S. Rezaee: Suicide Attack as a Media Event: A Study on Communicative Processes of Suicide Bombing Attacks in Iran

Background: Political violence is a collective action which has social and symbolic goals and follows social and political advantages as out-group aim and internal group stability and conformity as its in-group goal. Suicide bombing attack is the most symbolic type of political violence. The opposite group creates an opportunity with committing suicide bombing attacks which form a short-lived but highly effective mass medium that can influence on all national and international mass media on the explosion day. The study aims to explore suicide bombing attack as a quasi-mass medium and understand it as a media event and extend it to suicide bombing attacks carried out in Southeastern Iran.

Methodology: The present study has been designed based on the communicative model of Suicide Attack as a Media Event and examines encoding process of Jundallah, an Iranian extremist Sunni group, in its suicide attacks. Qualitative contextual thematic analysis was applied on the group statements to understand concepts and meanings of its political violence discourse, and explore main discursive themes and elements of these social texts.

Results: Since December 2008, militant Jundallah group entered a new period in fight with Iran central government and it conducted and carried out five suicide bombings in Balochistan province, southeastern of Iran. The attacks were carried out in religious dates and sites related to resident Shiite minority in the region (3 attacks), and on armed forces of the central government (2 attacks). The sacrifices of these attacks were mass individuals like similar cases. The main themes of this group`s statements included weakening of the central government, taking revenge, autonomy of Balochistan province and establishing a regional government, defending Sunni religious believes, and also defining resident Shiite minority as alien.

Discussion: Political violence discourse of Jundallah group is a meaningful system, which reflects the regional position of this group as savior of Sunni Balochi people in contrast with the central Shiite government and in an international affirmative atmosphere. According to this definition, Jundallah group draws its utopia on Balochistan province which is politically autonomic within Iran`s boundaries, demographically, has a united Sunni Balochi population, economically, is the center of Asia, and religiously, gives complete freedom to Sunnis. To obtain these goals and based on cultural and social conditions of the region, this group uses two strategies in carrying out suicide attacks included, attack the government's representatives and agents and also Shiite minority, threatening, terrifying and persuading them to leave the region. In order to control this crisis, armed confrontation cannot be solely adequate and modifying cultural and ethnic policies are necessitated in the region. This encourages negotiation to substitute bombing words with peaceful dialogues.

Persian Transformative Femininity in 19th Century:

From Nasser-e-din Shah Period (1848-1896)

To Constitutional Revolution Season (1896-1925)

Written by: Sobhan Rezaee

Cultural Studies Department, Social Sciences School, Allame Tabatabai University, Iran.

The second sphere of Qajar administration on Iran associated with deep social transition toward modernization, which changed sexuality patterns, masculinity and femininity, completely. This passage was begun from Nasser-e-din Shah era, accompanying with reinforcing of European intercultural communication, and continued through the Constitutional movement. So, for understanding current femininity transformation, we focused on these two outstanding periods: First, the kingdom duration of Nasser-e-Din Shah, who was the most stable Qajar king for 50 years. And the other is the constitutional movement, which covered next Qajar kings that transited the country to the modernity and westernization.
Toward this aim, the author applied the Sexuality Paradigm Model (Rezaee, 2008) on the historical biocultural context. Regarding the first level, we refer to autobiographies books that remained from Nasser-e-Din Shah kingship. In addition, current newspapers on the constitutional movement era were put beside other historical reports for the second period. On both of periods, historical reports were reviewed and categorize based on the sexuality paradigm criteria and then documentary study was applied to analyze different aspects of Qajar sexuality.
Meanwhile, our research results show that (1) although daughters had been socialized for a domestic life in Nasser-e- din Shah era, social pedagogization evolutions in education improved their positions in social life in the second period. (2) On the first duration, marriage was a part of extended family and was developed through next dimensions in temporary and polygamy matrimonies. However, on the second one, marriage was defined for nuclear families, based on individual consent and so, it limited other rivals. (3) Through Constitutional movement, female role, actually, was transformed from a sexual object, which had associated with minimizing of inter-personal communications between two genders, to a social subject, who tried for national and gendered interests, in the new era. (4) Regarding social reproductions of Iranian society, both of periods were formed on European inter-cultural communication and finally in Mashrotiat period was continued to find a societal utopia similar to the contemporary European civilization for approaching the country and genders in modernization.

Keywords: Sexuality, Femininity, Qajar administration, Constitutional Movement, Nasser-e-din Shah Kingship, Iran

My Recent Paper in Shiite Studies Journal:

The Discursive Circumstances
of Composing Bahar al-Anvar
in the Safavid Era

Written by:

Sobhan Rezaee
Dr. Hesamoddin Ashna

A Quarterly for Shitte Studies
Volume 6, Number 4, Winter 2009

Any research on Bahar al-Anvar (a twenty-five volumes encyclopaedic collection of hadith, history of Islam and.. . by 'Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi) cannot be carried out without examining its social and historical background. In this paper, the social and historical environment in which such a cultural phenomenon was composed is examined. For this purpose, the social, political and religious structures of Iran under the Safavids, as well as 'Allama Majlisi's way of socialisation, his connections and political experiences are considered. Mujlisi's motive for writing the book, the structure of the book and the methodology used by him are also discussed, while his other writings and similar works by other contemporary authors are touched upon. It is argued that Majlisi in his official position as Sheikh ul-Islam, the superior religious authority in Iran under the Safavids, in order to help the state to expand and maintain its authority had to respond to a variety of audiences and prepaer such a complex collection of messages, which applied for legitimating the Safavid patterns of life.

Keywords: the Safavid state, Mohammad Baqir Majlisi, Bahar al-Anvar

Please Read Me: Sexuality in Shiite Hadith Discourse

A Quarterly for Shiite Studies

Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 2008

Written by:

Sobhan Rezaee & Dr. Hesamoddin Ashna

In this article, the authors examine Shiite views on sexuality, by applying Michel Foucault’s approach and method in his book, the History of Sexuality, to Shiite revered texts, including the Quran (and Shiite imams’ and scholars’ commentaries on it), and the Al-Nikah chapter of Wassa’il al-Shia. Some other complementary hadith collections, such as Al-Kafi, Man La Yahzarah al-Fiqih, Tahzib Al-Ahkam, Ellal Al-Sharaye, and Tebb Al-A’emme, were also referred to. The authors argue that sexuality can be considered as a religious concept, which as a discourse system is articulated in Bioclutural context. It is concluded that: 1) Sexuality has a paramount importance in the Shiite faith, 2) the faith has a positive attitude towards sexual relationships and encourages such a non verbal communication, 3) the birth of a human being and its process is regarded as signs of God’s wisdom and power, 4) Shiite religious texts have defined the patterns and limits of legitimate sexuality, and introduced mechanisms and strategies to protect them.

Keywords: Sexuality, the Shia, the Quran, Wassa’il al-Shia, Michel Foucault, the History of Sexuality
For accessing to the main paper, please click on this title: Sexuality in Shiite Hadith Discourse

Social Photography 4: Shahre Kurd

Recently, I traveled to the Shahre Kurd and spend some time in this city and its country sides. In this way, I have taken hundreds photos and have a lot of interviews with regional people. A few of them were proposed in following entry, which may be interesting for you.

A Shepherd, who rest and eat his lunch, "Ghormeh Sabzi"
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Baba Heidar)

Three Aboriginal Teenagers in a previous domestic propaganda centre

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Baba Heidar)

Chador (Mobile home) of Nomad People
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Kuhrang)

A Nomad Child
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Kuhrang)

A Regional Girl
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Kuhrang)

A Bakhtiary Salesman
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)

A Ttraditional Spice: Golpar

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)

Photographer & Regional People
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)

Two Bakhtiary Guys with their Cell Phone

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)

Regional Homes

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)

A Novel Social W.C as a Social Table with a lot of representation

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Dimeh Village)


(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Shahre Kurd, Ferdousi Square)


(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Millad Market)

Female Fashions

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Millad Market)

Aboriginal Women

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Ferdousi Square)

Cloth Store Decoration
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Millad Market)

A toy Shop in Shahr-e Kord
(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Millad Market)

A Street Peddler

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Ferdousi Square)

Great Mosque of Shahre Kurd

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008)

An Individual Book Binded Quran

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Great Mosque of Shahre Kurd)

Marriage Bureau

(Sobhan Rezaee, Aug 2008, Shahre Kurd)

Social Photography 3: The Beautiful Scenes of Everyday Life in Tehran


This is Part 3 of my social photography essay. It shows various forms of representations of Tehranian's experiences through encounters with daily life ...
An American between Iranians
Elli Lester & Amu (uncle) Hassan
(Elle Lester Roushanzamir, 2008, Face Book)

A Love Affairs

(Sobhan Rezaee, April 2008, ISU)

A Delicious Meal in Ahar Village
(Sobhan Rezaee, August 2007, Ahar)

A Toy Store in Teharn

(Sobhan Rezaee, April 2007, Vanak Square)

Fashions in Tehran

(Sobhan Rezaee, April 2007, Vanak Square)

A Beautiful Carpet

(Sobhan Rezaee, June 2008, Valliasr St.)

Two Popular Ads: Nursing in home & Window Shade Store

(Sobhan Rezaee, August 2007, Near the Ahar Village)

A Street Theatre: Pauper & Tired Father
(Sobhan Rezaee, March 2008, Daneshjou Park)

(Sobhan Rezaee, June 2008, Tehran Subway)

Social Photography 2: Popular Advertisements

For A Good Friend,
Elle Lester Roushanzamir

Many people of my country, Iran, use from their creativity in designing their advertisements, without applying regular economic or scientific forms. These objects are hybrids, which are coming from semi-modern Tehranian Culture and economy. There are some examples of this type of advertisement, on this entry...

(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Palang Chal Mountain Shelter, March 2008)
Description: Mahnaz Afshar, who is one of the most popular actress of Iran.

(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Narmak Square, November 2007)

(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Resalat Square, May 2008)
The gray photos of popular actors, who are at the top on 1970's
(Before the Revolution)
Price: Large Pictures, 500 Tomans (0.5 $), Small Photos, 300 Tomans (0.3 $)

(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Darakeh Mountain, Feb 2008)
Description: A lovely Message: Nastaran Habibi, I love you; signed by Alireza

(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Tagrish Square, Nov 2007)
First Ads: Boxing Training
Second Ads: A proclamation for Masculine death
(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Tagrish Square, Nov 2007)

Description: A proclamation for Feminine death, There is no picture of dead woman on it.
(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Resalat Square, May 2008)
First Ads: Job for women
Second Ads (Left): Lost Person
Third Ads: Epilation Centre
(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Resalat Square, Nov 2007)
Description: Cigar ads & Charge Cards of Cell Phones
(Photographed by Sobhan Rezaee, Moola Sadra Street, April 2008)