Saad Salloum wins the 2022 Ibn Rushd Prize

Our leading ambassador Dr. Saad Salloum and his foundation “Masarat” have been awarded the Ibn Rushd Prize 2022 for Freedom of Thought for promoting religious freedom in the Arab countries.

The prize was also awarded to Dr. Nayla Tabbara from Lebanon and her organization “Adyan.” The award ceremony will be held at the Pergamon Museum on 8 September 2022.

The Ibn Rushd Fund said ‘the award this year has been dedicated for individuals and institutions that has contributed to the promotion and protection of religious freedoms, resistance to sectarianism and discrimination on religious basis, and support for the recognition of diversity in order to build a peaceful society.

A statement by the fund said the jury chose Naila Tabbara and her organization “Adyan” and Saad Salloum and his organization “Masarat” due to “the great efforts they continue to make in the Lebanese and Iraqi societies and in the Arab world, towards consolidating the actual practice of freedom of belief and solidarity among individuals of different religions and for the promotion of human rights, civil rights based on freedoms in general and religious freedoms in particular.

It pointed out that “Masarat” Foundation’s main interest is focused on minorities in Iraq and studies of collective memory, while “Adyan” Foundation works to promote citizenship that embraces diversity, support freedom of religion and belief and protect women’s rights from violations of religious personal status laws in force in Lebanon.

Salloum is an Iraqi researcher defending ethnic and religious minorities and has been keen to reflect his beliefs in the work of Masarat and its cultural magazine, which he is the editor-in-chief of. Salloum and the Masarat Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on religious and ethnic minorities, publishing studies on collective memory, and interfaith dialogue, contributed at the grassroots level to promoting a “culture of diversity” and the concept of citizenship that is based entirely on “full and unconditional equality.” .

The jury for the Ibn Rushd Prize 2022 was composed of a number of experts and specialists in the history of religions, philosophy and political sciences, including Professor Elizabeth Kassab (Lebanon), Professor Khazal Al-Majidi (Iraq/Netherlands), Dr. Asma Al-Murabet (Morocco), and Dr. Nazmi Al-Jubeh (Palestine).

In addition to selecting the prize winners, the jury chose in second and third place Dr. Um Al-Zein bin Sheikha Al-Maskini (Tunisia) for her valuable philosophical contributions to a liberal understanding of religion, and Dr. Abdul-Jabbar Al-Rifai (Iraq) for his decades-long efforts to open new horizons for religious thoughts.

Saad Salloum is an assistant professor of international relations at the College of Political Science at Al-Mustansiriya University, and one of the founders of the Christian-Islamic Dialogue Initiative 2010, the Iraqi Council for Interfaith Dialogue 2013, the National Center for Countering Hate Speech 2018, the Institute for Religious Diversity Studies in Baghdad 2019, and the Diversity Journalism Institute in Iraq 2020. He chairs MASARAT Foundation, which specializes in diversity, interfaith dialogue and collective memory.

Salloum has published 18 books on various issues of diversity, most notably: Minorities in Iraq 2012, Creative Diversity 2013, Differing and Equal 2014, Unity in Diversity 2015, Yazidis in Iraq 2016, Protection of Religious, Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities in Iraq 2017, Iraqi Media and Religious Diversity Issues 2018, End of Diversity in Iraq 2019, Return to Sinjar 2020, Genocide Continues 2022. He has other books in English and translated works into French, Italian and Dutch.

In the past years, Salloum has won many awards, most notably: the Stefanus Alliance International Award, based in the Oslo in 2018 for his role in defending freedom of religion and belief in the Middle East, and the 2019 Chaldean Patriarchate Award for his book “Christians in Iraq: Comprehensive History and Current Challenges.” And the Kamel Shiaa Award for Cultural Enlightenment for his entire intellectual work.

The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought was founded in Germany in 1998 on the 800th anniversary of the death of the philosopher Ibn Rushd. This is the twentieth edition of the award, which was previously awarded to prominent personalities such as Muhammad Arkoun, Muhammad Abed Al-Jabri, Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid, Samir Amin, Mahmoud Amin Al-Alim, Azmi Bishara and Sanalla Ibrahim. Salloum is the first Iraqi intellectual to win the award.