"God's Favored Nation": The New Religious Nationalism in Iran.

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A new religious nationalism has evolved in the Islamic Republic of Iran as a means to reconcile the contestation between the Persian ethnic (Iraniyat) and the Islamic (Islamiyat) elements, which has marked Iranian nationalism since its inception. The new synthesis identifies Shiʿism with Iran and associates Sunni Islam with Arab tribalism. It commends Iran's pre-Islamic cultural attributes and highlights its contribution to Islam. Concurrently, it presents Shiʿism as key factor in the endurance of Iranian nationalism and the preservation of Iran's independence. It culminates with the claim that the Iranians are "God's favorite nation," destined to lead the Muslim world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number541
Pages (from-to)541
Number of pages1
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • IRAN
  • NATIONALISM -- Religious aspects
  • Iran
  • Islam
  • nationalism
  • Persia
  • Shi'ism


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