Dear Maryam

I, on behalf of Organization for Women’s Liberation, congratulate you for being awarded the secularist of the year in England. I am so pleased to see that your efforts to promote secularism, to defend women’s rights and against political Islam has been recognized by the international community. This shows that our movement is in the forefront of the fight for secularism and against political Islam in the West as well as in the Middle East. We are proud to be working with you.

Today more than any other time the world is in need of a focused and coordinated international struggle to raise the banner of secularism and for de-religionization of society. Religion has made significant inroads into society, and reactionary movements such as political Islam are threatening humanity. To safeguard freedom, equality and free thinking, to reach equality for Women, to free society of discrimination and superstition, we need first and foremost to promote secularism and to de-religionize the society.

We have a long and treacherous struggle before us.

Azar Majedi
Chair of Organisation for Women’s Liberation
8 October, 2005

Dear Maryam,

Heartiest congratulations to you! I was delighted to hear you have been awarded for Secularist of the Year” in London. I am so proud of you and all your significant contribution towards the promotion of secularism.

Homa Arjomand
Coordinator of
International Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada

09-10-2005: 01:05:34 Secularist of the Year

Maryam won! Maryam Namazie is Secularist of the Year. Ya-hoooooo. Sorry to be so American, but I’m really really pleased. As a matter of fact, I’m also damn smug. Here I’ve been publishing her articles like mad all this time, which I haven’t noticed the Guardian or the Independent bothering to do. Well? Well??! Wouldn’t you be smug? Wouldn’t you? Who has the better judgment? Eh? Eh? Which would you rather have published – Dilpazier Aslam, or Maryam Namazie?

Well maybe now they’ll start publishing her. Maybe this will be the push they need. Kenan Malik said, you know. Remember that? In the Guardian (she said pointedly). All the way back in January.

It also creates a climate of censorship in which any criticism of Islam can be dismissed as Islamophobic. The people who suffer most from such censorship are those struggling to defend basic rights within Muslim communities. Marayam Namazie is an Iranian refugee who has long campaigned for women’s rights and against Islamic repression. As a result she has been condemned as an Islamophobe, even by anti-racist organisations. “On the one hand,” she says, “you are threatened by the political Islamic movement with assassination or imprisonment or flogging. And on the other you have so-called progressive people who tell you that what you say in defence of humanity, in defence of equal rights for all, is racist. I think it’s nothing short of an outrage.”
I don’t see anything about the award in the papers yet (Maryam told me herself, and Azar Majedi sent a congratulatory message), so I’ll just link to this for now. It wouldn’t do for people not to know.

Butterflies and Wheels
Ophelia Benson (Editor)

zende bad maryam
Mostafa Saber

hi darling maryam
congratulation for wining the award, you very much
deserve it.

we are very proud of you.

sohaila va Ali

Ba Arezuye Behtarinha baraye TO Maryam jan

Az tarafe rofagaye Frankfurt

Congratulations Maryam Well done really! This is a good good news. A good present to you and us all. Thanks
Kazem Nikkhah

salam marjam
tabrik baraye jayezeh va age amadeh ahsti yek moshebe dashte basham bahat vase shomarye ayande nashryeh secolar. lotfan age madeh hasti behem khabar bede ta solato beferstam


Maryam jan,
az samime ghalb tabrik migam. well done, you deserve it and this is a success for komonisme kargari.

lots of Love and kisses from Shole, Kj, Reza, Shahrokh and Mersede

Dear Maryam!


I am so happy to be your comrade in our fight for a better world!

Mahmood Ahmadi


Dear Mary,

Siavash Daneshvar

Congratulations to you Maryam for your excellent work. Keep it up.

Ali Javadi

Dear Maryam

Congratulations. In Iraq, and everywhere, the bitter struggle for secularism continues. You have made a brilliant example in showing along with Homa Arjomand that only socialists are capable of this undertaking. The fight continues.

Issam Shukri
The Left Worker – communist Party of Iraq – LWPI

maryam jan salam

in mowafaqyat ra samimane beto wa jonbshe kmonisme kargari tabrik migoyem, kash nader bod wa midid ke rahbarane hezbash be koja raftan. bacahe nazat ra mibosim
asangaran- mina

Congrats Maryam Jan. Keep up the good work.

Best Regards
Shahriar (a strong supporter of capitalism with a conscience)

Dear Maryam

Congratulations for your well deserved NSS Irwin prize for Secularist of the
Year award yesterday – bravely and so entertainingly achieved!
Simon Baddeley


Congratulations! It has been quite a trip since SIPA days.

Best regards,
Roy Williams

mariam jan behet samimane tabrik migam va barat arezoye movafaqyat haye bishtar va bishtary daram!
lots of love
mariam taheri

Maryam jan ma behet eftexar mikonim Tom & Nasi

tabrik aziz

samimaneh in pirozi bozorg ra behet tabrik migoyem.

to shayesteh in padash bodi.

ma arezoyeh rozhayeh behtari barayet darim.

Soheila va Murad sheixi

Maryam: I read what you send all the time but this time I wanted to write and tell you what wonderful work I think you are doing and that I am so pleased it has been recognized.

Congratulations on this and so many other things – and so many good wishes, Mary Anne

be name khoda
you really really deserve it! at least i think you deserve this price much more than mohammad El-Baradeie. bye the way i wish all the best for you despite of what do you believe or practice
ya hagh

Dear Mrs Namazi

I wish the best for you in the way to tackle superstitious, discriminations,
oppressions and dominations and I think you have been successful in this way.
I am sure that one day we will have a relatively independent, wealthy and
free Iran in which people live with love and social justice.

Best Regards

Congratulations, Maryam. You deserve it. I hope this is a good rebuff for certain parties who have described you and others as “Islamophobic”.

Keep up the excellent work.

Many thanks,

Anna Chen

Dear Maryam… congrats! Can you send me a recent photo?
jahanshah javid

Bravo and congratulation Maryam. I am so pleased to
hear this news. Who else could be as suitable for this
honor as you, the secularist of the year. I have not
met you but your mind is reflected in your writings
and interviews. Despite my sincere support for the
women’s cause everywhere, as you know my priority has
been supporting Kurdish cause at this stage. It is an
interesting coincident that my last article related to
Kurdish women might be consistent with your hope for
the women everywhere.

Ba dorood,

Kamal H Artin, California


Dear Maryam:
Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list. Congratulations on this award. I know it is only small recognition compared with the work involved. I admire your work even if I have a different take. I went to Iran in March to meet with the Center for Human Rights Studies at Mofid University. I was struck by our ignorance of their work and the quantity and quality of their personal and library collections of major western works in human rights and philosophy.

J. Paul Martin
Executive Director
Center for the Study of Human Rights

Congratulations to Maryam Aziz
tabrikat samimane ma ra be pazirid.
zande bud nader aziz.zande bud maryam aziz zande bud
HKK aziz
shod, pirpz bashid. yak bar digar tabrikat samimane ma
ra be pazirid.
cu soon
Kia Sanjary

Dear Maryam,

I was very joyed to receive from you the news that you have been adjudged by
the National Secular Society (NSS) as the Secular of the Year 2005.

On behalf of your Journal of Brave Minds, the Institute, the editorial team,
the international advisory board and myself, congratulations.

Considering the significance of this event, I’ll increase pages in the
current issue JBM 8 to have it included, while it is on its way to the
printer this week.

My heartfelt wishes to you. We are proud to have you with us.

Be well,
Marvin F. Zayed

Congratulations! You deserved the award. Thank you for what you are doing.

Sheila Ayala/Canada

congratulations Maryam !!


Congratulations! I am so pleased that you won this award – and it is well deserved.
Hanne Stinson

This is so fantastic. Congratulations.

I will be in touch.

all the best,


maryam jan
khaste nabashi, foqolade tabrik migam behet wa
omidwaram ke to har zamine az zendegit mowafaq wa
piroz bashi
maryam jan besyar tabrik wa arezoye
mowafaqyathaye bishtar

ba salamhaye farawan surush,magid,porya,kathy,pedram

Dear Maryam,

many congrats – so well deserved!! And so good that there is now a
Secularist of the Year award – let’s hope this gains support and recognition
in wider society – not least among left circles.


Fantastic dear Maryam. Congratulations & well done. What a great year!
Lots of love
Bahram Soroush

well done girl!!!

you go girl

rohollah afrogheh
South Africa

Dear Maryam,

Congratulations! This is Doris from GABRIELA Network in NYC. It has been more than 5 or 6 (?) years since we last spoke, and I think you were still here in NY. And I wish you’re here in NY now because we are actually hosting a woman from the Philippines who chairs Bangsamoro Women, a secular Muslim Filipinas’ organization and a member of GABRIELA Philippines women’s alliance. We would’ve loved to introduce her to you. Or maybe you know each other already? Her name’s Amirah Ali Lidasan. She’s also the spokesperson for the Soara Bangsamoro Political Party and vice-chair of BAYAN Philippines/New Patriotic Alliance. We’re holding a public forum with her and the secretary general of GABRIELA Philippines next month (I’ll email you details, just in case you happen to be here or know of anyone who might be interested.)

On another note, I will be in London some time early/mid 2006, partly to visit friends, but more to check-out what’s happening with the immigrant communities there, particularly with women of Philippine ancestry. I hope we can arrange to meet.

Again, congratulations on this award. Also, congratulations with the baby (I remember reading on the WPI website about you being on maternity leave). Looking forward to hearing from you,

In militant sisterhood,
Dorotea Agustin Mendoza
Secretary General, GABRIELA Network USA
A Philippine-US Women’s Solidarity Mass Organization

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on receiving the NSS Irwin prize for Secularist of the Year award.

best regards
Khawaja NAVEED Aslam
Magazine Editor,

Dear Ms. Maryam Namazie …all I can say at this happy
moment is that : Congratulations from the depths of
heart for you Ms. Namazie ; the brave woman who
dedicated herself for the good of woman’s issues
everywhere ; its a historical moment to see you
surrounded by flowers of love after the great victory
you have made in this long struggle against the
barbarous , savage mentality which wants to enslave
humanity and kill the lovely spirit of women.
I really consider this prize as a symbol of human
evaluation for a woman like you who could stand
bravely challenging all the conspiracies of the hollow
– minded category.
This prize is actually honored by you since you
really deserve to be a symbol of honor for all great
women in the world due to the suffering , patience and
pain you afforded and due to the great efforts you
have done for championing the human rights
particularly those of women in Iran and middle east.

Accept my love.

Ahmed Al-Shahmani.
Writer & Researcher of civil society issues.
Head of Democratic Culture Society.

Hearty Congratulations on “The Secularist of the Year Award-2005

This is to congratulate Ms. M. Namazi on her decoration with the said award.
It is a great achievement to be honoured so.

With Best wishes
(A Pakistani refugee in Switzerland)
Dr. M Younes Sheikh

Happy to hear this good news!
Middle East Panorama

Maryam Namazi
hamishe mowaffagh bemani.

Dear Maryam,

I just wanted to wish you hearty congratulations on your well deserved award.

With best wishes

Josh Kutchinsky
Hampstead Humanist Society

Congratulations on winning this well – merited Award for your courageous and
consistent activism on behalf of secularism and universal humanism, gender
equality, and women’s empowerment.
Best wishes.


My Darling Maryam!

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

I don’t really know how to express myself … I am so so pleased that you won the Irwin prize for Secularist of the Year.

Since I got the email saying that you were nominated for the award, I was 100% sure that you are the winner and no one Else.

I am so proud of you darling! Keep up the excellent work…., we are all there for you!!

Siamak Amjadi

Very good news.
Well done

The BHA congratulates the Secularist of the Year

The BHA was delighted to hear that its own Maryam Namazie, who is employed by the Association, has won the first ever Secularist of the Year award.

The prestigious award, sponsored by Dr Michael Irwin and the National Secular Society, was given to Maryam Namazie for her tireless work in opposition to the Iranian theocracy and the rise of political Islam throughout the world.

Hanne Stinson, executive director of the British Humanist Association said: ?We employ Maryam to manage and develop the BHA ceremonies network so that we can meet the growing demand for humanist funerals, weddings, namings and other ceremonies, but while she has been employed with us, Maryam has also continued her campaigning work. She does that as a private individual, but we are still immensely pleased that Maryam?s commitment to human rights in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world has been recognised in this way.?

Maryam Namazie was awarded the Prize for ?Secularist of the Year? on 8 October, having been judged to have made the most significant contribution to the promotion of secularism in the preceding year. The ?5,000 annual prize was presented by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee at a lunch at the Montcalm Hotel in London. The event also featured a cabaret from stand-up comedian Stewart Lee, co-author of the controversial ?Jerry Springer ? the Opera?, who is also one of the BHA?s ?distinguished supporters of Humanism?.

Notes for editors:

For further information or comment, contact Hanne Stinson or phone 020 7079 3580.

Maryam Namazie is currently on leave, but the BHA can forward emails to her or ask her to telephone media enquirers.

ba salam va tabrik be monaseb movafaqiat baraye sokolarist sal shenaxte shodid.
xabar besyar xoshayandi baraye ma bod.
ba arzuye movaqiat-haye bishtar

Mehran Azimi
Langaroud – Iran

Congratulations, Maryam!
Marilyn Mason

Dear Maryam,

I was delighted to hear that you have been awarded the very first Secularist of the Year Award, in recognition of your work in women’s rights and for rationalism in general. Well done! I hope this will put courage into the hearts of many who are struggling for a voice in oppressive regimes worldwide.

Best wishes and long may you prosper,
Mandy Holloway
Darwin Centre
British secularist of the year
Caspar Melville 12 Oct 05

She works in our building you know

Last Saturday saw the presentation of the first ‘Secularist of the Year’ award, hosted by the National Secular Society ( in London. The sold-out lunch was entertained by comedian and co-writer of Jerry Springer The Opera, Stewart Lee. Journalist Polly Toynbee then tooK the stage, to present the inaugural Irwin Prize to human rights campaigner (and BHA employee) Maryam Namazie. Maraym has been tireless in her opposition to the Iranian government in particular, and Sharia-justified oppression of women, for many years, and was a deserved winner. She has also just had a baby. Double congratulations Maryam! Click here to read some of her articles

Congratulations, Maryam, this is a well-deserved honour.

Diana Quick
Director of Communications
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children

Please accept my congratulations.. great work, keep up
the good work.. Ike

Iqbal Latif (Ike)

Hearty congratulations !!!! At last recognition that was long overdue……

Hi M,

This is fabulous news, how wonderful you are!


Belated Congratulation Maryam. You are doing really good.

Avijit Roy
Founding Moderator, Mukto-Mona

Maryam Jaan:

Congratulations and I am proud of you, I always saw the difference between you and a lot others, Keep up defending women, and humanity,.I will always support you .
Congratulations again

Best regards
Farid Safavi

Thanks Maryam for all the information… you deserve more… I am so happy to know that you are being appreciated.

Dear Maryam:

Congratulations on receiving this important award. I wish you
continuing success in your work.


Janet Afary

Maryam aziz

ien movafaghette bozorg raba to samimane tabrik migoyam va ba omid pirozihaee digarat.

minoo madani

Dear Maryam

I have just returned from Jerusalem and France, and got your e-mail. I am so glad that your work has been recognised and that you have won this great award. I hope that this helps in your continued work to promote the separation between church and state across the world!

With kindest wishes


Ms Namazie,

I wish to also congratulate you for winning Secularist of the Year. May through your efforts and resolve many people in your country (Iran) in years to come finally realise that religion is a private affair and all religions in this world we live in are equal (be it the main monotheistic ones , or polythestic religions, that is the real beauty of human and spiritual diversity), Islam needs to be confined to and belongs in the mosques and not in the bedrooms, schools, streets, workplaces (worst I heard was that this religious zealot Mr Amadinejad, has compelled men who work for govt ministries to wear beards as a sign of islamic devotion, can things get more stupid than that? ) of a nation that has a long pre-islamic history, I am surprised that so many Iranians (may be for lack of knowledge or the islamic regimes well oiled brainwashing mashinery) do not attribute alot of significance to their pre-islamic heritage, which dates way back to Cyrus and Darius (and not Mohammed,who is Arab!!).But as I discovered trough discussions with people from Middle East more generally (i.e. Egyptians: Pharaonic dynasties ), many are pretty ignorant about the great civilisations that once existed there before islam swept accross the region and destroyed them.

Best wishes,

Walter Onubogu
Toronto, Canada

Maryame aziz,
az tarafe komiteye frankfurt be to aziz az samim qalb tabrik miguyam. in baese eftexar ast ke dar kenare to dar in hezb hastim. Diruz Homa dar kanada, emruz jashne kudakan dar tehran, sanandaj, kamyaran, saqez….va baz ham emruz, maryame ma be onvane sekulariste farda YEK DONYAYE BEHTAR.

ba behtarin arezuha baraye to.

Manochehr Zhandifar az tarafe komiteye Frankfurt

Dear Maryam,

Paul Martin shared the good news about your recent prize. This is
wonderful. I had wondered what had happened to you after all these
years. Seems that you’re doing terrific work. Congratulations on
this wonderful recognition.


(also former Center for Human Rights staff)

11 October 2005

Dear Maryam,

That is fantastic! With the increasing encroachment of religion in politics throughout the world I am glad that you are a voice of reason and responsibility. Congratulations on such a well-deserved honor!

All the best to you,
Linda James

Dear Maryam;

Heartiest congratulations.

Your untiring effort of many years has finally been recognised. You are a
vanguard to free Muslim women from the tyranny of Mullahs and Sharia.

History will record you as a valiant lady who fought to free women and
mankind from the barbaric Islamic Sharia.


Abul Kasem

Dear Maryam,

Well done, Good news, Keep up,

Congratulations Dear.

Dawood, Dubai

Dear Colleague Maryam Namazie, with greeting

I would like to congratulate you for winning Secularist of the Year in the U.K.
I wish you all the best and succeed in your responsibilities.

Shahryar Alijani

Dear Maryam:

Congratulation, I am so happy for you and all of us, you deserve it.

I hope one day the world recognize the survivor of the Islamic holocaust.

More than 5 million Iranian runaway from this Islamic holocaust and all this years you were one of the best defender for them in the west.

Best wishes for the greater victory

Down with Islamic republic of Iran

Yadi mahmodi
Secretary of the International federation of Iranian refugees _ Canada branch

Dear Maryam,

Many congratulations on your award! Well done and wish you more success!

Kind Regards,

Pooneh Ravi

Dear Namazie,

Congratulations, I hope you continue in the same way.

Best wishes,

Aso Hamedy


Hello Maryam,
Congratulations for such a great accomplishment, to be awarded the
secularist of the year. We are all proud of you and hope you will
keep up the good work.
Parvin Darabi

Maryame aziz, in piruziye bozorg ra samimane be to va tamamiye azadikhahan
va barabary talaban va kholase be tamamiye komonisthaye karegary tabrik
miguyam. last sunday rofaqaye hozeye ma (hozeye barabary) etelaiiyeye hezb
va payame hamid taqvaii ra be to dar 400 noskhe dar Toronto pakhsh va mardom
ra dar in jashne piruzy sahim kardand.
dorud bar maryame namazi,
zendeh bad mansoore hekmat va hezbe komoniste karegary.

maryam jan salam va xaste nabashied

benobe xod az moafaghyatet samimane xosh hal shodam va in moafaghat ra behet samimane tabrik migam.
ghorbanat nasrin

I have just read Nick Cohen’s article in the Sunday Observer describing your award of Secularist of the Year 2005 — congratulations!

As a teacher of history in a secondary school in Scotland I am dismayed by the gradual encroachment of religion (through faith-led assemblies, for example) and have always argued that religious education should play no part in the curriculum — although, sadly, it is compulsory.

Once again, well done — and I am just about to join the National Secular Society via their website.

Best wishes,

James W. Ferguson

salam maryam

entexabe shoma be onvane zane sokolare sal ra be shoma tabrik migoyam va beraton movafaqiyathaye baz ham bzorgtar arezo mikonam mahmoud az turkiye

rasti maryam harvaqt dost dashti az weblogam mitoni shear bexoni byeee

maryame aziz :

be to eftexar mikonim va en pirozi ra be to be hezb va jonbeshe komonism kargari tabrik migoyem.

zende bad maryam

Elham behzad manesh
Babak Shadidi


marayame aziz, ehdaye jayezeh sekolariste sal dar landan tavasote anjomane sekolarhaye landn ra behet tabrik migam, emroz filme ein marasem ra az net negah kardam va didam ke nemayande va sokhangoye jonbeshe basharyate motamaden va azadikhah, chegone dar ein donyaye nabarabr be ehtram be khadamate ensandostane teori va nazarate mansor hekmat, dar moqabelash az ja bar mikhizand, ein jayze yek eftekhar bozorg baraye to va jonbeshe sosialisti baraye rahaeiye ensan ast. mojadadan behet tabrik migam.

abdol golparian 14 ocktobr


Congratulations on being named Secularist of the Year–until I read today’s Observer’ I had not heard of you. It is to me intensely depressing to know that in Iran today women are far more oppressed than under the Shah. When I visited Esfahan in the 1970s, I stayed with a family who would have thought of themselves as ‘good enough’ Muslims. Only the mother (very much the boss of the family) wore the Chador–and that only loosely (more as a woman of my mother’s generation in the UK would wear a hat or headscarf when shopping) when she out. Her adolescent daughter had her head uncovered at all times.

The evils of ‘liberal’ relativism in relation to Human Rights are evils we all must face. Also I do think that for some males on the left a false liberalism in relation to say Islam allows them to smuggle into public discourse anti-feminist sentiments which had in the past stayed carefully hidden. Perhaps there is a secret thrill when they support the stoning to death of women for alleged sexual crimes. What I would call their ‘Kingsley Amis moment’ Some males on the left were less than enthusiastic about the rise of feminism and this might represent their chance to covertly fight back.
Congratulations again.


Congratulations for being chosen as the secular of the year. It just shows another little piece of your brilliance and deep humanism.

I wish you the best.

Comradely greetings,

Siyaves Azeri


Maryam Aziz,

Congratulations! You deserve Nobel Prize or the best
prize of humanity for your hard work.

Wishing you the best,



I would like to add my congratulations to Maryam Namazie for winning the Secularist of the Year award. Everyone who values freedom and progress must admire and respect the courage of these Iranian comrades…

Charlie Pottins


Dear Maryam

Congratulations on this.

I’ll try not to be a liberal apologist.

Best wishes
John Morrison

Very many congratulations on your accolade: well deserved for courage to say the essentials

Manuela Sykes
Voice of the Unions


Dear Ms. Namazie

My name is Hans Schoenburg and I am writing on behalf of Breaking the Ice. Before I begin I would like to congratulate you for all the amazing effort you have put into fighting for secularism, refugee and women’s rights and on your recent award. Breaking the Ice is an international, non-profit, conflict resolution foundation that brings together people from different cultures, viewpoints or sides of a conflict in the hope of overcoming the barriers of mistrust, misunderstanding and fear that are the root causes of conflict and violence in our world…

Hans Schoenburg
Junior Director of Operations
Breaking the Ice gGmbH

Congratulations on winning the National Secular Societies prize for
secularist of the year. Have you thought about organizing a secularist
society on London Mets campus? I would like to contribute if you ever do.
Please keep me informed.

Anthony Timmons

salam aziz khobi?khasti nabashi.tabrik be shoma migoyam maryame aziz omidvaram baz ham dar karhayat oafagh bashi ghorbane shoma jafar az soed.

Dear Maryam,

Many congratulations on your NSS award!

Eleanor S Davidson

Viva Maryam Namazie

…Maryam Namazie of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, … was recently awarded the National Secular Society’s “Secularist of the Year” award. The NSS are not socialists but they’re definitely on the right side against the type of people who tried to have Jerry Springer The Opera axed or those who successfully shut down the play Bezhti in Birmingham.

They also understand that opposing anti-Muslim racism doesn’t mean defending religious ideas or lining up with the most reactionary elements within the Muslim community and Muslim world. Which is presumably why they’ve given Maryam their award… Looking Left is pretty pleased. Congratulations, comrade!

Workers’ Liberty

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