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Anjoman

ANJOMAN

Persian word for "assembly."

Used as far back as the eleventh century in Firdawsi's Shah Namah (Book of kings) in the sense of "assembly" or "meeting," the term anjoman had come to refer to cultural, religious, political, administrative, and professional "associations" by the late nineteenth century. During the Constitutional Revolution (19051912), a number of secret or open political groups that were often called anjoman played important roles. In the latter part of the twentieth century, a variety of Islamic associations, especially those formed among students in Iran and abroad, called themselves anjoman. Originally religious and cultural associations, these groups were politicized during the 19781979 Iranian revolution, when both Islamic and secular popular assemblies (called shura, or anjoman ) appeared all over Iran, at all levels of society. With the consolidation of the new Islamic regime, however, these independent organizations were eliminated or else were turned into government organs. The notion of anjoman, or shura, as some ideal form of popular self-rule is nevertheless still current, especially in leftist political literature.

see also constitutional revolution; iranian revolution (1979); shura.

Bibliography

Bayat, Assef. Workers and Revolution in Iran: A Third World Experience of Workers' Control. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books, 1987.

Lambton, A. K. S. "The Secret Societies and the Persian Revolution of 19051906." St. Anthony's Papers 4 (1958).

Nikki Keddie

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