to my colleague Scott McLeod for apparently shaming the U.S. State Department into granting a visa to Abdulkarim Soroush, one of the most revered reform interpreters of the Qu’ran in the Islamic world.
I met Soroush several years ago, and he is truly a saintly fellow, who has suffered mightily at the hands of religious thugs in Iran. He is a hero, especially, to young people. In 2001, I saw a crowd of students at Tehran University browbeat then-President Mohammed Khatami about the treatment of Soroush: “What about Soroush?” They chanted. “What about Soroush?”
It’s astonishing that the State Department didn’t treat this case with more dispatch and sensitivity. I’m glad he’ll soon be here again and, I hope, safe.