WAF statement on Peter Tatchell and Islamophobia

WAF recalls its commitment to the abolition of the blasphemy law and its defence of free speech. WAF believes that the threat of the far right is one of the key concerns today, and that the far right is establishing itself as both racial and religious movements across all religions, a fight against the reconstitution of the far right should recognise it clearly in all its forms.

WAF believes that terms such as anti-semite and Islamophobe are used as a disabling tactic against people who criticise religion and fundamentalists. This tactic is used to trash reputations, to silence critique and to stop political activism. In particular, in the current context where religious identities and faith-based organising is being privileged and where ‘anti-imperialist’ activism has become about defending any and all ethnic minority religious voices, no matter how right wing and at great cost to equality campaigns, those advocating secular solutions and secular spaces are being accused of racism and Islamophobia.

In that light, WAF supports the right of Peter Tatchell and numerous other gay activists to oppose the legitimisation of fundamentalists and other right wing forces on university campuses, by the Left and by the government in its Preventing Violent Extremism strategy and numerous other programmes and platforms. The fight against fundamentalism and other forces of the far right, cannot be limited to a single strategy, nor is it an intra-religious struggle. It is a struggle for universal values including the struggle for sexual autonomy and human rights for all.

WAF recalls the slogan ‘Fear is their weapon, courage is ours’ and invites everyone to renew its commitment to struggle against fundamentalism in all religions.

Women Against Fundamentalism

This statement has been issued in the light of attacks on Peter Tatchell in the book Out Of Place, whose publishers have since issued an apology to Peter on their website