In Defence of Salman Rushdie

Nothing Is Sacred is backing a campaign to protect the writer Salman Rushdie from religious violence.

To sign on to this petition, click here

We, the undersigned, are outraged to learn that forty state-run media outlets in Iran have raised $600,000 (£420,000) to add as bounty to Ayatollah Khomeini’s death fatwa on the writer Salman Rushdie, because of his novel The Satanic Verses.

We condemn the Iranian regime, its fatwa and the added bounty. We stand with Salman Rushdie and the many Iranian freethinkers and writers languishing in prison, or facing the death penalty, for exercising their right to free expression and thought.
The Iranian regime must face global condemnation for its incitement to murder.

Moreover, democratic and secular governments should unequivocally condemn the regime’s fatwa and bounty, demand their immediate cancellation, prioritise human rights and free expression and side with freethinkers rather than appeasing a theocratic regime.


AC Grayling, Philosopher
Adil Hussain, Activist
Afsaneh Vahdat, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Ali A. Rizvi, Author of The Atheist Muslim
Ali al Razi, CEMB Activist and Writer
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Activist
Alice Carr, President of Progressive Atheists of Australia
Annie Sugier, President of Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
Anthony McIntyre, Writer and Historian
Ariane Brunet, Centre for Secular Space
Asra Q. Nomani, Author, Journalist, critical thinker and cofounder of Muslim Reform Movement
Ateizm Dernegi in Turkey
Author, Jesus & Mo
Awat Farokhi, Political Activist
Becky Lavelle, President, Hull University Secularist, Atheist, and Humanist Society
Behzad Varpushty, Human Rights Activist
Benjamin David, President of Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists
Boris van der Ham, Humanistisch Verbond (Dutch Humanist Society)
Caroline Fourest, Author
Chris Moos, Secularist Activist
Christine M. Shellska, President of Atheist Alliance International
Claire Kennedy, Curator of TEDxExeter
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-Presidents of Freedom From Religion Foundation
David Silverman, President of American Atheists
Deeyah Khan, Filmmaker and Human Rights Activist
Derek Lennard, Human Rights Campaigner
Dilip Simeon, Labour Historian and Chairperson of the Aman Trust
Djemila Benhabib, Journalist and Writer
Elham Manea, Academic and Human Rights Advocate
Erin Dopp, Activist
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Iraqi Born Writer and Activist
Faramarz Ghorbani, Political Activist
Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses TV
Farzana Hassan, Author
Fateh Bahrami, Political Activist
Fauzia Ilyas, Founder of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space
Halima Begum, ExMuslim Researcher & Blogger
Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web
Hasan Salehim Political Activist
Hassan Radwan, Founder of the Agnostic Muslims & Friends Facebook Group
Ibn Warraq, Writer
Ibrahim Abdallah- Muslimish NYC organizer
Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Leader
Jane Donnelly, Atheist Ireland
Joan Smith, Author
Johann Hari, Writer
John Perkins, Secular Party of Australia
Julie Bindel, Justice for Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize
Karrar Al Asfoor, Arab Atheists and Forum for Humanitarian Dialogue
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Keyvan Javid, Director of New Channel TV
Khalil Keyvan, Political Activist, Atheist and ex-Political Prisoner
Kiran Opal, Feminist Writer and Activist
Kojin Mirizayi, President of the Kurdish Society at the University of Kent
Lalia Ducos, Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights
Laura Guidetti, Marea Magazine
Lisa-Marie Taylor, Chair of Feminism in London
Lloyd Newson OBE
Maajid Nawaz, Author and counter-extremism activist
Madhu Mehra, Lawyer and Executive Director of Partners for Law in Development
Magdulien Abaida, Libyan Women’s Rights Campaigner
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation and Bread and Roses TV Producer
Masoud Azarnoush, Activist
Mersedeh Ghaedi, London Spokesperson for Iran Tribunal
Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland
Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany and International Committee against Stoning
Mohamed Mahmoud, Director of Centre for Critical Studies of Religion
Monica Lanfranco, Marea Review
Mostafa Saber, Marxist Activist
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Naser Kashkooli, Activist of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
Nina Sankari, Polish Secularist and Feminist
Peter Flack, Leicester Social Forum
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Polly Toynbee, Journalist
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Ramin Forghani, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Scotland
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Roberto Malini, Poet, Writer and Human Rights Defender, EveryOne Group
Ronald Lindsay, President of Center for Inquiry
Rumana Hashem, Founder of Community Women’s blog and Advisor to Nari Diganta
Safia Lebdi, President of Insoumis-es and Founder of Free Arab Woman
Safwan Mason, on behalf of the Council of ex-Muslims of New Zealand
Sam Harris, Neuroscientist and Author
Samir Noory, Chairperson of Committee for Abolishing Death Penalty in Iraq, member of group “No to violence against women in Kirkuk”
Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International
Sarah Peace, Fireproof Library
Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter
AC Grayling, Philosopher
Sikivu Hutchinson, Author, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars
Soad Baba Aissa, Association pour la Mixité, l’Égalité et la Laïcité
Stephen Evans, Campaigns Manager of National Secular Society
Stephen Law, Philosopher
Sultana Kamal, Bangladeshi Lawyer and Human Rights Activist
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society
Tom Holland, Author and Historian
Waleed El Husseini, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Yasmin Rehman, Centre for Secular Space
Zari Asli, Friends of Women in the Middle East Society

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