“Education Under Fire In Iran”
Members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran have been the victims of relentless religious persecution. After the 1979 Revolution, the new Islamic government fired Bahá’í professors from all universities and expelled Bahá’í students. In response to these serious violations of human rights, the Baha’i community established the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) to allow its youths the opportunity to obtain university educations. Between 1987 and 2011, the government closed the BIHE several times and imprisoned many of its faculty. In response to these injustices, the “Education Under Fire” initiative started in 2011 in the USA, and has gained momentum with the help of several international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International. It works to bring many in the academic and civic worlds together in support of educational rights for all young people in Iran.
Chaden Djalali is Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. He is an experimental nuclear physicist who has an active research program at the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory in Newport News Va. Prior to joining the University of Iowa, he was on the physics faculty at the University of South Carolina for 23 years. He is a strong advocate of liberal arts education and the promotion of general scientific literacy. He is also interested in interfaith dialogue and the relationship between religion and science.