International day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers a success

More than three hundred individuals and organisations called for an international day of action on 14 March to defend those accused of apostasy and blasphemy. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Countless women, men and children face threats, imprisonment, and execution as a result.

Individuals calling for the day included Iranian Campaigners Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie, Lebanese writer and actress Darina al Joundi, Algerian author Djemila Benhabib, Scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, Moroccan atheist Imad Iddine Habib, Algerian Secularist Marieme Helie Lucas, Iraqi Kurd women’s rights activist Houzan Mahmoud, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, Iranian/German author Siba Shakib and writer Ibn Warraq amongst others. Organisations included Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Polish Rationalist Society, and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The final list of signatories can be found here.

Thousands more defended apostates and blasphemers via acts of solidarity and social media, Tweeted, sent letters of protest, or issued statements and messages of support. Petitions in defence of the ten highlighted cases saw a surge in signatures.

Various acts of solidarity took place throughout the day, including the following:

Victoria Gugenheim, World Award Winning Bodypainter, has painted herself to mark today:

Burka2_web_release_with_blood_tear

Burka1_desaturated copy [Read more...]

Apostasy and Blasphemy are our Right!

Final Updated: 15 March 22:30 hours

In less than 48 hours, more than three hundred individuals and organisations signed up to the call for action to defend apostates and blasphemers. Individuals included Iranian Campaigner Mina Ahadi, Lebanese writer and actress Darina al Joundi, Algerian author Djemila Benhabib, Scientists Richard Dawkins and Laurence Krauss, Moroccan atheist Imad Iddine Habib, Algerian Secularist Marieme Helie Lucas, Iraqi Kurd women’s rights activist Houzan Mahmoud, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, Iranian/German author Siba Shakib and writer Ibn Warraq amongst others. Supporting organisations include Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Polish Rationalist Society, and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The updated list of signatories can be found here.

Thousands more distributed the call via social media, Tweeted, and issued statements and messages of support. Petitions in defence of the ten highlighted cases saw a surge in signatures. Various acts of solidarity took place throughout the day, including the following: [Read more...]

The good God of wrath, death, and fatwa

Tomorrow is the International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers. On 14 March, take a few minutes if not more to do something, anything, to highlight the issue and defend the women, men and children facing threats, intimidation and execution.

It could be art, a short piece of writing, a quote, a photo, a cartoon, an act of solidarity, a song, a Tweet, signing a petition…

On the eve of this important day, here’s a favourite of mine [English lyrics below] by Shahin Najafi, one of the cases that is being highlighted on the day. It’s a little bit of blasphemy and apostasy all in one…

A severed head in between your hands
my eyes on the broken clock
And sad and rebellious poems
and the wolf, unafraid of the gun
On my doubts of the origin of existence,
on choking loneliness when drunk
And longing and inhaling you,
and the depth of the tragedy not seeing you
The artery destined to blockage,
and your crime, a scream against the wind
The end of the story is always a bitter one,
and the poet whose conviction is apostasy
The good God sleeping in my book,
the dried semen on my bed
The good God of wrath, death, and fatwa,
and my cries over Yaghma’s poetry
Let me be like a cactus
Stay with me who has read poetry,
next to you, with covenant with the desert,
that our code is to die standing up
that our code is to die standing up
Tell them, our Hadith was a Hadith of blood,
contempt, born out of insanity
Tell them, how I did not give in
Tell them, how I died standing up
The good God sleeping in my book,
the dried semen on my bed
The good God of wrath, death, and fatwa,
and my cries over Yaghma’s poetry
Let me be like a cactus
Stay with me who has read poetry,
next to you, with covenant with desert,
that our code is to die standing up
that our code is to die standing up

14 March 2013: International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers

IDDABLOGOSMALLCountless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

On 14 March 2013, we, the undersigned, call for an international day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers worldwide by highlighting ten cases though there are countless more. [Read more...]