free speech and expression are not luxuries or western
values. They are essential for people everywhere.
what more and more people are standing up and saying
after government upon government and organisation
upon organisation demanded apologies for the Mohammad
caricatures and gave them on all our behalves is
that they are not up for sale.
limits on free speech & expression are really
attempts by those in power or vying for power to
limit our rights and the rights of the population
be duped into thinking otherwise.
that is why the defence of free speech and expression
are so intrinsically linked to the defence of other
rights. You cannot defend one without the others.
You cannot defend one without also defending the
right to asylum, the right to strike and organisation,
labour rights, women's and children's rights, the
right to live in a secular society, the right to
equality and freedom, universal rights, the right
to religion and atheism and belief as a private
matter, the right to live lives worthy of 21st century
humanity and of course vice versa. You cannot defend
humanity without defending its right to speak and
this, nothing can be deemed sacred except the human
certain expressions and speech as sacred is merely
a tool for the suppression of society; saying speech
and expression offends is in fact an attempt to
of course what is held most sacred and deemed to
offend the most especially in this New World Order
is criticism and ridiculing of religion and its
representatives of earth.
do it if it offends? Because it must be done.
ridiculing is a form of criticism, is a form of
resistance, is a serious form of opposing reaction!
we may all be sometimes offended by some things,
it is religion and the religious that are offended
all of the time. They alone seem to have a monopoly
on being offended, saying their beliefs are a no
go area, and silencing all those who offend.
don't think this reactionary rightwing political
Islamic movement is only offended by a criticism
of Islam or Mohammad. [I am focusing on this because
it is a movement in power.] It is offended if you
hold hands on the streets, have sex outside of marriage;
it is offended if you are unveiled or improperly
veiled; it is offended if you listen to certain
music or if you teach evolution and science or if
you dare to teach girls; it is offended if you are
gay; if you are a woman; many of which are
by the way punishable by death or at the very least
flogging and imprisonment in many countries under
the rule of Islam....
is interesting how the political Islamic movement
kills, it maims, it humiliates - with Islam as its
banner - and we are not even allowed to ridicule
and criticise it.
considers a woman as worth half a man, gays as perversions,
sex outside of marriage as sinful, and so on and
so forth but it is a few caricatures that are offensive!
or not, sacred or not - religion and superstition
Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Scientology
and so on - must be open to all forms of criticism
must be first and foremost because religion is not
something from eras past but because it is as a
political movement wreaking havoc across the world.
Not a second passes without some atrocity being
committed by it. It hangs people from cranes and
lamp posts, it stones people to death in
the 21 century with the law even specifying
the size of the stone to be used, it amputates and
must be criticised and ridiculed because that is
how throughout history reaction was pushed back.
is how throughout history society has managed to
advance and progress.
this should be seen as an attack on Muslims or Christians
or Sikhs or Scientologists per se is beyond me.
Is an attack on the belief and practice of Female
Genital Mutilation an attack on girls who have been
mutilated? Is the criticism of Israeli state terrorism
an attack on Jews? Is an attack on the BNP that
promotes Christian culture or the Christian Council
of Britain it has recently established, or the ridiculing
of Jesus racism against Christians? No of course
not. And the same applies to the Muslim Council
of Britain, Hamas, the Islamic Regime in Iran and
the Mohammad caricatures.
- and now by the way the Church has asked that Christianity-phobia
also be included in UN rights terminology
none are racism because criticisms of a religion,
idea, a belief and even the practices that result
from beliefs even a phobia and hatred against
beliefs have nothing to do with racism against real
live human beings.
it is so is merely part of the effort to make it
such in order to silence criticism of religion and
the political movement that holds it up as its banner.
world is today threatened and taken hostage by two
poles of terrorism. The state terrorism led by the
United States on the one hand and the political
Islamic movement on the other share a lot more than
they let on. After all they were former friends
and many of them still are. Both use religion to
attack the gains made by humanity in centuries past.
Both defend religion and use it.
of speech and expression are one of the few means
at the disposal of many to resist this terrorism
and its attack on universal values and norms.
must defend it unconditionally. There can be no
ifs and buts.
above was Maryam Namazie's speech at a free speech
march in Trafalgar Square in London on March 25,