We talk to Maryam Namazie about Ahmad Shamlou’s In This Dead End, which describes the suppression and violence that occurred in Iran after religious leaders took power in the wake of the country’s revolution in 1979. She touches on how a just revolution was hijacked, the barriers that remain for supporters of freedom of speech, democracy, and secularism in the Middle East, and the dangers of cultural relativism.
Maryam Namazie is an Iranian secularist, feminist, and human rights activist. She left Iran in 1980 after the revolution, and since then has campaigned for human rights and the rights of refugees around the world. Now based in the UK, she hosts a weekly show called Bread and Roses, which is broadcast in the Middle East and North Africa as well on YouTube.