Egypt: International petition launched to support Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi and the freedom of expression

AWSA via WiB
The Arab Women's Solidarity Association - Belgium has created a trilingual online petition in protest of the threats faced by writer Nawal El Saadawi by non-state actors and express support for the freedom of expression and creativity in all contexts.
"International campaign for freedom of thought and creativity and for solidarity with the Egyptian novelist and writer Nawal El Saadawi."
"The Egyptian writer and novelist Nawal El Saadawi well known both in the Arab world and internationally is facing a political and religious campaign mounted against her by the authorities of Al-Azhar. Basing themselves on a play written by her entitled "God resigns at the Summit Meeting" published during the month of January 2007 in Cairo, they are accusing her of apostasy and disrespect for the principles of Islam.

The theater play is a work of fiction and should be judged by the men and women who read works destined for the theater and not by religious dignitaries whose areas of concern are totally different. To bring a writer to trial before a court relying on dangerous accusations of this kind can be a license for her assassination.

Accusations such as this which should hold sway in the Twenty First Century are being leveled against a woman of letters, a woman from the medical profession who has given to the Arab world forty five works ranging from novels, plays, short stories, autobiography to scientific and intellectual studies which have served the cause of women's liberation and that of men and have been translated into thirty languages covering different regions of our globe. This is not the first time that Nawal El Saadawi has had to face campaigns of this kind. The accusation here also was that of apostasy.

We the signatories of this petition demand that this repressive campaign come to an end immediately. We call upon all the men and women of conscience all over the world, in the Arab countries and in Egypt to take the action they see fit in order to defend freedom of thought and creativity. We call upon all the associations and organizations of civil society, the unions of workers, on journalists, on all free women and men in the different countries, on the associations and organizations of women and on democratic progressive political parties to join us in our efforts to defend freedom."

Arab Women's Solidarity Association – Belgium