Monday, November 24, 2008


Afshin Ellian

He was born in 1966 in Tehran, Iran. At the age of seventeen in 1983, after he had been threatened with execution by the regime, he fled on camelback to Pakistan with help from smugglers. After a few months, he moved to Afghanistan, studied medicine in Kabul for three years and met his wife there.

In 1987 Ellian, who then belonged to a group of left-wing anti-totalitarian dissidents, was faced by continuing threats from Iranian Stalinists in Afghanistan. Because of these threats Ellian and other dissidents were forced to flee for the second time and received the legal status of refugee from the UNHCR and were consequently given refuge in different countries. During 1989 at the invention of the Dutch government moved Ellian to Holland. Ellian arrived in the Netherlands and he was granted the option to study at the University of Tilburg as a refugee. In the following years Ellian was granted Dutch citizenship. He graduated in Criminal Law, Public Law (International Law) and Philosophy. He continued working at the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and completed his PhD, about Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2002, after which he joined the faculty of Law in the University of Leiden as full professor by Department of Jurisprudence, where he teaches to this day. Sins 2003 is Ellian the columnist of the leading Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad.

Intellectually rigorous and frequently humorous, Ellian's writings of criticism, advocacy of human rights and democracy are considered to be a part of both the European and Middle Eastern debates.

Ellian’s works include two books of poetry, “Human Autumn” and “Resurrection of Words” written in Dutch and Farsi; a Ph.D. Dissertation on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; two books of his collected columns and essays was published in the Netherlands under the title “On Islamic and Dutch Cannibalism (2003);” and “Allah doesn’t know better” (2008). He published several academic articles about Islamic terrorism, Integration, social cohesion and The relationship between politics and religion.
He is currently working on a book “Monotheism as a political problem ”, which will be a philosophic account of the foundation of Islam and a comparative study on the political theology of Christianity (Medieval) and the political theology of Islam (from its foundation by prophet Mohammad).

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