Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Internet in Iran

We have become totally reliant on the internet during these days . In the university and in the council I have to rely on the internet to submit scientific papers, to send letters and to keep up with the news. The internet in Iran these days has a story of its own. In addition to the filtering of many sites particularly political blogs and sites, the access and speed of the internet has been fluctuating during the recent years. Now more recently, the internet has been very slow. There has been some news of a national internet, contradictory to the concept of the global internet.  Also some have spoken about a Halal Internet, indirectly referring to the degrading content available on the internet. It has been a debate related directly to the relationship between Islam and personal freedoms. The conservative approach is that human beings are free only in the realm of religious duties, that they must obey and submit to the orders of God and that disobedience and dissent are equated with blasphemy. The progressive and forward looking approach is different. In this approach Islam promotes its teachings in the context of the freedom and dignity of humankind. Humans have the right to chose their direction in life. According to the Holy Quran, there is no coercion in Islam. Coercion and forceful measures  or severe restrictions have no positive effect on the heart and minds of people.
The internet is a tool the use of which requires technical and social training. Censoring and preventing access to the internet, particularly in political fields, is a infringement  upon the basic rights of citizens. Children and young people should receive education concerning the risks and dangers of using the internet.  Abusive and sites with immoral and degrading content should be banned but political and ideological content is different, freedom of thought and freedom of expression is part of the basic rights that God has given to every human being.

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