Johann Hari has found a new hero: “Ehsan Jami is an intelligent, softly-spoken 22-year-old council member for the Dutch Labour Party. He believes there should be no compromise, ever, on the rights of women and gay people and novelists and cartoonists. He became sick of hearing self-appointed Islamist organisations claiming to speak for him when they called for the banning of books and the ‘right’ to abuse women. So he set up the Dutch Council of Ex-Muslims. Their manifesto called for secularism – and an end to the polite toleration of Islamist intolerance. As he put it: ‘We want people to be free to choose who they want to be and what they want to believe in’.”
In the same article Hari happily refers to “my friend Maryam Namazie” – the Iranian sectarian nutter who discredited this year’s International Day Against Homophobia in London by launching into a paranoid rant accusing the Muslim Council of Britain of wanting to execute gay men in Trafalgar Square.
But the main subject of Hari’s piece is Namazie’s fellow member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, Mina Ahadi, who has just been awarded the title of Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society. Ahadi received widespread publicity when she launched her so-called Council of Ex-Muslims in Germany, including an interview in Der Spiegel in which she stated “I know Islam and for me it means death and pain” and defended the display of racist anti-Muslim caricatures at a German carnival.
How long, you wonder, before Namazie and Ahadi join their chum Ehsan Jami in forming an open alliance with the extreme Right? If they do, they’ll evidently be able to count on the support of Johann Hari.
Update: For Johann’s response, see here