Problematized Humanism: Sadi’s Racist Tendency in Gulistan

Ahmad Gholi, Masoud Ahmadi Musaabad


From ancient times to the present, blacks have been the victim of both overt and covert racism in different parts of the world and Iran is no exception. The most inhumane and outstanding facet of racism is slavery which, due to their belief in their cultural and racial supremacy, Iranians also practiced from the Achaemenid period until the second half of 19th century when it was abolished. One of the dark sides of racism infamous poets’ participation in it by legitimizing, normalizing, and promulgating the negative images of supposedly inferior race. Some poets are blatantly racist but in some racism appears just in the form of a furtive tendency, thus it needs to be uncovered with zeal of an archeologist, and Sadi belongs to the second category; therefore, this article seeks to lay bare his racist leaning by focusing on one of his tales in his Gulistan (Rose Garden), thereby challenging his humanism.



Sadi, Blacks, Racist Leaning, Humanism, and Tale

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