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SCCR > History of Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution (SCCR)

History of Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution (SCCR)


 The victory of Islamic Revolution in February 1979, followed by the establishment of Islamic Republic system in Iran, brought about drastic changes in all foundations and aspects of social life. This is because any development in any system is realized by revolutionizing foundations and structures. Culture, in the meantime, enjoys a unique status so that it is impossible to imagine a change in ruling system without a change in ruling culture.
Imam Khomeini’s New Year Message on March 21, 1980 must be taken as a turning point in the history of cultural revolution. Clause 11 of his message necessitates “revolutionizing all universities across the country”, “firing university professors linked to the East or West”, and “developing the universities into a safe environment for authoring and teaching higher Islamic sciences”.
Upon official closure of the universities in June, Imam Khomeini on June 12, 1980 issued a decree for establishment of Cultural Revolution Headquarters. Part of his decree reads:
“It is for some time the need for cultural revolution – that is an Islamic issue requested by the Muslim nation – has been highlighted but little has been done in this regard. The Muslim nation, specially the believing and committed university students are worried about this. They have also expressed concerns on sabotage of the conspirators, instances of which show face now and then. The Muslim nation are worried the chance might gone without any positive work, so that the culture might be the same one in the past corrupt regime. During the past regime, this fundamentally importance center had been put at the disposal of the colonial powers by uncultured and illiterate employers. Sustainability of this catastrophe that is the wish of some groups affiliated to foreign powers, will impose a deadly shock on the Islamic Revolution and Islamic Republic of Iran. Any moderation in this vital issue is a grave treachery against Islam and against this Muslim country.”
In his decree, Imam Khomeini asked a number of professors at theological schools and universities to establish a headquarters and invite committed experts, Muslim professors, faithful employees and other personalities believing in the Islamic Republic to lay the foundations of a council to make cultural policies and plans for the future of the universities according to Islamic culture. The council, according to him, shall be responsible for selecting deserving, committed and wakeful professors to take care of Islamic-educational revolution.
The Cultural Revolution Headquarters, according to Imam Khomeini’s decree, had been obligated to focus activities on the following areas in its handling of university issues:
- Training university professors and selecting culturally competent professors to teach at the universities
- Formulating college/university student admission programs 
- Islamization of university environment and curriculum changes
The above had to be realized to make people enjoy the end-products.
In September 1983, upon Imam Khomeini’s emphasis on amending and promoting the headquarters and the need for membership of the state officials in the headquarters, upon a proposal by the then president (Ayatollah Khamenei) for full membership at the Cultural Revolution Headquarters, he appointed some state officials such as the prime minister, minister of culture, minister of higher education, and two students introduced by the Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) as new members of the headquarters.
Reopening of universities and development of higher education centers highlighted the need for promoting the Cultural Revolution Headquarters so that in Nov. 1984 he amended the headquarters for the second time. This was a rebirth for the headquarters. Part of the decree reads:
“Avoiding influence of Western culture by boosting influence and empowerment of constructive Islamic and national culture, and establishing cultural revolution in all fields across the country require so much effort and endeavor that long years must be spent on fighting the deeply rooted influence of the West. Expressing my thanks to the Cultural Revolution Headquarters I deem it necessary to promote this institution for more enrichment of cultural revolution in the country. Therefore, in addition to all previous members of the Cultural Revolution Headquarters and the heads of three forces, I introduce Hojjatoleslam Khamenei, Hojjatoleslam Ardebili, Hojjatoleslam Rafsanjani, Hojjatoleslam Mahdavi Kani, Seyed Kazem Akrami minister of education, Reza Davari, Nasrollah Pourjavadi and Mohammad Reza Hashemi as new members of the headquarters.”
The third amendment in the structure of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution happened in 1996. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Dec. 4, 1996 introduced the new structure of the council while stressing on critical responsibility of SCCR. Part of his message reads:
“The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution that came to being out of the Cultural Revolution Headquarters at wise decision of Imam Khomeini, played an active and influential role in cultural policymaking, specially in the universities bearing many fruits. Today, with the development of the country in reconstruction era, and with the growing need to modern science and technology, training efficient researchers, innovators, university professors and specialists, the importance of cultural sector is doubly emphasized. Development of universities and research centers and other higher education centers is a natural response to that demand. The eye-catching growth in the number of university students has assigned a new task for the officials in charge of cultural affairs. They are requested to boost the quality of research and science in these centers and help spiritual upbringing of the students by directing their deeds and creeds.”
Elsewhere in his message, the Supreme Leader pointed to all-out cultural assault of the enemies against Islamic values, genuine national culture and public beliefs:
“All these important and cautionary facts call the cultural officials of the country for more influential policymaking, more endeavor, and more efforts. This should particularly motivate the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution for innovation and initiation because it is at the center of the national campaign to fight illiteracy, scientific backwardness and cultural imitation.”
On March 15, 2003, upon termination of responsibility of the real members of SCCR, the Supreme Leader appointed new members for a three-year period. Also on May 5, 2007, the Supreme Leader renewed real members of the council. This opened a new page in the history of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. At this stage SCCR was obligated to compile the comprehensive scientific map of the nation, cultural engineering, and renovation of the educational system. These achievements paved the ground for emergence of a society enriched with the Divine blessings.
The last SCCR reshuffle was made on June 7, 2011 when the Supreme Leader appointed Messrs. Jannati and Habibi as honorary members, deputy president for scientific and technological affairs, minister of sports and youth, and chairman of the Islamic Culture and Communications Organization as the legal members of the council. He issued orders for the new members of SCCR while insisting on program priorities