Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Call for Nomination

The Ibn Rushd Award 2010 calls for a Webblogger who fundamentally enriches and advances public discourse.

The internet's contribution to the transformation of mass-communication is difficult to fully grasp. In the Arab world, media such as newspapers, radio and TV are generally state-run and insufficiently offer space for open and public discussion of controversial topics. The freedom provided by the internet to discuss political and social issues is of a quality vital to Arab societies.

Many of the topics being discussed in by now more than 40.000 Arab web-platforms and discussion boards are taboo in the real public space, but do take place here. Even against the opposition provided by many governments through surveillance, harassment or imprisonment, the internet becomes a significant medium to expand and reshape the Arab public domain: it is a new transnational realm of civil society in the Arab world, a space in which traditionally private discussions are converted into public discussions.

There is little doubt that this new media source influences values and views lying at the heart of Arab and Islamic societies.

By choosing the field of the internet for the Ibn Rushd Award 2010, the Ibn Rushd Fund wants to call attention to the work and action of individuals fostering Freedom of Thought through the medium internet. The Ibn Rushd Fund also aims at emphasizing and strengthening the position and the importance of the internet as a platform for public discourse, which must at some point be transported from the virtual into the real world.

The Ibn Rushd Award 2010 calls for:
a webblogger, a person (natural or juristic, a real person or an entity/group), who distributes his or her own content or provides an internet-platform for the purpose of freedom of thought by using the internet and thus fundamentally enriches the open discussion of socio-political topics and contributes to advancing public discourse.

An independent jury of experts will be choosing the winner of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2010 from the nominations submitted. Any member of the public can suggest a candidate (excepting oneself). The candidate's immediate sphere of activity should be in the Arab world.

This year the Ibn Rushd Fund has set an age limit for the first time: candidates must not be older than 40 years.

Please submit your nomination in writing by mail, e-mail or fax to the below-stated address, including a justification for nomination and, if known, a short vita of the candidate. Candidates may be nominated until May 25th, 2010.

The prize money of the mainly symbolic award is 2500 Euro. The award is financed exclusively by the Ibn Rushd Fund member's fees and donations. See: Awards

The winner of the award is expected to be presented to the public in a ceremony at the end of November in Berlin, Germany.