Germany / Dialogue
Choose a language
Monday, October 23, 2017

Universities in Potsdam and Frankfurt cooperate with Islamist Elite School in Iran

The coalition STOP THE BOMB demands the end of the joint academic program of the University of Religions and Denominations (URD) in Qom and the University of Potsdam.

The Institute of Religious Studies in Potsdam and the URD in Qom declared the beginning of cooperation in 2011. In September, a delegation of the University of Potsdam and the Goethe University Frankfurt / Main will travel to Iran.

The University of Potsdam justifies the cooperation pointing to the importance of interfaith dialogue and academic exchange, but doesn’t take into consideration that the URD follows and perpetuates the totalitarian and anti-Semitic state doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian religious scholar Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh writes: “The goal of the URD in Qom is to support lobbyists, who have the potential to convince Western intellectuals that Iran is speaking truth and that the opinion of others is wrong.” [1] The purpose therefore is to spread the religious and political propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Michael Spaney explains: “Under the guise of interfaith dialogue, Islamist hardliners learn which kind of propaganda to use in the West, while religious minorities in Iran get arrested, tortured and assassinated. An interfaith dialogue with the Islamist elite of the regime, who actively persecutes religious minorities, means mocking the victims.”

Last week Ataollah Rezwani, an adherent of the Bahá'í Faith, which continues to be persecuted in Iran, was murered.[2] For 34 years German institutions have been trying to pursue a “critical dialogue” with Iran. This did not lead to liberalization in Iran. On the contrary, the nuclear program advances; and even after the presidential election of the so called reformist Rouhani in June 2013, the number of executions has been rising.[4]

The cooperation is backed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year, in order to strengthen academic relationships with Iran. The fact that Kamran Daneshjoo, the Iranian Minister of Science, Research, and Technology at the time, was on the European Union sanctions list because of his alleged involvement in Iranian nuclear warhead design and work, was ignored. [5]

STOP THE BOMB condemns the cooperation particularly in times of international efforts to isolate Iran and impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. This cooperation only provides the totalitarian regime legitimacy and helps the regime with its propaganda efforts. STOP THE BOMB therefore demands the end of the joint academic program with the University of Religions and Denominations in Qom.

More information is available at an event of the organization Bündnis gegen Antisemitismus on the 5th of the September in Potsdam: http://de.stopthebomb.net/de/veranstaltungen/dialog.html 

[1] Compare jungle-world.com/von-tunis-nach-teheran/1832/. Compare also a report in the Jerusalem Post: “But what is overlooked is that the URD follows the totalitarian and anti-Semitic state doctrine. How can one work with an institute that spreads hate propaganda against the Bahai religion and the State of Israel, as well as defends the forced veiling of women.” www.jpost.com/International/Outrage-over-anti-Semitic-German-Iranian-program

[2] See http://www.bahai.de/artikel/datum/2013/08/27/iranischer-bahai-ermordet.html

[3] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323681904578640491141654014.html; According to official information of the Iranian regime 35 persons were executed between 14-26 August. (http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2860)

[4] See https://www.daad.de/portrait/presse/pressemitteilungen/2012/21609.de.html;  http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/10/germanys-double-dealing-on-iran/

[5] See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:088:0001:0112:EN:PDF. Kamran Daneshjoo also demands the dismissal of lecturers who are not loyal to the regime and gender segregation at universities. (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/03/daneshjoo_iran/)

 

 

Universities in Potsdam and Frankfurt cooperate with Islamist Elite School in Iran

The coalition STOP THE BOMB demands the end of the joint academic program of the University of Religions and Denominations (URD) in Qom and the University of Potsdam.

The Institute of Religious Studies in Potsdam and the URD in Qom declared the beginning of cooperation in 2011. In September, a delegation of the University of Potsdam and the Goethe University Frankfurt / Main will travel to Iran.

The University of Potsdam justifies the cooperation pointing to the importance of interfaith dialogue and academic exchange, but doesn’t take into consideration that the URD follows and perpetuates the totalitarian and anti-Semitic state doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian religious scholar Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh writes: “The goal of the URD in Qom is to support lobbyists, who have the potential to convince Western intellectuals that Iran is speaking truth and that the opinion of others is wrong.” [1] The purpose therefore is to spread the religious and political propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Michael Spaney explains: “Under the guise of interfaith dialogue, Islamist hardliners learn which kind of propaganda to use in the West, while religious minorities in Iran get arrested, tortured and assassinated. An interfaith dialogue with the Islamist elite of the regime, who actively persecutes religious minorities, means mocking the victims.”

Last week Ataollah Rezwani, an adherent of the Bahá'í Faith, which continues to be persecuted in Iran, was murered.[2] For 34 years German institutions have been trying to pursue a “critical dialogue” with Iran. This did not lead to liberalization in Iran. On the contrary, the nuclear program advances; and even after the presidential election of the so called reformist Rouhani in June 2013, the number of executions has been rising.[4]

The cooperation is backed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year, in order to strengthen academic relationships with Iran. The fact that Kamran Daneshjoo, the Iranian Minister of Science, Research, and Technology at the time, was on the European Union sanctions list because of his alleged involvement in Iranian nuclear warhead design and work, was ignored. [5]

STOP THE BOMB condemns the cooperation particularly in times of international efforts to isolate Iran and impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. This cooperation only provides the totalitarian regime legitimacy and helps the regime with its propaganda efforts. STOP THE BOMB therefore demands the end of the joint academic program with the University of Religions and Denominations in Qom.

More information is available at an event of the organization Bündnis gegen Antisemitismus on the 5th of the September in Potsdam: http://de.stopthebomb.net/de/veranstaltungen/dialog.html 

[1] Compare jungle-world.com/von-tunis-nach-teheran/1832/. Compare also a report in the Jerusalem Post: “But what is overlooked is that the URD follows the totalitarian and anti-Semitic state doctrine. How can one work with an institute that spreads hate propaganda against the Bahai religion and the State of Israel, as well as defends the forced veiling of women.” www.jpost.com/International/Outrage-over-anti-Semitic-German-Iranian-program

[2] See http://www.bahai.de/artikel/datum/2013/08/27/iranischer-bahai-ermordet.html

[3] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323681904578640491141654014.html; According to official information of the Iranian regime 35 persons were executed between 14-26 August. (http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2860)

[4] See https://www.daad.de/portrait/presse/pressemitteilungen/2012/21609.de.html;  http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/10/germanys-double-dealing-on-iran/

[5] See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:088:0001:0112:EN:PDF. Kamran Daneshjoo also demands the dismissal of lecturers who are not loyal to the regime and gender segregation at universities. (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/03/daneshjoo_iran/)