The Message of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi has a forthcoming memoir in April entitled “The Golden Cage.” Dr. Ebadi is the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
She is a remarkable woman both because of her keen intellect, but even more so because of her inbred commitment to, and understanding of, egalitarianism. You are right in interpreting this to mean she is a fierce advocate for women’s and children’s rights. In addition to focusing on bringing democracy to Iran, she is a visionary in having foreseen what we are now witnessing in Egypt to be inevitable throughout the world for all dictatorships.
Dr. Ebadi attributes this inevitability in part to the spread of technology where those imprisoned by governments now have the tools to see how we live. And, naturally they choose freedom. She also believes the innate human spirit to be a driving force behind the inevitability of democracies.
In April she will be coming to the United States for the launch of her book. If you are in New York, Washington DC, or Chicago, you can attend free, public events when she will be speaking at these universities: New York University, Columbia, George Washington, George Mason, and Northwestern.
Of central importance in Dr. Ebadi’s message about Iran and Islam is that she is moderate. She believes Islam and democracy are compatible. Despite what extremist Muslims ruling Iran and elsewhere say; and despite what bigots here in the United States say, including elected officials and media hell-bent on their religious discrimination masked as national security.
Dr. Ebadi loves peace and abhors violence. In between those too ends, lays a middle ground in which she deftly works to persuade world leaders and the world population to better understand her homeland. A place where she describes the people as a simmering kettle—bubbling to the top is her voice and those of others calling for Iran’s democratization. Clearly this has made her an enemy of the current Iranian regime.
For nearly a year and a half she has been living in exile. She was out of the country when those running Iran cracked down on opposition to their rule. Her family still there was not so fortunate. Nor were many of her colleagues. She would face certain arrest and imprisonment were she to return home. In Iran, she would be muzzled. So for now, she believes it is best that she remain in exile and continue to speak out around the world advocating peacefully for all people to be free from oppression.