Title

Theocracy, it’s a piece of cake. Really!

Presenter Information

Khodadad (Khodi) Kaviani

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 201

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Theocracy, Curriculum, Ideology

Abstract

The lines between education and indoctrination have blurred in Iranian schools. It is shocking enough to find messages printed on chocolate cake wrappings that remind people of the importance of praying. If schools reflect the larger society, then the flooding of Islamic propaganda in schools show the seriousness of this message. But why is praying so important to the theocrats? Praying and observing Islamic rituals are important signs of being a good Moslem, according to the theocrats. These are crucial values that the government promotes strongly, because a good Moslem should also obey the Supreme Leader. Thus, the survival of the system is secured. The powerful theocrats have turned Iranian schools into religious institutions that teach Koran and Islamic culture. Children are taught how to pray, read Koran, and behave according to Islamic norms. Iranian theocracy rests on the belief that in the absence of the Messiah, a religious leader (Supreme Leader) should lead the community and take care of the people. Therefore, Velaayat-e Faghih (ولایت فقیه) fulfills this crucial function and his orders must be carried out to the letter. The Supreme Leader is above criticism and must be respected. Through the lens of discourse analysis, this study examines K-8 Iranian school textbooks by exposing religious propaganda that is suffocating objective inquiry in social sciences. Examples from these textbooks reveal the nature of this propaganda and serves as a powerful reminder to question what children are taught in schools around the world.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kaviani, Khodadad (Khodi)

Additional Mentoring Department

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May 15th, 10:40 AM May 15th, 11:00 AM

Theocracy, it’s a piece of cake. Really!

SURC Room 201

The lines between education and indoctrination have blurred in Iranian schools. It is shocking enough to find messages printed on chocolate cake wrappings that remind people of the importance of praying. If schools reflect the larger society, then the flooding of Islamic propaganda in schools show the seriousness of this message. But why is praying so important to the theocrats? Praying and observing Islamic rituals are important signs of being a good Moslem, according to the theocrats. These are crucial values that the government promotes strongly, because a good Moslem should also obey the Supreme Leader. Thus, the survival of the system is secured. The powerful theocrats have turned Iranian schools into religious institutions that teach Koran and Islamic culture. Children are taught how to pray, read Koran, and behave according to Islamic norms. Iranian theocracy rests on the belief that in the absence of the Messiah, a religious leader (Supreme Leader) should lead the community and take care of the people. Therefore, Velaayat-e Faghih (ولایت فقیه) fulfills this crucial function and his orders must be carried out to the letter. The Supreme Leader is above criticism and must be respected. Through the lens of discourse analysis, this study examines K-8 Iranian school textbooks by exposing religious propaganda that is suffocating objective inquiry in social sciences. Examples from these textbooks reveal the nature of this propaganda and serves as a powerful reminder to question what children are taught in schools around the world.