Mehdi Khalaji on the Concept of Tolerance

Mehdi Khalaji_Tolerance Lecture

In this video lecture transcript Mehdi Khalaji explains the various ways tolerance is understood and how the word and concept have evolved over time. He emphasizes the unique space that the issue of tolerance occupies in Iran, where tolerance and human rights are relatively new themes. Mr. Khalaji discusses the impact of the Iranian Revolution on the rise of the concepts of tolerance and human rights to prominence in Iranian society, crediting the leftist Islamic current and outlets like Kiaan Magazine with the increased attention brought to these issues. Lastly, he examines the different interpretations of the meanings of these terms and the effect this has on understanding the concepts.

Mehdi Khalaji is an Iranian-American writer, scholar of Islamic studies, and political analyst. He has frequently contributed to major media outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, and is currently a senior research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A shiite theologian by training, his research focuses on politics of Iran and Shiite groups in the Middle East.