Academic Crackdown Threatens Iran

As the show trials of Iranian protesters continue, a concern has arisen that a crackdown on universities may be on the horizon. Recent comments by both Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have hinted that secular studies deemed "un-Islamic" by Iranian conservatives may be considered at the root of recent upheaval. The New York Times reports intellectual pursuits in the humanities have been mostly tolerated in Iran, but that in the wake of the recent protests of the election, conservatives may be looking for ways to crack down on the young people who in large part led the movement. "Many of the humanities and liberal arts are based on philosophies whose foundations are materialism and disbelief in godly and Islamic teachings. Instructing those sciences leads to the loss of belief in godly and Islamic knowledge," the ayatollah said last Sunday.