Don’t be intimidated!
On the row over “offensive” cartoons
The charade by Islamists over the publication ofthe cartoons depicting the Mohammed (prophet) as a suicide bomber is being taken too seriously by many. Apologies after apologies are being delivered to Islamic governments and thugs. Any apology makes them more vicious and more daring. The only weapon they have is hostage taking, bullying, intimidating, killing, maiming, and offending any human values and any libertarian rights.
We should not apologize to these reactionary forces who have organized the most sophisticated machinery of oppression and intimidation, who have organized and mobilized an army of terrorists world wide, who have been terrorizing the citizens of the Islamic ridden countries as well as citizens of the world, who have the worst criminal record.
This is their weapon: resorting to terror while appearing as victims. They kill, maim, stone to death people for wanting their rights, for wanting freedom, for wanting a better life. They humiliate women daily, deprive them of their rights, torture them for not observing the rule of Islam, and when someone dares to tell the truth about their atrocities, they become offended, they cry for their “violated dignities”, they become “sacred”. This is nothing but blackmail. Just the same way as they take innocent people hostage daily, by crying for their “sacred” beliefs, they take our conscious hostage. This is their method of survival.
The world without unconditional freedom of expression and criticism will be a very doll and scary world to live. These values are result of long and hard fought battles. We have to preserve the right to unconditional expression and criticism. Nothing is sacred for everyone. Thus everyone must have the right to criticize or ridicule any “sacred” concept, object or belief. The only way we can build a better and more humane world is to safeguard with all our power these sacred values. Unconditional freedom of expression and criticism is the sacred value, we should maintain.
Islamists become offended and hysterical too often. They should learn to be more tolerant, more respectful of libertarian rights that have been won through long struggles by humanity and progressive forces. We should teach them to respect freedom and civil rights. We should teach them to respect women’s rights. We should teach them not too readily resort to terror and intimidation. How? By standing firm to their face, and say no apologies are due. If any, it is your turn to apologize for all your crimes against humanity.
Azar Majedi is Chairperson of the Organisation of Women’s Liberation and producer-presenter of “No to Political Islam” an NCTV programme.
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