Boycotting World Philosophy Day in Iran

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 24, 2010

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Kudos to the many academics who have organized to boycott the annual World Philosophy Day commemorations–this year, being held in Tehran. The idea of holding the commemorations in a country whose regime imprisons academics with false accusations that they work for the CIA is an obscenity. Equally obscene is the thought that expatriate Iranian academics should have to risk imprisonment by going back to Iran in order to participate in the commemorations, and that the Islamic regime is being given a veneer of respectability by being allowed to host the conference.

Ramin Jahanbegloo, whose story is told in the linked report, puts it best: “It’s as if they decided to hold a philosophy conference in Berlin in 1938 — with Goebbels as head of the conference!” One wonders why anyone thought that holding World Philosophy Day in Iran constituted a good idea.

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