«Каждый день — Ашура»? Трансформация нарратива мученичества в общественно-политическом дискурсе современного Ирана
This article is dedicated to the analysis of the transformations had been undergone by the narrative of martyrdom in official and unofficial Iranian discourse in recent decades. At the foundation of this narrative lies a special interpretation of the events of early Muslim history, the Battle of Karbala (680), during which the third Shīʻa Imam Ḥusayn was killed along with most of his relatives and companions by the outnumbering forces of caliph Yazīd. These events, which became the starting point in the isolation of the Shīʻa branch in Islam, became the basis for a set of commemorative practices, which acquired a public and ritual character, and for the development of the cult of martyrs. The two most prominent public intellectuals of 1960-70s – ʻAlī Sharīʻatī and Murtaẓa Muṭahharī – developed the modern interpretation of Shīʻa rituals and symbols. They developed a consistent narrative, which in recent scholarship became labelled as “Karbala paradigm”. The Karbala paradigm emerged into a powerful ideological tool during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Iran-Iraq war, and the post-war reconstruction of Iran. The adaptability of Shīʻa rituals and symbols sustained by the current Iranian regime’s monopoly on their interpretation became the reason not only for the active use of the mobilization potential of the Karbala paradigm, but also for its routinization. However, the reaction to the murders of Qāsem Suleimanī and Abu Mahdī al-Muhandis, which expressed in the dynamic development of the cult of the “new martyrs”, underlines the sustainability of this paradigm.