The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The 101 most dangerous academics in Iran

 The 101 most dangerous academics in Iran
The 101 most dangerous academics in Iran

It seems that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is taking David Horowitz’s line of reasoning a bit too far. This week he called for the removal of all secular and liberal professors and teachers from Iran’s universities and schools. This new plan is part of Ahmadinejad’s goal of taking Iran back to where it was during the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s.

While he claims that the students protested having secular and liberal professors and teachers in Iran’s schools and that people elected him to make Iran more Islamic, Ahmadinejad’s call for removal is a step in the wrong direction. Iran has changed a lot since Khomeini’s time. It has become more “modern,” or really, Westernized. While Iran has held on to its culture and religion, new ideas have permeated its borders-ideas like free speech. Just because a teacher is not devoutly Islamic and completely supporting of Ahmadinejad does not mean they should be removed from their position.

Growing up here in the United States, this is a hard concept to grasp. Religious and political beliefs aren’t something that typically come into play in the public school’s classroom. From time to time someone will do or say something that the school will disagree with and might be fired, but that person either sues to get his job back, or gets an offer from another school or another district. Government demands for those who don’t believe in a religion enough and don’t support the government enough be removed from their teaching position in public schools would never work in the states. The suggestion would be ridiculed and the government official who suggested it would either give a serious apology, step down, or both.

This is, however, something that is trying to be done here in the United States-not through government order but through the marketplace of ideas. People like David Horowitz, who recently wrote “The Professors,” claim to want to purge schools and universities of all political bias. However, the hundred and one “most dangerous academics in America” listed by Horowitz are all liberal professors, and on less than ten of the professors does Horowitz comment on their behavior inside the classroom. It is ridiculous to assume that there is never any conservative bias in the classroom, and ridiculous and a violation of free speech to expect professors and teachers, along with everyone else, not to express their own opinions whether they be liberal or conservative, secular or non-secular, outside of the classroom.

The rest of the world needs to make it clear to Iran that the removal of professors and teachers with opposing views is not acceptable. Countries should offer those who lose their jobs because of this in Iran a position in their country, or at least the chance to move to a country where they will have the opportunity to gain another teaching position. Europe, the United States, and other nations that value free speech should allow those who do not believe in the direction Iran is going to immigrate to their countries, as well as have discussions with Iran not only about their nuclear ambition, but about the violation of rights for which Ahmadinejad is calling. If Russia wants to stick to their stubborn position against sanctions on Iran due to their nuclear program, perhaps they will change their mind when it comes to human right violations.

About the writer:Katy Rowe is an English and Anthropology double major and political science minor. She can be reached at [email protected].

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