Iran and the Challenge of Diversity: Islamic Fundamentalism, Aryanist Racism, and Democratic Struggles
This book interrogates the racist construction of Arya/Aria and Aryanism in an Iranian context, arguing that a racialized interpretation of these concepts has given the Indo-European speaking Persian ethnic group an advantage over Iran's non-Persian nationalities and communities. Based on multidisciplinary research drawing on history, sociology, literature, politics, anthropology and cultural studies, Alireza Asgharzadeh critiques the privileged place of Farsi and the Persian ethnic group in contemporary Iran. The book highlights difference and diversity as major socio-political issues that will determine the future course of social, cultural, and political developments in Iran. Pointing to the increasing inadequacy of Islamic fundamentalism in functioning as a grand narrative, Asgharzadeh explores the racist approach of the current Islamic government to issues of difference and diversity in the country, and shows how these issues are challenging the very existence of the Islamic regime in Iran.