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If not now, then when?

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Tuesday October 23, 2012 22:57author by Maryam Namazie Report this post to the editors

Someone always has some statistics about the West’s failings whenever I speak of Iran or Islam or sharia and wants to know what I’m doing about it…

Next time I meet someone protesting against the welfare cuts in Britain, I’ll be sure to ask what s/he is doing about the Iranian regime’s cut in subsidies or the brutal economic sanctions!?

And this happens to me all the time and it’s usually from people who do – well – nothing.

Just recently, after my talk at the National Secular Society’s Secularism conference, someone came up to specifically advise me not to focus on Sharia law as it is discriminatory to do so (I guess they were sleeping during my speech). I asked the ‘well-meaning’ chap whether he would then go up to the brilliant Sue Cox at the adjoining Survivors Voice – Europe stall to ‘advise’ her to focus on something other than paedophilia and child rape in the church because it was so very discriminatory against Christianity. My point was that this is a demand solely made of us dissenters of Islam.

It never seems to be the right time or place to raise our issues…

Now I am reminded of this because again today some dimwit, biasedfreethoughts, has spewed off statistics on US executions in a comment on my piece on the current killing spree by the Islamic regime of Iran and asked what I am doing against executions in the US!

That I am a long-term anti-death penalty campaigner or that this demand is never made of anti-DP campaigners in the US are side issues.

What angers me most about this sort of comparison (apart from being patronising) is that the reason behind it is not a real concern about the death penalty. Rather it is an attempt to promote a hierarchy of rights and wrongs – with the US always in the lead, thereby trivialising and dehumanising both the lives of ‘the other’ but their forms of resistance as well. If it’s not somehow holding the US culpable for everything, then it’s not the time and place.

Let me fill you all in on a secret.

The precious lives of the thirteen executed in the past 48 hours - whatever their ‘crimes’ - is just as important as the precious lives of those languishing on death row in the US – not more and not less.

And whilst I have often said that US-led militarism is the other side of the coin of Islamism, am I not allowed to focus on the executions in Iran if I so choose without someone telling me what is more important to condemn?

If not now, then when?

If not me, then who?

A killing spree
October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm Maryam Namazie

In the past 48 hours, the Islamic regime of Iran executed 13 people (in a report received by Mina Ahadi and the International Committee against Execution).

3 were executed this Sunday on charges of ‘corruption’ and ‘enmity against god’ in Sistan Baluchestan, namely Yahya Charizehi, Abdoljalil Kahrazehi and Abdolbasset Rigi.

10 others, including Saeed Sadighi and a father and son, were executed Monday morning in Tehran’s Evin prison for ‘drug-related’ offences.

Hundreds protested to stop the executions in Tehran. Security forces attacked the protesters and even threatened to shoot at them. This marks the first time that the families of ordinary (not political) prisoners were involved in public protests against executions.

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author by free_dummypublication date Wed Oct 24, 2012 00:05Report this post to the editors

well certainly the lives of all concerned are of equal relevance

But given that the US and it's allies are currently imposing crushing sanctions which include critical medical supplies that have no doubt killed quite a few people already, and also, along with Israel are threatening war against Iran, it is certainly not the best time to be highlighting the faults of Iran without balance, unless of course you are working with the US government.

Remember, the US sanctions and threats are affecting ALL IRANIANS, that includes innocent women, children, political prisoners, paraplegics, gay men and lesbians, etc etc.

And if war breaks out, they will all be horribly dismembered equally.

Don't play into the propaganda.

Is "being free" in an armed militia filled bloodstained pile of rubble with no infrastructure worse than living with restrictions in an otherwise functional country?.

I think that's a question you could ask those still remaining in Libya, Iraq (and maybe soon Syria) and other such "freed" countries.

You might not like the answer you receive though!

And be careful what you wish for. You might get it!!

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