Sunday, 11 January 2015

To Gerard Biard, editor-in-chief, and staff of Charlie Hebdo

We are writing to express our deepest condolences on the cowardly attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the callous murder of your colleagues.  We vigorously condemn this barbaric act.

This was not just a gruesome attack on your magazine, which has bravely stood up to ignorance, bigotry and dogma, but also an attack on freedom of expression and the unconditional right to criticise and ridicule religion.  It was an attack on civilisation and humanity itself.

They were hoping to silence you and free speech.  Instead, in the wake of this attack, a colossal wave of human solidarity has taken shape in France, Europe and across the globe with you and your cause.

The Islamic terrorists who carried out this barbaric act belong to a movement which has been committing enormous crimes against people and critics of Islam for decades in countries like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and everywhere else plagued by Islam.

Confronting and stopping this movement is the job of left, secular, atheist, freethinking and progressive forces, who see the defence of unconditional freedoms as a prime task.  Charlie Hebdo belongs to this camp.

Our party is committed to a vigorous fight against Islamism both in Iran and internationally.  We are committed to the defence of unconditional freedom of expression and criticism of religion.  Our colleagues have for years been campaigning internationally for secularism, universal rights, and against Sharia laws, apostasy and blasphemy laws, the death penalty and stoning.  In Iran, we are committed to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, i.e., a cornerstone of political Islam and Islamism, and the building of a free, open and equal society.

In solidarity with you and in loving memory of your lost colleagues
For a world free of religion, ignorance, prejudice and dogma
For a better world

Asqar Karimi
For the Executive Board
Worker-communist Party of Iran

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