Stop Kobra Najjar’s stoning

Equality Now has just issued an urgent action calling for the immediate release of Kobra Najjar, who is at risk of imminent execution by stoning for prostitution.

They have just heard from her lawyer that all legal appeals have been exhausted and she could be executed at any time.

Please go to the Women’s Action Update and take action to stop the stoning of Kobra Najjar!

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It seems it is not enough to have made Iran into the execution capital of the world (per capita that is). The regime’s Islamic Assembly is set to ratify a bill that will further increase the number of crimes punishable by death to incude ‘crimes’ ‎deemed to ‘disrupt public security’ and to ‘intensify the scheme of punishment for disrupting the mental security of society.’

The bill establishes that ‘weblogs and sites promoting corruption and ‎apostasy are deserving of capital punishment.’

Political Islam, Sharia Law and Civil Society

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain presents its first international conference: Political Islam, Sharia Law, And Civil Society on Friday 10 October 2008 – International day against the Death Penalty – from 10am-6pm (Registration begins at 9am) at Conway Hall London 25 Red Lion Square WC1R 4RL (Closest station: Holborn).

Speakers at the event are: Mina Ahadi, Mahin Alipour, Roy Brown, Andrew Copson, Richard Dawkins,Giles Enders, AC Grayling, Johann Hari, Ehsan Jami, Houzan Mahmoud, Rony Miah, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, Fariborz Pooya, Terry Sanderson, Joan Smith, Bahram Soroush, Hanne Stinson, Hamid Taqvaee, Ibn Warraq, Keith Porteous Wood, and Zia Zaffar.

The event includes a comedy act by Nick Doody, Fitna Remade by Reza Moradi and Breaking the Taboo by Patty Debonitas.

£40 statutory organisations/businesses; £20 voluntary sector; £10 individuals. Donations are welcome.

For a booking form, please contact: Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK, Tel: 07719166731, E-mail: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com or download it from www.ex-muslim.org.uk or you can download the conference’s booking form here.

For those who have not yet protested

For those who have not yet protested the stoning orders against 8 women and 1 man, or the imminent execution of 30 in Tehran this Sunday, or the myriad other crimes against humanity committed by the Islamic regime in Iran, here is a reminder of what it has done and the urgent need to end its rule (Joseph Akrami’s film ‘A few simple shots’).

The film is also a good reminder of people’s ongoing resistance despite the unmentionable and why solidarity with the people of Iran against both Islam in power and US-led militarism is the only way forward.

Stop child executions

I met Nazanin Afshin Jam a few days ago when she was in London.

I thought I should mention her campaign against child executions again as it is hugely important. To sign her petition to find out what else you can do, click here.

Also important to mention is Mina Ahadi who is coordinator of the International Committee against Stoning and the Committee against Executions. You can find out more about what she is doing by going here.

Stop Farzad Kamangar’s Execution

The Worker-communist Party of Iran, the International Committee against Executions and others have initiated a campaign to stop the execution of Farzad Kamangar, a 30 year old teacher in Iranian Kurdistan, who has been sentenced to death on trumped up charges. The WPI is asking people in Iran to make 10 copies of the below leaflet and write slogans on walls demanding his release. To read his mother’s message in Farsi, click here.

Join us for CEMB’s One year anniversary celebration

We are asking members and supporters to join CEMB executive committee members for drinks to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and to meet other like-minded people in central London on 5th July 2008 from 2pm onwards.

The nearest tube stations to the event is Leicester Square & Charring Cross.

If you need directions, please call Rony: 07947 475 582, Zia: 07776227112 or Maryam: 07719166731.

Faith schools are bad for children

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
July 1, 2008

Cristina Odone’s report on faith schools published by the Centre for Policy Studies misses the point. The point of is not that faith schools have discriminatory admission codes and employment practices, cream-skim pupils, or turn away children in care although they do. Rather, what makes faith schools fundamentally bad for children is that they are more concerned with the inclusion of religion – the religion of the child’s parents – than the inclusion, wellbeing and educational needs of the child.

According to Ms. Odone, Islamic schools are crucial to the emancipation of girls because they give parents the confidence to keep them in school for longer. But relegating girls to Islamic schools where they are indoctrinated in their parents’ beliefs, segregated on the basis of sex (imagine how unacceptable this would be if it was based on race), veiled, prevented from mixing and playing with boys, prevented from doing sports, dancing and so on is anything but.

In Islamic schools such as the Hawza Ilmiyya students are taught to despise unbelievers as filth, and to hold males and females as unequal. Ibrahim Lawson, headteacher of Nottingham Islamia School, clearly states their main purpose: ‘The essential purpose of the Islamia school as with all Islamic schools is to inculcate profound religious belief in the children.’

Education, however, is meant to give children access to science, reason and advances of the 21st century not the other way around. It is meant to level the playing field irrespective of and despite the family the child is born into. It is meant to allow children to think freely and critically – something that religion actually prohibits and often punishes. Contrary to Ms. Odone’s claims, this can only be guaranteed via a secular educational system.

Until children are given precedence over their parent’s religion, the Government, with its commitment to faith schools, will continue to fail them.