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Persian gharbzadegi. Term coined by the Iranian secular intellectual Jalal al-e Ahmad to describe the fascination with and dependence upon the West to the detriment of traditional, historical, and cultural ties to Islam and Islamic world. Defined as an indiscriminate borrowing from and imitation of the West, joining the twin dangers of cultural imperialism and political domination. Implies a sense of intoxication or infatuation that impairs rational judgment and confers an inability to see the dangers presented by the toxic substance, that is, the West. The West's inherent dangers are described as moral laxity, social injustice, secularism, devaluation of religion, and obsession with money, all of which are fueled by capitalism; the common result is cultural alienation. The term was adopted by Ali Shariati, ideologue of the Iranian revolution, to describe the results of Iran's modernization program.

Subjects: Religion

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