Husseini, Sheikh Izziddin

(1921- )
   As a religious liberal and a leftist more comfortable with the Marxist Komala than the moderate Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), the Iranian Kurd Sheikh Izziddin (Glory of Religion) made a most unconventional Sunni cleric. His exemplary personal conduct and secular Kurdish nationalism, however, made him respected and accepted by almost all political factions in the Iranian Kurdish movement when the Pahlavi regime collapsed in 1979.
   Izziddin Husseini believed in the separation of state and religion and thus criticized Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's doctrine of the vilayat-i faqih (supreme arbiter of secular power) for interfering with government affairs when, as a clergyman, he ought to have been concerned only with religious affairs. On the other hand, Sheikh Izziddin himself became the head of the Council of Kurdish People and for some time acted as the representative of the Iranian Kurds in negotiations with the Islamic Republic. Khomeini came to view both Iz-ziddin Husseini and Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the leader of the KDPI, as seditious and denounced Sheikh Izziddin as antireligious.
   Sheikh Izziddin Husseini went into exile in Sweden in 1980 and gradually ceased to play a role in further events. However, his career as a Kurdish nationalist leader, mediator, and unifying force illustrated how the Kurdish national movement in Iran has not been a religious movement even when led by religious figures.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iran —    As one of the four main states (Turkey, Iraq, and Syria are the other three) in which historical Kurdistan lies, Iran and its predecessor the Persian Empire have always played a most prominent role in Kurdish affairs. Much of the competition… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

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