We should build a united force against political Islam whose number one target is women
March 7, 2006
Speech at Stockholm conference on "Globalization of Political Islam, Women's Rights" on 21/01/06, in commemoration of the death of Fatima Shahindal, a victim of honour killings.
We are here today to commemorate Fatima Shahindal who was murdered four years ago by her father. She was tried in a family court and executed by members of her family only because she chose to live differently.
We are here to talk about honour killings, which according to UN, takes the lives of 5000 women worldwide. There is another theme to the conference, as well, political Islam. Why political Islam? What connects Fatima with Aynor in Berlin who was killed in February last year? She was killed by her 17-year-old brother, in front of her 5-year-old son, while waiting at a bus stop.
What connects these two with another Fatima in Palestine and another one in Jordan, and another one in Nigeria or Syria? What connects them all with Fatemeh Rajabi; a 16-year-old girl in Iran who was gang raped and executed the next day by the Islamic Republic of Iran? She was accused of corruption and prostitution.
What connects these events with Hajiyeh Esmailvand who was sentenced to death by stoning last December? She escaped stoning as a result of international protests and especially the work of Mina Ahadi, who is one of the speakers in this conference, and Organisation for Women's Liberation (OWL).
What do they all have in common? I go further, what connects all these with women who are harassed every single day on the streets of Iran for not observing the veil, not observing it properly or try to break gender apartheid? All those women who are trying to live independently and all those women in Afghanistan? Or women in Iraq who are murdered by the Islamic thugs. All these women, In fact, millions of women are terrorized, kidnapped, raped and murdered because they are not Islamic enough.
I go even further, what connects these brutalities, atrocities and murders with September 11th in New York? To the victims of the suicide bombings in London in July 7th, In Madrid, In Bali and In Iraq?
Try and think carefully! They all have one thing in common. They are all connected by ONE movement, namely, Political Islam. I talk of a political movement and not a religion proper. Because it is not the force of believing in a religion, however violent its teachings and doctrines may be, that creates a sophisticated machinery of terror, maiming and murder.
There is need for a political movement, political power and political machinery to organize such horrendous acts of murder and brutality. It is the force of a political movement that has turned each and every mosque into recruitment headquarters for terror. True. Ideologically, Political Islam is based on Islam. It derives its doctrines and vision from Islam. But only as a political movement it can acquire such immense power to suppress millions of people.
For the past 30 years there has been a movement in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Iran, and in the Islamic ridden countries that has gained power, which tries to acquire power in the region, and tries to become a power globally. It has based itself on religion, has based itself on Islam and has cashed on in people's sufferings and grievances to fill up the vacuum created in the political and ideological sphere in the region. Intimidation and terror is its strategic tool.
The first victims of this reactionary movement are women. They have been raped, stoned to death, killed, maimed, flogged and their dignity violated. Political Islam promotes and mobilizes a very concentrated, coherent campaign to suppress and silence women in the Middle East and the Islamic ridden countries and also in Europe.
As I mentioned, according to the UN 5000 women are killed annually world wide. Even the UN says that this figure is far from the real figure. Do you know why? Because some women are not even worth being registered as dead! Or their murder is disguised as suicide. The figure is much more than 5000. Majority of these victims belong to the Islamic communities either in North Africa, Middle East or Islamic communities in the West.
When a woman or a young girl is killed in the name of honour, it is not only her, but the whole family is killed in a way. They pick a 16 or 17 year old male member of the family to execute the death sentence. By doing this they kill the boy as a human being. Just think what this „trial‰ and execution do to humanity. To be present in such trial, to be judge or jury in it, and then be chosen as the executor, just imagine what this process does to the mind of any human being.
Going back to the question: why political Islam? Because Political Islam is responsible for basically all these atrocities taking place against women, children and humanity. Political Islam is the driving force behind this violence. It promotes violence and terror. It mobilizes force, it nurtures and recruits, it supports and encourages, it leads a global movement of terror and backwardness.
It must also be added that political Islam did not reach this position; it did not acquire such power alone. It was aided considerably by the West. Bin Laden, the infamous character, who everyone is looking for, rose to power by the US. Taliban and Islamic Republic of Iran could not come to power without the West's aid. When the West wanted to fight the left, they brought these monsters to us. Unleashed them upon us and now that the monster has come to the West, they are looking for them! It is ironic that even when the US and the West decide to come after these monsters, again there are the people in the region who become victims. What happened in Iraq and the misery and bloodshed imposed on Iraqi people is a vivid example of this.
Perhaps most of you like to hear what you can do in Sweden to change the situation. For example what integration policy can be adopted to fight this? Definitely, Sweden needs to have a better, universal, more progressive and less racist integration policy. But fighting against honour killings, atrocities against women, violations against women goes further than a sound integration policy.
Political Islam is an international movement, it fights internationally, it mobilizes internationally. The network of Mullahs and Mosques that spread hatred, terror, and anti women, anti human values in Stockholm, London, Berlin and so on are related internationally. Just go to these Mosques and see what hatred and brain washing they inflict on young minds of our children. They issue fatwa's against people like us, people fighting for women's rights and freedom, secularism, fighting against religious rule, against political Islam, against whoever questions the rule of Islam or the god. All of us deserve to die.
Go to the religious schools and see what superstitions they put in the young impressionable minds of our children: hatred against women, hatred against the West, hatred against liberty and anything human. These are all related. We can not just sit here and talk about an integration policy that is better and can solve the problem. We have to think internationally. They think internationally we have to think internationally as well. They organize and mobilize internationally, we have to organize and mobilize internationally.
We should come together and build a united force against political Islam, against religion's meddling in public life, for a secular society, for equal and universal rights for women, for banning of child veiling, against gender apartheid, for banning religious schools, against funding of states to religious institutions and groups, to support our movement for liberation and equality.
I call upon you all to support our movement to fight for these goals and values. We should unite and organize for a better and more humane world, to safeguard freedom and bring about equality. We need a world free of religious superstitions and terrorism. We need to stand against two poles of terrorism: Islamic and state terrorism led by the US and Western governments.
Azar Majedi is Chairperson of the Organisation
of Women's Liberation. and producer-presenter of "No to Political Islam" an NCTV programme.