Nobelist Ebadi to spotlight religious freedom, tolerance in Feb. 26 talk

Released on 02/12/2013, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

WHERE: Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th Street

Lincoln, Neb., February 12th, 2013 —
Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi

            The first Iranian and Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize will close out this season's E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Feb. 26 discussion focusing on tolerance, perseverance and belief in human rights for all.

            Human rights activist Shirin Ebadi will present "True Islam: Human Rights, Faith and Women" at 7 p.m. at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.

            Ebadi will tie the efforts she has made on behalf of women and religious minorities to the world of religious freedom, all while focusing on the importance of human rights throughout. She'll also share easy tools anyone can use to make a difference.

            Ebadi argues for an interpretation of Islamic law that is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy, equality before the law, religious freedom and freedom of speech.

            Her talk is this season's Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy. The Glaxo SmithKline Corp. endowed this annual lecture to honor its former chairman, the late Lewis E. Harris, who also founded Lincoln's Harris Laboratories (now Celerion), one of the world's leading independent scientific testing and research laboratories. The lecture's purpose is to examine major public policy issues and to provide an opportunity for interaction between students and the business and academic communities in Nebraska.

            While free to attend, the lecture does require a ticket. To reserve free tickets, call the Lied Center at 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231. Tickets may also be picked up in person or ordered by downloading a form from the forum's website, All tickets are for general admission seating.

            Ebadi earned a law degree from the University of Tehran. From 1975-79 she served as president of the city court of Tehran. After the revolution in 1979 she was forced to resign. Previously a professor at the University of Tehran, she now works as a lawyer. She has been involved in many controversial political cases and as a result, has been imprisoned on several occasions.

            She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 -- an honor that recognized her significant and pioneering efforts in democracy and human rights, especially for the rights of women, children and refugees.

            This season's Thompson Forum lectures have been organized around the theme of religion, rights and politics. A variety of distinguished speakers have been assembled to discuss international religious freedom, the death penalty debate, human rights concerns, and the role of women in religion, among other issues.

            Ebadi's lecture will be available live online at as well as on Lincoln TimeWarner Cable Channel 21, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL's KRNU radio (90.3 FM). Sign language interpreters will be available for the deaf and hard of hearing.

            The Thompson Forum is a preeminent lecture series and cooperative project of the philanthropic Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the University of Nebraska and the residents of the state to promote understanding and encourage debate.

Writer: Jean Ortiz

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