FRENCH: Après le massacre de Charlie Hebdo, Soutenons ceux qui se battent contre la droite religieuse

SPANISH: Below

1908487_10205228738736122_6331463129153098_nAfter the massacre in Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, expressing indignation, as so many are doing, is not enough.

A quick look at the English-speaking media shows that whilst many condemn the violence itself, they also assert that Charlie Hebdo courted (and maybe deserved?) a strong response from “Muslims”. Charlie’s regular cartoonists did not spare Islam, any other religion, nor fanatics and bigots.

This trend in the media requires our attention. Apparently secularists, agnostics and atheists must keep silent and do not deserve the kind of respect that believers are entitled to; nor can they enjoy free speech to the same degree.

In the name of “respect” of religions and of the religious sentiments of believers, it is indeed the fanatical religious-Right that is being supported and given centre stage. Meanwhile, those who are on the forefront of countering armed fundamentalists are left to their own devices. It is high time to give these secularists prominence, to recognise their courage and their political clarity and to stop labelling them “Islamophobic”.

In October 2014, secularists – including atheists, agnostics and believers from many countries, in particular many Muslim-majority countries, met in London to denounce the religious-Right and to demand being seen as its alternative. It is high time to learn from their analysis and lived experiences.

The tragic massacre in Paris will undoubtedly give fuel to the traditional xenophobic far-Right and the immediate danger is an increase in racism, marginalization and exclusion of people of Muslim descent in Europe and further.  We do not want to witness “anti-Muslim witch hunts” nor do we welcome the promotion of “moderate” Islamists by governments as official political partners. What is needed is a straightforward analysis of the political nature of armed Islamists: they are an extreme-Right political force, working under the guise of religion and they aim at political power. They should be combated by political means and mass mobilisation, not by giving extra privileges to any religion.

Their persistent demand for the extension of blasphemy laws around the world is a real danger for all. France has a long – and now growingly endangered – tradition of secularism; which allows dissent from religions and the right to express this dissent. It has had a rich tradition to mock and caricature powers that be – religious or otherwise. Let us keep this hard won right which cost so many lives in history, and, alas, still does – as Charlie Hebdo’s twelve dead and numerous wounded demonstrate.

Signed:
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Secularism is a Women’s Issue Founder
Maryam Namazie, Iranian-born Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Fitnah and Co-host of Bread and Roses TV
Karima Bennoune, Professor and Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, University of California, Davis School of Law

Adriane Choukour Wali, Gender and Development Consultant
Albert Beale, Peace Activist
Ali al-Razi, Ex-Muslim Forum
Alison Assiter, Professor of Feminist Theory at the University of the West of England
Amel Grami, Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba
Amie Joof, FAMEDEV-Inter Africa Network for Women, Media, Gender and Development
Anissa Daoudi, Birmingham University, Head of Arabic Section
Ayesha Imam, Coordinator of the Nigerian Women’s Rights Organisation BAOBOB
Ariane Brunet, Centre for Secular Space
Braema Mathi, Human Rights Activist, Singapore
Bronwyn Winter, University Professor
Charlotte Bunch, Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies at Rutgers University
Charmaine Pereira, Co-director of Tapestry Consulting
Chris Moos, Secularist Activist and Researcher
Christine M. Shellska, President of Atheist Alliance International
Codou Bop, Groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les mois au Sénégal
Daayiee Abdullah, Imam of Light of Reform Mosque
Deeyah Khan, Norwegian Filmmaker and Founder/CEO of Fuuse
Elahe Amani, Gender, Peace and Social Justice Activist
Elizabeth Cox, Feminist and Rights-based Development Specialist
Elham Manea, Writer, Academic and Human Rights Activist
Elie Calhoun, Author
Esam Shoukry, Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights of Iraq and Left Worker Communist Party of Iraq
Fahima Hashim, Director of Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre in Sudan
Faizun Zackariya, Sri Lankan Citizens for Justice
Fariborz Pooya, Founder of the Iranian Secular Society and Co-host of Bread and Roses TV
Farzana Hassan, Writer
Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Fiammetta Venner, Writer and Filmmaker
George Broadhead, Secretary of Pink Triangle Trust
Glen Carrigan, Secular Activist and AHS Society Founder
Gita Sahgal, Founder of Centre for Secular Space
Gona Saed, Campaigner and Activist
Hala Aldosari, Women’s Health Researcher and Women’s Rights Women’s Activist
Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web
Houzan Mahmoud, Kurdish Women’s Rights Activist
Imad Iddine Habib, Founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
Inna Shevchenko, Leader of FEMEN
Julie Bindel, Writer
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Khushi Kabir, Bangladeshi Feminist and Rights Activist
Kiran Opal, Pakistani-Canadian Human Rights Activist
Lalia Ducos, WICUR / Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights
Laura Guidetti, Marea Italian Feminist Review
Lila Ghobady, Iranian Writer and Filmmaker
Lino Veljak, Philosopher, University of Zagreb
Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development
Madhu Prasad, Former Leader of the Delhi University Teachers Trade Union
Magdulien Abaida, Libyan Activist and President of Hakki (My Right) Organization for Women Rights
Maria Emília Novo, Researcher
Meredith Tax, Centre for Secular Space
Mina Ahadi, International Committees against Stoning and Execution
Minna Salami, Writer, Blogger and Founder of MsAfropolitan
Muniza Khan, Registrar of Gandhian Institute of Studies
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Nazanin Borumand, Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime Deutschland
Nina Sankari, Vice President of Atheist Coalition of Poland
Nira Davis-Yuval, Founder member of Women Against Fundamentalism and the International Research Network on Women in Militarized Conflict Zones
Naouel Hamm Miss, Agent d animation collectivités territoriales 66
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Ramatu Ahmed, African Life Centre
Ramin Forghani, Founder of the Ex-Muslims of Scotland and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Secular Society
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Richard Kirker, Human Rights and Anti-homophobia Activist
Safak Pavey, MP for Istanbul, Turkish Parliament
Sagal Sheikh-Ali, Somali Women Development Center
Sally Armstrong, Journalist
Sara Hakemi, Secular Greens and Giordano Bruno Foundation
Shareen Gokal, Association for Women’s Rights in Development
Siamak Bahari, Political Activist and Editor of Children First Publication
Soad Baba Aïssa, Founder of Association pour la mixité, l’égalité et la laïcité
Stasa Zajovic, Founder of the Women in Black in Serbia
Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist
Sukla Sen, EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity) in Mumbai
Sultana Kamal, Bangladeshi Human Rights Activist
Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi-born Writer
Tehmina Kazi, Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society
Waleed Al-Husseini, Palestinian blogger and Founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Advocate
Yolanda Rouiller, Filóloga, Activista de Mujeres de Negro
Zazi Sadou, 
Algerian Feminist

SPANISH

Después de la masacre de Charlie Hebdo, apoyemos a quienes luchan contra la derecha religiosa

Después de la masacre de Charlie Hebdo en París, el 7 de enero de 2015, expresar indignación, como hacen tantos, no es suficiente.

Un vistazo rápido a los medios de comunicación de habla inglesa permite comprobar que, mientras muchos condenan la violencia en sí misma, también afirman que Charlie Hebdo buscaba (¿tal vez merecía?) una respuesta firme por parte de los «musulmanes». Los dibujantes fijos de Charlie no hacían excepciones con el islam, ni ninguna otra religión, ni fanáticos, ni intolerantes.

Vale la pena examinar esta tendencia de los medios de comunicación. Al parecer, los laicistas, agnósticos y ateos deben mantenerse callados y no merecen el respeto al que sí tienen derecho los creyentes; tampoco pueden disfrutar de la libertad de expresión hasta el mismo punto.

En nombre del «respeto» hacia las religiones y los sentimientos religiosos de los creyentes, a quien sí se apoya y se convierte en el centro de atención es, en realidad, a la derecha religiosa fanática. Entre tanto, aquellos que se encuentran en primera línea de la oposición a los fundamentalistas armados quedan abandonados a su suerte. Ya es hora de otorgar importancia a estos laicistas, de reconocer su valentía y su claridad política y de evitar etiquetarlos como «islamófobos».

En octubre de 2014, varios laicistas, entre ellos ateos, agnósticos y creyentes de muchos países, sobre todo de mayoría musulmana, se reunieron en Londres para denunciar a la derecha religiosa y para exigir que se les considere una alternativa a ella. Es el momento de aprender de su análisis y las experiencias que han vivido.

Sin duda, la trágica masacre de París echará más leña al fuego de la tradicional derecha extrema y xenófoba; el peligro inmediato es un aumento del racismo, la marginalización y la exclusión de personas de ascendencia musulmana en Europa y más allá. No queremos asistir a «cazas de brujas antimusulmanas», ni nos complace que los gobiernos promuevan a los islamistas «moderados» como asociados políticos oficiales. Lo que hace falta es un análisis claro de la naturaleza política de los islamistas armados: son una fuerza política de extrema derecha, que actúa bajo la apariencia de religiosidad, y que persigue el poder. Hay que combatirlos con medios políticos y movilización masiva, no otorgando privilegios extra a ninguna religión.

Su exigencia persistente de extender las leyes contra la blasfemia en todo el mundo es un peligro verdadero para todos. Francia posee una larga tradición de laicismo, cada vez más amenazada hoy, que consiente la discrepancia y el derecho de expresarla. También disfruta de una amplia tradición que permite caricaturizar y burlarse de las autoridades, religiosas o no. Conservemos este derecho tan arduamente obtenido, que tantas vidas ha costado a lo largo de la historia y que, por desgracia, todavía cuesta, como demuestran los doce muertos y numerosos heridos de Charlie Hebdo.

[Traducido al español por M. P.]

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51 Comments

  1. I am happy to sign this. All people deserve their human rights to be respected. There is a clear and present danger from authoritarian and violent forces everywhere. The lack of ethical behaviour and moral leadership in recent times is shocking and an encouragement to the worst of actions.

  2. The massacre in Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015 was in line with Saudi Arabia’s call for an international law to criminalise insult to Islam.

  3. Thanks all for your support. I only saw this now! If you want to be added to the letter, please email me with your full name and a description, preferably an organisational one. thanks again. My email is maryamnamazie AT gmail DOT com.

  4. The Ummah must come to an understanding that fear and respect are not only not the same thing, but in fact generally mutually exclusive. Islam can begin to seek respect only when it is ready to accord the respect that it demands for itself to other belief positions, including atheism and humanism. Sadly, to do so would, according to mainstream Islamic doctrine, be blasphemous. It has thus painted itself into a corner from which its own rules forbid it to try to escape.
    Escape will be possible only when world Islam agrees to redact from the Qur’an the passages that anathematise non-believers and advocate violence against them. Sadly, to do so would, according to mainstream Islamic doctrine, be blasphemous.
    Just as the main victims of Jihadist violence are Muslims themselves, so Muslims are the main victims of the culture of fear that this intellectual black hole creates. The problem lies not with Muslims (other than the violent minority) but with the internal logic of Islam itself. Only Islam can address this. Start listening to Maajid Nawaz.

  5. Fully support you. Islam made the ‘rule’ that images of Mohammad were forbidden. That is their rule for them, it is not a rule for non Muslims but they try to impose ito n us just like they want to impose all their rules on us like sharia for example. Polls in many countries including Islamic show up to 70% of them desire sharia to be the law for EVERBODY. Which is also close to the % who support IS in spite of all the well publicised atrocities it has done.
    I would like our ‘leaders’ Cameron Obama, Merkel et al. to explain how if Islam is the religion of peace, they have been slaughtering each other for over a 1000 years, and are still doing it today.

  6. Truer words have never been spoken/written. Humanism as a counterpart to both Christian and Islamist far-right is needed now, more than ever. We must not capitulate and leave criticism of Islam to the Christian far-right. On the contrary, we must defend Humanist values against both parts while criticizing the ideological and religious basis of both. We must not let our voices be silenced out of fear of allegations of islamophobia because now, more than ever, a bold Humanism is needed that dares to question religion – even Islam – while at the same time counter the demonization of Muslims in Europe and defend their human rights.

  7. I endorse, great statement, what needed to be said. – David Patt Jedlicka, Software Engineer, San Francisco USA.

  8. Except as an idea in some minds, there is no God creator of our immense and wonderful Universe thinking about anything or anyone on this cosmic dot, planet Earth. Those who kill to defend such an idea effectively show that they cannot defend it by argument.

  9. “The religious right”. What typical weasel words, demonstrating that secularists are afraid to call a spade a spade. It’s Islam, Islam, Islam that is the problem. I’ll sign it when it’s reworded to reflect reality. Right wing Christians sure as hell aren’t machine-gunning cartoonists. Even secularists are dishonest in trying to conflate Islam with religion in general.

    1. You are clearly an ignorant bigot & conveniently forget U.S. right-wing fundamentalist Christians killing doctors from abortion clinics; U.S. redneck christos, KKK, Russian Orthodox & Ugandan Christians torturing and killing gay people; Franco-supporting Catholic fanatics, Christian-nazi Breivik torturing and killing anyone deemed to be left-wing/socialist; Serb Orthodox Christians setting up concentration camps to murder Bosnian Muslims, etc. And I could go on with Israeli atrocities in Palestine in the name of Judaism and atrocities in the name of Islam too, but what’s the point? You have a minority of sociopathic, ignorant hate-mongers in all walks of life, including atheists and secularists. Thankfully the silent global human majority have the innate human desire for peace, tolerance and co-operation, but you choose to be amongst the minority of illogical haters.

    2. You are correct,the problem is Islam,not some amorphous “religious right”The wording blurs focus but I’ll sign up anyway—

  10. Problem has always been islam ,,, those without guns they support those who kill by their name, even thier silence is considered support,,, the so called moderen muslim majority is irrelvent,,,, never been relevent….. In my opinion islam is the problem not muslims… Once we are done with this bloody religion things will change,, muslims apply what islam says,,, we need to get out of the circus that islam is not bas ppl mis read it,,, no the real thing is islam is bad, people read it right,,, reform it or fet rid of it,, that what happened to all other religion,, if islam continue to be thos way we will have very soon christian fundimintalist back..

  11. We should not allow the Koran respect as it condones this activity, Obviously there are peaceful Muslims and even sensible Muslims, but they need to look at their religious beliefs and reject the absurd barbarism these books foster.

  12. I really do think the problem is the religion of ‘islam’. Throughout its history it has been violent and oppressive. Muslim communities produce islamist extremists through the teaching of islam. It is hard, perhaps impossible, to see the end of this until muslims decide to abandon the religion itself.

    1. Absolutely. Islam is the problem. This idea that 5% of Muslims are dreadfully evil, and the other 95% are wonderfully fluffy angels is patently absurd. Islam is good for nothing. The world would be a hugely better place without it. That must be obvious to everyone, but because most Muslims have skin in various shades of brown, means that the reality cannot be acknowledged.

  13. This blog, by an ordinary person, is an obvious attempt to seperate atheists, agnostics and secularists from the rest of the crowd!

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