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Extra resources for Dawkins' GOD: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life
This reform programme continued under Mahmud II (r. 1807–39), but with a much stronger Western orientation and a more radical concept of a centralized state that aimed to revive the absolute authority of the Ottoman rulers, supported by new, technically proficient and entirely devoted elites. This first phase of reform was followed later by the more extensive Tanzimat (Reorganization) reform period (1839–76), through the Gülhane Rescript of 1839, the Hatt-i Humayun of 1856, and the 1876 Constitution.
7 The idea of renewal, as expressed in the new Babi dispensation, was indigenous to Iran’s non-conformist religious environment. 10 But it soon became clear that the Bab was not just the Mahdi, but was a new point of revelation, presenting a new religious framework entirely different from that of Islam, and introducing a new doctrine and concept: since God is inaccessible to the human creation who has to love Him, God reveals himself through a succession of manifestations, starting with Adam and continuing through Moses, Jesus and Muhammad to the Bab (whom the Baha’is believe to be the Qa’im, ‘the one who will arise’ from the family of Prophet Muhammad, or the very same Mahdi), and in future to ‘Him whom God shall make manifest’ (Man yuzhiruhu Allah) (namely, Baha’u’llah, whom the Baha’is believe to be the return of Christ), and so on indefinitely.
Through this experience and exposure Malkum became aware that the superiority of Europe was not just military, but in many others areas, and this understanding led him to promote a broad process of modernization that included the large-scale adoption of European institutions, technology and education. Malkum was vocal in putting forward his ideas to the shah, his government, and the upper (and influential) circles of Iranian society, as well as to the students at the Dar alFunun, and as part of his efforts to promote reform, he managed in 1860 to establish the Faramush-khanih,47 of which some of the above-mentioned students, members of the INTRODUCTION 13 elite, and even ‘ulama’ became members.