Reporting from Beirut - A hard-line deputy of Iran's supreme leader announced steps Sunday to purge Iranian universities of Western influences even as the government faced accusations of "fascism and totalitarianism" leveled by the country's former president.
Hamid Reza Ayatollahi, head of a government body that oversees universities, announced a plan to revise humanities curricula to bring them more in line with Islamic principles.
"Many of the syllabuses taught to students majoring in humanities are not in line with Iranian and Islamic culture and therefore their revision is a must," Ayatollahi said in a statement published by Iranian news agencies.
A committee has been established to "eliminate certain curricula and replace them with Islamic materials," he said.
The effort stemmed from a speech last week by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said that humanities courses result in "disbelief in Islamic and divine teachings" and are mostly based on "materialist philosophical concepts causing misgivings about religious principles."
Critics derided the purge as another in a 30-year series of ill-fated attempts to impose on Iranian society the puritanical values of hard-liners who dominate political life.
"Certain individuals reject liberalism, but their opposition is based on fascism and totalitarianism," former President Mohammad Khatami, a prominent reformist, sa... >>>
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