Archive 2009

is a well-known Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Ramin Jahanbegloo taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto from 1997-2001. He later served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran and, in 2006-07, was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India In April 2006 Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution in Iran. In late April 2006, on his way to an international conference in Brussels, Jahanbegloo was arrested by the Iranian authorities.

On May 3, Iran judiciary branch officials confirmed that he was arrested and sent to Evin Prison. Human Rights Watch expressed concern over Jahanbegloo being detained without charges and called for his immediate release. On May 13, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), an Iranian human rights group headed by Iran’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, voiced concern over the arrest and jailing of the prominent intellectual. On May 15, the Council of the European Union, following a meeting in Brussels, issued a press release expressing concerns about the detention of Jahanbegloo, including its underlying message that Iranians ought not to communicate or associate with Europeans. On May 19, more than 400 prominent international figures, including Nobel laureates, scholars and human rights activists, in an open letter demanded Jahanbegloo’s immediate release. Among the undersigned are Noam Chomsky, J.M. Coetzee, Shirin Ebadi, Umberto Eco, Jürgen Habermas, Timothy Garton Ash, Leszek Kolakowski, Antonio Negri, Richard Rorty, Krzysztof Zanussi, and Howard Zinn.  Finally he was released on bail. He is presently a Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto and a board member of PEN Canada. Among his twenty books in English, French and Persian are Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (1992), Gandhi: Aux Sources de la Nonviolence (1999), Penser la Nonviolence (UNESCO,2000), Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (2004) India Revisited: Conversations on Contemporary India (2007), The Clash of Intolerances (2007) and very recently The Spirit of India (2008), Beyond Violence (2008).