la-nouvelle-une-de-charlie-hebdo-sorti-ceI6HTgMy message to Charlie Hebdo’s editor in chief, Gerard Biard:

Dear Gerard

I spoke on a panel with you in November last year at the International Feminist and Secular Network in Paris.

I am writing to express my outrage at the cold-blooded murder of freethinkers at Charlie Hebdo today and to give my unequivocal support.

Freedom of expression and the criticism of religion and Islam are basic rights. Clearly, free expression without the right to criticise religion is meaningless. Throughout history, criticism of religion (that which is deemed sacred or taboo) has been intrinsic to human progress.

In the era of ISIS and the religious-Right, this criticism is a historical necessity and needed more than ever.

The Islamists who killed today said they were “avenging” Islam’s prophet but Mohammed cartoons are merely an excuse. The aim of such acts of terrorism – whether in Paris or Afghanistan – are to defend their theocratic and inhuman values. They must know that we too will defend our human values – secularism, equality, citizenship, the right to religion and to be free from religion, the right to criticise and mock religion… which are not “western” values but universal ones.

Today’s killers are part of the same movement that massacres schoolchildren in Peshawar, throws acid in the faces of “improperly veiled” women in Iran and crucifies secularists in Kobane. They need no excuses to commit murder and mayhem.

The battle to commemorate the lives lost today is an ongoing one. It’s a battle between secularists versus theocrats everywhere. And it is a fight that we have to win. No ifs or buts.

In solidarity

Maryam Namazie



  1. Perhaps it is time for the secular post enlightenment West to end that unequivocal Freedom of Religion. Time to bring all religion under the same umbrella as every company and public body in Europe. Time that, to be granted freedom to operate, all and any religion must start to preach and in practice implement against gender apartheid, misogyny, unequal property rights, homophobia, paedophilia, polygamy, genital mutilation, rape, repression and murder.
    Catholic churches promoting female Bishops and Priests, Mosques fielding Lesbian Mullahs and deconstructing all gender barriers. All required to preach against stigmatising any member of the LGBT communities and against all gender bias. Why, in places of “worship” alone, do we tolerate those who blaspheme against our human rights and hard won freedom? Even further, when Europe and the USA are implementing Sanctions on Russia over a civil was, in which both sides can be condemned, why do we permit free trade and travel for countries which so egregiously flout all the standards mentioned. Why, for instance, are the Saudi rulling family allow to poison our societies with tainted oil money to promote Wahhabism. Why are American evangelicals allowed to preach against the LGBT communities, contraception and womens rights to assert control over their bodies.

    It is the saddest and most tragic of days, made even more so because it was avoidable, we have seen it coming, our elected representatives deliberately chose not to intervene and protect us from this long ago. Like Nazi Germany, appeasement, border line collaboration has allowed the enemy to grow strong and mix amongst us. 80 years ago Mosely and his Blackshirts stalked Britain, Mussolino and his Blackshirts stalked Italy, Hitler and his Blackshirts stalked Germany and eventually all of Europe. We see the Blackshirts again, with the addition of the black Burkas. Not all those women will be oppressed souls, some of the most frighteningly evil radical individuals will be women clad in black. It was always so.

    Have had to remain at home today, unable to face the world or do important NHS work. A black dog day.
    I have the greatest respect for you and your tireless work Maryam Namazi. I would appreciate you unblocking my twitter tag @HogSpace which got into someones long forgotten rant

  2. Charlie Hebdo was in the firing line because it was one of the very few journals that had the courage to defend free speech and Europe’s secular values. The UK media and political establishment should feel ashamed of themselves. If everyone had stood together and refused to be cowed (or, even worse, to pretend that free speech was unacceptable), the islamists would not have had an easy target.

    I mourn the brave Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists. Thanks for being a heroic voice of sanity yourself, Maryam. Please take all the care you can.

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