Dichotomy Between Authoritarianism And Islam

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Nivan Khair Module Two Power over the people in Authoritarian and Theocratic rule

Authoritarian and Theocratic rule have one essential principle in common - the limitation or, in some cases, the cancellation of an individual’s social choice and values. However, both rules had completely opposite ideologies. One way to juxtapose these two types of governments is to closely inspect how they both viewed Islam in terms of a culture and how that affected their state of rule. On one hand, the Ba’ath political party saw Islam as a tradition which had no place in government rule as it served as a barrier to advancement in society;
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Ultimately, both types had the same reaction to any form of opposition, which was met with violence. Ba’athist in Iraq was an excellent execution of an authoritarian regime. Watenpaugh defines this type of regime as having the authority on top and society below it (2/14). This means that this type of regime will control all aspects of state and society leaving individuals without their own unique choices. Baathist’ ideology promoted an Arab race ideology that excluded any non-Arab or any religious and practicing Muslim. They operated under the idea that Islam is an outdated culture that did not work with the secularism they were trying to impose on their citizens. They used tactics such as the cult of personality and police state to impose such ideologies. In the cult of personality, images of leaders saturate the existence of their citizens (Watenpaugh, 2/14). This idea serves to try to connect the citizens to their leader by showcasing him as a father figure in the political domain. In…show more content…
In one area of change was the compulsion of the hijab on women in public and banning of alcohol consumption. Islamic traditions require women to wear the hijab and prohibit alcohol consumption as it is considered haram. These two things drove Muslims in Iran to internalize secular values and outlooks on life. One might argue that coercion within a society can sometimes result in the complete opposite. This type of rule might even drive citizens out of their own country as they become more secular and more impacted by a police state. This shows in the film Persepolis, where Marjane was separated from her family and was sent abroad to study by her parents due to fear of harsh police treatments. The film shows the degree of the police state in the Republic of Iran where women were forced to fully cover their hair, not talk to men, and even listen to western music that was considered devilish and against the teachings of Islam. When a state controls the media, it controls the reality of the people thus erasing any sign of

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