History will judge us all!
There are moments in history that actions and words become epoch-making; and let me add to that our silence becomes so poignant that it pierces our hearts and minds. Today is that moment. As all humane, freedom-loving, compassionate and principled people have spoken loud and clear against the genocide in Gaza, and condemned unequivocally Israel and its Western allies, the secularist movement in the West at best has said nothing or at worst only defended Israeli’s lives.
If in the 1930s one could claim they were unaware of the genocide being carried out; there is no such excuse for us now, as for the first time in history we are watching genocide unfold on our screens in real time. There’s no excuse.
How can one who claims to defend “a freer and fairer society”, and believes that secularism is “a vital principle that upholds freedoms and protects human rights and fosters a fair and open society” watch the murder of small children in real life on screen and say nothing, do nothing. This is the worst form of hypocrisy! So blatant that it has ripped off the veil of civility, fairness, humanity completely.
How can one who prides oneself on fairness, reason and compassion watch a whole society crumble to rubble; watch hospitals being bombed and babies left behind in incubators; 350 schools and 4 universities bombed to smithereens, and say nothing and do nothing. It is now over 100 days where 30,000 people, 10,000 of whom are children have been shot, bombed and starved yet you still say nothing. This is so self-defeating. You have lost all credibility.
How can you as a secularist only criticise or attack one religion but not the other, one religious movement and not the other, one religious state and not the other? What happened to the fairness you are promoting? Your allegiances are clear and obvious.
In the past 2 decades hundreds of pages have been written and hundreds of speeches have been made criticising Islam and shredding it to pieces. Islamic movements and their terrorism have been condemned over and over. The Islamic states the same. That is definitely positive. However, not one criticism of Judaism has been made or of the Jewish state of Israel and their murdering of Palestinians with the words and symbols of the Torah as the guiding motivation. None whatsoever.
How can one explain this discrepancy, this double standard, but to call it what it is? It’s hypocrisy and a fabricated narrative for a clear political and ideological agenda. The genocide in Gaza has exposed all these movements and institutions that were wearing a mask of humanity and progressive values as frauds who were only actors in the US led Western state terrorism which now after more than 2 decades has been responsible for millions of deaths, millions more injured and disabled and millions displaced in the Middle East. Not to forget that all these monstrous Islamic movements which are tearing the region apart arecreations of the US and the West; from the Islamic regime in Iran to Mujahedin, Taliban, Al Qaida, Hamas, and Daesh.
One needs just to move back and look at the bigger picture to see how this narrative works and how it’s been part and parcel of the 21st century destruction of the Middle East. The point of consistency that we as Secularists should all abide by is that we cannot be all guns blazing and rightfully condemn one side whilst remaining completely silent in the face of the other. The face of Genocide staring us in the eyes every single day.
Azar Majedi- Chair of Organisation for Women’s Liberation
Homa Arjomand- Coordinator of the International Campaign for One Secular School System & Coordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada