My Blog has Moved to since 1 November 2011

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thanks from Reza Moradi

Reza Moradi (who was questioned by police at the March for Free Expression demo at Trafalgar Square and told a summons would be issued for his having insulted a person at the rally because his plackard had some of the Mohammad caricatures on it) writes:

Thanks for your emails and questions regarding my situation. To give you an update, Keith Porteous Wood, from the National Secular Society, has found me an excellent pro bono lawyer, Daniel Burbidge. We have already met once to go over the case; he is now following it up for me. The police have not yet sent the case to court because they say they are still gathering evidence. I am still waiting to receive their summons.

We want to make sure this case gets its day in court and that with your support - with the support of all those who seek justice when our civil liberties and freedoms are under attack - we will win and raise the banner of unconditional freedoms higher than ever before.

We fight both the political Islamic movement and the laws that support it and provide it with cover to make sure there can be no justification and excuse for such attacks on human values again.

I will keep you posted. I will be needing your support in defence of free expression and against political Islam's encroachment on universal values.

You can write to me directly at

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism

The present conflict between the Western governments and the Islamic Republic of Iran can have disastrous human, political and social consequences. The terrible experience of Iraq has shown to all the catastrophes that can result from economic sanctions and a military attack. Deterioration of living conditions, economic plight, death, destruction and displacement of people, and increased repression by the Islamic regime, would be some of the immediate consequences of economic sanctions or a military attack on Iran. This policy would unleash Islamic terrorism on a regional scale and escalate it internationally.

We must stand up with all our power to the US government’s and its allies’ bullying. We must put an end to the crimes of the opposite pole, i.e. Islamic terrorism. We must help the people of Islam-stricken countries to get rid of the menace of Islamic terrorist states and forces. American militarism and Islamic terrorism have brutalised the world. Neither of them has a solution to the present crisis and its resulting problems. Rather, they are themselves the cause of this crisis and its aggravation. Civilised humanity must rise up against both these poles and the suffering that they have imposed on the world. The human and genuine solution to the problem of nuclear weapons, to Islamic terrorism and its horrific crimes against the people of the world, and to the militaristic bullying of the US and Western governments lies in the hands of us people.

Amid all this, the struggle of the people of Iran for freedom holds a prominent and critical place. For years there has been a mass social movement in Iran against the Islamic regime and for liberty and equality. The triumph of this movement over the Islamic Republic of Iran would be a decisive blow to political Islam and Islamic terrorism throughout the world. It would also be a powerful response to the US government’s political-military interventionism aimed at regime change, in the name of “exporting democracy”, and imposition of reactionary puppet regimes on other societies. The victory of the Iranian people would be a giant step forward and a turning point in the struggle against militarist and Islamic terrorism and in defence of liberty, civilisation and universal rights for all throughout the world.

We, the undersigned, declare:

1- No to war, No to economic sanctions

Economic sanctions and a military strike on Iran will have catastrophic human, political and social consequences. What happened in Iraq should not be repeated in Iran. These threats must stop immediately.

2- No to US militarism, No to political Islam

In the conflict between the state terrorism of the West and Islamic terrorism, the civilised world is not represented. Both sides of this conflict are reactionary and inhuman. They must be driven back.

3- Nuclear disarmament of all states

Neither Iran, nor the USA, nor any other state should have nuclear weapons. The Iranian regime’s nuclear project must stop immediately. However, states which have the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons themselves are not competent authorities to judge on the nuclear capability of other states. Halting the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear project is the task of the freedom-loving people of the world, in particular the people of Iran - just as the nuclear disarmament of all states and liberation from the global nuclear nightmare can only be achieved by the struggle of the people of the world.

4- Attacks on civil liberties in the West in the name of ‘war on terror’ must stop

The governments in the West are violating or restricting civil rights and liberties in the name of fighting the terrorist threat and safeguarding security. Increased surveillance and control of citizens, curtailing freedom of expression and movement and denying the rights of immigrants are some of the commonest forms that this attack on people’s rights is taking. This must be stopped. No excuse for an attack on civil rights and liberties is acceptable.

5- We actively support the struggle of the people of Iran against a military attack and against the Islamic Republic of Iran

For 27 years the people of Iran have been fighting against repression, violation of women’s rights, sexual apartheid, stoning, torture, execution of political prisoners and poverty and economic deprivation. The people of Iran want to and can determine their own political destiny. Support for the struggle of the Iranian people for freedom, the victory of this struggle against the Islamic Republic and the establishment of people’s own direct rule will be a crucial step in standing up to the US government’s bullying and a decisive blow to Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and the world.

6- The Islamic Republic must be expelled from the international community

The Islamic regime in Iran must be kicked out of the international community, just like the racist South African regime, for 27 years of crimes against humanity, for the brutal suppression of the rightful struggles of the people, for the execution of over one hundred thousand political prisoners, for establishing a sexual apartheid in Iran and for promoting Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and throughout the world. We call for the non-recognition of the Islamic Republic as the representative of the Iranian people, for the ending of diplomatic ties with it and the closure of its embassies everywhere. We call for the expulsion of the regime from international institutions.

We invite all humanitarian, secular, anti-war and freedom-loving organisations, forces, parties and individuals in the world to sign this Manifesto and join the Third Camp to confront both poles of terrorism.

Initial list of signatories:

Mina Ahadi, Coordinator, International Committee against Stoning, Germany (including organisation).

Homa Arjomand, International Campaign against the Sharia Court in Canada and Director of Children First Now, Canada (including organisation).

Ophelia Benson, editor of Butterflies and Wheels, deputy editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, and co-author of 'Why Truth Matters', USA.

Nazanin Boroumand, Coordinator, Never Forget Hatun Campaign, Germany (including organisation).

Denis Cobell, President of the National Secular Society, Chair of Right to Refuse to Kill, and former Asst. Editor of Hyde Park Socialist, UK.

Deeyah, singer and composer, USA.

Caroline Fourest, writer, editor in chief of Prochoix, and author of several books, France.

Mersedeh Ghaedi, political prisoner in Iran for 8 years, Norway.

Tommy Gorman, writer, Ireland.

Hakeem Hasan, Secretary of the Health Care Workers' Council in Nasiriyah, Iraq (including organisation).

Reinhard Hascha, Historian, Germany.

Farshad Husseini, Deputy Director, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, the Netherlands (including organisation).

Khayal Ibrahim, Head of Women's Liberation of Iraq, Germany (including organisation).

Parvin Kaboli, Spokesperson of the International Campaign for Defence of Women's Rights in Iran, Sweden (including organisation).

Hartmut Krauss, editor of 'Hintergrund', Germany.

Terry Liddle, Chair of Lewisham Humanist Group, UK.

Azar Majedi, Chair of the Organisation of Women's Liberation, UK (including organisation).

Manochehr Masouri, webmaster of the International Committee against Executions, Sweden (including organisation).

Sean MacAughey, journalist, Ireland.

Reza Moradi, activist of the Young Communists' Organisation (including organisation), UK.

Anthony McIntyre, writer, former Republican prisoner and H-Blocks blanket protester in Maze prison in the 70s and 80s, Ireland.

Kevin McQuillan, former chairperson of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Ireland.

Maryam Namazie, Writer, Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International Relations, and 2005 winner of the National Secular Society's Secularist of the Year award, UK.

Richard O'Rawe, author of Blanketmen, Ireland.

Liam O Ruairc, Communications Worker, Ireland.

Fariborz Pooya, Director Iranian Secular Society, UK (including organisation).

Mohammad Reza Pooya, editor of Secular, the Netherlands (including publication).

Terry Sanderson, veteran of secular and gay activism, author of nine books with a journalistic career spanning 30 years and vice president of The National Secular Society, UK.

Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Giordano Bruno Foundation, Germany.

Antoine Sfeir, director of Les cahiers de l’Orient, and author of several books such as Les réseaux d’Allah (2001) et Liberté, égalité, Islam: la République face au communautarisme (2005), France.

Jalil Shahbaz, representative of the Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq, Germany (including organisation).

Issam Shukri, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq, Iraq (including organisation).

Bahram Soroush, Public Relations of the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK (including organisation).

Hamid Taqvaee, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, (including organisation).

To add your signature to the Manifesto, email Moreover, please feel free to publish it.

For more information, the press can contact any of the signatories or Maryam Namazie at, telephone: +44 (0) 7719166731.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In Support of Ayaan

The fact that Ayaan Hirsci Ali lied on her asylum application is irrelevant - even if she had not said so herself several years ago. Prior to the New World Order and its criminalisation of asylum seekers and refugees, it was a given that many would be forced to change their identities; moreover, where a person stopped or lived before arrival was not an issue. They are now because such rules help in refusing and deporting the persecuted not because they have anything to do with the experience of flight.

Clearly, Ayaan is a 'genuine' refugee as is all those fleeing Islam and political Islam. The fact that her life is under threat by Islamists in Europe - let alone Somalia or Kenya - is ample evidence of this.

Why she is being scapegoated has more to do with her party's internal politics as well as their and the Dutch government's general anti-asylum policies and appeasement of the political Islamic movement than Ayaan herself.

Ayaan has to be unequivocally defended and supported whilst her party and the Dutch government condemned.

As an aside, though, there is a lesson here for Ayaan who is intending to join a neocon think tank in the US: The right may give a limited platform to speak against Islam and political Islam but it will not and cannot provide a platform to unequivocally defend the rights of women and others...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Support Ayaan Hirsi Ali

To sign on to the below petition to support Ayaan Hirsi Ali, click here.

The misinformation on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's application for asylum is not a new tactic for desperate refugees, nor is it new about Ayaan, however the Dutch government has just recently decided to use this public information about Ayaan as a pretext to advance its political agenda.

The rights of citizenship for Ayaan can not be denied. However, to publicly announce the revocation of her citizenship sends a powerful message that also exposes the political agenda of the Dutch government which is to threaten and silence all opponents of Political Islam and defenders of secularism.

The Dutch has an anti-human rights policy against immigrant and refugees. This is the same government that declared Iran with its Islamic regime, as a safe country and deported asylum seekers back to Iran then and now. Its action against Ayaan Hirsi Ali once more proves it's discriminative and anti human policy against immigrants. Indeed Ayaan is a victim of such discriminative policy.

We believe the Dutch government is submitting to the demands of Political Islam and is trying to improve its relations with Islamist countries as well as Islamists' groups both nationally and internationally. We oppose the ambitions of Political Islam and denounce the willingness of Western governments to comply and submit to their demands. The Muslim regimes use their economic and diplomatic power under the guise of multiculturalism and cultural relativism to advance their agenda in the West and to silence free thought and expression.

We call on all progressive organizations, all defenders of women's rights, all protectors of human rights, all freedom seekers and all progressive individuals to condemn this vicious attack by the Dutch government against Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is a well-known women's rights activist, and a persistent and passionate fighter against political Islam.

By signing this petition we not only support Ayaan Hirsi Ali globally for her firm stand against political Islam but also oppose Political Islam and Islamists' terrorism and their supporters be it be the parties in power or in the West.

Homa Arjomand
Cooedinator of International Campaign
against Sharia court in Canada

AzarMajedi Chairperson of Women’s Liberation-Iran

Jocelyne Clarke
Secretary-general of the
Union des Familles Laïques ( UFAL)

June Callwood
Writer, journalist and founder /
co-founder of over 50 social action organizations

Maryam Namazie
Writer, Journalist &
Secularist of the year

Irshad Manji
Author, “The Trouble with Islam Today”
Fellow, Yale University

MilaYounes Agente de communications et de relations publiques
Fédération des femmes canadiennes françaises Jalil Behroozi Spokesperson of campaign
“NO to Islamists’ Oppression, No to the USA’s Aggression”

Ann Campbell
The Brampton branch of the "University
Women's Club" (CFUW-Brampton)

Paloma Saavedra Ruiz
Red Ciudadanas de Europa/Women Citizens of Europe Network (RCE)

Hamid Taqvaee
Worker-communist Party f Iran

Awatef Rasheed
Iraqi Al-Amal Association/ Canada
MinaAhadi Coordinator of International
Committee against Stoning

JocelynBézecourt , WriterJournalist

ParvinKaboli International Campaign for defense of Women’s Right in Iran

Psychologue France

KhayalIbrahim Coordinator of Women’s Liberation-Iraq

Chaliand Minces Juliette
Writer Women in Islam &

ShirleyGillett "Women Won't Forget"
ةlaine Audet & Micheline Cpublishers of Sisyphe

Mahmoud Ahmadi
One of Spokesperson of no one is illegal

Nabile Fares
Psychanalyste, Paris

Bill Broderick
Humanist Shannonville, Ontario, Canada
Yves Scheller
Président de l'Association suisse pour la laïcité

Anne Zelensky
Présidente de la Ligue du Droit des femmes

Diane Lequet-Slama
Chargée de mission internationale

Michele Vianes
Présidente de Regards de Femmes France

Nadine Sidhu
Member of Amnesty International
Burlington Group

Farshad Hoseini
International Federation of Iranian Refugees(IFIR

Samia Labidi
President association AIME

Hugo Van Offel

Nelly Sayagh
Présidente de l'Institut pour la Défense de la Démocratie
(President of the Institute for Defense of Democracy)

Dave Bleakney,
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Kim Pate
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)

Mohan Ashtakala
The Himalayan News

Mary-Lou Zeitoun

Michel Virard,
Association Humaniste du Québec,Canada

Karen Kawawada
Journalist & Reporter

Benjamin Mayer
Paris, France

Mohan Ashtakala
The Himalayan News

Monique M. Kelly,
PROGRAMME co- chair
with Lynn Dobson

Mary-Lou Zeitoun

Michèle Brognetti
traductor of persian language

Popelin Mireille
182 rue Francis de Pressensé

Stephen Pender
English, University of Windsor.

Pierre Cassen,
Animateur du journal en ligne Respublica (France)

Paul Scot
Historian Writer of the book
"L'Etat chez lui, l'église chez elle"

Huguette Chomski Magnis
Présidente du mouvement pour
la Paix et contre le terrorisme

Nicole Durand
Secretariat LEOM
Ecole Centrale de Lyon

Manolo Guillén
Program Manager
San Diego Youth & Community Services
B-SAFE Human Trafficking Program

Hanna Wallsten
Writer & Journalist

Ron Tomlinson
HAC Director
VSHA Director

Ron Hart

Tracy Harris,
Publisher, moxi femme magazine

Mounia Chadi,
Journalist radio de Montréal et agence
de presse Syfia International

Lorna Dueck
Executive Producer
Listen Up TV
Christianity and Culture Journalist

Banglar Islam

France Dombrowski
Writer and Journalist

Montréal (QC)

Caroline Fourest
writer and journalist

Nabile farès,
psychanalyste, paris

Ann Campbell
Equitable CFUW

Aimée Toulgoat

Marie Claude Rideau

Secrétaire Direction.

Catherine Carroll
Concern citizen

Janet Ritch

Martine Ruppé,
Présidente du Comité Ornais de
Défense de la Laïcité

Ophelia Benson
Butterflies and Wheels

Asqar Karimi
Secretary of the WPI Executive Committee

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Should Iran be Bombed and Should Religion have a role on Society - Of course not!

You can see me on the More4 TV programme, The Last Word, with Mathew Parris, journalist and author, and Johann Hari, columnist for the Independent, discussing whether Iran should be bombed (of course not!) and the monarchy with host David Starkey on It was broadcast on April 19.

Also see my discussion with Stephen Green of Christian Voice (yikes!) and Paul Woolley from Theos on the BBC TV Heaven and Earth programme It was broadcast on March 26.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day rallies in Tehran and Sanandaj attacked; at least 17 arrested

Iran May Day Update 2, Monday 1 May 2006

The May Day rallies in Tehran and Sanandaj have come under attack by the Iranian security forces. At least 17 demonstrators, among them members of the executive board of Tehran bus workers’ union, have been arrested.

In the rally in Tehran, called by the bus workers’ union and held outside the bus company’s headquarters, 13 people were detained. They include the following eight union activists and five as yet unnamed students: Ebrahim Madadi, Mahomoud Houzhabri, Yaghoub Salimi, Abbas Najand Koudaki, Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, Gholamreza Mirzaee, Hassan Dehghan and Gholamreza Khani.

In the rally in the city of Sanandaj four people were arrested, one of whom was later released: Hossein Ghaderi (later released), Farshid Beheshti Zad, Hiresh Naghshbandi and Aram Zamani.

Also, two of those arrested in raids in Sanandaj ahead of the May Day rally, namely, Mohammad Javid and Zahed Javid, are still in detention.

Around two hundred demonstrators defied some 2,000 members of the security forces in the rally in Tehran, which began from around 11 in the morning, local time. According to eye witness accounts, at around 1 o’clock, the security forces, which included members of the Special Guard, as well as plain clothes vigilantes on motor bikes, started attacking the demonstrators. They used batons to beat people up, dragging them on the tarmac. One bus driver had his fingers broken, and a woman demonstrator was severely beaten. The demonstrators booed the security forces, shouting ‘shame, shame’! The slogans shouted at the demo, and written on placards, included:

Our hero Ossanlou must be released!
Union is our certain right!
Strike, demonstration is our certain right!
No war, no bomb, but jobs!
Greetings on international workers’ day!
Workers’ House must be disbanded! (reference to the government-sponsored institution)
Students support workers’ right to independent labour organisations!
Workers, students, unite, unite!

In Sanandaj, despite the home raids and arrests from several days before May Day, a large rally was held, before it was attacked by the security forces.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran has called on all international labour and human rights organisations and individuals to condemn these outrageous attacks on workers exercising their basic right of protest and assembly, demanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran immediately and unconditionally release Mansoor Ossanlou, the imprisoned head of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and all those detained in the May Day rallies.

For more information, contact the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist party of Iran. Co-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar ( Public Relations: Bahram Soroush (