundamentalist activism are likely to occur.
- Government and Political Science