Events in Detail...

Discussion session, review of the book: Woman and Power / Tehran / Jan 13, 2004 / Organized by ICDAC Social Science Group and Anthropological Research Center

Social Science department of the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations, with cooperation of the Anthropological Research Centre of the Cultural Heritage Organization, held a discussion session in the conference hall of the CHO to review the book “Woman and Power” by Pardis Ghandehari.

In the meeting, which was attended by the book’s author and a number of critics, researcher Fatemeh Sadeghi said: “In this book, young brides were ill-treated and abused on joining the family, and in the course of time and with the shift of power the same bride treated the younger ones as she had been herself. The book discusses the reasons behind such a transformation.”

“People who tend to act harshly and cruelly towards others are in fact deficient in power, as power is a satisfying element. Where there is power, there’s no hostility,” she added.

Tehran University professor Firoozeh Mohajer also commented: “The book only focuses on married women, and there is no mention of the girls. In discussing the “Unveiling”, we should consider that Hijab had a different meaning and implication then from what it does now. In those days, the society had been so unsafe that women did not risk going out into the streets. Of course this is a value of the book, being written about women and for women, and the author, discussing the capabilities of women, has merged these two approaches.”

Next, describing the social theme of the book as especial, member of academic board of Al-Zahra University Afsaneh Kamali said: “Ghandehari has a sequential viewpoint on the generations. Some of the members of the second generation are in the same phase as those of the third. On the other hand, the definitions of power, as described by the author, do not apply to these generations. Also, even if mothers of the family do not have any connection with the society outside their homes, the children will bring the modernism into the family, and it’s in this way that the Modernism factor can be recognized in these families.”

“Changes, education and the professions of the men in this family are ignored and go without any reference. The book counts women’s instructive role and their management of the household expenses as their power tools, when in reality managing the household is not an empowering act for women but more an advantage for men.”

In response to the critics’ comments, Pardis Ghandehari stated: “The society discussed an the book is a special one, and I did not intend to generalize my own selection of society. The role of media in the book is an important one as with the introduction of media power relations go through changes in the family. In defining the generations I had only the time consequence in mind, and was focused on generations, meaning the grandmother, daughter in law and children.”

She further added: “It was difficult for me to go into man’s realm within the context of the selected society. I also need to study more the relation of power and hostility.”

Discussion session titled “Rationality in Islam” / Tehran, Iran / January 6, 2004 / Organized by ICDAC's Theology & Religions Dept

Theology & Religions Dept. of the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations held a gathering titled “Rationality in Islam” on January 6, attending a number of scholars and thinkers, including Dr. Gholam Hossein Dinani, whose book “Philosophical Thought in the World of Islam” was discussed.

During the session Dr. Dinani briefly described the place of rationality in the human civilization, comparing the Eastern and Western thoughts. He then noted the frequent references to reason in Quran and Hadith, adding: “The Divine Revelation was the epitome of rationality, and we do not find anything irrational in the religion, but to not everyone makes the effort to understand this.

He further stressed: “Rational behavior requires acceptance of responsibility for everything to the point where rational fulfillment is achieved.”

ICDAC’s Theology department will hold another such meeting in future to discuss the “Possibility of Dialogue in Indian Religions”, in which Dr. Shayegan is to lecture.

Discussion session on Surveying Thousand and One Nights in Iran  / Tehran, Iran / January 6, 2004 / Organized by ICDAC's Social Science Dept and CHO’s Anthropological Research Centre  

In a discussion session on Surveying Thousand and One Nights in Iran, which was held by the cooperative efforts of the Social Sciences Dept. of the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Anthropological Research Centre of the Cultural Heritage Organization, Dr. Mohammad Roshan and Ahmad Edarechi Gilani referred to the works of Ali Asghar Hekmat, Mohammd Jafar Mahjoob and especially Jalal Sattari, describing the two distinct characteristics of the “Thousand and one nights” as Speech Therapy and being a Mirror to Different Cultures.

During the session it was highlighted that the fact that the UNESCO has named the year 2004 as the “World Year of Thousand and One Nights” indicates the especial regard of the organization for this transcript as a cross-cultural work. This is not only because the present transcript has been shaped up by passing through different historical periods (ancient Iran, post-Islam Iran and the Arab World -especially during the Abbasids era), but also because it is in some way a combination of such different cultures.

At the session “Thousand and One Nights” was recognized as one of the works influencing the world literature, as well as a transcript for all kinds of anthropological, sociological and even psychological discussions and analyses.

Discussion session on “Novel and Psychological Review / Tehran, Iran / January 7, 2004 / Organized by ICDAC's Art & Literature Dept

Art & Literature Dept of the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations held a discussion session on Novel and Psychological Review in the ICDAC library, attending a group of professors and literary figures of the country.

At this meeting Dr. Sanati lectured on “Psychological Novel from Dostoevsky to Robbe-Grillet”, and Esmaeel Jannati, Manoochehr Atashi, Hafez Moosavi, Siamak Golshiri, Asghar Tavassoli and Farhad Babaee recited poems and stories.

Roundtable titled Globalization of Economy and Women and its Cultural Aspects / Tehran, Iran / December 13, 2003 / Organized by ICDAC’s Political Science Group

The Political Science Group of the International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations held a roundtable on “Globalization of Economy and Women, and its Cultural Aspects” on Dec 13.

In this roundtable, which was attended by political science experts, speaker Maryam Khorasani, referring to the Women’s movement in Iran and in West, said that these movements date back to the reign of Naser al-Din Shah in Iran, and to the 1840s in the Western world.

Next speaker Mitra Ahmadi discussed the convergence of the separate and independent worlds in a unique and united world, the possibility of the formation of a global culture, and social forces in the ambiance of globalization.

Speaker Haleh Lajevardi delivered her article on Critical Study of the Day to Day Life, followed by Dr. Gholam Ali Tavassoli’s speech on the Cultural Sociology of Pierre Bordieu, Dr. Mehdi Montazer Ghaem on the Role of Media in Cultural Studies, Abbas Varij Kazemi on Theoretical Foundations of the Sociology of Buying, Dr. Hamid Abdollahian on the Mechanism of Thought Formation of Men and Women in the Contemporary Iran, Dr. Abazari on Culture Manufacturing Industry, Dr. Hossein Kachooian on Sociology to Cultural Studies, and Mohammad Rezaie on Cultural Studies and its Relation with Cultural Sociology.

The Political Science Group of the Centre will hold two more roundtables in Mid January and February of the year 2004, under the titles of “ Globalization of Feminism, Challenges and Opportunities” and “Muslim Women and Globalization”.

Cultural Studies Seminar / Tehran University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, Tehran, Iran / December 14-15, 2003 / Organized by and ICDAC’s Social Sciences Group

With the cooperation of ICDAC’s Social Sciences Group, Cultural Studies Research Group of Tehran University’s Faculty of Social Sciences held a two-day seminar on Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences of Tehran University.

At this seminar the conceptual and theoretical ambiance and the methodology of Cultural Studies were put to discussion by speakers including Hossein Mirzaie, Dr. Masood Kosari, who talked on the Semiotics of Pop music, Dr. Taghi Azad Armaki on “Cultural Regions: Variety of the Paradigm of Cultural Changes or Equivalence”, Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli on “Bi-globalizations, Paradox of National Culture, Sense of National Belonging and Global Ambiance”, and Moosa Anbari on “Cultural Turn”.

Joint Seminar on Cultural Research Book Review / Tehran, Iran / December 16, 2003 / Organized by the Anthropological Research Centre of the Cultural Heritage Organization and ICDAC’s Social Science Group

In the joint seminar of International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Anthropological Research Centre of the Cultural Heritage Organization on December 16, the book on “Beliefs and Facts in Ilam and Lorestan” was put to critique.

Attending this seminar were writers such as Mohammad Hossein Bajlan Farrokhi, Mohammad Asadian Khorramabadi and Masood Kimiayee, and critics such as Asghar Asgari Khaneghah, Mohammad Mir Shokrayee and Mohammad Reza Mahmoodzadeh. 

This book is an outstanding sample of Anthropology in a field research and so a very important book to study and analyze.

2nd International Conference on Human Rights: Theoretical Fundations of Human Rights 

The conference will be held in three separate seminars on:

1. Philosophy of Human Rights
2. Religion and Human Rights
3. Human Rights: Universality and Cultural diversity

On the days of the conference, the programs of all three seminars will be broadcasted online at:

Seminar titled: “Dialogue of East and West – Iran & Germany: constraints and possibilities of cultural scientific cooperation in the Age of Globalization”

In October 2001 ICDAC president Dr. Mohajerani made an official visit to Germany at the invitation of German Parliamentary president Wolfgang Thierse.  During a visit to the University of Bonn, the university authorities and ICDAC delegation decided to hold joint seminars aiming to promote the scientific and cultural relations of the Centre with the academic foundations worldwide.  

The first of these seminars took place in May 2002, under the title “West-Eastern Divan: Dialogue among Cultures of Iran and Germany”, attending Messrs. Dr. Mohajerani, Sharafedin Khorasani, Mojtahed Shabestari and Mohammad Hassan Zia Tavana of ICDAC, and Dr. K. Borchard, Iran’s ambassador to Germany Dr. Azizi, Director of the World Exhibition of Art Dr. Bosch, Prof. Fragner, Prof. Van Ess and Bishop Dr. Koppe on behalf of the University of Bonn. 

In the second event of the series, which is to be held on May 13-14, 2003 in ICDAC headquarters in Tehran, a number of Iranian scholars as well as political and executive figures including the ICDAC president will participate. Also among the attendees will be guests from the University of Bonn, including: Prof. Dr. K. Brochard, Prof. Dr. E. Ehlers, Prof. Dr. B. Hoffmann, Frau Dr. Müller-Wiener, Prof. Dr. Rahmanzadeh, Prof. Dr. U. Steinbach, Dr. C. Schetter, Prof. Dr. Zurek, Prof. Dr. A. Hartmann, Dr. G. Stöber.

Lecture: "Interpretation of Gathas in the Zoroastrian Religion" (Organized by ICDAC's Theology & Religions Dept.)

Lecturer:     Dr. Hosein Vahidi
Date:          April 28, 2003
Time:          04:00-06:00 pm
Place:         ICDAC Library, 1101 Vali-e Asr St., South Sa'ee Park, Tehran

Dr. Hosein Vahidi has a PhD in Economy and is a retired professor of the Economy college of Allameh Tabatabayee, also a professor and memeber of the Board of Trustees at the College of Industries.  He has more than 28 books published, mostly on Iran's culture and economy. Among them are: Financial Policy for the Economic Growth of Iran, Dialectic in Gatha and Molavi's Masnavi, A Research on the Zoroastrian Culture, Rostam in Shahnameh, and Gatha, the Divine Songs of Zarathustra.

Lecture: "David Bohm on Dialogue"  (Organized by ICDAC's Social Science Dept.)

Speaker:                Dr. Mohammad Ali Hosein Nejad
02:00 - 04:00 p.m., Feb. 18, 2003
Place:                    ICDAC Bldg 2, 1105 Vali-e- Asr Ave.(South of Sa'ee Park), Tehran

Tel:                        872 8126

Dialogue of Religions in Iran’s Society – Highlighting the Status of Zoroastrians (Organized by ICDAC’s Social Science Group)

Feature Speakers:         Messrs. Kasra Vafadari & Bijan Afsari Keshmiri
Time:                            02:00 - 04:00 p.m., Feb. 4, 2003 
Place:                           ICDAC Bldg 2, 1105 Vali-e- Asr Ave.(South of Sa'ee Park), Tehran

Tel:                               872 8126

International conference on Islam and world peace

Oct. 29-30, 2002  
Tehran, Iran

Islamic peace seeking, discussed at the conference on Islam and Peace, Tehran, Oct. 29-30, 2002  

The International conference on “Islam and global peace”, organized by ICDAC’s department of Theology and Religions, was held on 29th and 30th of October, at the bureau for political and international studies of the ministry of foreign affairs.

At the conference held in the form of a discussion workshop, experts in Islamic studies from the United States, Egypt, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, Germany and Iran presented articles on the relationship between Islam and global peace.

The most noteworthy questions discussed at the conference were: “ Does Islam bear the ethics to preserve the world?” “Is Islam necessarily a religion that breeds and trains radical and extremist forces?”“ Does there exist only one version of Islam which is the version that ultimately leads to the formation of a war front between Islam and the West?”“ Has the interference of the super powers in the region, and specially America’s access to the Middle Eastern energy resources not had an impact on Islam being viewed in a different way?”

The discussions and the articles presented at the conference can be classified in three main categories. One category was the mystic version of Islam presented by mainly the American and European experts in Islamic studies. They were of the conviction that inside the Islamic texts and sources, there lie treasures of ethics and mysticism that the westerners as well as the easterners are in need of. But unfortunately the image portrayed of Islam in the Western media is of cases of violence under the name of Islamic jurisprudence and rituals in the Arab countries and the public is not very familiar with the mystical aspects of Islam. These media do not portray much the violence taking place in the name of “defending Human Rights” and  “impartial war”. The critical views on this class of articles were that mysticism and ethics denote the personal aspects of man’s relationship with God, and from this viewpoint it makes no difference how the ruler or the government might be.

The way the mystic views the good and the evil in the world is congruent with both war and peace. He deems everything as fate. In the course of history, the mystics did not hold the reigns of power for the world to see how they would pass these tests.

The second category of the discussions hinged upon the relationship between the Muslims and the non-Muslims in the modern world. The thinkers were of the belief that due to the evolutions in the modern world, the old world’s traditional teachings cannot be used to rule the new world. The issue of dividing the Human society in to the land of Islam (Dar-o-AlIslam) and the land of enemies (Dar-o-Alharb) makes difficult a just and rational relationship between the Muslims and the others.

The issue of “minority rights”, “women’s rights” and things to this effect in the Islamic countries cause issues to be brought up in sacred texts that may lead to the emergence of Radical beliefs such as the beliefs of Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Aljihad, and jemateislami.

This group of thinkers held that long as there does not exist a rational and effective version in accordance with the conditions in the world, such interpretations might arise. The critics believed that this problem couldn’t be easily resolved through the interpretation of a small number of the Islamic scholars.  Islamic scholars must take all components of the modern world into consideration in writing a version of Islam and drawing up a proper legal system.

The third category was the right to use the energy resources and the expansion of America’s dominance in the mid east region. The thinkers argued that such phenomena as Terrorism and fundamentalism, brought up by the media, and the hidden lobbies in the ruling class in the US, is a tool for the American interference as well as proving the world’s unipolarism.

The critics believed that there has always existed political games in the course of history, but what is of great importance is to become aware, through a realistic review, of the factors involved in the super powers’ supremacy and to seek solutions accordingly. To be able to take part in the political games and to gain power in view of that, Muslims need to become familiar with the rules of the game and to strengthen their foothold by observing the regulations.

In the political literature of the world, one needs to be mindful of accusing the other party of having power-seeking incentives as well as choosing the right tools to emerge victorious from the game.

The bottom line is that the recent world affairs, specifically the image of the Muslims portrayed by the media after the September 11 events, is of various aspects and dimensions like all other social phenomena.

Today, all Muslims need to be aware of all the aspects of this phenomena and no party, organization or Islamic country has the right to discuss only one aspect of this issue in accordance with its own interests and stay uninformed of the other components.

Dr. Mohajerani's message to the conference:

Dear honorable guests,

During the past six months, the Department of Religion at the International Center for Dialogue among Civilizations has been making the necessary arrangements for the conference on Religious Tolerance and Dialogue among Civilizations in Shiraz, Dec. 16-17,2002.  

It is a great honor that 25 participants representing the 5 major religions of the world (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism) have accepted our invitation.

However, recent events and complications in the Middle East have caused instability in the region and as your security is of major concern to us, a decision has been made to postpone the conference to a future date, when the gravity of the situation has lessened.

We sincerely appreciate the support you have given us and apologize for the inconvenience caused.

May we all be able to encourage and promote tolerance in the world among various cultures, particularly among politicians, through our efforts.

Hopefully, we will benefit from the cooperation and support of great scholars, such as you, in the not-too-distant future.

Thank you very much for your consideration and understanding.

Sincerely yours,

Seyyed Ataollah Mohajerani

President of the
International Center 
or Dialogue Among Civilizations 

List of the Contributors to the Conference:

  1. Dr. S. A. Mohajerani : President of the International Center for Dialogue Among Civilizations

  2. Mr. M. T. Karami : Secretary of the Conference

  3. Dr. S. M. Mohaghegh Damad : Professor at Tehran University

  4. Hojatol-Islam S. M. A. Abtahi : Deputy to President Khatami for Legal Affairs  

  5. Dr. E. K. Helminski : University Professor, U.S.A.

  6. Dr. M. R. Rikhtehgaran : Professor at Tehran University

  7. Dr. A. Buehler : Professor at Louisiana State University, U.S.A.  

  8. Dr. A. M. Charfi : Professor at University of Tunisia

  9. Dr. A. Ibrahim : University Professor, Qatar  

  10. Dr. A. R. Jalali : Director of the Iranian NGO for Peace, “Today’s Community”  

  11. Dr. N. Abdelfattah : Vice-President of al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Research, Egypt  

  12. Dr. J. Kadivar : Member of Parliament  

  13. Dr. M. Nasr : University Professor, Lebanon 

  14. Dr. A. Zare : Professor at Qom University  

  15. Dr. H. Khaliphat : Counsellor to Prince Hassan Ibn Talal of Jordan  

  16. Hojatol-Islam S. Edalatnezhad : Director of the Dept. of Religion  (ICDAC) 

  17. Ms. F. Mousavi-nezhad : Director of the Association for Dialogue Among Religions (NGO)  

  18. Dr. M. Mojtahed Shabestari : Professor at Tehran University and Member of the Scientific Committee for Religions 

  19. Dr. F. Mojtabaii : Professor at Tehran University and Member of the Scientific Committee for Religions  

  20. Dr. S. A. Akrami : Professor at Tehran University and Member of the Scientific Committee for Religions  

  21. Mr. C. Balaii : Director of Iran- France Friendship Society  

  22. Mr. H. Khatib : Embassy of Egypt, Tehran  

  23. Dr. A. Paya : Professor at University of Westminster, London  

  24. Dr. Sh. Pazouki : Professor at Tehran University


Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002

Morning Session  

10:00 – 10:30                Recitation of the Quran

                                    Report of the Organizer, Mr. Karami

Welcoming Remarks from Dr. Ataollah Mohajerani, President of the International Center for Dialogue among Civilization

Chairman: Dr. M. Mohaghegh

10:30 – 11:00                The Event of September 11 and the Reproduction of Violence between Islam and the West
Hojatol-Islam Mohammad Ali Abtahi

11:00 – 11:30                How is Dialogue Possible Between Islam and the West?
            Dr. Edmund Helminski

11:30 – 12:30                Discussion

12:30- 13:30                 Lunch Break and Reception

Afternoon Session-1

Chairman: Dr. Edmund Helminski

14:30 – 15:00                The Truth of Peace from the Islamic Mysticism Perspective for World Peace
Dr. Mohammad-Reza Rikhtehgaran

15:00 – 15:30                Applying Universal Standards in Islam for World Peace
Dr. Arthur Buehler

15:30 – 16:15                Discussion

16:15 – 16:30                Break

Afternoon Session-2

Chairman: Dr. M. Charfi

16:30 – 17:00                The Present World and the Dispute among Cultural Poles
            Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim

17:00 – 17:20                 A Report on Peace and the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) of Iran
Dr. Ali-Reza Jalali

17:20 – 18:00                Discussion

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2002

Morning Session

Chairman: Dr. A. Ibrahim

10:00 – 10:30                Religion and its Role in Existing Relations and Conflicts

                                    Dr. Nabil Abdelfattah

10:30 – 11:00               The West and the Phenomenon of Islamization Before and After September 11
Dr. Jamileh Kadivar

11:00 – 12:00                Discussion

Afternoon Session-1

Chairman: Dr. Marlene Nasr

14:00 – 14:30               Muslims in a Perilous World
           Dr. Abdelmajid Charfi

14:30 – 15:00               Muslims and the Phenomenon of Globalization
           Dr. A Zareh

15:00 – 15:30               Theoretical Principles of Peace in Islamic Law
           Dr. Mustafa Mohaghegh Damad

15:30 – 16:30               Discussion

16:30 – 17:00               Break

Afternoon Session-2

Chairman: Mr. S. Edalatnezhad, Director of the Dept. of Religion

17:00 – 17:30               The Westerners Perception of Muslims: France as an Example
           Dr. Marlene Nasr

17:30 – 18:30               General Discussion and Conclusion