TEHRAN, Iran–On Thursday, an Iranian court convicted a University professor of insulting some dead guy and encouraging students to study.  He was sentenced to 74 lashes, exile to three remote Iranian cities for eight years, and prohibition from teaching for 10 years–oh, and death.
The “court,” if it can be called that, found history professor Hashem Aghajari guilty of insulting the “prophet” Muhammad and questioning the clergy’s interpretation of Islam during a speech in June.  “Are people monkeys to imitate [the clerics]?” Aghajari asked during his speech.  “According to the clerics, students who study and understand the Quran have committed a crime because they didn’t go back to the clerics for guidance.”  Apparently the court agrees, and Aghajari will die for his “crime.”

Although this might appear unjust to non-Berkeley Americans, it must be remembered that Iran’s form of government is a different but equally valid one, and the United States should not attempt to impose Western ideals on those simple, happy, people.


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