First Iraqi intellectual awarded Ibn Rushd Prize in 2022

In a ceremony on Sept. 8, 2022, in Germany’s capital Berlin, Salloum and his MASARAT organization are set to formally receive the award, which has been granted to influential Arab figures and organizations in the Arab World since 1999.
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Organizers of the 2017 Ibn Rushd Award for Freedom of Thought are announcing the winner of the prize in Germany (Photo: Screengrab/Amman-Palestine.org)
Organizers of the 2017 Ibn Rushd Award for Freedom of Thought are announcing the winner of the prize in Germany (Photo: Screengrab/Amman-Palestine.org)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dr. Saad Salloum, an Iraqi intellectual and activist for the rights of religious minorities and coexistence, will be awarded the Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought 2022.

In a ceremony on Sept. 8, 2022, in Germany’s capital Berlin, Salloum and his MASARAT organization are set to formally receive the award, which has been granted to influential Arab figures and organizations in the Arab World since 1999.

It is the first time in the organization’s history that an Iraqi intellectual has been awarded the prize.

Salloum has been deeply involved in issues of religious diversity, tolerance, hate speech, and interfaith dialogue. Through his Baghdad-based foundation, he has provided numerous lectures and seminars to combat sectarianism and discrimination against religious minorities and other ethnicities.

Dr. Saad Salloum, an Iraqi intellectual and expert on religious diversity, poses for a photo. (Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Saad Salloum)
Dr. Saad Salloum, an Iraqi intellectual and expert on religious diversity, poses for a photo. (Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Saad Salloum)

He is an assistant professor of political science at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, where he is still teaching and advocating for the peaceful religious coexistence among the country’s communities, which have endured decades of suppression and persecution due to religious differences.

He has also authored numerous books on diversity, tolerance, and Iraq's ethnic and religious groups. He published his latest book, "Ongoing Genocide" on the 8th anniversary of ISIS's 2014 genocide against the Yezidis.

Salloum has co-founded a number of foundations, including the Christian-Muslim Dialogue Initiative, the Iraqi Council for Interfaith Dialogue, and the National Center for Countering Hate Speeches. He also jointly founded the Institute for Diversity Journalism in Iraq.

The first-ever Ibn Rushd prize was awarded to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel in 1999. Tunisia’s opposition leader Rachid Ghannouchi and Azmi Bishara of Palestine were later awarded the prize.

The prize was produced on the 800th anniversary of the death of the Arab Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd.