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An Anti-Islamism Manifesto……..

Eleven brave writers, journalists, intellectuals speak out against the new totalitarian threat……Islamism. KGS

Jyllands-Posten 28.2.2006

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

12 signatures

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val

Presentations:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
From Somali origin, is member of Dutch parliament,member of the liberal party VVD. As writer of the film Submissionwhich caused the assassination of Theo Van Gogh by an Islamist inNovember 2004, she lives under police protection.

Chahla Chafiq,
Writer of Iranian origin, exiled in France is anovelist and an essayist. She is the author of “Le nouvel hommeislamiste , la prison politique en Iran ” (2002). She also wrotenovels such as “Chemins et brouillard” (2005).

Caroline Fourest,
Essayist, editor in chief of Prochoix (a review defending libertiesagainst dogmatic and integrist ideologies), author of severalreference books on ” laicité ” and fanatism : Tirs Croisés : lalaïcité à l’épreuve des intégrismes juif, chrétien et musulman (withFiammetta Venner), Frère Tariq : discours, stratégie et méthode deTariq Ramadan, et la Tentationobscurantiste (Grasset, 2005). She receieved the National prize oflaicité in 2005.

Bernard-Henri Lévy,
French philosopher, born in Algeria, engaged against all the XXthcentury “ism” (Fascism, antisemitism, totalitarism, terrorism), he isthe author of La Barbarie à visage humain, L’Idéologie française, LaPureté dangereuse, and more recently American Vertigo.

Irshad Manji,
Is a Fellow at Yale University and the internationallybest-selling author of “The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Callfor Reform in Her Faith” (en francais: “Musulmane Mais Libre”). Shespeaks out for free expression based on the Koran itself. Née enOuganda, elle a fui ce pays avec sa famille musulmane d’origineindienne à l’âge de quatre ans et vit maintenant au Canada, où sesémissions et ses livres connaissent unénorme succès.

Mehdi Mozaffari,
Professor of Iranian origin and exiled in Denmark, is the author of several articles and books on Islam and Islamismsuch as: Authority in Islam: From Muhammad to Khomeini, Fatwa:Violence and Discourtesy and Globalization and Civilizations.

Maryam Namazie,
Writer, TV International English producer; Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran’s International Relations; and 2005 winner ofthe National Secular Society’s Secularist of the Year award.

Taslima Nasreen,
Born in Bangladesh. Doctor, her positionsdefending women and minorities brought her in trouble with acommittee of integrist called ” Destroy Taslima ” and to bepersecuted as ” apostate “.

Salman Rushdie,
Author of nine novels, including Midnight’sChildren, The Satanic Verses and, most recently, Shalimar the Clown.He has received many literary awards, including the Booker Prize, theWhitbread Prize for Best Novel, Germany’s Author of the Year Award,the European Union’s Aristeion Prize, the Budapest Grand Prize forLiterature, the Premio Mantova, and the Austrian State Prize forEuropean Literature. He is a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts etLettres, an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T., and thepresident of PEN American Center. His books have been translated intoover 40 languages.

Philippe Val,
Director of the publication Charlie Hebdo (Leftwing French newspaperwhich republished the cartoons on the prophet Muhammad out ofsolidarity with the Danish citizens targeted by Islamists).

Ibn Warraq,
Author notably of Why I am Not a Muslim ; Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out ; and The Origins of the Koran , is at presentResearch Fellow at a New York Institute conducting philological andhistorical research into the Origins of Islam and its Holy Book.

Antoine Sfeir,
Born in Lebanon, Christian, Antoine Sfeir chose French nationality tolive in an universalist and ” laïc ” (real secular) country. He isthe director of Les cahiers de l’Orient and has published severalreference books on Islamism such as Les réseaux d’Allah (2001) etLiberté, égalité, Islam : la République face au communautarisme(2005).

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