Iranian activist and broadcaster
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Maryam Namazie (Persian: مریم نمازی; born 1966) is a British-Iranian secularist, communist and human rights activist, commentator, and broadcaster.
- ... Obviously, targeting Islamism is not the same as targeting Islam. Having said that, the right to criticise and mock Islam and the sacred is an important right. If the right to religion is an aspect of freedom of conscience, so is the right to be free from religion and to doubt and question and even mock. This criticism is particularly crucial for those of us who are Islam’s non-believers....Islam is a belief like any other and has to be open to criticism ..."
- "...The important point about the terrorists who heinously killed Samuel Paty or 3 others ...is not that they were Chechen or Tunisian or newly arrived refugees but that they were Islamists. Full stop. Recognising their allegiance to the Islamic far-Right helps us target the political movement. At the same time, we must continue to defend Laicite, the right to freedom of conscience and expression, equality of all citizens, and uncompromisingly oppose racism.
- However, you cannot stop racism by banning blasphemy. We have to fight blasphemy laws and racism. We have to fight the far-Right, including the Islamists. We have to defend freedom of religion and atheism. Most importantly, we have to defend Laicite everywhere. Our rights and lives depend on it.
- Coming from the Iranian Left, I find it infuriating that some in the European Left can only envision the Islamist far-Right as a vehicle for “resistance.” Do they equally consider those joining neo-Nazi groups in Europe as a justifiable response to unemployment, disenfranchisement or disillusionment? Do they think, progressive organising in trade unions and labour organisations and feminist or secular movements are not for us minorities? It’s paternalistic and racist to think that we can only be fascists when faced with bigotry, social inequality or imperialism. How racist to assume that when it comes to us – sheer violence, terror and homicide are the only forms of “protest.”...It is obscene how this section of the Left has forsaken its anti-clerical and revolutionary traditions to defend Islamism and reaction at the expense of class politics and progressive secular political and social movements. ..."
- "... That some Muslims are offended by cartoons is irrelevant in my opinion. We are all offended at one point or another. I am offended by the Quran and by religions’ views on women, LGBT and apostates but my offence does not give me a license to ban Islam and religion or decapitate, threaten and murder. .... Framing it as Muslim offence is part of the problem and normalises the Islamist narrative. ... Offence is not a defence, especially for murder. ..."
- "... On the issue of Laicite, I should just add that Britain is not a secular state by any means given its established Church of England, bishops in the House of Lords and prayers in parliament. It is a secular society despite the established church but this link between the state and church goes a long way to explain why British “secularism” is all about equality of religions and not separation between church and state. This is also the reason why we cannot get anywhere in our challenge of Sharia courts here in the UK. It is because of the implications for the Church and why successive British governments continue to promote a policy of religious communalism at the expense of individual rights and equality. Anything to save the Church’s position in society. ..."
- "The Islamist narrative has become mainstream, which is why a number of English-speaking media frame the terrorist attacks as the Islamists do. Watching journalists regurgitate Islamist propaganda by explaining how they were “provoked” to kill – as if the real provocation isn’t murder – ... They have already bought the propaganda hook, line and sinker. Facts and evidence are irrelevant to them....According to Islamist (and also ironically other far-Right) propaganda, regurgitated by lazy and cowardly “journalism,” there are no distinctions between Islam, Islamism and Muslims. ... Is there no difference between Christianity, the Christian-Right and Christians? Do all Christians think alike? ... Replace these with Islam, Islamism and Muslims, though, and suddenly these “journalists” become incapable of critical thought. ..."
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who says that “freedom of expression is not without limits.” Rather the stance to take – a simple one really – is that the aggression and provocation, the crux of the problem, is not free expression but murder. ..."
- "...More than an attack on French or more accurately universal values, Islamist terrorist attacks are integral to a defence of their values – hate, violence, supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, totalitarianism… Values that are at odds with 21st century humanity, including a large section of the believing population – hence their need to impose their project with brute force. ..."
- "....What this shows is that Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons are an excuse for acts of both random and targeted assassinations, executions and terrorism. What some don’t see or choose not to see is that the excuse is not the cause of terrorism. The excuse is there to shift blame on the victims and to justify the unjustifiable...."