Identity, Self-Knowledge and the Pursuit of Gender Equality

The following op-ed by Donna Hakimian appeared in The Huffington Post on January 9, 2014. What is identity? How is it defined by our current society? What role does it play in the pursuit of gender equality? These were the types of questions asked during a round-table discussion I recently facilitated on a document titled, … Read More

Iran’s Citizens’ Rights Charter and its Religious Minorities

The following op-ed by Kaveh Shahrooz appeared in Foreign Policy Blogs on January 2, 2014. In announcing his candidacy for the presidency of Iran, Hassan Rouhani declared that “all Iranian people should feel there is justice. Justice means equal opportunity. All ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice.” Regrettably, Rouhani’s early days in … Read More

‘Unclean’ — Iran’s Outcast Baha’i Minority

The following op-ed by Anthony Vance appeared in The Huffington Post on November 26, 2013. Anyone who has seen Schindler’s List will remember the scene when the film’s protagonist is temporarily detained for kissing a female Jewish work camp prisoner in a rare celebratory moment. This was a violation of the Nazi regime’s racial laws, … Read More

Empty charm or game changing substance? How to read Iran

The following op-ed by Zackery Heern appeared in Your Middle East on November 20, 2013. Since taking office in August, the newly elected President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has been on an international charm offensive, making speeches to the UN, doing interviews with reporters, and tweeting to Iran’s historically marginalized Jewish community. His conciliatory tone … Read More

The oppression of Baha’is continues in Iran

The following op-ed by Elliott Abrams appeared in The Washington Post on November 13, 2013. Public rites will be visible across Iran on Wednesday in honor of Ashura, a major Shiite festival commemorating the death of Hussein, Muhammad’s grandson. But for Iranians who are not Shiite Muslims, public practice of their religion remains severely limited … Read More

Winston Nagan: Iran’s human rights abuses

The following op-ed by Winston Nagan appeared in The Gainsville Sun on October 13, 2013. Imagine growing up with a relative, knowing the same neighbors and friends at school and developing a strong bond of friendship beyond your blood relationship because of the goodness you saw in her so clearly during your childhood. Such friendships … Read More

For Iran’s Rouhani, the human rights of Baha’is are the ultimate test of reform

The following op-ed by Reza Aslan and Michael Brooks appeared in The Washington Post’s On Faith Blog on September 25, 2013. Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the United Nations on Tuesday signaled the possibility of a thaw in relations between Iran and the United States. Indeed, President Rouhani has been diligently trying to improve Iran’s image … Read More

Propaganda of death becomes reality for Baha’is in Iran

The following op-ed by Zackery Heern appeared in Your Middle East on September 08, 2013. On August 24, a well-known Baha’i in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas was shot dead by an unknown gunman. Mr. Ataollah Rezvani’s body was found with a gunshot wound in the back of his head. He was left … Read More

A Chance for Change in Iran

The following op-ed by Winston Nagan appeared in The Washington Post on August 21, 2013. Avoid any kind of socializing with the “deviant and misleading sect.” These are the words in the fatwa of July 29, 2013, issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, against the Baha’i Faith. Its release was so close to the … Read More

Inclusion: The challenge for Iran’s new president

The following op-ed by Mina Yazdani appeared in openDemocracy on August 05, 2013. On August 4, Hassan Rouhani became the new President of Iran. Whether he will have the desire and wherewithal to open space for those excluded from the system in recent decades is something that I, like many others, will be watching closely. … Read More