[Not Fiction] IRI Supreme Leader Talk on Virtues of Free Thinking

Tehran, Jan 28, IRNA -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah   
Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that cultural development needs   
'free thinking' and termed it as a God-given virtue.                 
    In a meeting with members of Iranian Association of Pen, the     
Supreme Leader said that 'free thinking' helps the human being move  
forward to capture the unknown realms of knowledge and understanding.

    The Supreme Leader underscored significance of genuine free      
thinking and made it clear that 'free thinking' does not mean        
destroying the principles or disrespect for the sanctity.            
    The Leader said that there are two different attitude toward 'free
thinking'. Some people reject it because they deem it is against the 
principles, on the contrary, some others welcome 'free thinking' for 
possible challenge against the very basis of norms and principles, the
Leader said.                                                         
    The Supreme Leader said that dialogue is the means to promote    
'free thinking' and advised the Theology Center and the University to
propagate respectful and fair dialogue and embark on doing so.       
    The Leader said that the Islamic Revolution prepared the ground  
for 'free thinking' adding that it is expected to strike a balance in
the cultural domain with drawing a line between 'anarchy' and the    
genuine 'free thinking'.                                             
    "In the political activities, the community should avoid extremism
or anarchy in other words dictatorship," the Leader said.            
    The Leader said that the cultural development is the best way to 
promote knowledge, science and technology and called for the academic
works both at the Theology Center and the University to usher in     
software movement in the field of science and technology.            
    "There is wide difference between backwardness and fundamentalism.
Fundamentalism means acceptance of the logical principles and being  
committed to them in a dynamic process, but, backwardness means      
ignorant support for the unreasonable beliefs something which blocks 
the way for innovation and progress," the Supreme Leader said.       
    Of course backwardness is not limited to the religious issues,   
the political backwardness causes detriment as the religious         
backwardness does, he said.                                          
    The Leader said that the late Imam Khomeini has initiated the    
cultural development with changing the corrupt Pahlavi regime adding 
that the men of pen should follow up the process.