Iran, Islam, and Secular Social Sciences
Ali Asghar Kazemi
In our previous commentary on the problem of Iran’s recent social turmoil after the presidential elections of June 12, 2009, we alluded to the issue of “Social Sciences” that has caused widespread alarm among conservative hard-liners.
In that article the emphasis was made essentially on the question of religion in general and Islam in particular as an ideological dynamic, influencing the function of society in the domain of human actions and interactions. It was argued that religion has to do with human mind, ideas, the belief system, values, attitudes, and behavior. While politics as an interdisciplinary branch of social sciences deals essentially with the pursuit of power and to some extent the distribution of values in society. Thus, the marriage of the two may inhibit man from his choice between the rational and the spiritual. This is indeed a major dilemma on the way of an ordinary citizen who wants to remain aloof of the impact of official creeds, unless he lets himself dragged by the formalistic rituals of the dominant religion. Read More...