Writers including Rushdie have signed an Islamophobic statement saying Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present.
The writers also include:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Somali-born Dutch MP
Taslima Nasreen - Bangladeshi writer
Bernard-Henri Levy - French philosopher
Chahla Chafiq - Iranian writer
Caroline Fourest - French writer
Irshad Manji – Canadian writer
Mehdi Mozaffari - Iranian academic
Maryam Namazie - Iranian writer
Antoine Sfeir - director of French review examining Middle East
Ibn Warraq - US academic of Indian/Pakistani origin
Philippe Val - director of Charlie Hebdo
The writers say the violence sparked by the publication of cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad shows the need to fight for secular values and freedom.
They also said they would not give up their critical spirit out of fear of being accused of Islamophobia.
Muhammed Khan of ‘Islam, Islam’ stated: “These writers are like woodworm, only coming out of the woodwork when it suits their personal egos, gripes, prejudices and false premises. Why don’t they ever mention how, in the name of secular freedom, pain and torture is being inflicted by governments such as the USA in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq, Russia in Chechnya, India in Kashmir and Israel in Palestine.”