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IslamQA: Is Iran a truly Islamic government?

What you think about Iran? I mean about the Iranian Islamic government,do you think is that real Islam? Forcing woman's to wearing hijab and forcing people to worship?

The Shias have their own “contract” with God and are responsible for the truth as they know it. I believe all humans have a conscience (what some call a fitra) that motivates them to goodness and against evil, and all humans are responsible for whether they answer the call of their conscience or reject it even before any religious belief or knowledge.

The Iranian government is very complex and there are all kinds of people in it, some of whom are sincere and try to do the best for their people. There are also radicals and extremists who like to use the government as a tool for forcing their views on others.

As for forcing women to wear the hijab, I consider it a useless policy that has no strong basis in Islam. I do not know if they force people to worship, but it is true that they place restrictions on Sunni worship. For example they do not allow Sunni mosques to hold Friday prayers in cities like Tehran if my information is correct. This is of course unjust and harmful to the government itself since it leads to discontent and dislike for the rulers.

Ideally the government should become a truly pluralist government as Ayatollah Khomeini promised before he was in power. I believe there will be significant change (I hope for the better) within the next few decades since the new generation is largely university-educated unlike their parents and are less concerned with religious zealotry. There are also Shia intellectuals like Abdolkarim Soroush who are extremely pluralist and humanist in their outlook, love Sunni scholars like al-Ghazali and Rumi, and who are loved and respected by many Iranians. So there is reason to be hopeful.

And God knows best.
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