Campaign to save the lives of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo


Ayatollah Lankarani, an Iranian cleric, has issued a fatwa for the death of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo. We should resolutely protest this fatwa that has been issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities against writers and critics of religion in the Azerbaijan Republic.

On November 15, 2006, Rafigh Taghi who is a journalist and columnist of San-at newspaper wrote an article entitled ‘Europe and Us’. In his article, he quoted Mohamed and the Koran, calling Mohamed an aggressor and concluding: ‘This religion is the religion of aggression against humanity.’ Islamic gangs of Hezbollah were immediately organised to protest in the streets of Tabriz and Ardebil in Iran. As a result, Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo, the editor of the journal, were immediately imprisoned in Baku. The Islamic regime’s officials even asked the government of Azerbaijan to apologise for ‘insulting Moslems!’

On November 29, 2006, Lankarani, shamelessly issued the fatwa against the two individuals.

This is an example of how political Islam treats religion’s critics and opponents. The Islamic Republic of Iran has officially and openly ordered Islamic terror gangs to assassinate these two individuals, wherever they spot them.

This is ugly face of the criminal Political Islam. They have come to power with murder, fatwas, stoning and execution, and maintain themselves with these crimes. This is a movement that cannot even tolerate a caricature or any criticism and immediately orders bloodshed. This movement should be dealt with maximum international aversion and protest, and be condemned worldwide.

We, the citizens of the world, must not allow a bunch of reactionaries in Iran or anywhere else to issue such rulings and bloodshed. Freedom of speech must be protected; secularism and the separation of religion from political power must be defended as must the right of criticism and unconditional right of freedom of expression.

Political Islam is a dark movement against humanity and against women. This movement is trying to spread its dark shadow over the entire world. This situation cannot be tolerated. One should not be submissive vis-à-vis such a Medieval and inhuman movement. Together, we must defend humanity’s achievements.

Saving the lives of Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo is our task and the duty of an international front against political Islam.

Some Azerbaijani journalists have announced that they are abandoning Islam in protest to the fatwa ruling against the two. According to Journal Express published in Baku, Aghsheen Dada-of, a journalist and writer has said: We have thought a lot about this decision in the past, but after the arrest of Rafegh Taghi, we have made up our minds and are announcing this decision to the public… We abandon Islam, with the goal of reversing the fatwa and of stopping the religious practice of execution rulings against those who have freely expressed their thoughts. The writer of the article “Europe and us” in San-at journal, Rafegh Taghi, has the right to express his opinion about negative and positive aspects of the prophet Mohammed. Rafegh Taghi has expressed his opinion in an original and comprehensive way and did not intend to insult the prophet!’

This action is considered an important move in the campaign to save the lives of Rafegh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo. We are inviting everyone to sign the petition and by doing so defend the two writers and freedom of speech. The international front against political Islam must rise against the fatwa of killing and assassination.

Defend the following:
1- Unconditional freedom of speech is the right of any human being.
2- The fatwa against these two writers is condemned.
3- Ayatollah Lankarani should be arrested and tried for issuing the fatwa and encouraging the killing of these two writers.
4- The government of Azerbaijan should be condemned for violating of the freedom of speech and for arresting these writers.
5- Rafigh Taghi and Samir Sedaghat Oghloo must be freed immediately.
6- The Islamic Republic of Iran is the founder and centre of propagation of such practices, and has in the past issued the same kind of fatwa against Salman Rushdie. This government should be isolated and condemned for its criminal acts.

To sign the petition, click here.

Mina Ahadi

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