March for Free Expression

The next phase

Friday, March 10, 2006

Support: New Humanist Magazine

Padraig Reidy, Deputy Editor of New Humanist Magazine offers us this statement of support:
New Humanist was established over 120 years ago as part of a movement to open debate on religion and dogma. While since then, some advances have been made in the struggle for freethought and free expression, events in the past year have proved that much more is yet to be achieved.

Conservative Christians have attempted (sadly with some success) to censor Jerry Sprnger the Opera, Sikhs in Birmingham have forced a brave young playwright into hiding, and, most recently, Islamists have rushed to condemn, harass and threaten cartoonists and journalists who they characterised as ‘enemies of Islam’ for merely printing cartoons.

Freedom of expression is not an abstract, relative concept. It is an absolute which must be defended, now as much as ever. All ideas, whether they be personal, political or religious, must be open to questioning, to challenge, and yes, to offence.

That is why New Humanist is happy to stand alongside our secularist, rationalist and democratic comrades in support the March for Free Expression.

6 Comments:

Anonymous rationale said...

Excellent! After the march, hopefully something will come of this, a movement will exist. Organisations like PEN, New Humanist, Rationalist Press, Article 19, Index on Censorship etc are well and good but rooted in past struggles and too fragemnted and specialist. We need a 21st century voice.

2:44 pm  
Blogger Voltaire said...

We are not interested in holding a rally, having a good shout, then going home to sit grumbling in front of the TV again.

The purpose of this rally is to begin a campaign that brings about genuine change in the way our governments deal with issues of freedom of expression. That's why our statement of principle includes calls to our elected representatives for action.

From March 25th onwards, our tanks are going to be on their lawns. The organisations you list are supporting us, in the main, and we're very glad of that. The real issue is the organisations and institutions that are not supporting us. And the real outrage is that we have been so badly let down by them that we, as private individuals, have to do this at all.

More on this next week.

3:13 pm  
Anonymous rationale said...

I agree entirely, though am concerned that there are some for whom our classless agenda poses a problem so are trying to pick off supporters one by one. I hope Maryam holds her nerve against the disingenious attempt to peel her support away.

3:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I suggest a list of people who've come out against the demonstration? There's the Livingstone-backed Trots of Islamophobia Watch and Benjamin of Harry's Place for starters!

3:41 pm  
Blogger Voltaire said...

We're going to list the organisations that have declined support, and where possible give reasons. Islamophobia Watch are absurd and Harry's Place has given a mixed reaction, some of it supportive.

4:04 pm  
Blogger Bagrec said...

To describe Benjamin as "of Harry's Place" is a bit like saying "Richard Dawkins of the Vatican"...

The man seems to exist purely to oppose everything said on HP.

10:57 am  

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