Secularism in Iran 

I agree that Secularism in Iran is not just a form of Western ‘imperialism’, but was surprised to see no mention in that Aeon Essay of what I would consider to be the indigenous Iranian analogues (and precursors!) of “Western” secularism.

Far from being an import from “the West”, I was under the impression that the idea of religious tolerance and substantial separation of church and state has deep roots in Iran – dating back to the Achaemenid empire of Cyrus the Great and having significant effect on the relative openness of Persian Islam at various stages in its history. Many people I met in Iran, as well as expats in North America, have expressed pride in this tradition and resentment of the current regime (without needing to quote Westerners like Locke in support of their views).

Source: Secularism in Iran is not just a form of Western ‘imperialism’ | Aeon Essays

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