SECULAR CONFERENCE 2014 AND ITS LEGACY; THE ‘MANIFESTO FOR SECULARISM’

SECULAR CONFERENCE 2014 AND ITS LEGACY; THE ‘MANIFESTO FOR SECULARISM’

Two days of fascinating ‘International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights’ in London during 11 and 12 of October are now over. Two amazing days of presentations and debates.

Last weekend over 50 speakers and 250 delegates from round the world got together at the London Tower hotel for this important event.

The conference gathered secularists from every continent together, from different religions and cultures, all believing separation of state and religion as a universal human value. In fact, secularism is not just about atheism and atheists, it supports believers AND atheists. As Maryam Namazie told the Guardian, “This is a fight between secularists and theocrats. This does not preclude religious allies as the religious can also be – and often are – secularist�?.

At the opening of the Conference, Karima Bennoune paid tribute to the secularist victims of extremism and Islamism. (The recorded video can be seen here.)

I had the chance to present some fascinating secularists such as AC Grayling and Nadia El Fani to the conference and enjoyed listening to talks of Amel Grami and Safak Pavey who fight for secularism and against Islamism in Tunisia and Turkey.

 

I had the opportunity to meet Richard Dawkins on the second day of the conference. The Sunday Herald also published an articleabout me and my presence at the conference. It attracted public’s reaction on the Richard Dawkins Foundation Facebook page. I also have noticed the South African paper, The Times, has published a piece yesterday on the matter. I appreciate the kind words and supports.

The conference concluded with the presentation of the ‘Manifesto for Secularism’. The aim of the manifesto is to establish an international front against the Religious-Right and for secularism; it is now open to public to sign.

 

Ramin Forghani

18/Oct/14

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