What the civilized world needs
An international secular movement
February 16, 2007
I am very pleased to be part of this movement. Coming from the Middle East, living under the Islamic Republic in Iran, one of the most brutal regimes of the 20th century, I feel very passionate about the aims of this movement. As a first hand victim of political Islam, as a woman who has lived under the rule of Islam, I have experienced first hand the brutalism and suppression of an Islamic regime and political Islam. As a left activist fighting for freedom and equality I experienced this brutal regime and this reactionary political force, loosing many friends and comrades.
I have devoted my life to fight for a better world, a free and egalitarian society, where there exists unconditional freedom of expression and criticism, unconditional freedom for women and equality among all human beings, regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, race, religion or beliefs.
Religion is not only an oppressive institution, suppressing freedom of thought, speech and criticism and oppressing women. It is also the machinery for terrorizing societies. In the history of mankind, more people have died under the name of the God, than any other ideology or cause. In fact religion is a mafia-liken institution.
As it regards women, all religions are very oppressive and Islam particularly is well-known for its oppressive nature towards women.
The main enemy of women‚s liberation movement in Iran and the Middle East is political Islam and we must fight it, push it back and create a secular society as a precondition for materializing women‚s liberation. Religion must be a private matter. We have to push the institution of religion to the margins of society, curtail its role and influence in society. This is a precondition for creating a free society.
Political Islam as a reactionary global force resorts to intimidation and terrorism to gain power. Depriving, degrading and humiliating women are enshrined in its ideology. The veil is its political banner and gender apartheid a pillar of its movement. We have to fight against it.
As the world is increasingly becoming a global entity, we need more than ever to build an international movement. We need to build a movement around humanitarian and egalitarian values and goals. It is not enough to safeguard Europe from religious institutions and political Islam. As a matter of fact it is no longer possible. We need to reach the whole world. Our fight must be on an international scale.
The two greatest evils in today‚s world are the two poles of terrorism: state terrorism, led by the USA, and Islamist terrorism. We must fight against both. They reinforce each other. Look at Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, as well as September 11th, and Madrid, and London. We need to raise the banner against both and come together as the voice of the civilized world.
As president of the Organisation for Women‚s Liberation, I like to call upon you all to support our struggle for achieving women‚s equality and liberation in Iran. To do this we need to fight against the Islamic Republic and political Islam. Realising women‚s liberation in Iran will open the window to freedom for women in the whole Middle East and countries under the rule of Islam. The women‚s liberation movement is one of the main pillars of the movement against political Islam and for a free, egalitarian and secular world. If we topple the Islamic Republic in Iran, political Islam will be marginalized internationally.
I ask for your support and solidarity. Join us in our fight against Islamic Republic, against political Islam and for women‚s equality. We are building an international movement against gender apartheid, like the movement against racial apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Join this movement to recognise gender apartheid as an inhuman and reactionary system as racial apartheid was recognized. We should dismantle gender apartheid in the world as we once dismantled racial apartheid in South Africa. Comment
Azar Majedi (www.azarmajedi.com) is Chairperson of the Organisation
of Women's Liberation. and producer-presenter of "No to Political Islam" an NCTV programme.