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When Everywhere is Karbala: Murals, Martyrdom and Propaganda in Iran

Rolston, Bill (2017) When Everywhere is Karbala: Murals, Martyrdom and Propaganda in Iran. Memory Studies, NA . NA. [Journal article]

[img] Text - Accepted Version

URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1750698017730870

DOI: 10.1177/1750698017730870


In Tehran murals depicting men who died in the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988 are ubiquitous. The murals represent an exercise in state propaganda, serving to remind citizens that these men died not simply for the nation but for Islam; they are martyrs. This message resonates with deeply held religious views in Iran. There is constant reference to the Battle of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. This is seen to prefigure the revolt of the people against the Shah in 1979, the defence of the Revolution against Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, and furthermore, the claim of the Iranian opposition that the ideals of the Islamic Revolution have been distorted by politicised clerics. In propagating the myth of Karbala, the murals function to control the masses, bolster elite power and marginalize opposition to that power.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Murals, Iran, martyrs, propaganda, Ashura, Imam Hossein
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Research Institutes and Groups:Transitional Justice Institute
ID Code:38685
Deposited By: Prof Bill Rolston
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 11:11
Last Modified:01 Mar 2018 11:11

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