More Islamic [In]justice in Saudi Arabia

The gang rape victim who has become known as the ‘girl from Al Qatif’ has been sentenced to 200 lashes and a 6-month prison term in Saudi Arabia for being alone with a member of the opposite sex who was not an immediate family member before she was raped.

To find out more about this outrageous case and what you can do to help, visit the website of Women Living Under Muslim Laws.

ISLAM, RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY AND UNIVERSAL RIGHTS IN MULTI ETHNIC DEMOCRACIES

This Tuesday November 20, 13.00-14.30 Maryam Namazie will be speaking on a panel entitled: ISLAM, REIGIOUS DIVERSITY AND UNIVERSAL RIGHTS IN MULTI ETHNIC DEMOCRACIES in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2005, the British parliament was very close to passing a law against “religious hatred”. In the spring of 2006 the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning “defamation of religion” and the member states where requested to ban materials that could lead to hostility towards religious groups. Meanwhile, secular grass root organisations like The Council of Ex-Muslims have been founded in several European countries. Must modern democracies limit the diversity of opinions in order to maintain religious diversity? Or is it the other way around; that religion in the public sphere, being the instrument of power that it is, must be allowed to be examined without limitations? Participants: Sadiq J.Al-Azm, emeritus professor of mordern European philosophy at the University of Damascus, Maryam Namazie, Iranian-born women’s rights activist, Anne-Sofie Roald, associate professor at the college of higher learning in Malmö, Suad Mohamed, Sweden’s first female iman. Moderator: Arne Ruth.

For more information, click here.

Arrest of Haft Tape sugar factory workers

November 07, 2007
To: Worker organizations and unions all around the world

The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has started to arrest striking Haft-Tape workers!
The workers demand international support!

On Monday, November 5th one of the workers of Haft-Tape Sugar Factory naming Qorban (Ramazan) Alipour was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and was taken to an unidentified place. On Wednesday November 7 th at 7.30 a.m. another worker of the same facilities naming Mohammad Haydari Mesr was also arrested. Today (Wednesday) workers stopped working in the morning round to protest the arrests and gathered in front of the main office of the factory. Workers declared that unless their comrades will be released, all 4000 permanent and 2000 temporary workers would go on strike on Thursday November 8 th.

The detained workers are accused of participating in strike for unpaid wages and benefits, circulating petition and collecting 2500 signatures demanding the right to form their union and their regular weekly general assembly. You might have already been informed that Haft-Tape workers went on strike on September 29 th demanding their unpaid wages and other benefits and rights and continued their action until October 9th. They succeeded to get the unpaid wages after 11 days. Nowadays, the Islamic regime tries to terrorize workers in order to prevent them from building their organization by arresting worker leaders.

Haft-Tape Sugar Factory workers have stood united and firm against such conspiracies. However, as the pressures put on them by the Ministry of Intelligence are intensified they need widespread international support. The International Labour Solidarity Committee calls on all worker organizations and unions to support Haft-Tape workers and to condemn the Islamic Republic for its anti-worker activities. Here are some of immediate demands of Haft-Tape workers:

1-Immediate and unconditional release of qorban Alipour and Mohammah Haydari Mesr;
2-Ending arrests of workers and cancellation of their cases;
3-The right to form weekly general assembly of workers on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m.;
4-The right to form their union;

An international action in objection to arrest of workers such as Mamhmoud Salehi, Mansour Osanlou, and Ebrahim Madadi and urging their release and freedom for all political prisoners; an action similar to that of February 15 and August 9, 2006, can pressure the Islamic regime further and will be an effective step toward the release of detained worker leaders. We look forward to your actions in this regard.

Sincerely,

Shahla Daneshfar
Coordinator of the International Labor Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran

Delaram Ali to Receive Lashings and Serve Prison Term of 2 Years 6 Months

Delaram Ali has been sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison and 10 lashes by the Islamic regime of Iran for her participation in the June 12, 2006 protest in support of women’s rights in Haft Tir Square which was violently attacked by the regime’s security forces. She was beaten during the protest, dragged on the ground and her arm broken.

Her arrest, imprisonment and flogging are to be unequivocally condemened. She has to be released immediately.

Funding Islamic organisations support political Islam

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
5 November 2007

It is outrageous that the British Government is to hand out public money to Islamic organisations, and that taxpayers should help train clerics and fund madrassas, which are in effect sectarian schools and recruiting grounds for political Islam.

It is insulting that Hazel Blears sees this as ‘giving communities’ strength and skills – these Islamic organisations, clerics, and other self-appointed ‘community partners’ and self-styled ‘leaders’ do not represent a ‘community’ but rather political Islam.

We strongly believe that rather than being part of any solution, these organisations and individuals are part of the problem. Contrary to its claims, evidence suggests that the Government’s track record is tantamount to one of befriending and supporting Islamic groups. Now, not content with encouraging Islamic organisations and the primacy of religious identity, the Government is using public money to fund these.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain contends that it should not be the business of the Government to support religious belief and to underwrite the control of the ulema over their ‘faith communities’. We think that it would be far more socially beneficial to spend the £70 million on public services in ghettoised areas as well as to encourage a non-sectarian, secular outlook with an emphasis on citizenship and universal rights -free of ‘faith’ labels.