Iranian Cultural Revolution

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Iranian Cultural Revolution
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{{About|the Iranian Cultural Revolution, 1980–1983|Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution|Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution}}{{Distinguish|Chinese cultural revolution}}{{Multiple issues|{{tone|date=July 2011}}{{cleanup|date=July 2011}}}}The Cultural Revolution (1980–1983; : Enqelābe Farhangi) was a period following the Iranian Revolution, when the academia of Iran was purged of Western and non-Islamic influences (even traditionalist unpolitical Islamic doctrines) to bring it in line with the revolutionary and Political Islam.{{citation|url=|archiveurl=|archivedate=2004-06-22|title=State-University Power Struggle at Times of Revolution and War in Iran|work=International Higher Education|date=Summer 2004|author=Shahrzad Mojab}}{{Clarify|date=June 2009}} The official name used by the Islamic Republic is "Cultural Revolution".Directed by the Cultural Revolutionary Headquarters and later by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, the revolution initially closed universities for three years (1980–1983) and after reopening banned many books and purged thousands of students and lecturers from the schools.Supreme Cultural Revolution Council The cultural revolution sometimes involved violence in taking over the university campuses. Higher education in Iran had many leftist forces who were opposed to Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic state in Iran. The resistance of Khomeiniist control at many universities was largely unsuccessful. How many students or faculty were killed is not known.{{citation|url=|archiveurl=|archivedate=2004-06-22|quote=the gangs wounded hundreds of students and killed at least 24|title=State-University Power Struggle at Times of Revolution and War in Iran|work=International Higher Education|date=Summer 2004|author=Shahrzad Mojab}}{{citation|url= |quote="There were 5,195 political and religious executions only in 1983 alone!|title=Islam and the Woman|at=Part 3|author=Dr. Younus Shaikh}}The government's process of censoring foreign influences has not been without conflict. In addition to interrupting the freedom, education and professional livelihood of many, and striking "a major blow to Iran's cultural and intellectual life and achievement",Keddie, Modern Iran, (2006), p.250 it contributed to the emigration of many teachers and technocrats. The loss of job skills and capital has weakened Iran's economy.

Officials and founders

Some 700 University professors from Iran's academic institutions in a short time.WEB, http:/le=Hammihan Newspaper, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2007-07-09, :: FARHANGSHAHR, {{citation needed|date=October 2014}}{| class="wikitable" border="1"!Name!Title
|Ruhollah Khomeini|Co-founder
|Ali Khamenei|Co-founder and head of the council
|Mohammad Javad Bahonar
Council members
Ahmad Ahmadi (philosopher)>Ahmad Ahmadi
|Jalaleddin Farsi
|Mehdi Golshani
|Hassan Habibi
|Ali Shariatmadari
|Abdolkarim Soroush
|Mostafa Moin|Minister of Science
|Hassan Arefi

Islamization of universities

The shutdown of the universities was preceded by attacks on foreign forces on university campuses. On April 18, 1980 after Friday prayers, Khomeini gave a speech harshly attacking the universities.{{citation needed|date=October 2014}}His remarks are thought to have "served as a signal for an attack that evening on the Tehran Teachers Training College" by his supporters, the Hezbollahi. One student was reportedly lynched, and according to a British correspondent, the campus was left looking like `a combat zone.` The next day, hezbollahis ransacked left-wing student offices at Shiraz University. Some 300 students required hospital treatment. Attacks on student groups also took place at Mashad and Isfahan Universities."BOOK, Bakhash, Shaul, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, Basic Books, 1984, 122, Attacks continued April 21 and "the next day at the Universities at Ahwaz and Rasht. Over 20 people lost their lives in these university confrontations. ... The universities closed soon after the April confrontation for Islamization`. They were not to open for another two years."The main theme of the movement was to purify the universities and education system of foreign influences. In his original letter, Ayatollah Khomeini wrote: Set yourselves free from any " –ism" and " –ist" belonging to the East and the West. Be self-dependent and do not expect any help from the foreigners.weblink shutting down the universities on 12 June 1980,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2007-10-15, History of SCCR, Khomeini issued a letter, stating:{{citation needed|date=October 2014}}The "Committee for Islamization of Universities" carried out the task by ensuring an "Islamic atmosphere" for every subject from engineering to the humanities.NEWS,weblink Philosophy in Tehran {{!, Dissent Magazine|work=Dissent Magazine|access-date=2017-06-08|language=en-US}} The headquarters deleted certain courses such as music as "fake knowledge," and committees "came to similar conclusions concerning all subjects in the humanities such as law, political sciences, economy, psychology, education and sociology".When the institutions reopened, purges continued for five more years with special focus on "Islam’s enemies".Foundation anniversary of the Islamic Propagation Organization (I.O.P) by Khomeini's order Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Students were screened by committees and those found unfit were not allowed to continue their studies.WEB,weblink Students Brace for Second 'Cultural Revolution', Kimia Sanati,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-02-25, Students in the University instructor program, for example, "were required to be practicing Muslims, to declare their loyalty to ... the doctrine of the (Hokumat-e Islami : Velayat-e faqih (book by Khomeini)|vice regency of the faqih). Non-Muslims were required to refrain from behavior `offensive to Muslims,` and were excluded from all fields of study except accounting and foreign languages."source: advertisement in Ettelaat (2 August 1982), Bakhash, Shaul The Reign of the Ayatollahs, Basic Books, (1984) p.226Outside of the universities, the Cultural Revolution affected some non-academic cultural and scientific figures who it publicly denounced, and the broadcasts of Iranian radio and television, which were now limited to religious and official programs.Keddie, Modern Iran (2003), p,290


The Cultural Revolution united the theological schools in Qom with state universities and brought secular teachers to Qom for a time. This had the unexpected result of exposing many students in Qom to Western thought, so that it is possible to find "clerics and teachers of theology who know something of contemporary Western thought and philosophy."Another aspect was that many teachers, engineers, economists, doctors, and technocrats left Iran to escape the Cultural Revolution.NEWS,weblink INSIDE IRAN'S CULTURAL REVOLUTION, M.ibrahimn, Youssef, 2018-07-20, en, While the revolution achieved its goal of ridding the universities of Western influence, it also greatly weakened Iran in the fields of science and technology needed for development.Keddie, Modern Iran, (2003), p.290

Institutions of the revolution

The Cultural Revolution Headquarters was established June 12, 1980 and charged by Ayatollah Khomeini with making sure that the cultural policy of the universities was based on Islam, that selected professors were "efficient, committed and vigilant," and dealing with other issues relevant to the Islamic academic revolution.WEB,weblink Supreme Cultural Revolution Council (SCRC), John Pike,, It was continued by the Supreme Cultural Revolution CouncilWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2007-12-19, Objectives of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, {{citation needed|date=April 2019}} in the December of 1984. It was described as "the highest body for making policies and decisions in connection with cultural, educational and research activities within the framework of the general policies of the system and considered its approvals indispensable." The body is not stipulated in the Constitution but "was formed under the special circumstances that were prevailing in the early stages of the revolution. The council took its legitimacy from the 9 December 1984 decree of the founder of the Islamic Republic."This group of seven (in 1980-83) and then 17 (in 1984) that was later expanded to 36 in 1999 was expected to compile and organize all the cultural policies of the country.weblink Hojjatol-Islam Mohammad Khatami was appointed as a member of the High Council for Cultural RevolutionAnother name for the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council. in 1996WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2003-07-16, President of I.R.Iran,Mohammad Khatami, {{citation needed|date=October 2014}} and became its head in 1997. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the head of the Council in 2005, succeeding Khatami; Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has oversight over the Council.The Council had been active in repressing the student movement of 1983-1989, "banning many books and purging thousands of students and lecturers." The council controls the affairs of the universities and their students through supervising the selection of applicants to the university and by controlling the formation of collegiate institutions.Since 2001, the Council has frequently called for or demanded either outright state control or governmental filtering of the internet to prevent the dissemination of blasphemy, insults to Iran's Supreme Leader, opposition to the Constitution, the creation of "pessimism and hopelessness among the people regarding the legitimacy and effectiveness of the [Islamic] system", and similar offensive content.

Current work

The Cultural Council continues ensuring that the education and culture of Iran remain "100% Islamic," per Khomeini's mandate. In 2006, there was rumors of universities internally "bracing" for "tighter state control over student bodies and faculties and perhaps even the second ‘Cultural Revolution.'" WEB,weblink Students Brace for Second 'Cultural Revolution',, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-02-25, This came after Ahmadinejad was elected as Iran's president in 2005 and became the head of the Council. It has resulted in the either dismissal or compulsory retirement for veteran university faculty members and their replacement with younger professors more loyal to the Islamic Republic.Ahmadinejad seeks purge of liberal profsAP via Yahoo! News 5 September 2006 {{dead link|date=May 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}{{citation needed|date=October 2014}} Many students have been harassed and occasionally incarcerated for writing against or speaking against the government and its policies.NEWS,weblink 'Cultural Revolution' Redux, FRONTLINE - Tehran Bureau, 2018-07-20, en, The repressive focus on the academy stems from the history of Iranian schools and universities serving as the hotbeds of political opposition, particularly during the beginning of Reza Shah's government.JOURNAL, Razavi, Reza, 2009, The Cultural Revolution in Iran, with Close Regard to the Universities, and Its Impact on the Student Movement, Middle Eastern Studies, 45, 1, 1–17, 40262639, 10.1080/00263200802547586, The Council and its subordinate institutions have been adopting more progressive policies in a departure from certain instances the past. In the year 1987, there was the creation of the Social and Cultural Council of Women. This agency aggressively defended women's rights and eliminated restrictions that were previously imposed by the High Council of the Cultural Revolution.BOOK, Women, Power and Politics in 21st Century Iran, Povey, Tara, Routledge, 2016, 9781409402046, Oxon, 41,


The Cultural Council has 41 members,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2007-04-22, Members of SCCR -, {{citation needed|date=October 2014}} most of whom hold other government posts as well.{{col-begin}}{{col-3}}
  1. Hassan Rouhani
  2. Sadeq Larijani
  3. Ali Larijani
  4. Ali Jannati
  5. Hassan Hashemi
  6. Ahmad Masjid Jamei
  7. Mohammad Farhadi
  8. Ali Asghar Fani
  9. Mahmoud Goudarzi
  10. Sorena Sattari
  11. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht
  12. Shahindokht Molaverdi
  13. Abdulali Ali-Asgari
  14. Mehdi Khamooshi
  15. Mohammad Bagher Khoramshad
  16. Mohammad Mohammadian
  17. Hamid Tayyebi
  18. Kobra Khazali
  19. Hamid Mirzadeh
  20. Nasrollah Pejmanfar
  21. Ali Abbaspoor
  22. Hossein Ali Shahriari
  1. Ahmad Ahmadi
  2. Alireza Arafi
  3. Hamid Parsania
  4. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel
  5. Reza Davari Ardakani
  6. Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi
  7. Ali Shariatmadari
  8. Ali Akbar Rashad
  9. Seyed Alireza Sadr Hosseini
  10. Mohammad-Reza Aref
  11. Mohsen Ghomi
  12. Mohammad-Ali Key-Nejad
  13. Mansour Kabganian
  14. Hossein Kachooyan
  15. Mehdi Golshani
  16. Mahmoud Mohammadi Araghi
  17. Mohammad Reza Mokhber Dezfooli
  18. Sadegh Vaez-Zadeh
  19. Ali Akbar Velayati

See also

References and notes


Further reading

External links

{{Ruhollah Khomeini}}

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