Historical Who is Who
1933 - 1977
Ali Shari'ati was the central intellectual inspiration in developing the politicised Shi’ism behind the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrowing the Shah’s westernisation programme. His motivation to engage in nationalist politics throughout his twenties was reinforced by his studies in sociology and philosophy in France in the 1960s; these also brought him into contact with anti-colonial literature and activists. Back in Iran his teaching was regarded as dangerous and in spite of his appeal to early Sufi sources for legitimation he was imprisoned and tortured.