Islamische Revolution in Kurdistan: Zwischen Sektierertum und Ökumenismus

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After the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Kurdish left-wing nationalists and some other Kurdish and non-Kurdish armed oppositional groups—frequently acting in transnational mode—tried to establish their control over the Kurdish regions of Iran. As a result, Iranian Kurdistan almost sank in chaos and sectarian conflict and, finally, faced a massive intervention by central government. To successfully pursue their agenda in the area, the Shi'ite Islamists who had come to power in Tehran struggled to overcome their perception by others as “Shi'ites.” Only so could they hope to also penetrate the Kurdish-populated areas alongside other rebellious provinces of Iran with Sunni majority, as well as to export revolution to Sunni-majority regions abroad. In particular, to establish its rule in Iranian Kurdistan, the revolutionary regime not only sent its own armed supporters there but also employed Sunni Islamism as a tool to enter Kurdish local politics. A case in point is the establishment and activities of the Organisation of Muslim Kurdish Peshmerga.
The paper focuses on the role of religion in political developments in Iranian Kurdistan in 1979-1984, and overviews the origins of Kurdish Sunni Islamism related to the activities of various Iranian government agencies and Iranian political movements. It analyses media reports and political documents of the time, as well as draws on the recently published memoirs of and interviews with the participants and observers of the developments on the ground.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)63-84
JournalWiener Jahrbuch für Kurdische Studien
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2019

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