Secularist of the year

  • Date / 6 December 2005

IHEU congratulates Maryam Namazie who is the first recipient of the UK National Secular Society’s NSS-Irwin Secularist of the Year award. The £5,000 annual prize, sponsored by Dr. Michael Irwin, was presented by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee at a lunch at the Montcalm Hotel in London.

Namazie is a well known campaigner for secularism and refugee and women’s rights, and against political Islam. She is host of TV International, a Central Council member of the Organisation of Women’s Liberation, and director of the International Relations Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. She has campaigned against stoning and executions in Islamist societies, has opposed Shari’a laws, defended the banning of religious symbols from schools and public institutions, opposed the incitement to religious hatred bill in the UK, and called for secularism not only in her native Iran but in Britain and elsewhere.

Accepting the prize, Maryam said “We need an uncompromising and shamelessly aggressive demand for secularism, but this is only a minimum if we are to ensure that human values are safeguarded”.

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