THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC’S TEXTBOOKS: TOOLS OF OPPRESSION
In addition to spreading falsehoods about Iran’s history and culture as well as blatant disregard for factual world history, the Islamic Republic’s textbooks are poorly-written, propaganda pieces for theocracy and its oppression.
By Sheda Vaseghi
In addition to spreading falsehoods about Iran’s history and culture as well as blatant disregard for factual world history, the Islamic Republic’s textbooks are poorly-written, propaganda pieces for theocracy and its oppression. In an 8th grade social studies book, the regime claims although governments have certain responsibilities towards people, some fail at performing them well. The clerics suggest an Islamic regime has additional “special” duties other governments either cannot or will not perform. What these “special” duties entail and who decides upon them will be discussed further.
The mullahs teach that one of the important tasks by a government is its attention to religious laws. In a theocracy, an individual or a group representing the people governs them based on God’s rules and teachings by prophets. The most important goal of a theocracy is people’s happiness and growth. The mullahs conveniently ignore their theocratic government’s meddling in personal lives and choices as well as ignoring the rights of some citizens based on gender or religious beliefs.
The textbook asks students whether people chose the Islamic Republic. This question clearly shows the regime’s lack of confidence by having to defend its existence. In answering the question, the clerics claim Iranian history shows the foundation of the past monarchies were based on people’s livelihood and belongings, and laws were based on the kings’ whims. After a long time, the people realized a government based on an individual, who makes all the decisions, leads to nowhere. In 1979, the Iranian peoples revolted against this ruthless monarchy and followed a righteous leader, who knew God’s way. The students are told the people voted for the Islamic Republic.
The regime claims its laws are based on God’s Will, and the people’s representatives should not accept legislation contradictory to holy laws. Leadership should be in the hands of someone righteous, who is well-versed in the laws of God. This leader should also be a politician, so he can defend people’s rights, fight public enemies, understand social issues, and be concerned with people’s welfare.
The clerics state the Islamic Republic is based on those principles. First, the regime’s Constitution is based on the Koran and God’s laws. Second, Khomeini, the founder of the regime, was a religious person, who was knowledgeable of Islamic laws and Iranian society and culture. As the representative of the people, Khomeini created Iran’s Islamic regime and saved people from a ruthless monarchy. This is the reason the Islamic Republic is based on vilayet-e faqih (rule by a religious leader). That is, its leadership and protection is at the hands of a holy person knowledgeable in religious, political, and social matters.
In order to understand vilayet-e faqih, “vilayet” is defined as guardianship. Those who follow an individual or a particular school of thought or politics have in reality accepted the guardianship of that person or group. Religious people believe only God can be the guardian of humans, and humans have to either accept God’s guardianship or follow what is anti-God.
The students are told prophets and imams are representatives of God in watching over the people. According to the Islamic Republic, God has a vision for the regime in the absence of “Imameh Zaman” or Messiah. That is, at this time people are to be led by a “faqih” or a leader, who is knowledgeable in Islam, just, and brave. Accepting vilayet-e faqih means accepting Islam’s guardianship and, in reality, God’s guardianship.
The regime’s audacity continues by claiming in many advanced nations such as France, England, and the U.S., religious minorities do not have any representation in government. But in the “great and free” country of Iran, all the religious factions such as Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, and Zoroastrians have representation in order to protect human rights. The clerics leave out the fact that women’s rights were abolished and non-Moslems are also forced to live by Sharia laws.
The essence of freedom and liberty is for people to live by natural laws. Religion is personal and open to various interpretations. It is not and cannot be forced on the population. An Islamic Constitution treats women and other minorities as second class citizens while its leader represents the Messiah and is infallible.
Since June the world has been a witness to the Islamic Republic’s intolerance, prejudice, butchery, and acts of terrorism against the people. The regime’s leaders and textbooks ignore factual national and world history. The clerics are aggressive against other nations and fund terrorism. This dangerous and irresponsible regime is actively pursuing nuclear power to prolong its survival and achieve its long-term regional dominance. Iran’s future is paramount to global peace and balance of power. The main reason behind every decision made by the Islamic Republic is to destroy Iranian culture and identity that has been the most important weapon in guaranteeing independence and territorial integrity of Iran. The incompetent clerics, their abhorrent school curriculum, and the violent acts of their Basiji forces against civilians have put Iran’s future and the free world in critical mode.
Sheda Vasseghi is a member of the Board of Azadegan Foundation and persepolis3d.com. She is a regular contributor on Iran’s affairs.