Iraq: Kurdish secular writer under threat

A petition, dated Feb. 9:

To: Kurdish Authorities

Campaign to defend the life and safety of Marywan Halabjaye

Defend this secular writer against the threats of Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan!

Marywan Halabjaye is secular Kurdish write who recently published a Book entitled Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam. In this book he discussed the status of women in Islam and according to the text of the Quran. The book has received an overwhelming response from the secular, progressive masses of Kurdistan.

Three of Kurdistan’s Islamic parties, the United Islamic Party, the Islamic League and the Islamic Movement, have started to threaten Marywan Halabjaye and mobilise the Kurdish media against him and his book. They have filed a complaint against the writer in a Sulaymania court and are using mosques in many towns and villages to provoke people against him.

This is part of the ongoing drive of political Islam to attack freedom of expression across the world and silence the voices of those who are critical of the treatment of women in Islam. It is our task to defend the right of secular, progressive and enlightened writers and thinkers to express their ideas and thoughts without fear or intimidation.

We the undersigned condemn the reactionary attack on Marywan Halabjaee and secularism in Kurdistan and argue strongly for the Kurdish authorities to:

– Provide unconditional protection for Marywan and his family, who are now in hiding.
– Guarantee protection of freedom of thought, expression and Association in Kurdistan.

Houzan Mahmoud
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq – UK Branch

Signatories at PetitionOnline

See our last post on Iraq, and on the Kurdish struggle.