Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Iran to Purge Liberal Profs

Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, is calling for the universities to purge all of the liberal professors from it ranks in order to get back to a more "fundamental" form of education.

Now, where have I heard this before?... Hmmm... Oh yes, that is right. The conservatives in our own country are constantly calling for the liberal professors to be purged from the ranks of academia. It has long been the cry of American conservatives that liberal educators are destroying the traditional, wholesome Christian values in this country.

This is just more proof that conservatives of middle east and west are ideologically the same. If conservatives in this country had their way, liberal professors in this country would be heading for early retirement as well.

Iran head wants liberal teachers ousted
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer
Tue Sep 5, 6:50 PM ET

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's hard-line president urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular university teachers, another sign of his determination to strengthen Islamic fundamentalism in the country.

With his call echoing the rhetoric of the nation's 1979 Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad appears determined to remake Iran by reviving the fundamentalist goals pursued under the republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ahmadinejad's call was not a surprise — since taking office a year ago, he also has moved to replace pragmatic veterans in the government and diplomatic corps with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.

Iran still has strong moderate factions but Ahmadinejad's administration also has launched crackdowns on independent journalists, Web sites and bloggers.

Speaking to a group of students Tuesday, Ahmadinejad called on them to pressure his administration to keep driving out moderate instructors, a process that began earlier this year.

Dozens of liberal university professors and teachers were sent into retirement this year after Ahmadinejad's administration, sparking strong protests from students, named the first cleric to head Tehran University.

(Full Story)


tommy said...

Actually the cry here is that universities should be ideologically diverse, or at least more diverse than they are.

In many places, there is a lack of conservative academics. I think there are a variety of reasons why it's going to be skewed to more liberal than conservative Professors, but it's also currently overly so.

Anyone that claims there should be no liberal professors is a crackpot and should be dismissed as such. I haven't heard anyone reasonable ask for that.

Dingo said...

I will agree that academia leans left. But, as you said, there are reasons for that. But it is also should be measured department by department. I never had any liberal "economic" or "finance" teachers. But I did have liberal "philosophy" teachers. I never knew a liberal "theology" teacher, but there were plenty of liberal "arts" teachers.

For women's studies or African American studies, etc. it would seem contradictory to have a conservative teach.

The problem with conservatism in academics is that learning is about asking questions and challenging the established idea to find "truth" and to determine whether the established idea is or is not "true." Conservatism tends to not encourage asking questions.

As for the lack of diversity, I would argue that it still lacks in the way that the liberal academia is pushing for. While women now make up the majority of college students, minorities are still well below the proportional average.

As for the reasonable argument... when did reason ever stop someone (left or right) from making an argument?

tommy said...

The problem with conservatism in academics is that learning is about asking questions and challenging the established idea to find "truth" and to determine whether the established idea is or is not "true." Conservatism tends to not encourage asking questions.

Not true. It's simply that the questions asked are entirely different questions. The example that comes to mind is affirmative action, both liberals and conservatives have approaches to this. Liberals dismiss the conservative argument as being insincere and conservatives dismiss the liberal one as continuing the problem or unrealistic. Both sides are heavy on the dismissal but not very interested in the merits of the arguments.

Truth is not part of the establishment, it is not conservative or liberal, it is distinctly unpartisan and disinterested in our politcal squabbles. But then I fall into the there is no truth camp, there is only what you can prove. Everything else is for training use only.

Dingo said...

but, if it were not for liberal questions, the entire notion of affirmative action would not have been initiated. Conservatism, by definition, seeks to keep things the same. If it were not for liberal ideas challenging the status quo, no one would have ever said, "ok, we have 180 years of X... lets try Y or Z." Whether it has worked or not is a different discussion all together.

This is how colleges worked back at the beginning of our country. Professors were staunchly conservative. You did not ask questions during class. You were "told" what was right and true.

Most people don't know this, but that is how fraternities started. Students who wanted to question the status quo would meet in discussion groups, often called dinner clubs, so they could debate and question instead of just being told.

As for truth - truth is philosophy and theology and the likes. Facts are for math and physics. In between, you have things like economics and political science.

tommy said...

Conservatism, by definition, seeks to keep things the same.

It might be a true definition of the word, but it does not represent the views of those that consider themselves conservative in our political climate. It's an example of the attempt to dismiss the opposing viewpoint without having to consider the merits.

There is the status quo, liberals want to move it one way, conservatives want to move it the other.