The two videos inside this article are Parts 1 and 2 of a seminar on "The Right of Blasphemy - No to Medieval Trials" which took place in Rome, Italy, on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The seminar aimed at raising awareness of the fierce campaign against the enlightening intellectuals in the Arab world. From assassinating the writer and intellectual; Nahed Hattar in Jordan, imprisoning the Islamic researcher; Islam Behery In Egypt, and the liberal blogger; Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, to sentencing the journalist; Mohamed Sheikh Walad Amkheter to death, to other, endless examples. “Blasphemy”is always a prefabricated accusation of anyone who tries to discuss or think differently. Of additional interest is the fact that the president of the secularist ADHOC organisation that held this very open-minded seminar was Syrian-born Randa Kassis, who recently met with Donald Trump Jr at the French 'think tank' the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, headed by her husband, Fabien Baussart, to discuss US-Russian cooperation. (See "Hope for Syria! Trump's son at Randa Kassis pro-Syrian French think tank in October."
DR NADIA OWEIDAT: "I have felt personally in my entire ten years of being an analyst in Washington [...] that I am constantly accused of being not authentic enough because I'm not an Islamist.
So there's somebody has decided that if you from the region and it doesn't matter like I come from the biggest tribe in Jordan - my tribe goes back to the time of the Pharaohs - [...] but that doesn't make me authentic because I'm not religious. I'm not Islamist. Not just not really, just I'm not Islamist.
So I've had this accusation and its really irritating who has decided that unless an Islamist I'm not an authentic voice from the Middle East. [...]
We have to fight this because this sympathy is really costing the entire world, because it's a huge imbalance in siding with Islamist as authentic. [...]
Political Islamist parties have proven over and over that they are very authoritarian and there's enough of us in the Middle East that are really sick and tired of authoritarianism. We would like to see real human rights, would like to see real engagement. We want to play a role in building our countries and were excluded from from that engagement. [...] Islam is like returning regimes exclude everybody [...] who doesn't carry their vision. It's not even vision their narrow-minded ideology. So this really needs to be tackled [...]" (Dr. Nadia Oweidat: Modern Islamic thought professor.)
It has been very difficult to discover the list of participants and all their names. Below is a list advertised on the International Humanist and Ethical Union, IHEU site in England.
1. Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad: German-Egyptian writer and critic of Islamism.
2. Dr. Nadia Oweidat: Modern Islamic thought professor.
3. Dr. Saaed Nashed: Moroccan writer and intellectual, concerned with the issues of modernism and enlightenment.
4. Dr. Olfa Youssef: Tunisian writer, author, professor.
5. Dr. Elizabeth O’Casey: Advocacy Director of IHEU and representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
6. Mr. Majed Hatar brother of the assassinated Jordanian writer Nahed Hatar
Whilst one can obtain an automated transcript of the speeches via you tube's transcript function, the accuracy is poor. I have tried to transcribe parts of the first and the second speeches and may put these up later.