“The Right of Blasphemy: No to Medieval Trials”
Italian capital, Rome, on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The seminar aims at raising awareness of the fierce campaign against the enlightening intellectuals in the Arab world. From assassinating the writer and intellectual; Nahed Hattar in Jordan, imprisoning the Islamic researcher; Islam Behery In Egypt, and the liberal blogger; Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, to sentencing the journalist; Mohamed SheikhWaladAmkheter todeath,
Even those of which who haven’t been imprisoned or killed, live under the threat of being either imprisoned; like the great intellectual Dr. Sayyid Al-Qemany, who faces a report with the same accusation, or killed; like the famous intellectual and writer, Nawal El Saadawi, or are fugitive in a self-imposed exile; like the Egyptian writer and poet, Fatima Naoot, who has lived away from home since she was sentenced to three years in prison.
ADHOC believes that terrorism can never be countered, and that accuses of disbelief and strict mindsets of groups like Isis and Al-Qaeda can never be confronted, as long as Arab thinkers and intellectuals live under the guillotine of blasphemy laws. If intellectuals are being pursued, and are either killed, imprisoned, fugitive, or indicted, who then will face extremism?
Killing and imprisoning intellectuals don’t only deny them their lives and freedom, and deny society their contributions, but they also empty the field of any competition to blood-and-hatred-advocates and extremists, which allows them to be the highest and only voice in the Arab and Islamic world. We could only compare the political and financial support for Wahhabism and Salafism sheikhs, with the hunt of modernism, secularism, and religious reform advocates in our Arab world. So we could then realize why terrorism aggravated.
ADHOC believes that fighting terrorism and terrorist groups is closely and conditionally correlated to the abrogation of blasphemy laws. The true function of blasphemy laws is to suppress any free and serious discussion of any mainstream religious concept. Which makes reforming religious thought or confronting extremist thought a near-impossible mission. Therefore, repeal of these laws is like setting enlightening intellectuals free to play their role in spreading the culture of pluralism, human rights, and modernism, in order to fight the advocates of blood and accuses of disbelief.