Tunis, Sept. 17 (EFE)— Spanish theologian Juan José Tamayo won the Eighth President of the Republic of Tunisia International Prize for Islamic Studies. Tamayo was one of 28 candidates from 13 different countries, official sources said.
Tamayo picked up the award from Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, during a ceremony last night after dinner breaking the fast of Ramadan (iftar) held in the palace of Carthage.
Tamayo, a professor of theology at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, won the award for his book Islam: Culture, Religion and Politics" published in Spanish.
It also found that the book "enriches the thought and work of ijtihad (creative interpretation of the Koran and Islam), which is based on dialogue and openness, rejecting a defense of the status quo and self-absorption.
Tamayo told EFE that "after devoting more than 50 books to liberation theology and critique of the fundamentalism of the Catholic hierarchy, it was necessary to venture into Islam because of the great historical momentum that it has had in recent years" in the international arena.
The theologian stated that in the West "there is a social imagination that deems Islam to be a sexist, patriarchal and fundamentally violent religion.
"The book that is receiving this award examines these and other stereotypes and prejudices that are not part of the essence of Islam, but they are useful to a West that always needs an enemy. After the defeat of Communism, criticisms are now being hurled against this religion," said the author.