Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in by Saeid Golkar

By Saeid Golkar

Iran's association for the Mobilization of the Oppressed (Sazeman-e Basij-e Mostazafan), generally called the Basij, is a paramilitary association utilized by the regime to suppress dissidents, vote as a bloc, and indoctrinate Iranian voters. Captive Society surveys the Basij's heritage, constitution, and sociology, in addition to its impression on Iranian society, its economic system, and its academic procedure. Saied Golkar's account attracts not just on released materials―including Basij and innovative shield guides, allied web pages, and blogs―but additionally on his personal casual communications with Basij participants whereas learning and instructing in Iranian universities as lately as 2014. additionally, he accommodates findings from surveys and interviews he performed whereas in Iran.

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Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Rahmani, a left-wing cleric, was appointed commander of the Basij in the spring of 1983. ) With the start of the Iran-Iraq War in September 1980, the Basij began playing an important role in recruiting and organizing volunteers and in deploying them to the war front. 9 The IRGC and the Basij therefore created intensive training programs, lasting a maximum of fifteen days, to train the Basiji and prepare them for war. 10 During that time, it was the responsibility of the IRGC ground forces to utilize volunteers in different war operations.

A young clergyman, Hojjat al-Islam Amir Majd, was chosen as the Basij’s first commander by Iranian president Abulhassan Bani Sadr and was confirmed by Ayatollah Khomeini. In July 1980, the law governing the organization was changed. Under the revised law, the Basij commander was to be chosen by the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khomeini, at the time), or the Leadership Council, if there were one, instead of the president and the minister of the interior, as had previously been the case. 6 Bani Sadr was removed from office in 1981, and the Islamic Republic Party (Hezb-e Jomhuri Eslami) began to dominate the political scene.

With the start of the Iran-Iraq War in September 1980, the Basij began playing an important role in recruiting and organizing volunteers and in deploying them to the war front. 9 The IRGC and the Basij therefore created intensive training programs, lasting a maximum of fifteen days, to train the Basiji and prepare them for war. 10 During that time, it was the responsibility of the IRGC ground forces to utilize volunteers in different war operations. To recruit new Basiji, the Basij established special offices to cover different societal levels, such as nomadic tribes, high school students, government employees, and university students.

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