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Persian Studies

Dr. Asghar Seyed Gohrab


The holy cities in Iraq were seen as objects of love, for which adherents should sacrifice themselves.  These holy places were equated to the Kaaba, the house of God in Mecca.  In this way, Khomeini exploited different contrasts: that between orthodoxy and liberalism, Sunni and Shi'ite, Arab and Persian. Seyed-Gohrab: ‘He used these differences to the full.  For example, with such sayings as: 'If you want to get to Kerbala, you have to have blood; if you want to get to Kaaba, you have to have money', which is in fact a form of blasphemy. broad-support Khomeini deliberately exploited this cultural heritage felt across all strata of society. 'It is not the case that children in primary school analysed the poems - I never did that when I was in Iran - but you grow up with the poetry and the imagery it contains.  A poet such as Hafez is recited at every opportunity. His poems can be interpreted as both worldly and mystic.  Everyone knows this and each person can choose the interpretation which most suits him.  But  everyone knows that the mysticism and the worldly elements permeate one another.'