Mohammad Mehdinejad Nouri

Iran’s deputy science minister says transforming the humanities into Islamic human sciences is harder than sending a human into space.

According to ISNA, Mohammad Mehdinejad Nouri said that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has called for universities to become more Islamic and for the humanities to be infused with Islamic values.

He added that all scholars, academics, students and humanities experts must support this effort in order to realize it: “If the professors and the students have not reached the belief that the humanities have to become Islamic, then there will be no movement.”

Given that the task is even harder than sending human being into space, he said that all graduates, professors and scholars should “seriously enter the field of research for transforming the humanities.”

Mehdinejad Nouri previously had said that the content of 36 university programs will be changed by next September by a group charged with researching and reforming university curricula.

University students and youth played a conspicuous role in the widespread protests that sprang up in 2009 to challenge the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential election. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei criticized the large contingency of students enrolled in university humanities programs and pinpointed it as one of the roots of unrest. He said the country does not have sufficient number of professors committed to the Islamic worldview in order to teach the millions of students enrolled in the humanities.

Such statements from the Supreme Leader have triggered a wave of change in the universities, not just altering the curricula but also politically cleansing the faculties.

The programs most urgently targeted by the government are law, human rights, women’s studies, economics, sociology, mass communications, political science, philosophy, psychiatry, business and arts administration.