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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Iran Solidarity

Iran Solidarity

In June 2009 millions of people came out on to the streets of Iran for freedom and an end to the Islamic regime. Whilst the June 12 election was a pretext for the protests - elections have never been free or fair in Iran – it has opened the space for people to come to the fore with their own slogans.

The world has been encouraged by the protesters’ bravery and humane demands and horrified by the all-out repression they have faced. It has seen a different image of Iran - one of a population that refuses to kneel even after 30 years of living under Islamic rule.

The dawn that this movement heralds for us across the world is a promising one – one that aims to bring Iran into the 21st century and break the back of the political Islamic movement internationally.

This is a movement that must be supported.


We, the undersigned, join Iran Solidarity to declare our unequivocal solidarity with the people of Iran. We hear their call for freedom and stand with them in opposition to the Islamic regime of Iran. We demand:

1. The immediate release of all those imprisoned during the recent protests and all political prisoners
2. The arrest and public prosecution of those responsible for the current killings and atrocities and for those committed during the last 30 years
3. Proper medical attention to those wounded during the protests and ill-treated and tortured in prison. Information on the status of the dead, wounded and arrested to their families. The wounded and arrested must have access to their family members. Family members must be allowed to bury their loved ones where they choose.
4. A ban on torture
5. The abolition of the death penalty and stoning
6. Unconditional freedom of expression, thought, organisation, demonstration, and strike
7. Unconditional freedom of the press and media and an end to restrictions on communications, including the internet, telephone, mobiles and satellite television programmes
8. An end to compulsory veiling and gender apartheid
9. The abolition of discriminatory laws against women and the establishment of complete equality between men and women
10. The complete separation of religion from the state, judiciary, education and religious freedom and atheism as a private matter.

Moreover, we call on all governments and international institutions to isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran and break all diplomatic ties with it. We are opposed to military intervention and economic sanctions because of their adverse affects on people’s lives.

The people of Iran have spoken; we stand with them.

Initial list of signatories:

Boaz Adhengo, Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya, Kenya
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Coordinator, Stop Child Executions Campaign, Canada
Mina Ahadi, Campaigner, Germany
Sargul Ahmad, Activist, Women’s Liberation in Iraq, Canada
Susan Ahmadi, Mitra Daneshi, and Furugh Arghavan, Iran Civil Rights Committee, Canada
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Writer and Columnist, UK
Mahin Alipour, Coordinator, Equal Rights Now - Organisation against Women's Discrimination in Iran, Sweden
Farideh Arman, Coordinator, International Campaign in Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran, Sweden
Abdullah Asadi, Executive Director, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Sweden
Zari Asli, Friends of Women in the Middle East Society, Canada
Ophelia Benson, Editor, Butterflies and Wheels, USA
Julie Bindel, Journalist and Activist, UK
Russell Blackford, Writer and Philosopher, Australia
Nazanin Borumand, Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings, Germany
Caroline Brancher, UFAL, France
George Broadhead, Secretary of Pink Triangle Trust, UK
Children First Now, Sweden
Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, UK
Communist Youth Organisation, Sweden
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia
Count Me In – Iranian Action Network, UK
Thomas Cushman, Founding Editor and Editor-at-Large of The Journal of Human Rights, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College, USA
Shahla Daneshfar, Director, Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, UK
Richard Dawkins, Scientist, UK
Patty Debonitas, Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism, UK
Deeyah, Singer and Composer, USA
Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Sweden
Tarek Fatah, Author, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, Canada
AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher, UK
Maria Hagberg, Chair, Network against Honour-Related Violence, Sweden
Johann Hari, Journalist, UK
Farzana Hassan, Writer, Canada
Marieme Helie Lucas, founder Secularism Is A Women's Issue, France
Farshad Hoseini, International Campaign against Executions, Netherlands
Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya, Kenya
Khayal Ibrahim, Coordinator, Organization of Women's Liberation in Iraq, Canada
Leo Igwe, Director, Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
International Campaign for the Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran, Sweden
Iran Civil Rights Committee, Canada
International Committee against Executions, Netherlands
International Committee to Protect Freethinkers, Canada
International Committee against Stoning, Germany
International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Sweden
International Labour Solidarity, UK
Iranian Secular Society, UK
Ehsan Jami, Politician, the Netherlands
Asqar Karimi, Executive Committee Member, Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK
Hope Knutsson, President, Sidmennt - the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Iceland
Hartmut Krauss, Editor, Hintergrund, Germany
Sanine Kurz, Journalist, Germany
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, Advocate, High Court of Sindh, Pakistan
Derek Lennard, UK Coordinator of International Day against Homophobia, UK
Nasir Loyand, Left Radical of Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer and broadcaster, UK
Johnny Maudlin, writer of Neda (You Will Not Defeat The People), Canada
Stefan Mauerhofer, Co-President, Freethinker Association of Switzerland, Switzerland
Anthony McIntyre, Writer, Ireland
Navid Minay, General Secretary, Communist Youth Organisation, Sweden
Reza Moradi, Producer, Fitna Remade, UK
Douglas Murray, Director, Centre for Social Cohesion, UK
Maryam Namazie, Campaigner, UK
Taslima Nasrin, Writer, Physician and Activist
National Secular Society, UK
Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings, Germany
Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
Samir Noory, Writer, Canada
Yulia Ostrovskaya and Svetlana Nugaeva, Rule of Law Institute, Russia
One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain, UK
Peyvand - Solidarity Committee for Freedom Movement in Iran, Germany
Pink Triangle Trust, UK
Fariborz Pooya, Founder, Iranian Secular Society, UK
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Flemming Rose, Journalist and Editor, Denmark
Michael Rubenstein, Publisher, Equal Opportunities Review, UK
Rule of Law Institute, Russia
Fahimeh Sadeghi, Coordinator, International Federation of Iranian Refugees-Vancouver, Canada
Arash Mishka Sahami, TV Factual Producer, UK
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Shahla Sarabi, Programmer, Radio Pazhvak, Canada
Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Philosopher, Author and Giordano Bruno Foundation Spokesperson, Germany
Gabi Schmidt, Teacher, Germany
Karim Shahmohammadi, Director, Children First Now, Sweden
Sohaila Sharifi, Editor, Unveiled, London, UK
Udo Schuklenk, Philosophy professor, Queen’s University, Canada
Issam Shukri, Head, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq; Central Committee Secretary, Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq, Iraq
Bahram Soroush, Public Relations, International Labour Solidarity, UK
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK
Dick Taverne, Baron, House of Lords, UK
Hamid Taqvaee, Central Committee Secretary, Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK
Third Camp, UK
Saeed Valadbeigi, Revolution Road blogger and Journalist, Iran
Karin Vogelpohl, Pedagogue, Germany
Babak Yazdi, Head of Khavaran, Canada
Marvin F. Zayed, President, International Committee to Protect Freethinkers, Canada


Anonymous said...

I would gladly sign it as well, if I deserved to be in such illustrious company. Since I don't, as a Christian believer I can only leave a pertinent quote from CS Lewis:

"I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber barron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations. And since Theocracy is the worst, the nearer any government approaches to Theocracy the worse it will be. A metaphysic held by the rulers with the force of a religion, is a bad sign. It forbids them, like the inquisitor, to admit any grain of truth or good in their opponents, it abrogates the ordinary rules of morality, and it gives a seemingly high, super-personal sanction to all the very ordinary human passions by which, like other men, the rulers will frequently be actuated. In a word, it forbids wholesome doubt. A political programme can never in reality be more than probably right. We never know all the facts about the present and we can only guess the future. To attach to a party programme -- whose highest claim is to reasonable prudence -- the sort of assent which we should reserve for demonstrable theorems, is a kind of intoxication,"

3balhorangi said...

But Russell, both sides are controlled by clerics. The Iranian opposition is not demanding a secular Iran but simply control of the Islamic Republic. (Khameini himself said he had only "differences of opinion" with the Opposition, as quoted by the BBC some weeks ago.) The most intelligent comment on this situation was posted in PZ Myers' blog: "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, nothing more." Castigate the ruling clerics for violating human rights, but don't for a minute think the Opposition in power would promote a free and secular Iran.

K.Greybe said...


The argument is misguided: Mousavi is just what we have to work with, the Secular Democracy state is the only important goal.