A Lesson?

The government of Iran has imposed new restrictions on several branches of the social sciences at the university level deemed by them to be based on Western thought and therefore not compatible with Islamic teachings. The list includes philosophy, management, psychology, political science, women’s studies and human rights. At a time when many in the West are trying to build ties with Islam and draw out the compatibilities with those cultures, the move appears more politically motivated than having basis in truth. In that the government of Iran does seem like any other political group who bend facts to suit their agenda. It may be that most social sciences are not as quantifiable as hard sciences and therefore subject to more debate. But too in an era of globalization, social sciences, as any other academic subjects, need to cross the boundaries of countries, cultures, sectarian interpretations so as to make whatever is true in one setting able to hold up in another. That would also be so for religions— unless of course they are defined by the fundamentalists among them, as they are in Iran.
Somewhere in all this, as we allow political and religious fundamentalism to increasingly define us, there’s a lesson for us.