Islamic revolution and Anfal – 27 Novembre 2023 – – Mehrdad Vahabi




Mehrdad Vahabi (USPN, CEPN).

The Islamic revolution is nothing but Islamic revivalism or the establishment of an Islamic state based on Sharia. In this paper, I focus on the Islamic revolution in Iran that has been exceptionally considered as a ‘social revolution’ targeting an overhaul of the economic institutions. Can the economic model of Islamic revivalism be reduced to one of the principal dichotomous models of state socialism or free market economy as suggested by many economists? It will be shown that Anfal or the Imam’s exclusive property over all public properties known as res nullius has been the major invention of the Islamic revivalism in Iran. This provides an independent Islamic model that has been left unnoticed by specialists in Islamic economics that can be characterized as a specific economic system, namely Islamic political capitalism. This system is not reducible to state socialism or competitive free markets. This paper fills the gap and demonstrates that Anfal institutionalizes a confiscatory regime enhancing a rent-seeking society hindering private property rights and competitive free markets.