Imagine a conference

John Sargeant at Homo economicus blogs about Maryam’s Secular Conference 2014 which took place in London this past weekend.

Imagine a conference where over two thirds of the speakers are women. From across the world. Artists, professors, authors, journalists, human rights activists. One who feared having children because of the threat to their lives.

Moved when another recounts being abducted and held hostage the last time she attended such a conference as this; the fear from her voice pulling on your heart strings. Tears dripping onto your iPad as you blatantly tweet in your own name what is being said without a second thought of your own safety. That the song from a band in Indonesia called “Sister In Danger” is not lyrical invention. When protestors of a movie in Tunisia move their hand across their Adam’s apple in a slicing motion it is not just bravado.

A professor recounts hearing shots ring out on campus one evening. He rushed out to a former student who had become a faculty member. Bleeding to death, no other staff came to aid one of their own. There is no one else from the university either to join the professor at the mourning prayers. The assassinated man is Ahmadi, and even in death his blood can not wash away his heresy in a Pakistan State that declares them non muslims. He never was one of them after all, in life or death.

So that’s their idea of god. No need to bother with a devil then.

I did not have to imagine these voices – because Maryam Namazie gave them a platform. The conference was filmed and you can read my live tweets clicking on the tweet above, and following my timeline.

Here’s his Twitter:

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