Iranian Youth Vis a Vis an Ideological Education System

  The deepening cultural chasm between the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran in charge of educational policies is perhaps one of the most important and sensitive aspects of Iranian Society. Such a disconnect is palpably recognizable not only in the rebellious behavior of the Iranian youth but also in their increasingly public and explicit criticism of domestic policies and international behavior of the regime. The wide ranging participation of the university students in last year’s unprecedented demonstrations, despite the violent suppressive behavior of the regime, should be considered as an important expression of their discontent.

It is, therefore, safe to assume that years of official religious indoctrination and propaganda in schools, and to a lesser degree, in institutions of higher learning have resulted in nearly total failure. Indeed, it appears that the attempts to mold and educate students to become the ideal examples of pious and practicing members of Iranian society have had the opposite results. They have become more cynical about religion and religious norms of behavior than any generation of Iranian youth in modern history of Iran. This is a prime example of the ineffectiveness of religious and ideological “engineering” in the global age where the dissemination of liberal and secular ideas subvert totalitarian cultural engineering, even the ubiquitous and most powerful religious propaganda machines in the world, that of the Islamic republic of Iran.

سعید پیوندی
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