From the brains behind Iran's Green Revolution to the economic
Cassandra who actually did have a crystal ball, they had the big
ideas that shaped our world in 2009. Read on to see the 100 minds
that mattered most in the year that was.
45. Abdolkarim Soroush
for pitting his theological might against Iran's Islamist
A one-time philosopher at Tehran University, Soroush has perhaps
done more than any other thinker to reconcile Islam with democracy.
Drawing on ideas that range from the Quran to Karl Popper, Soroush
argues that no individual can ever have an infallible understanding
of God's law. Therefore, people should work to advance God's aims,
which must be based on the betterment of humankind. This philosophy
is a direct challenge to the Islamic Republic, which bases its
legitimacy on the God-given right of its preferred Islamic scholars
to rule. This year, Soroush sharpened his attacks on Iran's
religious establishment in a blistering open letter to the supreme
leader titled "Religious Tyranny Is Collapsing: Rejoice!" As
resentment over the stolen election still simmers, Soroush's ideas
offer Iran a way forward that establishes an Islamic foundation for
a true, representative democracy.