Perhaps the most concerning problems of indoctrination in the western societies today occur through universities, media, and films which encourage indifference and irresponsibility rather than preparing our youth with wisdom for a meaningful future. Universities and the media discourage wisdom since multiculturalism and altruism are regarded superior to truth. Worse yet are the many contemporary TV shows and films that introduce ill-mannered actors and actresses as good role models to our youth.
In 1979, the majority of young people were the hands and feet of the Revolution in Iran. The Ayatollah Khomeini led the Revolution with the utmost hostility toward the Shah of Iran, promising freedom and economic prosperity. He blamed the Shah of Iran for dictatorship, people’s poverty and lack of freedom, pointing towards two significant needs for which the younger generation was crying out.
At the time, we young people loved freedom but were unaware of Khomeini’s political philosophy and, therefore, unable to understand that freedom could not be achieved by burning banks, public buses or shooting our rifles in the streets. An opportunist, Khomeini knew that youth could be easily dependable; their lack of knowledge keeping them from scrutinizing and challenging his belief. His serious opposition to the Shah’s policy captured our full attention - so much so that we were unable to understand that his success in leading the Revolution wouldn’t necessarily mean that he would be able to lead the future government in a way that would honor his people. We did not know that promises do not depict the capability of a person or leader, but the values behind his/her belief. Aware of our short-comings, Khomeini was able to convince us to overridingly focus on overthrowing the rule of the Shah without showing us a plan for the future. We left tomorrow’s thoughts and deeds and focused entirely on the destruction of the Shah’s kingdom.
Fully immersed into his destructive plan, we were unable to dream of a meaningful future. The Ayatollah Khomeini was very attractive on the surface, spoke accurately into the situation of Iran, and invited both young and old to march ahead against the dictatorship of the Shah; to take part in the destiny of their country. He promised people that his efforts were only for the freedom of the country; he expected nothing from the people and promised that he would not want to have any political role in the future. Alas, he was hiding himself under the shell of his belief, trying to get himself to power for the establishment of an Islamic rule. He used the words “freedom and prosperity” in order to deceive people and attain his goal.
None of us imagined that he would later disregard his crystal clear promises and bluntly stand for the establishment of a dictatorship that was hundred times stricter than the dictatorship of Shah. The result of our initial acceptance and blind obedience was strict pain. As a result, many young people were killed while others had no choice but to flee the country.
If we did not lack a deep, reflective capacity and if our intentions sprang from the wisdom that comes from knowledge, if we knew different ideas and were able to compare them with ours, if we apprehended current world politics and were not oblivious even to the politics of our own land, if our knowledge surpassed our emotion, if we were able to distinguish between right and wrong, if we knew that our lack of knowledge would cost us, if we knew that our ignorance would make our enemy’s voice louder than ours, if we knew that another big and vengeful government was not the true solution for our country, we would not have opened the door for opportunistic Khomeini to destroy our lives and our country.
Rather than personally making sure whether or not we could have freedom under the leadership of Khomeini, we entrusted everything to someone whose future plan was very ambiguous. We were hoping and trying to make things better, but inadvertently made them worse. In the end, when Khomeini reached power, we found him not only delaying freedom but also mocking upholders of freedom. We asked him to honor his piously promised words instead of hammering the progress of freedom, but giving freedom to others was beyond his belief and proved too much for him.
Islamization in the Middle-East and Secularization in the West are both stripping off many adolescents and young adults their God-given autonomy, turning them into senseless bodies and prepared targets for opportunistic leaders. Many young people call themselves Muslims, atheists, evolutionists, New Agers, or identify themselves with many other beliefs. Yet they do not know about the internal layers of their beliefs, and are therefore unable to compare them, to discover the best way of life. They yearn for freedom and speak in favor of it, but are unaware that their beliefs are inherently against freedom. And since they do not know the true meaning of freedom, opportunists can easily target them through manipulative words, and establish their cunning plans through the consent and votes of youth.
How can young people secure themselves against opportunists?
There is no stronger advice to young people than the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that says:
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1Tim.4:12).In other words, be a good example to all, both young and old, and do not speak or act in such a manner that gives another the opportunity to belittle you on account of your youth. Your doctrine should be the doctrine of knowledge, reason, love and purity; making you thoughtful and caring toward others. A solid doctrine can function as a light in and through your life by enlightening the minds and hearts of others, and for protecting you and your community from those who have made it their task to set traps for those who are weaker.