Subscribe to Secularism is a Womens Issue

Secularism is a Women’s Issue

Home > impact on women / resistance > Defend Protests in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon

Defend Protests in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon


Saturday 23 November 2019, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


Farsi and Arabic below

Defend Protests in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon

Nov.22, 2019

Nationwide protests in Iran against a 50% fuel price hike over the last few days has seen widespread suppression by the Islamic regime of Iran’s security forces leaving at least 200 dead, hundreds injured and over a thousand arrested. The use of overwhelming force by security forces has been coupled with an Internet black out to prevent news of the uprising and its suppression from reaching the outside world. The protestors are targeting Islamic rule and the clerical dictatorship, including by attacking religious institutions and seminaries, banks, police stations and representations of the clerical leadership.

The protests in Iran follow mass and ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon over the past month. In Iraq, more than 300 people have been killed and at least 15,000 wounded. In Lebanon, the protesters have gained victories despite attempts to violent suppression, the last of which was cancelling the parliamentary session for the second time in a row, after protesters blocked all roads leading to parliament.

In all three countries, protestors are demanding jobs, improved services, an end to corruption, sectarianism and the interventions of the Islamic regime of Iran in the region. In Iraq many shouted: “Neither Sunnism nor Shiaism, but Secularism”. In Iran, slogans included “We don’t want an Islamic regime” and in Lebanon, demonstrators demanded that those in power be deposed by saying “All of them means all of them, Nasrallah is one of them” referring to the Islamist leader. The protests are deeply secular, with young people and women taking the lead.

We call on the public to show unequivocal support and solidarity with the protests and defend universal rights, freedoms and demands for secularism. We also call on the public to mobilise condemnation of government forces, including Islamic militia, that are suppressing popular and legitimate uprisings for a better tomorrow.


Maryam Namazie, Political Activist, Iran/UK
Sami Abdallah, Co-founder of Freethought Lebanon
Ahlam Akram, Basira for Universal Women’s Rights
Ali Rizvi, Author
Armin Navabi, Atheist Republic
Ashkan, Ex-musulmani d’Italia and Republica degli atei
Barry Duke, Editor of The Freethinker and Pink Humanist
Cemal Knudsen Yucel, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Norway
Cinzia Sciuto, Editor of MicroMega and Journalist
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-Presidents, Freedom From Religion Foundation
Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom
Ex-Muslims of India
Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu
Fauzia Ilyas, Founder of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Gita Sahgal, Spokesperson, One Law for All
Halaleh Taheri, Founder, Middle Eastern Women and Society organisation
Kongra Star Womens Movement in North and East Syria
Halima Salat, Ex-Muslim Somali Voices
Harris Sultan, Author and Activist
Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Co-founder of Mouvement Alternatif pour les Libertés Individuelles - Morocco
Iman Soleymani Amiri, Researcher and Writer
Irreligious Community of Sri Lanka
Jenny Wenhammar, FEMEN Sweden
Karrar Al Asfoor, Iraqi Liberal Activist
Keith Porteous Wood, President, National Secular Society
Lars Alm, Ateistene Norway
Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO, FiLiA
Maria MacLachlan, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Marwa Radwan Wain, Youtuber
Mersedeh Ghaedi, Spokesperson, Iran Tribunal London
Mina Ahadi, Worker-communist Party of Iran
Nacer Amari, President and Founder of Prometheus-Europe
Nadia El Fani, Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Human Rights Campaigner
Nastaran Goodarzi, Ex-Muslims of Scandinavia
Nina Sankari, Vice President of Kazimierz ?yszczynski Foundation
Patty Debonitas, Activist
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
Rahila Gupta, Writer and Journalist
Rishvin Ismath, Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka
Rumana Hashem, Director, Community Women Against Abuse & Phulbari Solidarity Group
Sadia Hameed, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Samir Noory, Left Worker communist party of Iraq
Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International
Shakila Taranum Maan, Filmmaker
Soad Baba Aissa, Activist and Feminist
Stephen Evans, Executive Director, National Secular Society
Steven Pinker, Cognitive Psychologist, Linguist, and Science Author
Taher Djafarizad, President, Associazione Neda Day
Taslima Nasrin, Writer
Usama al-Binni, Administrator, Arab Atheist Network and Editor, Arab Atheists Magazine
Waleed Wain, Youtuber
Wissam Charafeddine, Co-Founder, Muslimish
Women Defend Rojava
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Yoeri Albrecht, Director, De Balie
Yukthivadi Sangham India
Zara Kay, Faithless Hijabi
Zehra Pala, Activist of the Atheism Association of Turkey