ON-Lion Letter
The new issue of Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, published by the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., focuses on contemporary Shiism and its diverse radical expressions.  "This form of Shiism is currently the reigning doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran founded in 1979; it is embodied in its constitution, institutions and politics," according to the journal's introductory article, "The Paradoxes of Shiism," by Hudson senior fellow Hillel Fradkin, who directs the Center and co-edits the journal.

This radical Shiism has "proven to have a variety of expressions and implications," Fradkin continues, "largely but not solely through the agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its current leadership.

"Shiite Islamism ... is now, in principle, a function of Iran's politics, both domestic and foreign, and is somewhat indeterminate," he concludes.  "One powerful expression of this was the election and rule of the first non-cleric -- Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- as Iran's president in 2005. ...  Of course the president remains subject to the authority of Khamenei as Supreme Leader, as well as to various clerical bodies enshrined in the constitution.  He is also opposed by other important figures and groups within Iran's political-religious establishment.

"Nevertheless, all this points to the fact that the definition of Shiite Islamism is an evolving phenomenon; one might say Shiite Islamism is now what Shiite Islamism does -- or will do.  What it has been doing is the subject of the articles in this volume."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports Hudson's Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World.
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