Persia (Iran) has long been known for its rich, colorful culture and achievements in mathematics and science. Were you not aware of that? Many born after 1980 might not have only been aware of the post-revolution Iran which firmly set the nation in extreme Islam. Here in the United States, we have enjoyed decades of brilliant technological advancement and socio-political change. Progress in the realm of human rights, while nowhere near perfect, has been made. However, just like Iran, it could slip away.
Rick Santorum, while never actually having a chance at the US Presidency, came much closer than he ever should have. He is representative of the extreme religious movement plaguing social and cultural progress in this nation. He campaigned against homosexual marriage, women’s health rights, stem cell research, the right to higher education, the separation of church and state, and climate change science. Rick Santorum wants the United States of America to be a Christian nation whose laws are religiously founded. It’s not just Santorum, though. There are groups of politicians teetering on the brink of religious extremism. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, they promote this viewpoint in such a polarized, dramatic way, that people who may be even mildly susceptible become impassioned to their cause.
There is no question that the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was rife with political corruption. However, the White Revolution of 1962, the onset of the Shah’s government, brought with it a slew of women’s rights along with the Family Protection Law in 1967. Human rights and education grew. Then, on April Fools Day, 1979, a revolution was completed and Iran became an Islamic Republic. Women’s rights took a very swift and sharp nose dive. Women were ousted from and denied certain positions in government, dress codes began to be implemented, and gender segregation fired up. Violent punishment, in accord with Islamic law, was initiated. The laws of Iran were now based on Shariah Law.
The erosion of human rights parity across the spectrum of gender, lifestyle and ethnicity, the stifling of technological and scientific progress, the impedance of religious doctrine, the disregard for responsible use of resources, and the constant threat of pointless wars based on conflicting fictional ideologies are what we face. The far religious right will bring with it the Christian equivalent of Shariah Law and jihad. Just like Iran, we could slip completely into ignorance and a new dark age would arise.