The Effect of Religion on the Political Identity of Kurdish Youth (with Focus on University Students)

Sabah Mofidi, Somayeh Rahmani


This article studies the relationship between religion and political identity in Eastern Kurdistan located in Iran. For this purpose, it reviews at first the theoretical debates on social and political identities, the bases of Kurdish individual’s political identity and the situation of religion in Kurdish society as one of them. Then, the quantitative and analytical methods are used to measure the effect of religion. The results show that religion and religious identity are still important determinants of political identity in Kurdistan that is affected by the situation of society. Because of both the influence of religion in this traditional society and the existence of a totalitarian religious government, the other social factors and identities cannot practically affect the political identity, though they are also important and powerful in the society, especially the Kurdish identity. Hence, the political identity of Kurdish youth is further affected by the government’s politics and policies that reinforce both Iranian and religious identities and prevent the manifestation of the other identities in political arena.

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