In the News: Open Letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

Public Letter To the Prime Minister of New Zealand, 2019-03-31.

Given the importance of this petition, we reproduce it below in its entirety.

To the Prime Minister of New Zealand,

Mrs, We wish to send our deepest sympathies to you and your countrymen in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attack. Having suffered, like so many other countries, from several terrorist attacks that have plagued us, we can deeply feel your pain and suffering, and send you our support in this difficult time.

However, we were puzzled by the response to this tragedy by you and your country citizens. You have chosen to express your sympathy for the Muslim victims by donning a hijab, which is widely (and we believe, rightly) considered a symbol of religious oppression.

While these actions have earned you wide-scale global media applause, they are also sowing a combination of misunderstanding and desolation among all people who fight against theocratic oppression. you have chosen to symbolize, represent and embody the Muslim religion by a so-called Islamic veil that is a proselyte symbol of inferiorization, marking women living in countries and communities governed by political Islam.

We understand that to express your solidarity with Muslims and to send a strong signal to the Muslim community of New Zealand, you wish to make a spectacular gesture. But why not do it in your name, as a human being in solidarity with his human brothers and sisters?

Why must you show your empathy by utilizing a symbol which is fundamentally liberticidal and sexist, as is demonstrated by the fate of the Iranian, Afghan or Saudi women who are forced to undergo it and who suffer the whip and prison when they refuse it? How to forget the murders of sad memory, the vitriolic attacks of Muslim women disfigured for life because they had refused the veil?

Whereas they are fighting this tool of oppression, you are asserting to the world the high symbolic value of the Islamic veil. What a shock for the Eastern women disavowed in their fight by Western women!

What a shock for those Muslim people who try to reform and secularize their religion by dissociating it from political Islamism, what a scandal for the ex-Muslims persecuted for having apostatized who are threatened with death, live protected and hidden, and bravely fight for the right to absolute freedom of conscience!

As you, a western woman enjoying the rights granted to women, are petitioned to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize while donning the hijab, remember the fate of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Irani lawyer unjustly sentenced to 33 years in prison for fighting for the right of women to refuse the hijab. We understand you are put in a difficult position in a trying time. But the eyes of the world are upon you, and We urge respectfully you to consider the consequences of your actions on millions of persons.

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