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

Thursday, 8 January 2015

We condemn the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo by Islamic terrorists

The murderous attack today by Islamic terrorists on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo has aroused people’s anger and disgust around the world. Charlie Hebdo is a left, progressive satirical weekly which criticises and ridicules religion and religious beliefs, prejudices and taboos. In 2011 the magazine’s office was firebombed by Islamists for publishing a caricature of Muhammed, and its editor and writers have repeatedly received death threats. In today’s attack 12 people, including the magazine’s editor and three well-known French cartoonists, were killed. This is a direct attack on freedom of expression, on freedom to criticise religion and on civilisation and humanity.

This atrocity has once again alerted the people of the world to the enormous crimes which Islamic states and groups in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries plagued by Islam are committing daily against their opponents and critics of Islam. The fight against Islamic states and groups rests on the shoulders of left, atheist and freedom-loving forces. The governments in the West, which rely on Islamic states and forces in the Middle East to further their aims and policies, and which have been instrumental in the rise of these forces, stand practically opposed to the camp of the revolutionary left, the secularists, atheists and progressive humanity, which is fighting Islamic states and forces of all types. Charlie Hebdo belongs to this latter camp.

Civilised and progressive humanity must everywhere come out against political Islam, the western governments’ policy of appeasement of Islamic states and forces, in defence of the unconditional freedom to criticise religion - specifically criticism of Islam - and in defence of secularism and separation of religion from the state. Already, people in France, Germany and Britain are holding protest gatherings against Islamists. This can be – and our party will try with all its power to make it - the start of a new global line-up against Islamists.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. It vigorously condemns this crime and calls on all left, secular and atheist forces and all freedom-loving people around the world to come out against political Islam and in defence of freedom of expression, in particular the freedom to criticise religion.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
7 January 2015