September 05, 2006

Purging 101


From the International Herald Tribune: Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for purge of liberal university teachers.

Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from universities, in another sign of his determination to stamp a strong Islamic fundamentalist revival on the country. ...

Earlier this year, dozens of liberal university professors and teachers were sent into retirement, and last November, Ahmadinejad's administration for the first time named a cleric to head the country's oldest institution of higher education, Tehran University drawing strong protests from students.

His administration also has launched crackdowns on independent journalists, web sites and bloggers.

Still, the latest call was another sign that Ahmadinejad is determined to remake Iran which still has strong moderate factions reviving the fundamentalist goals pursued in the 1980s under the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

"It's horrible. I did not expect at all that Ahmadinejad, who during his presidential campaign said he is also a university teacher, would try to deprive others from their jobs because of political differences," said Reza, a university graduate who did not wish to be identified further.

His call Tuesday for a purge was, in some ways, an eerie echo from the days of the revolution.

"Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with a group of students.

Ahmadinejad complained that reforms in the country's universities were difficult to accomplish and that the educational system had been affected by secularism for the last 150 years. But, he added: "Such a change has begun."

It was not clear if Ahmadinejad intended to take immediate specific measures, or if he was just urging the students to rally.

Posted by Forkum at September 5, 2006 06:06 PM