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Imam Khomeini's Message to members of Islamic societies

The complete Text of Imam Khomeini's discourse at a meeting with the members of Islamic Societies and Muslim Students' Organisation of the universities and colleges and various classes of people on 25th May, 1980.

In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

Greetings to you, the great nation of Iran; greetings to the Muslim people of the world; greetings to university staff and fine students who are soldiers for Islam.
I consider it necessary as a reminder to tell you what we mean by the reform of universities.

Some have supposed that those who wish the universities to be Islamic and reformed believe in the dual aspect of every branch of knowledge and science, for example geometry being both Islamic and non-Islamic, or physics too of the same sort. Their objection is that science does not have such dual aspect of being Islamic and non-Islamic. Others have imagined that what is meant by Islamic universities is that only jurisprudence, interpretation and principles should be taught there, that is, the same program, prevalent in the old types of schools, should be enforced at the universities.

These are errors either made by such people, or they cause themselves to fall into error. What we mean by it is that our universities are dependent, and of a colonised nature. Our universities train and educate those who are pro-West. Many of our Muslims are so, and they bring up our youths pro­West. What we claim is that our universities are not useful for the nation.

Despite fifty years of university experience, we are still dependent on the West.

We have had universities for over five decades on which enormous public funds have been spent, and yet we have not been able, during these fifty years, to gain self-sufficiency in sciences which are usually promoted leading to discoveries in these universities.

After fifty years when a patient must undergo treatment, some of our physicians or most of them recommend him to go to England for treatment.

We have had fifty years of university experience, and yet we lack doctors, according to their own confession, to meet the needs of the nation adequately. We have had and still have universities, but we continue to be dependent on the West in all the affairs that an alive nation requires.

When we say that a university must undergo a fundamental transformation and become Islamic, it does not have the connotation that only Islamic branches of knowledge should be taught there. Nor does it mean that every science is of two kinds: Islamic and non-Islamic. What we ask, after having possessed universities for fifty years, is to be shown their products. We say that our universities check the progress of the children of our soil. We say that our university has been transformed into a propaganda battlefield.

What we say is that even if our youths have knowledge, they lack education, or at least they lack Islamic teachings. Those who pursue studies have, for their goal, the acquisition of a certificate by which they may impose themselves on the nation. A university does not train our youths according to the needs of the nation and the country, and does not prevent this great generation and our dear children from wasting themselves and their energies.

In these fifty years, either our energies were wasted or we were forced to serve foreigners. The teachers in schools are not Islamic in kind, and training has not been combined with instruction. Therefore, the graduates from our universities are not individuals with a sense of obligation or interest in and sympathy for their country, and also without concentration on self-interest.

When we ask for a fundamental change, we mean that our universities must serve the nation, not foreigners, in connection with national needs. Our teachers and university professors are mostly in the service of the West. Our youths are being brainwashed. They are imparted corrupt training.

We never declared that science has two aspects, a matter which some people contend either deliberately or due to ignorance. What we claim is that our universities lack Islamic ethics, and Islamic education. Had they possessed Islamic ethics and education, they would not have been turned into a battlefield of ideas harmful to this country. If they had Islamic morality, there would be no room for these disputes which cost us dearly.

All this is due to their ignorance of Islam and lack of Islamic education.

The University Must Have Islamic Education

The universities must be fundamentally transformed and rebuilt to give our youths an Islamic education. They must not train the youths according to Western standards, or make a group of them pro­West, another group pro-East, and yet another group against us. We do not want our university youths to help those who wish to impose an economic blockade on us, or claim and make a great effort to do so.

What we want is that if the Iranian nation stands against the West, our university youths, too, would follow suit, and if our nation stands against Communism, all our universities, too, would do the same.

We do not wish these youths who have accepted the false teachings of some of their teachers because of their credulity, to be dependent on the West or Communism or Marxism now that we intend to build an independent university based on a necessary transformation to make that independence possible. When we wish to do so; they form fronts, and this proves that we have not had and do not have an Islamic university to train our youths, which, in turn, shows that our youths have not been trained properly.

They do not seek to study, and spend all their time on slogans and false propaganda in support of America or the Soviet Union. We want our youths to be independent, and to discern themselves and their needs, without being Western or Eastern.

These people, who have started street or university demonstrations and cause conflicts resulting in difficulties for the government and nation, are those who support the East and West and America.

Now that we are facing America and this superpower, we require our youths to stand with us against them. Yet they stand against themselves and work for America. We wish our universities to be such that our youths work for themselves and their own nation.

Science Is Not Two In Kind; Islamic Geometry And Non-Islamic Geometry Do Not Exist

These gentlemen who are sitting aside and raising objections to these ideas, imagine that the members of the Revolutionary Council do not understand that the meaning of Islamization is not to divide knowledge and science into two kinds or claim, for instance that there is an Islamic geometry and a non­Islamic one. They are not aware that the members of our Council are either specialist doctors or learned clergymen.

They do not know that the place of Islamic branches of knowledge is the old theological schools, but the Council is the place of other branches of knowledge.

However, the university must be Islamized so that the subjects studied there would be for the cause of the nation and its needs. What we say is that the program of our universities drags our youths to communism or towards the West, and this is not right. We affirm that those teachers and professors who were working at universities and some of whom still are, do not let our youths study properly, and hinder them from advancement. They serve the West and want us to be dependent on the West in everything.

The meaning of Islamization of the universities is that these institutions should become independent and detached from the East and West, so that we may have an independent country, independent universities and an independent culture.

My dear ones, we have no fear of economic sanctions, and no fear of military intervention, What we are afraid of, is cultural dependence. We fear a colonised university that trains our youths to serve the West or Communism. We have no wish that our university be similar to the people who object to this policy.

They do not know the meaning of independence or an Islamic university. I support the statements of the Revolutionary Council and the President of the Republic concerning the purge of the university and the change in the direction it has had in order to become independent and to preserve that independence. I ask all our youths not to cause hindrance or show resistance. For, if they do so, we will decide what the final step should be for the nation.

I pray God Almighty for the prosperity of the Islamic nation and youths, and hope that as it has been proposed, the universities would be rid of all undesirable elements and dependence, so that, if God wills, a truly moral, Islamic and real cultural university may be created.

Greetings to you and God's blessings and mercy upon you.