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FP: Iranians among the World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In its last issue, Foreign Policy journal named the world’s top 100 public intellectuals and asked readers to vote for those they deem most deserving of the top honors. It revealed the results of the reader poll in its July/ August issue. Plus, members of the Top 100 name the intellectuals they believe should have made the list.

Among the first 20 names mentioned in this list, there are the names of two Iranians, Abdolkarim Soroush, the religious theorist (7th) and Shirin Ebadi, lawyer and human rights activist (10th).

In this list one can find the names of intellectuals such as, Fethullah GÜLEN, religious leader,  Tariq RAMADAN, philosopher and scholar of Islam, Noam CHOMSKY, linguist and activist, Al GORE, climate change activist and  politician, Bernard LEWIS, historian, Fareed ZAKARIA, journalist and  author, Garry KASPAROV, democracy activist and  chess grandmaster, MarioVARGAS LLOSA, novelist and politician.

The top 10 public intellectuals in this year’s reader poll are all Muslim. The ideas for which they are known, particularly concerning Islam, differ significantly. It’s clear that, in this case, identity politics carried the day.

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