Thursday, May 25, 2006

03. Moghol Invasion to Downfall of Safavid Dynasty

03. Moghol Invasion to Downfall of Safavid Dynasty

During the period from Moghol Invasion (617 H.) till the founding of the Safavid Dynasty (907 H.), Iran's production is wiped out and the society retrogresses. In the governments which were set up by descendants of the Moghol conquerors, Holakoois, Aljatioon, and Teymooris, not only Iranians gained strictly important roles, but the process of re-Iranianization was speeded up due to popular uprisings and feudal rebellions. The uprising of the Sar-be-daran, Horoofieh, and other popular uprisings, are examples of the latter and feudal rebellions of Choopanis, Jalayeris, etc., are instances of the former. The re-Iranianization found concrete expression in the Persian language as the official literary discourse, the Shi?a religion as the official religion, the system of taxation and the civil law.

The Safavid State, founded in 907 H. by Gezelbash Turks, who had fled the Ottoman territory, especially promoted the ascendancy of the "Persian" element in the central government. They first moved their capital from Tabriz to Ghazvin in their preference of central Iran and then in the same intention moved it from Ghazvin to Esfahan. Shah Abbas, the greatest Safavid King, is alleged to have given considerable tax concession to Esfahan and other parts of central Iran to that end [ibid P.522]. Shiism was formally upheld as the official religion of Modern Iran.

Shiism, rather than "Persianism," became the vehicle of supremacy; and thus we observe the discrimination of other ethnic and national groups to show a religious color.? Discrimination of the Sunnis due to the excesses of some members of Shi?a clergy in the Royal Court causes the maltreatment of the Sunni population in Kurdestan, Turkmanistan, Shirvan, Afghanistan, etc. that in turn evoked popular uprisings. And finally the overthrow of the decaying Safavid Dynasty was effected by the rebellious Sunni Afghans who, led by Mahmud-e Afghan, took the capital city of Esfahan.

In the next part, I will discuss how the power structure of Kurdestan was in this same period.