Petition by Maryam Namazie (London, UK)


Our era is marked by the rise of the religious-Right – not because of a “religious revival” but rather due to the rise of far-Right political movements and states using religion for political supremacy. This rise is a direct consequence of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism and the social policies of communalism and cultural relativism. Universalism, secularism and citizenship rights have been abandoned and segregation of societies and “communities” based on ethnicity, religion and culture have become the norm.


The Islamic State (formerly ISIS), the Saudi regime, Hindutva (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in India, the Christian-Right in the US and Europe, Bodu Bala Sena in Sri Lanka, Haredim in Israel, AQMI and MUJAO in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria are examples of this.


For many decades now, people in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora have been the first victims but also on the frontlines of resistance against the religious-Right (whether religious states, organisations and movements) and in defence of secularism and universal rights, often at great risk to their lives.


We call on people everywhere to stand with us to establish an international front against

the religious-Right and for secularism. We demand:


1. Complete separation of religion from the state. Secularism is a fundamental right.

2. Separation of religion from public policy, including the educational system, health care and scientific research.

3. Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes. An end to discrimination against and persecution of LGBT, religious minorities, women, freethinkers, ex-Muslims, and others.

4. Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religions. Belief as a private affair.

5. Equality between women and men and citizenship rights for all.

Adopted at the 11-12 October 2014 International Conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London.


Initial Signatories:


AC Grayling, Philosopher

Aliyah Saleem, Secular Education Campaigner

Amel Grami, Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba

Bahram Soroush, Social and Political Analyst

Ben Baz Aziz is a Presenter at Arab Atheist broadcasting

Caroline Fourest, French Writer and Editor

Chris Moos, LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society

Chulani Kodikara, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka

Daphna Baram, Israeli-born human rights lawyer, journalist and comedian

Elham Manea, Yemeni Writer and Human Rights Activist

Faizun Zackariya, Citizens for Justice, Sri Lanka

Fariborz Pooya, Host of Bread and Roses TV

Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space

Hamid Taqvaee, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran

Horia Mosadiq, Human Rights and Women’s Rights Activist from Afghanistan

Imad Iddine Habib, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco

Inna Shevchenko, Leader of FEMEN

Julie Bindel, Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize and Justice for Women

Kacem El Ghazzali, Moroccan secularist writer and blogger

Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist

Kiran Opal, Writer, LGBTQ/Human Rights Campaigner, Co-founder Ex-Muslims of North America

Lila Ghobady, Iranian writer-journalist and documentary filmmaker

Magdulien Abaida, Libyan Activist and President of Hakki (My Right) Organization for Women Rights

Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue

Maryam Namazie, Iranian Spokesperson for One Law for All, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah

Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker

Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Nina Sankari, Vice-President of the Atheist Coalition, Poland

Nira Yuval-Davis, a founder member of Women Against Fundamentalism and the International Research Network on Women in Militarized Conflict Zone

Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistani Nuclear Physicist and Social Activist

Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation

Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters

Ramin Forghani, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Scotland

Rumy Hassan, Senior Lecturer at University of Sussex and author

Sameena Zehra, comedian and blues singer

Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International

Soad Baba Aissa, Founder of the Association for Mixing, Equality and Secularism

Sue Cox, Founder of Survivors Voice Europe

Sultana Kamal is a lawyer, human rights activist and Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra in Bangladesh

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society

Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Activist

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