Maryam Namazie speaks at the Reason Rally

Human Rights Defender Maryam Namazie Fights on Several Fronts

Maryam Namazie is among the most eloquent and passionate advocates for human rights now working, someone who boldly and unapologetically takes on the brutalism of fundamentalist Islam, as well as fundamentalism in other faiths.

At the Reason Rally, she declared her solidarity with those persecuted for exercising their fundamental rights, such as Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu Al-khair in Saudi Arabia, and the murders of secularists in Bangladesh such as Avijit Roy.

She was particularly vehement in her refutation of some on the political left who she says are apologists for extremist religions and the abuse of Islamist regimes, citing the confusions of “respect for culture” and identity politics. “Thanks but no thanks” she said to them, calling Islamism “the culture of our fascists.”

“If everyone agreed with them,” she said of the oppressive Islamist regimes, “they would not need to terrorize people with violence.”

She dismissed the common criticism of secularists as comparable to religious extremists, saying, “In the world they want, everybody dies. In the world we want, everybody gets to live.”

Cartoons and blasphemy can never be more offensive than murder, she told us. That is exactly the ideal that CFI believes and fights for every day.