Amidst a set of global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic/epidemic response, the war in Ukraine and the so-called culture wars of right wing versus left wing politics, it is predictable, if not absolutely inevitable, that attention to the ongoing travesties and tragedies of violated fundamental human rights would be reduced.
It seems equally likely that faith-based authoritarians (or for that matter any ideologues) would take advantage of the distracted times to increase their entrenched influence and control.
HumanistFreedoms.com hopes that the distractions of the early 2020’s may finally pass and that secularist organizations may again be relied-upon to focus attention and action upon promoting humanist values and undertaking serious opposition to theocracies and religious police forces.
The tragic death of Mahsa Amini seems like an excellent matter to begin with.
Humanists International (Excerpts below from HI Sept 28, 2022)
In a statement made during the General Debate segment of the 51st UN Human Rights Council, Humanists International’s Advocacy Officer, Lillie Ashworth, responded to the recent murder in custody of 22-year old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini. Amini had been arrested by Iran’s “morality police” on 13 September for wearing her hijab “improperly”. She was accused of being in violation of Iran’s discriminatory compulsory veiling laws which require girls from the age of 9 to cover their hair completely. As several UN independent experts stated in the days following her death, there is evidence that Amini had been beaten and subjected to torture while in the custody of Iran’s theocratic regime. The Iranian police have claimed that she had suffered a stroke and a heart attack.
Ashworth’s statement reminded Iran that “compulsory veiling is a human rights violation, and that appeals to religious morality can never be used to police women’s choices, or to invalidate their equal dignity and worth.”
Since Amini’s murder, there has been widespread protests in Iran and around the world. In Iran, crackdowns by the theocratic state has resulted in further faith-based beatings and murders.
At this time, seven nations have formalized and explicitly-designated religious police: Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. These are a dirty seven which should be under international scrutiny and pressure to discontinue faith-based policing – a practice that is nothing other than state violation of fundamental human rights.
HumanistFreedoms.com looks forward to observing whether Canadian (in particular) and global humanist, atheist, secularist organizations join Humanist International in a re-focus on issues of this scope and type. We feel certain that there are still many other women, girls and families who might appreciate the kind of help from the international community that might have saved Mahsa Amini’s life.
Citations, References And Other Reading
- Featured Photo Courtesy of: ttps://www.smh.com.au/world/acehs-religious-police-crack-down-on-tight-jeans-20100526-weap.html
The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.