Our Immense task !
Azar Majedi

You have the special English edition of Medusa in your hand. A few words about Medusa and this issue are necessary. Medusa Is the journal of Centre for Women and Socialism, which was first, published in 1998. Some left activists occupied with the women’s issues and rights who had fled the oppression and persecution of political Islam and Islamic Republic in Iran established the centre. We decided to give a more clear and pronounced voice to our trend and our point of view in the women’s liberation movement, thus Medusa was published.

Medusa has given voice to radical trend in women’s liberation movement with a special focus on political Islam and the plight of women in the Middle East in general, and Iran in particular. Medusa has advocated unconditional freedom of women and total equality of the sexes, secularism, and a society where all citizens are free and equal regardless of their gender, race, nationality, and religion. Our activities are diverse and international. Medusa’s contributors are mainly from Iran but are in the foreground of civil rights and women’s liberation movements in their adopted countries.

The issues we deal with, especially political Islam are burning international issues. Our stance vis a vis political Islam has been received warmly and with great interest by progressive, and freedom loving people. We saw it as our duty to publish a special issue in English to reach as many readers as possible to familiarize them with our point of view, our trend and ask them for their support and solidarity in this immense task we have before us, to work to bring a more just, and a liberated society in Iran and the Middle East, and to help women and young girls in the Islamist communities in the West to enjoy a freer life. In this issue you read articles of an analytical and theoretical nature about political Islam and its role in oppressing women, and cultural relativism. You will also read about the diverse activities led by our colleagues in the West, particularly in Scandinavia.

In this issue we have also paid tribute to Mansoor Hekmat, the great Marxist thinker and the leader of worker-communist movement, who passed away on 4th of July 2002 after a yearlong battle against cancer. This tribute is to commemorate the life of a person without whom this movement would not have taken the shape and momentum it has.