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The Islamic Republic’s militia training in public schools

By Sheda Vaseghi
October,01, 2009

Equal parts day off from school and angry demonstration, Iranian school children commemorate the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran with anti-U.S. and anti-Israel chants and the burning of American, Israeli flags. (2008)

The regime in Tehran has rewritten Iranian and world history to suit its warped Islamofascist views. In their version of ancient history, dates, major events, names of kings and key individuals including women, and certain peoples such as the Jewish communities have been erased. Iranian rulers and leaders are presented as selfish and greedy individuals at the expense of the people. According to the regime, with the coming of Islam, Iranian people embarked on a new beginning. Rewriting a nation’s history takes place with a genocidal strategy in mind. What is taught to children is the implementation of that strategy. There is no doubt that the regime in Tehran is anti-Iranian. As part of their militant Islamization strategy for Iran, they are teaching military know-how to 8th graders in public schools.

A quick review of an 8th grade textbook for boys entitled “Defense Preparedness” shows a table of contents with seven chapters: (1) need and importance of defense preparedness; (2) standing at attention and ease; (3) earthquake readiness; (4) weapons development; (5) intelligence protection; (6) non-military defense; and (7) tactics and individual combat techniques. The majority of the pictures display weapons, their use, and military tactics.

The introduction states that as the result of the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, defense preparedness has become important for all Iranians. According to the regime, although the country is no longer at war, if Iran had not been able to stand against Iraq’s aggression who knows what would have happened to the country’s fragile Islamic revolution and the people. Therefore, defense preparedness is a duty to protect the Islamic revolution and the goals of its “great” leader Khomeini. It is well-known that Iranian people’s distraction and involvement with the Iraq-Iran war which started shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution helped establish this fascist regime. The Islamic Republic’s explanation for teaching defense preparedness to children confirms this. The book states that as good Moslems, those who died protecting the nation from the enemy should be honored by words and deeds, so the world knows how strong and brave Iranians are in defending their country and religion. Among its military and religious propaganda, Israel’s “crimes” against Palestine and southern Lebanon are listed as examples of how world powers attack weaker nations.

Starting with Chapter 4, the book teaches the history and development of weapons. It describes defense in general and in regards to one’s beliefs and national security. Ancient and modern weapons are shown and discussed. It glorifies warriors in ancient history and their important place in societies. The book discusses different techniques in blocking the enemy such as defensive walls. The students are asked to think about various ways to defend themselves and use weapons against the enemy. Both light and heavy weapons are covered as well as canons and bazookas. All types of firearms are shown and discussed such as handguns and automatic rifles including their weight and form of use. The book also talks about chemical and atomic bombs as well as weapons of mass destruction. The regime claims these weapons are used by expansionist countries without regard for humanity.

An entire chapter is dedicated to military secrets and intelligence. The book teaches children that the enemy relies heavily on intelligence, and covers various ways in which information is collected such as spying. The students are told that spies are everywhere. When at war, the children are to pay close attention to those who befriend them as to avoid falling into enemy’s traps. The book warns them to be careful, not to trust easily, and not to underestimate the enemy. At war, they should be opportunists and secretive. According to the book, the most dangerous people are those who want to obtain information for grandiose, because their careless talks immediately provide intelligence to the enemy through their spying network. Prisoners of war are another method for the enemy to obtain intelligence. The students are taught to destroy any and all sensitive information before being captured. They are also told that each person is on a need-to-know basis. Additionally, they are asked (1) not to disclose information, (2) not to pursue curiosity regarding matters that do not concern them, and (3) to immediately report any form of intelligence compromise. The students are shown a sample identification card, and advised not to lose theirs given the enemy can obtain valuable information from these cards. According to the regime, it is their duty to report suspicious activities to the proper authorities. These activities include running across individuals, who are pursuing military intelligence information or spreading rumors.

Under military tactic, the students are taught how to use their natural surroundings to hide from and spy on the enemy. They are told that the best way to face the enemy and protect themselves is to hide well, have a clear view, and shoot well. The importance of collecting information regarding the enemy is stressed. The book ends with a picture of a gunboat and the students are asked to note the advancement of Islamic warriors in marine operations.

Clearly the Islamic Republic is providing militia training to boys in middle school. The textbook conveys a sense that the nation is or will be facing an “enemy.” The duty to protect the Islamic revolution is emphasized. The Iraqis and Israelis are represented as antagonists. This dangerous militant and warped religious indoctrination along with a rewrite of history should raise a red flag for all Iranians and the international community.

Sheda Vasseghi has a Masters in Ancient History with emphasis on ancient Persia. She handles public relations for and is a member of the Azadegan Foundation. Ms. Vasseghi is a regular contributor to and

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