By Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born secularist and human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster. She is spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
How did you get involved in activism?
I became an activist as a result of my own life experiences after an Islamic regime took power in Iran. We fled the country. One of the first ways in which I got politically involved was in doing refugee rights work. My family and so many we knew had become refugees and it was a way of dealing with the trauma of losing everything and starting all over again – somewhere completely new – and at times unwelcoming.
It followed too, that I would be active against theocracy and religious rules, and for people’s rights. The best way you can fight repression is to refuse and resist. I didn’t set out to be an activist; in many ways I was forced into it. I had no choice but to fight back in the best way I knew how. Also when you are faced with such inhumanity – like the Islamic regime of Iran – the best fight back has to be fundamentally human.
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