The Iranian Revolution of 1979 has been described as an epochal event, called the peak of 20th century Islamic revivalism and revitalization, and analyzed as the one key incident that continues to impact politics across Iran, the Middle East, and the even the world as a whole. As a phenomenon that led to the creation of the first modern Islamic Republic in the world, the revolution marked the victory of Islam over secular politics, and Iran quickly became the aspiring model for Islamic fundamentalists and revivalists across the globe, regardless of nationality, culture, or religious sect.
When Ayatollah Khomeini was declared ruler in December 1979 and the judicial system originally modeled on that of the West was swiftly replaced by one purely based on Islamic law, much of the world was in shock that such a religiously driven revolution could succeed so quickly, especially when it had such sweeping consequences beyond the realm of religion. Revolutions are nothing new, but most revolutions, especially those in the West, have tended to remain secular. Even when religious ideology and themes were present, as in the English Civil War of the 1640s, these were not dominant driving forces behind the revolution, nor were they a significant factor in its immediate results. Even outside the West, this has mostly proven to be true; the nationalist revolution and war for independence in Turkey, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was a battle for separation of church and state that called for democratic principles of equality, and the result was the formation of a modern and secular Turkey.