Law Society failure to withdraw Sharia-compliant Practice Note gross derogation of duty

The below letter was sent to all Law Society Council Members stating that the Law Society’s continued failure to withdraw its Sharia-compliant Practice Note amounts to a gross derogation of duty on both legal and moral grounds.  A copy of our Legal Advice (Law Society Sharia Advice final August 2014) was included.

We write this open letter as a concerned group of organisations and individuals working on issues of gender equality and human rights in the UK and elsewhere.

You may be aware that recently, under threat of legal action in respect of a breach of the Equality Act 2010, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) withdrew its ethics guidance on ‘Drafting and Preparation of Wills’ which purported to endorse the Law Society’s ‘Practice Note on Sharia Succession Rules’. The Practice Note – which was intended to assist solicitors in drafting so called Sharia compliant wills – serves in effect to endorse discrimination against minority women and children on the grounds of their gender, marital and family status and religious backgrounds, in so far as it encourages legal and state welfare services to accommodate highly gender discriminatory religious laws that are being increasingly defined by religious fundamentalists in our society. This is a source of immense concern to those of us who have for so long contested gender discrimination in our communities and fought for the freedom of women and children.

The Practice Note reminds solicitors that:

‘… illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs … The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir … Non-Muslims may not inherit at all … divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir…’ Continue reading

Secularism. Today. Now: 11-12 October Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights

Dear Friend

“Secularism is probably the one big issue for our century. This century is not, as many still think, marked by a religious or spiritual revival. What we are actually witnessing is the rise of extreme-Right political movements, working under the cover of religion. Everywhere. No one is spared… Secularists are being attacked in many places in the world today: they are jailed, killed, tortured; their very existence is considered an offense to believers in many non-secular states. … There is a need for secularists around the world to come together and examine their situations, to exchange information, to strategize and to join hands,” writes Algerian secularist Marieme Helie Lucas.

This is the impetus behind the 11-12 October 2014 International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London with speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, UK, USA and Yemen.

Join Us!

Join this historic conference which will establish an international front of secularists against the religious-Right.

Secularism. Today. Now.

Register for the conference today.

See the conference agenda here.

See the biographies of our distinguished speakers here.

See a short Bread and Roses Video on the conference here.

The conference is endorsed by Atheist Alliance International; Bread and Roses TV; Children First Now; Center for Inquiry; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation; International Committee against Stoning; International Committee against Execution; International Federation of Iranian Refugees; Iran Solidarity; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Secularism is a Women’s Issue; The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK; and Women Living Under Muslim Laws amongst others.

Richard Dawkins will be attending the conference.

For more information, contact:
Amal Farah, Atoosa Khatiri, Eileen McFadden, Gaby Grammeno, Marieme Helie Lucas and Maryam Namazie
Conference Organising Committee
Email: [email protected]
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Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

سلاح های هسته ای “حق” رژيم اسلامى ايران نيست
۳ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با اصغر کريمى٬ رئيس هئيت اجرايى حزب کمونيست کارگرى ايران

Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran
2 September 2014
Interview with Asqar Karimi, Head of Worker-communist Party of Iran’s Executive Board