Gender-Based Violence and War on Iraq; Support Houzan

Today March 8th is International Working Women’s Day. A day originally proposed by Clara Zetkin. It is vital now to show support for Iraqi socialist and women’s rights activist Houzan Mahmoud, representative abroad of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, who has been threatened by Islamic fundamentalists. On February 26, 2007, Houzan received an e-mail signed by Ansar al-Islam, the notoriously brutal jihadist group based in Kurdistan/Iraq.

The death threat, delivered via e-mail, read: “With the permission of Great God, we will kill you either in Iraq or in London by the middle of March, because you are campaigning against Islam. You should be sent to God for punishment.”

Houzan Mahmoud, aged 34, who is currently based in London, is originally from Iraqi Kurdistan, where she recently led a campaign against the imposition of Islamic Sharia law in the proposed constitution. Houzan is resolved to persist in her work, despite being targeted by Ansar al-Islam.

Houzan says: “I will continue doing what I am doing now, going around the world cultivating support for women in Iraq and Kurdistan as well as exposing the violence and gender apartheid that Islamists are imposing on millions of women in the region.”

Comrade Houzan needs our support. Show solidarity by contacting her.

Houzan Mahmoud of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq spoke on Democracy Now about the new report which documents the systematic use of violence committed by Islamist militias against Iraqi women. Methods of violence include widespread honor killings, torture, assassination and rape.

Report at MADRE.

This message was sent to Michael Zweig from United University Professions, AFT Local 2190. Brother Zweig, through the Center for the Study of Working Class Life, which he directs at SUNY-Stony Brook, organized a speaking opportunity for Sister Mahmoud in NYC on March 5.

From: Houzan Mahmoud
To: Michael Zweig
Subject: Thank you

Dear Michael and all USLAW comrades:

I would like to thank you so much for the great opportunity you gave me to talk at NYC and have the chance to address so many wonderful labor and women’s rights activists…it was really nice.

Having great activists and supporters like you in USLAW we will not be defeated!

Take care and I hope we remain in touch and I will update you more on our work and activism

Happy 8 March International Women’s Day! Today in Baghdad OWFI is celebrating this day!

Lots of love to you all,

Houzan Mahmoud