The following essay by Azar Majedi previously appeared on the websites Iranian.com (http://www.iranian.com/main/2007/whats-gone-wrong) and Secularism is a Women's Issue (http://www.siawi.org/spip.php?article166).
Azar Majedi is a member of the central committee of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran and the founder of the Organization for Women's Liberation - Iran.
(A dialog between Three Way Fight contributors sparked by this essay was posted shortly after this essay.)
by Azar Majedi
When my daughter’s friend told me a couple of weeks a go, that her socialist lesbian friend has a poster on her wall saying: "we are all Hezb' Allah Now!" I said: "my God! (And I am an atheist) something has gone fundamentally wrong."
I asked myself, what are they trying to do, mocking socialists? Or, are they simply brainwashed? What is this world coming to?
This young woman has all the necessary ingredients for fighting against political Islam and Hezb' Allah. First of all she is a woman. Just the fact of being a female, is enough to make you a staunch enemy of a radically misogynist movement, unless you are brainwashed to do the opposite.
To add to the irony, she is a lesbian. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death according to Islam and in countries under its rule. To be homosexual makes you want to flee from any place that the Islamists have any power. Dozens of homosexuals have been hanged in recent months by the Islamic Republic of Iran. She, a lesbian, born in Iran, or in a region under Hezb' Allah, would have to seek refuge in Britain. But she is lucky enough to be born here and does not have to live in the fear of her life, like poor Pegah who fled Iran to seek refuge in Britain, and who now British government wants to deport back to Iran*. Is this socialist-lesbian supporter of Hezb' Allah aware that her support of political Islam makes Pegah’s case even more difficult? Home Office does seek legitimization for such deports by these quasi left Islamist propaganda. And finally she claims to be a socialist. Wherever one stands in political spectrum, it is a well-known and accepted fact that socialism is about equality, fairness and aspirations for a more egalitarian and fairer society. If one chooses socialism, that should mean, one cares for fellow human beings, aspires equality and freedom, all those values that are despised by the Islamic movement. Many thousands socialists have been imprisoned, tortured and executed by the Islamic Republic alone.
Then, what has gone wrong? Why is she so passionate about the Hezb' Allah?
An ideological falsification is responsible for this turn of events. Pragmatism has helped the course of events, as well. Let’s start with the latter. This most probably good-hearted young woman is rightfully sick and tired of American and British aggression and crimes committed in Iraq and the Middle East. She is sick and tired of the injustices imposed on the Palestinian people. She rightfully condemns American and British states for all these crimes and atrocities and for their full fledged support for the state of Israel and last year’s war on Lebanon. She is just to do so. However, on the other side, since George Bush has defined the enemy as Islamists, she automatically turns into full support for the Islamists.
The American and British aggression and military actions against the people in the Middle East has helped to draw a wrong image of the Islamic movement. Islamic movement and ideology have been falsified as the liberators of the people in the Middle East or the Palestinians. This is false. Islamists are one the most brutal movements in the history of mankind. They are no liberators. They are a force of reaction and darkness. This message must be spread.
Islamists are not the spokesperson for the Palestinians or Iraqi people. They do not represent the pain and grief these people suffer by these wars. They are not people’s representatives; they are as brutal and as ruthless. What we need to make clear is: in the war between US and Islamists, between the two poles of terrorism, we do not need to support either. We must condemn both. We should form a third pole, a third voice to oppose both.
24 August 2007
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* An open letter by Organisation for Women’s Liberation in defence of Pegah Emam Bakhsh, an Iranian Lesbian who is to be deported to Iran is attached. Please do support her.
The Organisation for Women’s Liberation-Iran
- Address: PO Box 42300
- London N12 0WY
- Chairperson: Azar Majedi
- Tel: +44-7886973423
- Fax: +44-8701358385
Open letter to the Home Office,
- The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
- 5th Floor, Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN England
- Telephone: 020 7211 1500
- Fax: 020 7211 1553
- Copies to the UK media and Mr Richard Caborn,
- MP for Sheffield Central
Re: Pegah Emam Bakhsh
- 21 August 2007
Pegah is a young Iranian woman who faces deportation from the UK. She applied for asylum in the UK fearing her life in Iran as a lesbian. She was refused asylum by the British authorities. Last week she was detained without warning and sent to Yarlswood for deportation on 16th August. At the very last minute she was granted stay until August 27th so her MP for Sheffield Central, Mr. Richard Caborn, could look at her case. Another report states that a new removal date has been issued for August 23rd at 9.21.
The Iranian Queer Organization - IRQO (www.irqo.net - email@example.com tel: 001-416-548-4171) has been active to stop Pegah’s deportation. We sincerely hope that Mr. Caborn together with the active role of IRQO can save Pegah from being deported to Iran where she will be arrested tortured and most likely executed.
In Iran, homosexuality is a crime and punishable by hanging or stoning. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed many homosexuals openly and in public. It is a well known fact.
We support Pegah’s application for political refugee status in the UK and urge all to oppose the UK government’s decision to deport her and support her case. Pegah SHOULD NOT be deported. She has, according to international human rights convention the right to be granted refugee status by the British government. If deported to Iran she will be persecuted for her sexual orientation and the British government will be in breach of its agreed human rights convention.
What are the real issues here? Increasing the number of deportees to meet the targets? Or deport her and see what happens? When she is tortured in Iran then she will have a strong case for asylum?! With the publicity she has now, the chances of the latter are more probable. Would that help the British authorities? Will it set the record straight? A battered or dead woman’s body proving the British authorities wrong! What a civilised way to settle the matter. One thing is sure if Pegah is returned to Iran the target has been met! We are talking about human life not statistics. Pegah has to be saved.