The Iranian government is one step closer to eradicating discrimination against those deprived of higher education, but a cloud of uncertainty still hovers over the fate of Bahais.
Iranian students study as they wait for a bus in central Tehran, Jan. 16, 2016.
The government of President Hassan Rouhani has approved a bill on the right to further education and tabled it to the Iranian parliament. According to the Reformist daily Etemad, if ratified, the bill could decide the fate of so-called “starred students.” The term refers to university students barred from pursuing degrees for allegedly engaging in political activities deemed illegal and against national security. These activities could range from posting on social media to attending protests and leading student unions. Once marked as starred, these students are officially denied the right to move up the educational ladder despite having passed highly competitive entrance exams.
The widespread use of the practice brought the issue to greater light during the past two presidential elections in Iran, where candidates from both conservative and Reformist camps tried to appease the public by criticizing the policy.
Historian and university professor Gholamreza Zarifian described the practice as an oppressive measure that “after implementation turned into a political and social issue.”
Now, based on what has been approved by the Rouhani Cabinet, no one should be deprived of continuing education for reasons other than “lacking educational qualifications.” There are exceptions — namely with reference to “those convicted of organized crime, human trafficking, waging war against God and espionage.”
“If passed, the bill will fully consolidate the basic right to education as enshrined in chapter 3 of the constitution,” Rouhani’s deputy for legal affairs Laya Joneidi told Etemad.
The official Iran daily hailed the Cabinet decision as a crucial step toward eliminating educational discrimination, “a policy pursued by the administration of prudence and moderation” — the slogan of Rouhani’s government.
Interviewed by the same paper, Shahindokht Molaverdi — who serves as Rouhani’s special assistant for citizenship rights — also welcomed the step, saying, “With the new measure, no student will be deprived of education.”
But the key implication of the bill could be seen in the potential impact on Bahais, a faith that is outlawed by the Islamic Republic and whose followers are subjected to severe persecution. For decades, members of the Bahai community who openly endorse the faith have been denied higher education. That has, in consequence, forced a large number of them to seek education abroad.
Outspoken Reformist parliament member Mahmoud Sadeghi, a lawyer himself, was quick to react to the Cabinet measure. “Seemingly good news but bad news in reality,” he tweeted. Sadeghi added, “It is an unprofessional amendment, which turns the law against itself. Depriving people of the right to education on the basis of charges even for serious offenses violates the constitution.”
Sadeghi was notably challenged by one user, who tweeted, “How about Bahais whose right to continue education was denied by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution 28 years ago?”
“This is also in breach of the right to education and is against the constitution,” Sadeghi replied.
The Rouhani Cabinet measure has yet to be ratified by the parliament and the conservative supervising body, the Guardian Council. Even if it overcomes the two hurdles, the original proposal has left out the fate of Bahais and has made no effort to abolish the old law approved by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, offering little promise for Bahais who have long complained of educational oppression among other forms of discrimination.
Pope Francis warned on Monday against a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements and criticized countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
The pope, speaking to diplomats in an annual speech known informally as his “state of the world” address, suggested such movements and closed-door policies were turning the clock back 100 years to the dangerous period between the world wars.
A Montreal man facing hate crimes charges has been ordered to stay away from Jewish institutions as a condition of his bail.
The Canadian Press reported that Robert Gosselin, 55, has been charged with two counts of issuing violent threats and one count of inciting hatred over messages he is suspected of having posted on the Facebook page of Le Journal de Montreal newspaper.
The year 2018 has provided a series of reminders that antisemitism, the world’s oldest hatred, is alive and well in our country.
Reprinted from JPost.com.
In October, 11 Jews were massacred in Pittsburgh as they prayed on the Sabbath. It is just the latest in a series of violent attacks that have targeted the Jewish community in recent times, which come not only from the radical right but also from the radical left, and from radical Muslims.
The enemies of the Jewish people don’t only physically attack us from the outside. They have also long worked to divide the Jewish people by turning our own against us. For example, a number of Jewish individuals and organizations have become leaders within the BDS movement, which seeks to destroy the Jewish state.
The battle between the Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration continues over the construction of a border wall along the U.S./Mexican border.
Many political battles are fought over hypothetical arguments. This debate, however, is well-grounded in cold, hard, irrefutable facts and in the deaths of far too many innocent people, who have fallen victim to aliens who entered the United States illegally, often repeatedly.
Let me be clear, in my judgement, the Democrats have left the administration with no choice but to take the action of shutting down a part of the government. As a former INS agent I can certainly empathize with the federal employees. All too frequently the employees of the government suffer from the bad decisions of our political leaders. However, America faces many threats and challenges that are the direct result of multiple failures of the immigration system and our nation must finally address these failures beginning with securing our borders.
Behind the Left’s war on Jewish schools.
In 2016, a poll showed Trump beating Hillary Clinton 66% to 22% among Orthodox Jews. This wasn’t as unusual as it sounds. In New York City, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods light up as islands in a lefty sea.
Traditional religious beliefs are associated with conservative politics among Jews the same way that they are among Christians. 60% of Jews who attended weekly religious services disapproved of Obama while those who didn’t, mostly supported him. Why do American Jews lean much more to the left? Because only 11% of American Jews attend weekly synagogue services. Well below the 40% national average.
Only 34% of American Jews are certain that they believe in G-d. What do they believe in? When asked what it means to be Jewish, 56% mentioned social justice, 42% comedy and only 19% percent mentioned anything involving religion. Meanwhile 63% of Israeli Jews believe “completely” in G-d.
Israel’s “Young Turks” have created a new political party, and this week received an important new ally.
Caroline Glick, a long-time writer for the Jerusalem Post (and, of late, Breitbart), is running for a Knesset seat for the new Hayemin Hehadash (The New Right) Party. The party was founded by rising stars Naftali Bennett, Education Minister, and Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister. For what it’s worth, they are the new breed; both look like they could carry lead roles in a James Bond movie.
When Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat was photographed several days ago cheerfully stepping on an image of the Israeli flag at a trade union complex in Amman, she sent a clear and unmistakable message of hostility and contempt for the Jewish state.
In doing so, Ghunaimat was adding insole to injury, providing a stark glimpse of the rising tide of hatred and invective that has been swelling across the border in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The United States of America (1787-2018) came to a swift and sudden end last week as the government shut down. The nation which had survived Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and Jimmy Carter ceased to exist.
The savage population, which had only been kept in line through a policy of rigorous gun confiscations, food stamps and lectures on the environment unleashed its pent up rage in a spree of riots, looting and mass murder that had only previously been encountered in Somalia, Russia and a Walmart in downtown Atlanta.
US President Donald Trump appeared to slow down his decision to withdraw from Syria after meetings on December 30. This came just ten days after he had abruptly decided to leave Syria. Trump apparently made the decision on December 14 in a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He told National Security Advisor John Bolton to prepare the process. For five days nothing changed until Trump began to Tweet about the decision.
“I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.” – Bhagavad Gita, cited by American nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945
Quite literally, at any moment in 2019, US President Donald Trump could be faced with unprecedented challenges to American security. The most plainly serious threats will concern some forms or other of nuclear strategy and nuclear war. “Will he be ready?” – we must immediately inquire – “for any such conspicuously daunting challenges?”