In the path of the Imam (107)
We are going to continue discussing Imam Khomeini’s testament. In this episode, we are going to discuss another part of the Imam’s testament where he exposes the enemies’ plots for forging rift between universities and seminaries.
Seminaries have a long history in Iran while modern universities are considered new institutions; although the older form of academic education dates back to over a thousand years in Iran. This is proved by Gondishapur University in Khuzestan which dates back to the Sassanid era. The first modern university was founded in Iran in 1934 by the name of Tehran University. However, seminaries date back to the first Islamic centuries. Seminaries have shouldered the responsibility of educating Iranian teenagers and youths before the entry of university to the country. As a result of Western propaganda, seminaries were considered as the centers of religious teachings with no link to rationality and rational education. But, with the entry of faithful and devoted students into universities in 1950s, gradually there emerged congruity and convergence between these two educational institutions. Alongside the formation and reinforcement of despotic climate in the country and further assistance between university and seminary students, the political ruling system was more and more criticized by both centers. Imam Khomeini’s high emphasis on the necessity of cooperation between universities and seminaries broke the negative mentality among the members of the two centers and society at large. Furthermore, presenting new political and revolutionary ideas by him strengthened his base among academics.
Imam Khomeini believed that unity between university and seminary would lead to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. After the victory of the revolution, too, he considered this unity very effective for the growth and bolstering of the Islamic Republic system of government. In view of this, he wrote in his testament, “Among the devilish schemes of the big colonialist and exploitative powers, that have been implemented for long years and has reached its climax since the era of Reza Khan and pursued by Mohammad Reza I different ways, is to isolate the clergy. In the era of Reza Khan it was pursued through pressure, suppression, defrocking, imprisonment, exile, disrespect, execution and so on; and in the era of Mohammad Reza it was pursued by scheme and other ways one of which was forging of enmity between academics and clergymen which wide propaganda was carried out in this field. Unfortunately, due to the unawareness of both strata about this devilish plot of superpowers, it yielded greatly. On the one hand, from schools to universities it was tried to appoint the teachers, professors and university chancellors from among westoxicated, eastoxicated, and those who were deviated from Islam and belonged to other religions. And the committed faithful were placed in minority in a bid to train the effective stratum, which would take the rule in future, from childhood to adolescence up to youth in a way that they would hate religions in general and Islam in particular, and the clergymen and promoters. And, at that time, these were introduced by Britain and, later on, by the advocates of capitalists and feudalists and supporters of backwardness and opponents of civilization and sublimity. On the other hand, with wicked propaganda, they would frighten clergymen, promoters and devotees of university and academics and would accuse them of irreligiousness, promiscuity and opposition to the symbols of Islam and religions.”
Imam Khomeini continued in his testament, “The result of those policies is that the statesmen were opposed to religions, Islam, the clergymen and the faithful; and the masses of people, who liked religion and clergymen, were opposed to the government and ruling system and whatever belonged to it. And the deep difference between the government and nation and academic and clergyman opened the way for looters to the extent that all affairs of the country were in their power and all reserves of the nation were poured into their pockets; so that you saw what happened and what was going to happen to this oppressed nation. Now that, with God Almighty’s will and the struggle of the nation- from clergymen to academics to people in the market, workers, farmers, and other strata- have torn up the chains of captivity and broken the dam of the power of superpowers, and rescued the country from them and their lackeys; my advice to the present and the next generation is that they should not neglect; and that the academics, the dear brave youths and clergymen and students of Islamic sciences consolidate the bond of friendship as much strong as possible and do not be negligent of the plots and conspiracies of the deceitful enemy. And as soon as they see a person or persons who try, with their words or deeds, to sow the seeds of discord, guide and advise him. And if it is not effective, leave him alone and isolate him so that they do not let the conspiracy take root.”