Protest against the courting of the Iranian regime at the "Evangelische Akademie"
The coalition STOP THE BOMB protested against the invitation of the Iranian ambassador in Germany, Alireza Sheikh Attar, to a conference of the Evangelische Akademie (a center belonging to the Lutheran Church Hannover) which took place from April 17 - 19, 2013 and was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The conference held the cynical title "How can the Iranian civil society be strenghtend?". We are documenting a press release of STOP THE BOMB below.
Protest ralley: April 18, 2013, 5.45 p.m.
Where: Rote Reihe 6, 30169 Hannover.
For more information please check the German site.
The protests were supported by
- MP Sven-Christian Kindler, Green party
- Michael Höntsch, SPD, Member of Parliament of Lower Saxony
- Jusos, SPD Youth organization
- Young Greens Hannover
- RCDS Universität Hanover
- Liberal Jewish Comm. Hannover
- German-Israeli Friendship Org. Hanover
- Christian Friends of Israel Northern Germany
- Iranian Dissidents
On our German page you can find protest letters against the invitation of Sheikh Attar of
- the German-Iranian publicist Saba Farzan,
- of political scientist Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh,
- of the Democratic Party Iran-Kurdistan,
- of Prof. Micha Brumlik,
- of the German-Israeli Friendship Association Hannover,
- of the Friends of Israel Hannover,
- of the youth organization of the Green Party in Hannover,
- of the Jusos Lower Saxony (youth organization of the Social democrats)
- of Prof. em. Wolfgang Stegemann
- of the group [a:ka] Göttingen
You can find a protest letter of Farid Ghadry, Reform Party of Syria below.
Press Release: No Stage for the Iranian Regime!
STOP THE BOMB protests against the invitation of the Iranian ambassador to the Evangelische Akademie
Berlin, April 4, 2013
The coalition STOP THE BOMB calls on the Evangelische Akademie Loccum, a center belonging to the Lutheran Church Hannover, to recall the invitation of representatives of the Iranian regime to a conference on the Iranian civil society. The Iranian regime's ambassador to Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar and Kazem Sadjadpour from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are invited to speak at the conference on April 18, 2013. The title of the conference is "A New Policy for the Middle East. How can the Iranian civil society be strengthened? "  For this conference, the Evangelische Akademie applied for funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Sheikh Attar is accused to being directly responsible for numerous killings in the Kurdish areas of Iran. Michael Spaney, spokesperson for STOP THE BOMB Germany, asks the Evangelische Akademie to follow the example of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Saxony and the Neuhardenberg Foundation, which have canceled similar events with the Iranian ambassador due to protests.  "We particularly expect that the representatives of the CDU and SPD in the convent of the Academy, among them Björn Thümler, chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in Lower Saxony and Stefan Schostok, SPD candidate for the office of mayor in Hanover, will speak out against the participation of Attar and Sadjadpour. In case this will not happen, we are calling on the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, not to promote this conference, which serves as a stage for the Iranian regime. "
Saba Farzan, a publicist and head of Iran research at the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin criticized in an open letter the overall design of the conference: " To pretend that this conference is designed to strengthen the Iranian civil society is a mockery of the young Iranian generation and their courage." 
Dr. Stephan Grigat, a political scientist and co-founder of STOP THE BOMB, refers to the principal problem of a dialogue with representatives of the Iranian regime. "It is particularly absurd to discuss with Sheikh Attar, a confidant of Iran’s president Ahmadinejad or with a representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry which in 2006 organized the Holocaust denier conference, about how to strengthen the Iranian civil society. But regardless of the particular topic, every invitation of representatives of the dictatorship of the Ayatollahs in Iran legitimizes the Iranian regime and weakens the Iranian opposition in Iran and in exile. The Iranian regime is well known for the persecution of gays, the oppression of women and bloody repression against the freedom movement and for repeated threats of annihilation against Israel. The Iranian nuclear and missile program will provide the possibility for the regime to make these threats real in the near future. "
Hiwa Bahrami, the spokesman of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Germany, calls for the cancellation of the participation of Sheikh Attar: "The West has to finally profess its unambiguous support of the Iranian opposition rather than going on in leading a fruitless dialogue with the murderers of the Iranian freedom movement and the anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers. All dangers posed by this regime, can ultimately only be resolved if this regime is overthrown. "
 Compare to the protests against the Neuhardenberg-Foundation: http://de.stopthebomb.net/neuhardenberg.html; on the protests against the invitation of Sheikh Attar to a conference of the Böll-Stiftung in Saxony in 2009: http://de.stopthebomb.net/leipzig.html
 Compare the open letter of Saba Farzan: http://de.stopthebomb.net/de/evangelische-akademie.html
Protest letter of Farid Ghadry, Reform Party of Syria
Dear Mr. Klaus Holz,
As a Muslim, I am writing to you today out of concern for the invitation you have accorded Ambassador Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, Iran’s highest representative in Germany.
Violence in Islam is a matter that is troubling many Muslims because it violates our rights for peaceful co-existence with all the religions of the world.
By extending an invitation to an Ambassador whose country perpetrates terror and hate, you are in fact, indirectly and unknowingly, empowering violence in Islam. Freedom of expression cannot justify freedom to terrorize and all those who use violence as a mean to achieve their political goals must not be allowed access to respectful podiums from which they can gain more legitimacy. Evangelische Akademie is legitimizing the terror of the regime in Iran.
I hope you will reconsider your invitation to Ambassador Attar.
Thank you, Farid Ghadry
see more on the German page
Iran Press News صحنه سازی جدید آلمان برای ادامۀ همکاری با ملایان
Jerusalem Post: German event with Iran envoy ‘legitimizes evil’ (15.4.2013)
Sharif Behruz: Protest against the courting of the Iranian regime at the “Evangelische Akademie” (17.4.2013)
Support our protests!
Write to the Evangelische Akademie Loccum
- Dr. Marcus Schaper, Organizer of the conference: marcus.schaper(at)evlka(dot)de
- Dr. Stephan Schaede, Director: email@example.com
Members of the "Konvent" of the "Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
- Björn Thümler, CDU: firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.facebook.com/<wbr></wbr>bjoern.thuemler
- Thela Wernstedt, SPD: Thela.Wernstedt@lt.niedersachs<wbr></wbr>en.de,www.facebook.com/<wbr></wbr>thela.wernstedt
- Stefan Schostock, SPD, Mayor of Hannover: email@example.com
- Dr. Arno Brandt, "Institut für Regionalwirtschaft": Brandt@cima.de