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Workshop of American philosopher cancelled in Mashhad, Iran after students protest


Source: Tehran Times

U.S. philosopher Kelly James Clark's workshop, which was scheduled to be held on Saturday in Mashhad, was cancelled following a protest organized by the Basijis (volunteer forces) from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in front of his hotel in the northwestern Iranian city on Friday.

U.S. philosopher Kelly James Clark

The group claimed that Clark is a Darwinism theorist and a campaigner for gay rights who has met several times with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of the Zionist regime, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday.

protest photos by Amin Ghazizadeh,

"Clark is a follower of the theory of evolution and promoting such issue in a city that is home to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) is not acceptable," said protester Ali-Asghar Lotfi.

"Clark has a resume specifying that he has previously met with Netanyahu and is a backer of the Zionist regime," another protester Saljuqi stated.

A senior research fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Clark was invited by the Morteza Motahhari Foundation for Knowledge and Culture to attend the International Conference of the Philosophical Thoughts of Morteza Motahhari, which was held in Qom on May 28 and 29.

At the conference, Clark delivered a lecture in which he reflected on the causes responsible for atheism and agnosticism.

Iran's Supreme Assembly of Islamic Philosophy and the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution have helped the foundation in organizing the conference.

Clark's workshop in Mashhad was organized by the secretariat of the conference, Al-Mustafa International University, the Research Center for Islamic Culture and Science, and the Mashhad branch of the Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR).

"Clark is a creationist, who introduces himself as a religious Christian, and always defends the rationalism of the religious thinking," said Hadi Bakhtiari, an ACECR professor and the executive secretary of the workshop.

Clark is the author of "Return to Reason", "The Story of Ethics", "When Faith Is Not Enough", and "101 Key Philosophical Terms of Their Importance for Theology". Kelly's "Philosophers Who Believe" was voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year.

Abraham's Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict
Edited by Kelly James Clark

The Persian version of "Return to Reason" has previously been published in Iran.

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