On Tuesday, 15th of April 2014, IIIS hosted a group of a dozen female activists in interfaith dialogue to discuss various issues regarding Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy towards different schools of religious thought.

The guests were female activists mostly from Austria and Switzerland, operating for EPIL – European Project for Inter-religious Learning. This group were mostly Christian.

The group was introduced to Dr. Shomali and then he welcomed them to the institute and introduced himself, the institute, and the Seminary of Qom.

He then proceeded to answer the questions asked by the group members, and they included topics such as, the role of philosophy in dialogue, the dependency of the Seminary on the government, to which Dr. Shomali replied that the Seminary is independent; nevertheless, the relation with the government is good, even with the Seminary criticizes the government at times. Other subjects such as, peace and war studies, failures of religion and religious people through history, English publications of the institute, how the institute is funded, male and female international students and the freedom of religion in Iran were also discussed.