June 17, 2006
Homa Arjomand received the annual Canada Humanist of the Year award
Speech at the 30th annual HAC Conference Vancouver in regard of Humanist of the Year
I would like to thank The Humanist Association of Canada (HAC) Ottawa and British Colombia for providing me this opportunity to be amongst you today.
It is an hounor to be selected as Humanist of the Year by your organization. It is a privilege to be amongst you and as always this gives me energy and strength to continue fighting for secularism. As I have mentioned repeatedly the International Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada has always received the full support from your organization. Without your firm support locally, nationally, and internationally, the campaign would have never been able to get through all those obstacles.
The presents of the activists such as you, in the movement against the interference of Religion with state and justice system empowered our movement. Today’s victory is the result of our collective contributions.
I believe your act in selecting me as Humanist of the year is to further strengthen the forefront of the people’s ranks. This is an encouragement for me and other activists to continue the fight for a better world for all.
As you all know, it has been almost three years since the International Campaign against Sharia Court was first established. During the past three years, we have managed to become another popular movement against Islamists’ aggression. We have become the call of conscience to prevent women and children become victim of abuse under the notion of freedom of religions. We managed to bring about a global awareness with respect of globalization of political Islam and its movement; we introduced essence of this movement as a reactionary movement which is strongly anti-freedom, anti-secularism, misogynist and anti-modernism. We managed to disclose to public the reasons that the Western government support the religious groups particularly Islamists’ groups and state. In this respect we managed to push the Ontario government to end its relation with Islamists movement in a certain degree. Not to forget that the victory of this Campaign caused even the European governments to put extra pressures on Islamists movement. We were able to defeat the thesis of cultural relativism and the issues of minorities’ right for the exchange of one law for all and respect of individual’s rights. And when the women’s rights movement were facing the accusation of being racist and were blamed for promoting Islam-phobia we overcame that fear too.
The activity of Campaign gave courage to the movement to stay firm in defending women’ rights and not to bend/ or ignore women and children’s rights for the sake of respect to culture, religion or even nationality; with no exaggeration, we managed to build strong bond and solidarity within women’s rights activists and freedom seekers not only locally but also nationally and Internationally.
“Under the banner of one law for all” we managed to save the life of hundreds of immigrant women and young girls who came from so called Islamic countries or were members of so-called Islamic communities directly or indirectly.
Today we are continuing our struggle for total separation of religion from state and education system as we believe no religion should be imposed on children. Children have no religion. We are running another campaign parallel with this campaign against religion schools and at the peak of it is to ban Islamic schools.
under the banner of “one system of education for all”, We stated in our declaration that “to guarantee that the rights of children take precedence over any national, racial, political, ideological, and religious considerations or interests, the state should call for the total separation of religion from education, and adopt a secular educational system for all children”
We do our best to be actively always involved and anywhere the rights of women and children are being under the attack by any religious groups and anywhere the governments and party on power try to negotiate these rights with religious groups or religious state.
I am sure together we can build a safe, free, equal, and prosperous society and this we owe to our society.