Conservatism seems to be the same everywhere

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 06:02 PM

I know we're supposed to be hating Iran right now, until the next change in the war schedule, but come on, it's the conservatives pushing that line and how can they hate a country whose president sounds so much like them?

According to the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper:

Iranian president calls for purge of liberal lecturers

Robert Tait in Tehran, Wednesday September 6, 2006

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's outspoken president, fired an ominous warning at the country's educated elites yesterday by calling for a purge of "liberal and secular" academics in the universities.

In what some analysts interpreted as the start of a clampdown, Mr Ahmadinejad derided secular lecturers as a fifth column of western colonialism which he said was seeking to expand into Iran.

"Today students should protest and shout at the president asking why some liberal and secular professors are still present in the universities," he told a gathering of young scientists. "Our educational system has been under the influence of the secular system for 150 years. Colonialism is seeking the spread of its own secular system." While acknowledging it was difficult to change this system, he said: "Such a change has begun."

Mr Ahmadinejad, a hardline Islamist, also said his government had tried to reduce the political influence of university chancellors, many of whom were seen as pillars of the reformist government of his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami.
"A political predominance existed among many of the university chancellors but we have tried to reduce it because we don't believe chancellors should enter into politics at all," Mr Ahmadinejad said.

In recent months, several student activists have been imprisoned and dozens of liberal lecturers forced to retire before the statutory age. Last year, Mr Ahmadinejad appointed a radical cleric as chancellor of Tehran university, the country's most prestigious institution.

The government has also buried "martyrs" from the 1988 Iran-Iraq war in some universities in what activists see as an excuse to allow security forces on to campuses to keep watch on the student body.

Iran's Islamic authorities have kept universities under close surveillance since a wave of student protests demanding greater freedom in 1999. A student leader, Akbar Mohammadi, died in jail in July after a hunger strike started in protest at being reimprisoned following a long-term release on medical grounds.

Wow!  Pat Robertson couldn't have said it better.  Though he certainly said it, when he railed against liberal university professors by saying:

They are racists, murderers, sexual deviants and supporters of Al-Qaeda - and they could be teaching your kids!

And even ordinary conservative bloggers sound off in similar terms.  Consider this rather mild blast from an April, 2005 entry from a conservative blogger:

Liberal University Professors Endanger The future
The new Liberal progressive professors teach an ideology with a weak foundation that endangers the future of our Country. Knowledge without the guidance on how to apply it is incredibly dangerous. The new generations are being taught that everything is ok, and there is no good and evil, no black and white, everything is shades of grey. This, my friends, is a dangerous place to live. The lessons of the past are pushed aside for the Liberal, progressive concepts being taught today. There seems to be no respect for anything of the past. The professors seem to behave, like the whole of what came before was ignorant and useless. Anything related to Judeo-Christian morality is to be shunned.
Well I say, a society without a moral compass, and without a good foundation in the lessons of the past, is sure to crumble.

And of course there's always David Horowitz, with his lovely little cookbook of conservative fear called The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, who had this to say on Scarborough Country:

There are 50,000 professors...who are anti-American, they're radicals, they identify with the terrorists, they think of them as freedom fighters. It's a huge danger for the country.

Which I guess goes to prove the old axiom that second rate minds think alike.  If there's one thing that rigid intolerance and absolutism can't abide it's an open, questioning mind.