Maryam Namazie is among the protagonists of the festival of censored arts, for freedom of expression and against anti-blasphemy laws. Art exhibitions, group shows, live performances, talks, screenings, stand-up comedies, on the theme of censorship for religious reasons and blasphemy.
Maryam Namazie is a British-Iranian human rights activist, communist, secularist and journalist.
She was born in Tehran, but left Iran shortly after the 1979 revolution. She therefore lived in India, the United Kingdom and the United States: in each of these countries she worked for human rights, for the protection of women. and against religious persecution. In 2005, her activities were recognized by the National Secular Society with the Secularist of the Year 2005 award.
During the Danish cartoon uprisings, she was one of the twelve signatories of the Manifesto: Together Facing the New Totalitarism which states: «Having overcome fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global totalitarian threat: ‘Islam”.
After Mina Ahadi launched the Central Council of Former Muslims in Germany in January 2007, Namazie became the co-founder of the Council of Former Muslims of Great Britain (CEMB).
In December 2015, she gave a speech on blasphemy at Goldsmiths University in London, sponsored by the university’s atheist, secularist and humanist society. Members of the university’s Islamic Society disrupted the lecture by making noise and interrupting the presentation of the cartoon from the Jesus and Mo series.
She is a spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, she also supports the Association of Black Humanists. She is an honorary member of the National Secular Society. There has been an Islamic Sharia Council in the UK since 1982 and Islamic Sharia Courts are allowed to judge in family matters (marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody) under the Arbitration Act 1996. Namazie fights against all of this and calls for a law for all: “Rights and justice are intended for people, not for religions and cultures”.
Anti-blasphemy laws in Italy and around the world are used to suppress political opponents and dissidents, to censor artists, journalists and free thinking.
The application of a law that should protect an unidentified “religious sentiment” is highly subjective, completely arbitrary. There are countries where even a woman’s song can be considered blasphemous. A reality that moves large sums of money and votes but which cannot be satirized or criticized, becomes untouchable: an unnameable god becomes truly omnipotent even on the political and social level. This is why Ceci n’est pas un blasphème , the festival of censored arts, was born .
The festival enjoys the moral patronage of the Department of Culture of Naples, but to maintain independence and thus guarantee the quality of the curatorship we do not have access to public funds: we are professionals but we work on it as a team of volunteers, we believe in it a lot, if you share the message give us a hand to make it happen: together we can do something great, for art, for poetry, for freedom of expression, against any form of religious abuse!