Statement by 40 Engaged Scholars


Ali Fathollah-Nejad
by Ali Fathollah-Nejad

Human Beings are Members of a Whole: Protecting the Iranian Civil Society

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain

-- A poem by the Persian poet Sa’adi (1210 – 1290) gracing the entrance of the Hall of Nations of the United Nations building in New York City

If we speak out against the threat of force against Iran (regarding the nuclear conflict) and warn against a military strike, we cannot be silent on the use of force in Iran itself against its own civil society. For solidarity with the civil society and a peaceful order in the region constitute the primary concern of our efforts. If we condemn foreign sanctions against the Iranian people, we deplore all the more domestic sanctions directed at peaceful demonstrators, journalists, trade unionists, professors, students and others. Thereby the government deprives itself from the domestic basis needed against foreign threats.

Not only as individuals but also conjointly as a group of engaged scholars, we want to announce our resolute protest against the brutal clampdown of demonstrators and against the mass arrests, and strongly advise a peaceful dialogue with the civil society. We call upon the government to release all political prisoners of the last few weeks – amongst them many professors – and to seek dialogue with precisely those persons as moderators of the civil society. Freedom of opinion and the right to demonstrate – cornerstones of the UN Charter of Human Rights to which Iran is a signatory – are being massively violated in today’s Iran.

We strongly remind that the state of siege and the continuing threat of force that have emanated from foreign governments once again fatally demonstrate how thereby the space for a democratic development in Iran are being reduced.

At the same time, we deplore the slanted and misleading depictions of the recent events in Iran in some international media. As supporters of the Iranian civil society, we stress the genuine nature of the protests by the Iranian democracy movement. Composed of various societal strata, the demonstrators first and foremost have advocated free elections and freedom of expression.

Also, it is astonishing that precisely those who have supported crippling sanctions and pushed for preventive strikes against Iran whereby civilians have been and would be harmed, suddenly speak about solidarity with the Iranian people. They only will be convincing when they stand up against sanctions and the threat of force and advocate a peaceful dialogue in the region.  

Signed by:

1.       Dr. Behrooz Abdolvand, Free University of Berlin & Academic Advisory Board of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)

2.       Prof. Gilbert Achcar, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

3.       Dr. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

4.       Ahmad Ahgary, founding member of the Association of Iranian Scientists and Engineers in Germany (VINI)

5.       Prof. Mohammad Ala, Persian Gulf Taskforce & Iran Heritage

6.       Tariq Ali, writer, London

7.       Dr. Katajun Amirpur, Jesuit School of Philosophy in Munich

8.       Dr. Matin Baraki, University of Marburg & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

9.       Angelika Beer, ex-MEP & former President of the Iran Delegation of the European Parliament

10.   Reiner Braun, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

11.   Prof. Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University

12.   Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) 1987 & Patron of the International Munich Peace Conferences

13.   Prof. Abbas Edalat, Imperial College London & Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)

14.   Ali Fathollah-Nejad, University of Münster & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

15.   Prof. Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University, Fresno

16.   Prof. Ali Gorji, University of Münster

17.   Prof. Kai Hafez, University of Erfurt (Germany)

18.   Homeira Heidary, head of “Panorama Hindukush” Festival, Cologne

19.   Foaad Khosmood, University of California at Santa Cruz & CASMII International Steering Committee

20.   Prof. Mohssen Massarrat, University of Osnabrück & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

21.   Naz Massoumi, convenor of Campaign Iran, London

22.   Prof. Georg Meggle, University of Leipzig

23.   Prof. Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran & chairman of the Urosevic Research Foundation, London

24.   Tobias Pflüger, former MEP (German Left Party) & Information Agency Militarization (IMI), Tübingen (Germany)

25.   Daniel M. Pourkesali, U.S. Board of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)

26.   Prof. Ahad Rahmanzadeh, University of Bonn & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

27.   Sanaz Raji, University of Leeds & London School of Economics and Political Science

28.   Lt. Col. Jürgen Rose, German Air Force, Munich

29.   Prof. Werner Ruf, University of Kassel & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

30.   Prof. Nader Sadeghi, George Washington University Hospital, Washington D.C.

31.   Prof. Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

32.   Dr. Sabine Schiffer, founder and director of the Institute for Media Responsibility (IMV), Erlangen (Germany)

33.   Dr. Yvonne Schmidt, University of Graz & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

34.   Miriam Shabafrouz, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg

35.   Ali Shakeri, board member of the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, University of California in Irvine

36.   Siba Shakib, author & filmmaker

37.   Prof. Albert Stahel, University of Zurich & Academic Advisory Board of CASMII

38.   Dr. Rainer Werning, political scientist & author (Germany)

39.   Kaveh Yazdani, University of Osnabrück (Germany)

40.   Azadeh Zamirirad, University of Potsdam (Germany)


Recently by Ali Fathollah-NejadCommentsDate
Is There a Way Out?
Sep 03, 2012
Policy of Peace Not War
Apr 03, 2012
Let's Get Even
Mar 10, 2012
more from Ali Fathollah-Nejad
Mohammad Ala

Thank you.

by Mohammad Ala on

Thank you Ali jaan for your time and efforts. 


Short memory of CASMII lobbyist

by Fred on

It is amazing what a short memory this CASMII lobbyist has or thinks others have amnesia. His lobby and some of the signatories have always claimed Islamist Rapist republic to be a genuine “democracy”. The few known Islamist among the signatories have also advocated the nuke capability for this “democracy” of Islamist Rapist Republic.

Ps. the CASMII lobbyist needs to explain his bestowment of the title of “scholar” on many on the list himself included.   



by Q on

So many people from Germany! I am glad to see they are down with the cause.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Islamists believe that the others are non-human targets only

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Every voice counts! Every action counts!