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Iran Cracks Down on Free-thinking Professors

The insane and proud president of the wayward and angry nation of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a lot of views that would be considered strange by (Note: I was about to insert the words “Western standards” here, but then some more accurate language came to mind.) all the fast and inviolate standards of decency in human civilization, which have existed in their full normative force since the first seed of the first man graced the outer wall of the first egg.

For example, that killing a race of people is OK so long as you’re sure they hold faith in the wrong God.

In the broad sweep of nations and peoples and time, Ahmadinejad is what’s called a conservative. That word has many definitions, so to help you pick out just the right one, I’ll give you a few synonyms for the particular definition of ‘conservative’ which the Iranian president represents. Backwards is one. Intolerant is another. Uncivilized is still another. Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the modern meaning of conservative in a country such as, oh, America. In America, just as it is in that broad sweep of nations and peoples and time, conservative is contrasted with liberal. But in America, conservatives and liberals agree on precisely 99.9% of the liberal nations-peoples-time positions. They also agree that that final 0.1% of policies ought to be liberal in the nations-peoples-time sense. They just quibble—rather loudly, in the event—over precsiely which policies represent the liberal view of things.

When we call Ahmadinejad a conservative, what we mean to say is not that he looks on regressive tax policy with doe eyes. We mean that he is hateful and aggressive and dangerous, and that he strives daily to usher foward the vanguard of his war on stability, in the hope (his hope) that he will one day win, and will be in a position to eliminate the democracies of the world, their peaceful religions, all the men upon whose shoulders these institutions rest. And their families.

And no one who’s taken a semester of world history should dare consider that scenario to be closer to fiction than fact. Ahmadinejad has taken many steps toward his goal. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on one yesterday. The news: The Iranian president is ridding his nation of ideological dissenters.

Iranian President Revs Up His Supporters With Attack on Liberal Professors

Iran’s hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, turned up the pressure today on the country’s universities by calling on conservative students to oppose liberal and secular faculty members. “Today, students should shout at the president,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Mr. Ahmedinejad as saying to a group of students, “and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present at the universities.” The news agency’s quote was carried in an article by the Associated Press.

The AP report said the president appeared to be harking back to the “cultural revolution” that followed the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution. Universities were closed for almost three years while radical students helped purge large numbers of professors considered too liberal.

It seems to me that the Chronicle folks have put their personal political preferences just a mite on the nose, because, in the language chosen for that report, the invited comparison is between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and American college conservatives seeking either balance in the professoriat or at least a learning atmosphere conducive to conservative thought as it is today popularized in America. Given the above, though, it seems awfully irresponsible to massage such an analogy. Even the most leftist of Chronicle readers, even the 1981 Saab-driving, organic-eating, long-hairs with “Impeach” bumper stickers still agree, in their hearts, with George Bush more than they do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian mullahs.

The fact of the college crackdown in Iran is that it amounts to censorship in the service of a truly deadly and radical agenda which has been rejected by humanity’s most ancient standards. Conservative collegians in America simply want to be free to express their opinions without fear of retribution. Their opinions? Decidedly liberal. And their demand for absolute freedom of speech? Massively liberal.

So the conservative crackdown in Iran makes sense. It is a crackdown on free thought and free speech. Just as you’d expect from a nations-peoples-time conservative like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


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