شناسه مطلب صحیفه
نمایش نسخه چاپی

Speech

Jamaran, Tehran
Importance of knowledge in Islam; responsibility of the university in an Islamic society; duties of the Islamic associations of the universities
Members of the Islamic Association and the Jihad of the `Ilm va San`at] Science and Technology [University; members of the Organization for Scientific and Industrial Research; and a group of inventors and innovators
جلد ۱۴ صحیفه امام خمینی (ره)، از صفحه ۳۰۹ تا صفحه ۳۱۳
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Great importance of knowledge and learning in Islam
One of our problems is that the moment there is any talk of" Islamizing" a certain center, there are people who start raising a hue and cry, believing it to imply the elimination of expertise! As a matter of fact, the aim of such people is to tell the world that Islam is against knowledge and expertise, whereas there are a number of verses in the Holy Qur'an that clearly emphasize the importance of knowledge and learning, perhaps more than any other book does. The fact of the matter is that Islam completely approves of knowledge, but the kind of knowledge that can be at the service of the nation and at the service of the interests of the Muslims. They spread propaganda against us claiming that we are against expertise and that when the Muslims speak of a" cultural revolution" in the universities and say that the universities must get Islamized, they mean that the universities now do not need doctors or medical experts or advanced engineering experts. And that the universities should only impart Islamic studies and practical laws! This is a kind of mischief that some individuals and groups indulge in against Islam, the Islamic associations, and the Cultural Revolution. However, what these people do not understand is that when we say that all the organizations and institutions, and particularly the universities, which are the centers of learning and the think-tanks of society should be Islamized, we are in no way suggesting that we do not need any experts and expertise. Islam has emphasized the importance of experts and expertise to such an extent- both in the area of practical as well as religious laws- that it has emphasized trusting the judgment and verdict of the most knowledgeable expert.

Negative propaganda against Islam is an imperialistic plan
What we say is something else and our issue, too, is something else. Our issue is that during the fifty long years of the black Pahlavi rule in which the foreigners had managed to establish a firm footing in our country the main focus of their propaganda was to make our nation and our youth believe that Iran and Islam are incapable of developing the knowledge and expertise needed to establish their own industries and that we had no choice but to extend our hands either toward the East and communism or toward the West and the capitalist countries. Their propaganda has been so powerful that there are people who believe that we should either turn completely Eastern or completely Western, from head to toe! When I was in Turkey, I had seen the Ataturk's «1» statues in some city-squares with his right hand raised in the air. And their explanation was that this symbolically meant that whatever they had was from the West! Similarly, foreign propaganda in other Muslim countries, too, has been so strong that their people have come to believe that they have no choice but to employ either Eastern or Western advisors for everything. They had succeeded in making some people even believe that the Iranian brain is incapable of achieving anything constructive, including agriculture. This was a calculated plan backed by extensive propaganda that had succeeded in making some of our people believe that we cannot have anything of our own and that we should either lean toward the East or toward the West so that they may feel sorry for us and cater to our requirements. Even today there are some people who consider themselves to be great thinkers and yet refuse to believe that we can be self-reliant. Now when we insist that our universities, which are like the think-tanks of the nation, should be freed from any sort of inclination toward the East or the West and that this is only possible provided they are Islamized, it does not mean that our universities should not have departments of medical and engineering sciences and that they should only be confined to teaching Islamic sciences! This is a fallacy. The moment there is any talk of an" Islamic University" and of bringing about a" cultural revolution", the supporters of the East and the West raise a hue and cry about us being against expertise and knowledge. No, that is not true. We are not against expertise and we are not against knowledge! What we are opposed to is becoming enslaved by the foreigners. We believe that the kind of expertise that drags us toward America, Britain, the Soviet Union, or China is more detrimental than constructive.
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( 1 )Ataturk: first President of modern Turkey and a Westernized and secular figure.

Universities should ensure independence of the country and be at the service of the nation
Our aim is to ensure that the experts that graduate from the universities are at the service of their nation instead of dragging the country toward the East or the West. Our aim is to ensure that our industries grow to high levels of expertise and be at the service of the nation instead of serving alien powers. The kind of know-how seeking that drags us toward America or the Soviet Union is harmful and is hazardous to the nations. Most of those who were educated in the universities of the previous regime, if not harmful, were of no use to this country. Our purpose is to have a university system that is at the service of our nation and at the service of Iran. During the days of the previous regime, the slogans that they raised were that" we want to convert Iran into a flourishing civilization" and that" we should enter the gates of civilization", while you all saw that in reality they had made this country dependent in every way. We categorically oppose a university system that will render us dependent on foreign countries irrespective of which foreign country it is!
We intend to have a university system that can free us from dependence upon others and can make us self-reliant. We need experts and Islam approves of expertise. Islam comes first among all religions that have extolled the value of knowledge and expertise and it has invited people to pursue knowledge. It has asked people to gain knowledge even if it entails going to other places and acquiring it from non-believers. However, Islam emphasizes that knowledge should be at the service of Islam and the Islamic country rather than for use against one's own country. We are looking forward to having a university system that can free us from intellectual dependence, which is the most dangerous form of dependence. We intend to have university teachers that can train our youth to be self-reliant instead of inclining toward the West or the East. We do not want any Ataturks and Taqizadehs. «1» We are looking forward to having a university system that can, after a few years, make us self-reliant in every respect. We are not against expertise. What we oppose is the dependence of the minds of our youth on the West or the East. In the previous regime, our universities, with the exception of a few people, were either indifferent toward this issue or else they worked toward making our youth dependent on foreign powers. What we are seeking out is that if ever our people need treatment for their
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( 1 )Sayyid Hasan Taqizadeh, the speaker of Iran's Senate at the time of Muhammad Rida Pahlavi and one of the greatest exponents of Westernization in Iran.

( complicated )ailments, they should not be asked to go to Britain or America for treatment. What we want is that just as an American or English patient does not need to come to Iran for treatment, our patients, too, do not need to go abroad for their problems. We are looking for the kind of expertise that does not make our youth and their intellects dependent but instead trains them to foster concern for Islam and Iran. We are certainly not against expertise! And the same applies to the Islamic associations. No Islamic association can be against expertise. There is no Islamic association that is against expertise and the self-reliance of our youth in every field. In fact it is the opposite. And you had seen that the conditions of the universities during the reign of the previous regime were such that even after long years of active work in our universities, when a relative of the deposed Shah- the so called" head of the country"- needed to undergo a simple surgery for appendicitis, a surgeon was brought in from abroad! What prompted this was that the Shah knew very well in his hollow head that he had made Iran so dependent on foreigners that the Iranians were not capable of handling( even simple )things; and even if they were, all efforts should be made to inculcate their minds into believing that they are good-for-nothing! And that they should be made to believe that they are incapable of performing even a simple surgery for appendicitis after spending long years at the university! However, our intention is to free the minds( of our people )from such ill-thoughts. The aim of the Islamic associations should be to eliminate this wrong belief so that our people can rediscover themselves after centuries of alienation. We want our universities to train people like Avicenna whose book," The Canon of Medicine", «1» is still being used in Europe rather than having people who, without even knowing the alphabets of Islam, claim that Islam is incompetent! We want our universities to become as independent as our seminaries in which the agents of the foreign powers are easily exposed. We want them to be freed from all kinds of dependence, like they were in the olden days, during which, even if deviants emerged they would immediately be exposed. We are looking for the fulfillment of this ideal.
Islamic associations of universities need to stay alert
Let me reiterate what I have repeatedly been reminding the Islamic Associations. Keep your eyes and ears wide open because those who are inclined toward the West or the East can also infiltrate into the Islamic
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( 1 )It refer to the book, Al-Qanoun fi Tibb, which is an encyclopedia in the field of medical science.

associations and pretend to be perfectly" Islamic". You should take care to check out the past records of all those who wish to join your associations and you should scrutinize their activities before and after the revolution so that, God forbid, things do not go out of hand for you to someday realize all of a sudden that your attention has been deviated from the truth and that your Islamic association has inclined to either of the foreign blocs. I have repeatedly raised this issue for the Islamic associations. However, the significance of what I am saying is even greater as far as the Islamic associations of the universities are concerned. Put in all your efforts to prevent deviant elements from joining your Islamic associations and keep it firmly in mind that since they have failed to attain to their goals by all other means, they now trying to attain them in the name of Islam. Even those sworn opponents who consider Islam to be a stumbling block in their way try to get their work done in the name of Islam. They do not come up and say that we do not believe in Islam, in which case they would not be so dangerous. Those who enter the government offices, the universities, and other government bodies under the disguise of commitment to Islam are more dangerous than those who openly claim that they do not believe in Islam because in the latter case, the people know them and can avoid them. The Islamic associations, in general, and the Islamic associations of the universities, in particular, should bear this point in mind.
Furthermore, those in charge of the Cultural Revolution should deliver upon their responsibility with the utmost care and should endeavor to find committed people and should expedite their work by consulting them so that, with the grace of God, the universities can gradually reopen. And we shall have universities that will function to benefit our own country rather than dragging us toward the left or the right blocs. I am hopeful that the gentlemen who are in charge of implementing the Cultural Revolution will be supported by those who are concerned about this issue and who believe in Islam and the country and who harbor no Western or Eastern inclinations. At the same time, as I mentioned earlier, those in charge should invite such people to work with them so that, with the grace of God, we can soon have Islamic universities whose concern will be to free this nation from the problems it has been facing thus far.
May God's peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.



امام خمینی (ره)؛ 04 خرداد 1360
 

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