The Executive Director of the Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies, Dr. Ali Taher Al-Hammood, delivered a speech at the opening of the eighth international conference of the “Dabran” Enlightenment Center in Sulaymaniyah.

In his speech, Al-Hamood pointed out the need for elites, academics, and thinkers to assume the responsibility of criticizing social phenomena and providing intellectual alternatives to prevent the emergence of extremist phenomena in society. Al-Hammood called for avoiding populist discourses, focusing on rational dialogues, and conducting calm intellectual debates, to preserve the stability of society and move it towards progress. Al-Hammood noted that it is not possible to imagine a democratic life without dismantling the sources of authoritarianism culturally and giving authentic definitions that suit the culture and history of society for important concepts in building the state, such as citizenship, identity, belief, religiosity, women’s rights, and others.

Hundreds of academics, specialists, and interested parties participated in the conference, which lasted for two days, while many discussion sessions were organized that dealt with many social, political, and religious issues.

It is noteworthy that the Dabaran Enlightenment Center is headed by the politician Mullah Bakhtiar, and the center holds an annual intellectual and cultural conference concerned with criticizing religious extremism that leads to terrorism, and issues related to women, which hinder the progress of women in public life.