Maryam Namazie ✒ opening speech at #CelebratingDissent2022 calls the #exMuslim movement the new civil rights movement and says: #SalmanRushdie not the first nor the last attacked by #Iran & #Islamists. But as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said, ‘You can cut all the flowers but you cannot stop the Spring’.
Hello Apostates, Blasphemers, Heretics and Freethinkers.
It is good to see you, especially since Covid and so soon after the violent attack on our courageous Salman Rushdie. He is not the first nor will he be the last.
There are countless others, languishing on death row, in hiding, in prison, buried in mass graves.
The best of our best, cut down by the likes of the Iranian regime (directly responsible for Rushdie’s attack), by fundamentalists of all stripes and by of course inhuman ideologies – religion and Islam – that justify and legitimize violence and submission.
I accuse them all – for state crimes, religious crimes and crimes of the religious-Right.
Also. I accuse those complicit or silent, including states that appease this movement and the cowards that side with murderers and blame victims.
As Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said, however, ‘You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.’
There are too many of us. We are the innumerable – not just yearning for but demanding, insisting, without apology and shame, the right to live, breath, love and think as we choose.
We are the ex-Muslim movement, the new civil rights movement of our era, challenging obscurantism, religious dogma, hate, violence, fear, submission and inhumanity with reason, creativity, love, non-violence, courage, humanity and dissent.
Like all civil rights movements, we are transgressive, subversive, deemed dangerous for reimagining a world without permission.
A world that criminalizes fatwas, sharia courts and theocracies. A world that celebrates apostasy, blasphemy and dissent.
We know history is written by victors, the powerful and privileged but there is always also a corresponding history of resistance and dissent that challenges the powerful, sacred and taboo.
It’s the only history for human progress that counts.
However, many flowers they cut and they cut, our movement will forever be etched in the history of resistance.
And spring – it is a-coming.
|Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born activist and Spokesperson |
of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All.