More than 2,000 people have signed on to the Manifesto for a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa including Women Living Under Muslims Laws, Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Writer Salman Rushdie, European Women’s Lobby, and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

If you haven’t yet, you should to.

If everyone who supports secularism signs it, we could reach the 100,000 goal in no time at all.

You can sign it here.

Here’s the Manifesto:

Manifesto for a Secular Middle East and North Africa

The 2009 protests in Iran followed by the Arab Spring have the potential to herald a new dawn for the people of the region and the world. The protests have clearly shown that people in the region, like people everywhere, want to live 21st century lives.

We, the undersigned, emphasise their modern and human dimension and wholeheartedly welcome this immense and historical development. We are vehemently opposed to their hijacking by Islamism or US-led militarism and support the call for a free and secular Middle East and North Africa made by citizens and particularly women in the region.

Secularism is a minimum precondition for the freedom and equality of all citizens and includes:

1. Complete separation of religion from the state.

2. Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes.

3. Separation of religion from the educational system.

4. Freedom of religion and atheism as private beliefs.

5. Prohibition of sex apartheid and compulsory veiling.



  1. Have signed. If it’s good enough for the sisters of Meena it’s good enough for me! Seriously, it is my earnest wish that friends in Iran get to experience these freedoms.

  2. Signed — I didn’t have any trouble viewing the page.

    The assertion of secularism in the Middle East is one of the most positive developments of the last few years. If religion can be challenged there, it can be beaten anywhere.

    1. When I signed it (with all those scripts permitted) it sent me to a “Thank you for signing!” page with links to other petitions of interest on

  3. FYI, in order to even read the petition, I had to manually permit scripting from nested services via multiple page refreshes (to wit: gstatic, google, cloudfront, amazonaws, optimizely, newrelic, googleapis, and itself). Many Pharyngula regulars (and many net readers in general) use Firefox with noscript as the default while browsing.

    Would you consider quoting the petition and About statement in your post, so it’s more easily accessible?

  4. Signed. The war against religion has to be fought on every front, The long reign of the priests,mullahs,rabbis, ministers, imams, bishops, preachers and other holy frauds is over. We rational secularists will give them no quarter!

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