In a time where discussions of ISIS, burqa bans, and what constitutes “Islamophobia” abound, it’s vital to consider the concerns of marginalized women living in Islamic societies. Maryam Namazie gives voice to many of these women—particularly those who refuse to be veiled—and offers a rousing critique against both oppressive Islamic regimes and Western progressives who champion the right to be veiled but stay silent on the right to be unveiled.
Maryam Namazie is an activist and campaigner with a history of leadership in many organizations. She is the spokesperson for Fitnah—Movement for Women’s Liberation, Equal Rights Now, the One Law for All campaign against Sharia Law, and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Namazie has spoken on and written numerous articles about women’s rights issues, free expression, Islamism, and secularism, including for her blog, Nothing is Sacred. She was named Atheist of the Year by Kazimierz Lyszczynski (2014), was awarded Journalist of the Year at the Dods Women in Public Life Awards (2013), and was selected as one of the top forty-five women of the year by Elle magazine Quebec (2007). In June 2012, The Islamic regime of Iran’s media outlets did an “exposé” on Maryam titled “Meet this anti-religion woman.”
This presentation was given at the Women in Secularism 4 Conference in Washington, DC on Friday, September 23rd, 2016.