Thursday, May 26, 2005

Iran's democratic voice?

Iran's "democratic" voice?!

A few weeks ago I asked on a bulletin board whether any of my compatriots had written to Time Magazine protesting its designation of Abdolkarim Soroush, the lunatic Islamist hand-picked by Ayatollah Khomeini to butcher the Iranian culture by "cleansing" it of Pahlavism and other sins, as one of its 100 “thinkers” of 2005 and “Iran’s democratic voice”.

As the head of Shoraye Aliye Enghelab-e Farhangi (The High Council for the Cultural Revolution), whose charter he had himself co-authored, he was put in charge and trusted by Khomeini to purge Iranian universities of ideas, and persons, deemed dangerous to the Islamic Republic and Islamist ideology.

Below I’ve translated the charter of the High Council for the Cultural Revolution. I ask again, should he be recognized as “Iran’s democratic voice”, or should he be tried for crimes against humanity? To those who know Soroush, and most Iranians do, Time Magazine’s recognition of him as a prominent “thinker” would be equivalent to the recognition of Joseph Mengele as a prominent doctor. To read the original go to the Islamic Republic of anti-Iran’s “iranculture.org”. Incidentally, some 75% of this charter on “reforming” Iranian culture, written by Soroush and other anti-Iranians after they had toppled the Iranian government, is composed using Arabic words and terms!


Charter of the High Council for the Cultural Revolution

(Manshoor-e Shora-ye Ali-ye Enghelab-e Farhangi)

Goals:

1. Expansion of Islamic culture and its influence, invigoration of the Cultural Revolution and elevation of public culture.

2. Purification of scientific and cultural environments of materialistic thought, and banishment of signs and manifestations of westoxification from the cultural atmosphere of society.

3. Transformation of universities, schools, cultural and arts centers in accordance with correct Islamic culture, and their expansion and empowerment, as much as possible, for the training of dedicated specialists, Islamic scholars, intellectual and patriotic minds, active and professional forces, professors, trainers and teachers committed to Islam and the country’s independence.

4. Expansion of literacy, and the empowerment and growth of the spirit of thinking, scientific learning and research, and utilizing the beneficial achievements and experiences of human knowledge in order to achieve scientific and cultural independence.

5. Preservation, restoration and sponsorship of Islamic and national works and sites.

6. Dissemination of the cultural ideas and effects of the Islamic revolution; creation and consolidation of cultural ties with other countries, especially with Islamic peoples.

Duties:

1. Compiling the principles of the cultural policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and setting goals and policies in the areas of education, research, culture, and the social arena.

2. Analyzing the world’s cultural circumstances and currents, explaining the effectiveness of institutes and other important devices in this area and the adoption of appropriate policies.

3. Examination and analysis of cultural, ethical, and social currents in the nation in order to determine points of strength and weakness and suggest appropriate solutions.

4. Examination of models of development, evaluation of the cultural effects and ramifications of programs and policies of political, economic and social development, and suggesting reforms to respective authorities.

5. To Clarify and determine the quantitative and qualitative guidelines for the assessment of the cultural condition of the country.

6. Evaluation and assessment of the country’s culture, education and research.

7. To compile and ratify the country’s basic policies of propaganda.

8. Preparation and collection of university rules and regulations proportionate to the Islamic regime and designing plans for its achievement.

9. Setting the policy for the country’s system of education and higher learning.

10. To draft and ratify appropriate plans in order to strengthen and promote religious propaganda and to support public activism, especially the revival and development of mosques.

11. To draft and ratify plans of finding means to create healthy and constructive social relations and to reform and to fix what is considered “unrefined”.

12. To draft and ratify the necessary policies and programs for developing and invigorating religious, spiritual, cultural beliefs and affiliations in society, and to expand the culture of chastity. [“Efaf”]

13. To set the policy and ratify appropriate plans to expand the spirit of commitment and cultural obligation in society, and to encourage people’s participation in the various cultural, political and revolutionary scenes.

14. Understanding vital intellectual needs and drafting the necessary programs for the activities of intellectuals, and utilizing the university and the Assembly’s [“Hoze”] research potentials to address those needs.

15. To draft and ratify appropriate plans to identify and expose manifestations, channels and methods of cultural assault by enemies against the foundations of Islamic and revolutionary thought, culture and values and to design the necessary methods and policies to repel them.

16. Design and preparation of special plans for the identification, attraction and intellectual exaltation of exceptional individuals, and the scientific and spiritual training and education of shining talents in order to exploit their abilities, innovations and creativity.

17. To prepare and ratify plans and projects involving cooperation between Assembly and university in science, education and areas of research.

18. To design appropriate policies to correct (on the basis of the sublime teachings of Islam) society’s perception of the rank and status of women, and to compile efficient methods to consolidate the institution of the family and exhibit the model of the Moslem woman.

19. To set the policy on the compilation of textbooks, and setting the criteria for the publication of book, and artistic and cultural productions.

20. Setting the policy on and bringing to order the country’s information dissemination system and its supervision.

21. To draft and ratify the cultural standards of policies regarding tourism and pilgrimage.

22. To ratify the general standards and policies regarding the expansion of scientific, academic and cultural relations with other countries.

23. To take positions, on the international level, regarding cultural distortions against Islam and the Islamic Republic.

24. Ratifying the standards for founding scientific and cultural institutions and research centers, academies, universities and centers of higher education, the constitution of each, and revision of the constitution of the identical institutions as the occasion arises.

25. Ratifying general standards for the selection of presidents, professors and teachers, and students of universities and academic and cultural centers, and the placement of each.

Note: The secretaries of the departments of Culture and Health send presidential candidates for universities to this Council for confirmation.

26. Setting the policy on the eradication of illiteracy

27. To determine the source of authority for the presentation, compilation and approval of cultural, educational, scientific and academic programs.

28. Supervision and continuous oversight over the enforcement of the ratified laws and regulations of the High Council for the Cultural Revolution, assessment of results and assistance in their enforcement, and also supervision over the correspondence of educational, academic and cultural plans and programs---implemented by ministries, institutes and organizations---with the standards set by regulations and guidelines.

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