‘When religion means death’ (according to Maryam Namazie)

namazie and racist placards 2Maryam Namazie of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran offers her thoughts (we use the word in its loosest possible sense) on the death sentence imposed on Parwiz Kambakhsh in Afghanistan. She writes:

“Many have rightly come to his defence and must keep the pressure on. But to defend Parwiz by saying he did not ‘intend’ to blaspheme misses the entire point. This is exactly what the likes of the Muslim Council of Britain say in order to conceal the responsibility of their political Islamic movement. For example, the MCB ‘greeted’ the release of Gillian Gibbons (the British schoolteacher who was imprisoned in Sudan for allowing her 7 year old students to name their class teddy bear Mohammad) by saying she had not ‘intended to deliberately insult the Islamic faith’.

“What they are basically saying is that victims and their ‘intentions’ are to blame for the injustices and barbarity of Islamic law. Moreover, they are implying that if someone knew they were blaspheming, or if their actions or statements were so clearly blasphemous that they should have known better, then the death penalty or calls for their death are permissible – or at the very least understandable. The smokescreen of ‘intent’ aims to conceal the real issue at hand, which is Islam in power….”

New Statesman blog, 5 February 2008

In fact, the MCB did not merely “greet” the release of Gillian Gibbons but declared that her prosecution was “a disgraceful decision and defies common sense” and called for the charges to be dropped. Like many self-styled defenders of the Enlightenment, Namazie doesn’t allow objective evidence to interfere with her own prejudices.