Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Int.l Committee to Protect Freethinkers

Jaya Gopal
International Coordinator
Sector-V, Arilova Colony,
Visakhapatnam – 530 040
Email: icpf_campaign@rediffmail.com
Phone: 0091 98660 78486
Dr. Marvin F.Zayed, President,Canada
Email: diahumanism-institute@sympatico.ca
Dr. Madeline Weld, Canada
Email: madweld@rogers.com
Dr. Peter Priskill, Germany
Email: ahriman@t-online.de
Dr. Fred Whitehead, United States
Email: fredwh@swbell.net
Ms. Irene McLaurin-Dorn, EuropeDr. Nehal Karim, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Honourable Tony Blair,
Prime minister,
U. K. Fax: 00 44 20 7925 0918

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,



Our organization: International Committee to Protect Freethinkers would like to draw your immediate attention to the case of the famous Tunisian writer Lafif Lakhdar whose life stands endangered due to the Fatwa issued by the London-based Islamic Al-Nahdah group led by the cleric Sheik Rached Ghannouchi.

As you are well aware the objective of Fatwas, being the religious edicts pronounced by clerics, has been the incitement to either oppress or kill any reasoning, deviant or freedom-loving individuals who advocates reform or changes in the existing laws and the "Closed System" of Islam. During the past two decades several thousands of Muslim freethinking writers, journalists, democrats, secular intellectuals and Human/Women's Rights activists were eliminated by fanatics who were inspired and incited by such Fatwas, for example, the great Ali Dashti, Farag Foda, Nobel Laureate Naquib Mahfoudh and forced over five thousand to go in exile from the Islamic countries.

Lafif Lakhdar, against whom the malicious charges of authoring an irreverent book about prophet Muhammad were fabricated and the Fatwa pronounced has been an advocate of secular democracy, tolerance and peaceful coexistence of Muslims with non-Muslims. This is the only real cause of the ire of the cleric in the pronouncement inciting to kill Lafif Lakhdar.

Despite Lafif Lakhdar's vehement denial of the accusation of having authored any book that is critical of the Prophet, the Fatwa has not been revoked thus forcing him to seek protection for not only his life but also to steer clear of the charges of Blasphemy. Fundamentalists of any religions like Sheik Rached Ghannouchi do not combat ideas with ideas.

Our organization, therefore demands Your Excellency to take necessary action against Sheik Rached Ghannouchi for having pronounced the edict (Fatwa) against the great Arab Freethinker Lafif Lakhdar. It is once again proved that Fundamentalists like Sheik Rached Ghannouchi, could only breed and preach hatred and violence, not love and justice. Obscurantism and bigotry as history testifies, will destroy peace, social harmony and reason by breeding hatred and tyranny.

In light of the facts, our organization would like to to assert that the life of Lafif Lakhdar is endangered due to the Fatwa by Sheik Rached Ghannouchi and that it is incumbent upon your secular democratic Government to render justice by taking necessary action against the cleric. Ghannouchi should be prosecuted under British law for incitement to kill and spreading hatred. Your Government is responsible for the life of Lafif Lakhdar. A serious but immediate action will be highly appreciated.

Thanking you.

With esteem regards,

(JAYA GOPAL)Coordinator, International Committee to Protect Freethinkers


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