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Dec 01 2008

Launch of One Law for All – Campaign against Sharia law in Britain

Press Release

Launch of One Law for All – Campaign against Sharia law in Britain
December 1, 2008

The One Law for All campaign against Sharia law in Britain is to be launched at the House of Lords on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2008 from 4:00 to 5:00pm.

According to campaign organiser, Maryam Namazie, ‘Even in civil matters, Sharia law is discriminatory, unfair and unjust, particularly against women and children. Moreover, its voluntary nature is a sham; many women will be pressured into going to these courts and abiding by their decisions. These courts are a quick and cheap route to injustice and do nothing to promote minority rights and social cohesion. Public interest, particularly with regard to women and children, requires an end to Sharia and all other faith-based courts and tribunals.’

The campaign has already received widespread support including from AC Grayling; Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Bahram Soroush; Baroness Caroline Cox; Caspar Melville; Deeyah; Fariborz Pooya; Gina Khan; Houzan Mahmoud; Homa Arjomand; Ibn Warraq; Joan Smith; Johann Hari; Keith Porteous Wood; Mina Ahadi; Naser Khader; Nick Cohen; Richard Dawkins; Shakeb Isaar; Sonja Eggerickx; Stephen Law; Tarek Fatah; Tauriq Moosa; Taslima Nasrin and others. It has also received the support of organisations such as Children First Now; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; European Humanist Federation; International Committee against Stoning; International Humanist and Ethical Union; Iranian Secular Society; Lawyers Secular Society; the National Secular Society; and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

The campaign calls on the UK government to recognise that Sharia law is arbitrary and discriminatory and for an end to Sharia courts and all religious tribunals on the basis that they work against and not for equality and human rights.

The campaign also calls for the Arbitration Act 1996 to be amended so that all religious tribunals are banned from operating within and outside of the legal system.

In the words of the Campaign Declaration: ‘Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not beliefs. In a civil society, people must have full citizenship rights and equality under the law. Clearly, Sharia law contravenes fundamental human rights. In order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no Sharia.’

Roy Brown, immediate past president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union said, “IHEU is lending its full support to this campaign. It is intolerable that the very values on which UK society is based – human rights, equality and the rule of law – are being undermined by the quiet and insidious application of systems of law that have no basis in equality or justice.”

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, which is also supporting the One Law for All campaign, said: “It is a grave error for the authorities in this country to give credence to Sharia in any form – whether legally or in terms of informal arbitration. When women are being subjected to violence in their marriages, it is not acceptable for religious authorities – which are, by definition, misogynistic – to arbitrate. A two-tier legal system, with women’s rights being always secondary to religious demands, is unnecessary, undesirable and ultimately unjust.”

To RSVP to attend the launch or for more information, please contact Maryam Namazie, email, telephone: 07719166731; website. The campaign’s website will be available on the day of the launch.

ENDS

One Law for All
Campaign against Sharia law in Britain

Declaration

We, the undersigned individuals and organisations, call on the UK government to bring an end to the use and institutionalisation of Sharia and all religious laws and to guarantee equal citizenship rights for all.

Sharia law is discriminatory

Sharia Councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals are discriminatory, particularly against women and children, and in violation of universal human rights.

Sharia law is unfair and unjust in civil matters

Proponents argue that the implementation of Sharia is justified when limited to civil matters, such as child custody, divorce and inheritance. In fact, it is civil matters that are one of the main cornerstones of the subjugation of and discrimination against women and children. Under Sharia law a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; a woman’s marriage contract is between her male guardian and her husband. A man can have four wives and divorce his wife by simple repudiation, whereas a woman must give reasons, some of which are extremely difficult to prove. Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age, even if the father is abusive; women who remarry lose custody of their children; and sons are entitled to inherit twice the share of daughters.

The voluntary nature of Sharia courts is a sham

Proponents argue that those who choose to make use of Sharia courts and tribunals do so voluntarily and that according to the Arbitration Act parties are free to agree upon how their disputes are resolved. In reality, many of those dealt with by Sharia courts are from the most marginalised segments of society with little or no knowledge of their rights under British law. Many, particularly women, are pressured into going to these courts and abiding by their decisions. More importantly, those who fail to make use of Sharia law or seek to opt out will be made to feel guilty and can be treated as apostates and outcasts.

Even if completely voluntary, which is untrue, the discriminatory nature of the courts would be sufficient reason to bring an end to their use and implementation.

Sharia law is a quick and cheap way to injustice

Proponents argue that Sharia courts are an alternative method of dispute resolution and curb legal aid costs. When it comes to people’s rights, however, cuts in costs and speed can only bring about serious miscarriages of justice. Many of the laws that Sharia courts and religious tribunals aim to avoid have been fought for over centuries in order to improve the rights of those most in need of protection in society.

Sharia law doesn’t promote minority rights and social cohesion

Proponents argue that the right to be governed by Sharia law is necessary to defend minority rights. Having the right to religion or atheism, however, is not the same as having the ‘right’ to be governed by religious laws. This is merely a prescription for discrimination, inequality and culturally relative rights. Rather than defending rights, it discriminates and sets up different and separate systems, standards and norms for ‘different’ people. It reinforces the fragmentation of society, and leaves large numbers of people, particularly women and children, at the mercy of elders and imams. It increases marginalisation and the further segregation of immigrant communities. It ensures that immigrants and new arrivals remain forever minorities and never equal citizens.

One law for all

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not beliefs. In a civil society, people must have full citizenship rights and equality under the law. Clearly, Sharia law contravenes fundamental human rights. In order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no Sharia.

Petition
One Law for All

We call on the UK government to recognise that Sharia and all religious laws are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular. Citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.

We demand an end to all Sharia courts and religious tribunals on the basis that they work against and not for equality and human rights.

We demand that the law be amended so that all religious tribunals are banned from operating within and outside of the legal system.

44 comments

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  1. 1
    Frank A. Fiorello

    Way to go I wish someone in America could see the Stealth Jihad for what it is! I fully support your cause.Islam should have no rights until they become a religion of peace instead of a cult of death!

  2. 2
    Anonymous

    Excellent! Let the resistance to this awful, creeping islamisation begin.

  3. 3
    Anonymous

    A very timely initiative. You have my full support. Where can I send a donation?

  4. 4
    Anonymous

    About bloody time!

  5. 5
    Anonymous

    It seems terrorism has its rewards – to appease extremist Muslims the whole country has to be changed around – in the hopes that we are not attacked. If this is not the case – if by promising radical Muslims – the host of things they have – is not for the purpose of cowering from the fear of more terrorist attacks — then where are the Hindu toilets ?? Where’s the Hindu laws? If we are asked to learn about another religion – why not Buddhism ??And then what is amazing is that we are getting advice – from Saudi Arabia on religious tolerance – I just wonder if it is the money we are looking at or the oil – because we certainly can’t see religious tolerance in that country !!We can’t appease this thing – especially when we don’t fully understand it – perhaps a message to those Catholic leaders – perhaps they should know that there is some talk within the Islamic world about bringing Christianity under Islam – their appeasement is a perfect place to start. In fact they are depending on the Christians bending over backwards. Is any one checking to see what we are getting in return?

  6. 6
    Anonymous

    This is really bloody fantastic! Keep up the excellent work!

  7. 7
    Anonymous

    Awesome. This lady deserves a civil service award. Great work!

  8. 8
    Anonymous

    About time.If you come to this country you live by it’s laws and not a selection of laws that suit what you want.

  9. 9
    LeeSouthend

    Hi allIm a strong belever that there should only be one system of law in the UK and I dont mean shria. This campaign should be surported by all right thinking people. I urge readers to visit The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain which Maryam helps run and provide whatever surport they can.http://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/ Frank A FiorelloThere is a very well organised group in the states run by Brigitte Gabriel called ACT for America http://www.actforamerica.org/ there doing very good work and recent sucesses include a change in the law to stop US authers from being sued from overseas (the libel jihad)

  10. 10
    Anonymous

    Great work, those nutters are only 1 step away from forcing everyone to following their unfair, crazy laws.

  11. 11
    Kat Carres

    “Religious Tolerance does NOT mean accepting an INTOLERANT RELIGION ie…..islam”At last we can use Human Rights to stop the ‘Human Wrongs’ of islam!

  12. 12
    Rude_mechanical

    Here we have women who are brought up to believe that their community alone is righteous, and that to question its laws is apostasy, leads to ostracization, and properly deserves violent death, followed by an eternity of torture… Is it fair to expect anybody living under these threats to behave as the adults competent to defend their own interests that English law assumes them to be?The principle that if parties to a civil dispute choose an arbitrator between themselves, the decision then has the force of law, has been an admirably pragmatic and economical one. However, if these women are to be protected, the decision to invoke English law, rather than Shariah, will have to be seen by their community as being out of their hands.Sadly, then, it seems that if we really want one system of law for all, then nobody will be able to use arbitration.

  13. 13
    Anonymous

    Full support. The rules of a religious organisation should have the same status as those of any other voluntary association – and only applicable if an informed adult has explicitly agreed to join. Principles of fair contract must apply.

  14. 14
    Anonymous

    I have never come across such an amusing blog of people so passionately criticising Shariah Law when they dont even have the singlest clue about it…or are even prepared to educate themselves on it. All you people speak of is the unfairness to women…inheritance rights etc…GET A LIFE!! Stop reading headlines and start researching…then criticising! Im sure you wont be back here again…because your answers will paint a very different story..GUARANTEED! Trust me.Anyways, I think this campaign is nothing short of islamophobic. Its all about NO SHARIAH NO SHARIAH…oh and other religious laws. Does that include eclesiastical..or Beth Din?? They’ve been around for wayyyy longer than the founder of the campaign was born but no one said anything then. The moment Islam gets mentioned its no no no…but knowing that the Arbitration Act is used by the jews as well…this campaign HAS to incorporate other religions as well. The truth is you guys cant handle Shariah…nor are you prepared to educate yourselves in it. Instead you all give such strong objections as if you have suffered at the hands of Shariah. Get a LIFE people…

  15. 15
    kevin

    “Anonymous”, you mention Islamophobia, which is the irrational fear of Islam. What would you call the RATIONAL fear of Islam?And what would you call the irrational fear of criticizing Islam?

  16. 16
    Anonymous

    Rational or Irrational….why is Islam as a faith linked with fear? Because of 9/11 or sucide bombings??I think you all are just warped into believeing Shariah is a bad thing. But more amusingly you are prepared to tell me that Islam discriminates against women…well heres news for you..the muslim arbitration tribunals or ADR (Alterntaive Dispute Resolution) mechanisms are entered into by free consent of both parties!! So wheres the bias if females themselves choose to be governed by Shariah??? Get a life people and stop being losers!

  17. 17
    kevin

    “Anonymous” said:”Rational or Irrational….why is Islam as a faith linked with fear? Because of 9/11 or sucide bombings??”For a start. How about the Mumbai Massacre? How about thousands of other religously motivated acts of violence by Muslims against everyone around them? How about this murder cult’s insistence that all other belief systems are inferior and are to be destroyed or subjugated prior to destruction?Sorry, but Islam is nothing but a cult set up to justify and satisfy one man’s greed and lust and thirst for revenge. It’s outlived its purpose.I doubt most islamic women would submit to sharia if they thought they had a choice. I suppose the several thousand female victims per year of honor killings chose to be murdered by their fathers and brothers? I suppose the 3/4 of women languishing in Pakistani jails for ‘falsely’ accusing men of rape feel it is quite fair the way they have been treated.Islam is a peaceful, persecuted religion when it is weak, and a violent, intolerant totalitarian political project when it starts to gain power. It’s an extremely effective strategy. It worked for mohammed (PBUH – Place Bomb Under Hood) when he had a few dozen followers in Mecca and later when he returned from Medina to conquer Mecca. And it’s worked ever since.

  18. 18
    Anonymous

    Errr….where does Shariah promote Terrorism? And errr…since when is Pakistan an islamic state with islamic law??I will say it once and I’ll say it again…do your research before you speak…but for the record…this is exactly what im talking about…quick to judge and ridicule. Sad.Case closed.

  19. 19
    kevin

    “Errr….where does Shariah promote Terrorism? “You don’t consider the threat of death for women that ‘dishonor’ their family to be a form of terrorism?What about cutting off hands and feet – do you not agree this is both part of Sharia and also meant to instill terror?”And errr…since when is Pakistan an islamic state with islamic law??”I don’t know, since they are 95% muslim (75% sunni, 20% shia), they define their nation as islamic, and they are a member of the OIC. Who are you to argue? You can make impotent, self-serving arguments that they’re not, but well over 150 million Pakistanis disagree with you. In comparison to all these people, your definition of islam is MEANINGLESS.

  20. 20
    Anonymous

    I think you are clearly confused between what is cultural and what is islamic. To ‘dishonour’ families and to be killed for it…thats cultural upbringings which im sorry didnt originate from Shariah. In fact, Shariah teaches the opposite.As for cutting off hands and feet, how on earth does that instill terror??? Thats a punishment in Shariah for theft, fornication and the like. I doubts very much it has a link with terrorism. Are you going to tell me next that muslim Surgeons are all terrorists because they amputate legs?As for your second comment sir, I am perfectly within the ambit of arguing that point because Pakistan does not PRACTICE islamic law. Clear enough for you? So when you refer to laws applicable to men and women in Pakistan, dont blame it on Shariah. Cultural traditions and religion are different entities. And im pretty sure 150 million pakistanis would agree with me on that. In fact ive been to Pakistan before, have you?Therefore to say Islam is meaningless is again to denigrate something which doesnt have anything to do with any of your arguments. Your arguments im afraid are BASELESS with regards Shariah.

  21. 21
    hellosnackbar

    Why do whining muslims always cry victimhood when anyone has the temerity to criticise the religion of peace?Sharia is a ridiculous system formulated by numbskulls from a totally different culture.We in Britain are a parliamentary democracy ;not a totalitarian facist theocracy.As the Australians say love it or leave it;but sadly very few muslimswant to leave old Blighty in fact they are fighting to get in.I hope for the day when multiculturalism will be seen as a failed exoeriment and Islam proscribed as seditious.The best thing you my anonymous correspondent can do is become an apostate and then your life of freedom and sanity can truly begin.However common sense and “The Islamic death cult” are rarely if ever included in the same sentence.

  22. 22
    Anonymous

    Oh boo hoo…Sadly I still didnt see someone give me a valid reason as to why Shariah is ‘so wrong’. But im the one whinning? Stick and stones son…death cult, numbskull…whatever you want to call Shariah…but the fact is that I made my point clear in all the above comments…the discretion is in the readers mind…end of the day…I made my point…so cheers… ;o)

  23. 23
    Jan

    I’m delighted to see this campaign starting – well done, you all! I do not support ANY variation of national law on religious grounds, only that way can law be truly “one law for all”. Anything else risks vulnerable groups being pressured not to confront cultural norms (whatever culture it is).

  24. 24
    Fantana

    ‘In fact ive been to Pakistan before, have you?’Errrr. Didn’t need to. Pakistan came to me…….

  25. 25
    Andy Armitage

    Just what is the British government’s agenda in allowing the Arbitration Act to accommodate this Dark Ages form of “justice”? The blog I write for is equally opposed to this, and one post in particular (see the second indented extract there) gave an example of how women suffer under sharia. All power to your elbow. I hope this campaign shows up the sham of sharia.

  26. 26
    Anonymous

    Willy Wombat, the name itself renders a comment, but I will spare you nonetheless. You might just start calling me a terrorist next.As for Andy, what planet are you on? Since when did the government make an agenda in allowing the Arbitration Act to accommodate Shariah??The Arbitration Act was passed in 1996…a year BEFORE Labour even came into power! Come on…GBut it goes to show that you guys dont even think before you write…quick to criticise Shariah and even the Government for something it didnt even create!! Shariah is here…its not going to encroach on your lives so why get so hot and bothered about it? And as I said before, if the arbitration is by ‘free will’…let me repeat ‘free will’ of both the parties, then what is the problem.Simple fact is you dont have a credible argument against shariah…time and time again i hear the same thing, and even the odd racist remark…but no proof.Good luck in your campaign…

  27. 27
    Anonymous

    Give no authority to Sharia law in the UK but learn from it.Religions have survived for so long because they are very effective at helping people feel secure enough to worry less and get on with the day’s tasks. Millions of people getting on with the days task is an essential feature of any strong society.Sadly, to provide that benefit, religions have often invented a deity. In order to maintain irrational belief in that deity, they then needed to suppress the up-welling complexity in the people they originally sought to help. In England/Britain, a large part of the work of the parliament over the last 450 years has involved constraining the power of the Church of England so that it would best benefit the people of England/Britain. Secular societies also help people to feel secure enough to worry less and get on with the day’s tasks. They are not as ambitious as religions; they promise health care and safety nets rather than an after-life, but they are also very concerned to encourage the up-welling complexity of those they seek to help. That up-welling complexity in millions of people is what a society has always needed to be successful and it will be the basis of our emerging successfully from the current recession. Giving authority to Sharia law in the UK is misguided. By strengthening a profoundly flawed source of authority, it will trap a small part of our society in an ancient straight-jacket. It will tend to decreases the complexity of the people, particularly the women, that will eventually be contributed to the UK by Muslim families and the value of the skills they can offer. This will tend to separate Muslims from the main body of UK society providing a slot into which extremists can insert a demolition crow-bar.A much better approach is for the UK legal system to learn from sharia law. Learn how to provide rapid, low cost settlements of simple disputes and how to enforce them. That capability in the UK legal system would bring relief to the thousands of UK citizens suffering from the inadequacies of our current system. It would be a fitting gift from recent generations of Muslim immigrants to their new homeland.

  28. 28
    Anonymous

    what ever!!!! To all of you, who rant all this things, ARE YOU SURE YOU GOT THE UNIVERSAL TRUTH? It is really disappointing that all these people can join hands and act like those ruthless extremists and plan to destroy a way people want to live and value. What I mean is you guys are on the other side of the extremists but act exactly like them. It is this kind of deep hatred that changed to killings. Please stop all this rage against Islam and Muslims. You all very well know Muslims are good people except for some and I believe there are zillions of Non-Muslims that are great but there is always exception to the rule and I am afraid you guys are planning to be one. Stop “either with us or with them!” Be what you want. I don’t care if you are an ex-Muslim or even a Muslim, rage has never been a solution and it will never be. Go sort out your individual psychological problems before you claim to have the universal truth. Peace

  29. 29
    Milton Valler

    EXCELLENT NEWS! Sharia is antithetical to a modern, rational society. I wish you COMPLETE success for Britain and all of Europe.

  30. 30
    kevin

    Muslim surgeons – there’s a laugh. Surgery is one of many modern arts that never would have developed under barbarian islam, which was already failing 500 years ago. The Ottoman Empire got by for hundreds of years stealing from those around it rather than innovating.

  31. 31
    kevin

    “Therefore to say Islam is meaningless is again to denigrate something which doesnt have anything to do with any of your arguments. Your arguments im afraid are BASELESS with regards Shariah.”If you have to misquote me to win a point, then you’ve already lost the argument. I CLEARLY did not say islam is irrelevant – I said your interpretation is. Who cares whether honor killings are cultural if islam is the ONE religion that allows them to thrive?Whatever you think islam should be, it is, in fact, the religion of the 9/11 and Mumbai attackers, of the people who have tried repeatedly to blow up airplanes full of innocent people, and who will no doubt succeed in killing more innocent people in the future.Your ‘religion’ is a breeding ground for terrorists. Not all muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are muslim. What’s the common thread? Why, it’s ISLAM.

  32. 32
    kevin

    “It is really disappointing that all these people can join hands and act like those ruthless extremists and plan to destroy a way people want to live and value. What I mean is you guys are on the other side of the extremists but act exactly like them. “No, we’re not. I’m happy for muslims to live according to their own barbaric customs as long as they leave me and my children and my civilization out of it.But your holy book says it is your religious duty to CONVERT, SUBJUGATE or KILL every single human being on this planet, and that ANYTHING is fair in pursuit of this goal. What started out as a way for one man to satisfy his material, carnal and political lusts is now a threat to the entire planet.It doesn’t matter how you interpret it, “anonymous” – it is easily intrepreted as it is written.WHY do you have to come to the West and soil our nest as you’ve soiled your own? Don’t you understand that the depradations you are fleeing you are trying to bring about here? Will you not be satisfied until the entire world is dragged back into the 7th century?

  33. 33
    tally

    It’s just sharia law for England and Wales really, scotland and NI are devolved. Gordon Broon will just impose it on us but be free of it when he buggers off back to scotlamd.

  34. 34
    Anonymous

    you’re an idiot Kevin. The dude above nicely explained that people shouldnt start judging other peoples religions etc and look at themselves first instead of slating others which I think was well put. You’re a classic example of someone who himself instigates violence but wants to point the finger at others. ive got no opinion on this matter but i do know a racist when i see one.

  35. 35
    GeorgeOfTheJungle

    Actually, many of you are still under the misunderstanding that islam is a religion. Let me say this, islam is NOT a religion. It is a death cult based on the rabid blathering of a dirty, filthy, cruel, pedophile who lived in the desert 1400 years ago. Yes, he was a pedophile, the evidence of this is in the Cowran, and other writings. Any faith or cult started by a pedophile CANNOT in any way whatsoever be a religion. The same goes for sharia… it is from the mouths and ignorant writings of the primitive and backwards followers of the pedophile. UK, EU, US, Canada, Australia – wake up — ban all mosques, tear the mosques down, send all mis-begotten muslims back to their countries of origin. NOW, otherwise it will be too late.God bless St, George, God bless the Christians of the UK, God bless the sword of Gabriel.

  36. 36
    web design

    nice post

  37. 37
    Tazeen

    very commendable effort Maryam

  38. 38
    john

    Amazing blogs…. this is a nice postingITemplatez.com offers professional web templates, flash templates ,swish templates, dreamweaver templates, and other web design productsavailable for immediate download.

  39. 39
    Sam

    I like your ideas very much. The stuff of your article is amazing.
    Law paper help

  40. 40
    Web designing Pakistan

    Go for it, why not with everything else. Nicely written though and great article.

  41. 41
    jshm2

    what a bunch of parasites you are. A follower of the Shia side of Islam which is rejected in many countries decides to fight against it in the UK and you cretins decide it's time to shame your education with bile that you've misread and misunderstood.

    There is no evidence for anything you your laughable "facts" you've read in some BNP/EDL pamphlet somewhere.

    In case you haven’t noticed we've bombed there countries and towns and they’ve done none of that back. We've the stain of slavery, colonialism, nazism and much worse to content with – they haven’t and current western law is Jewish/Talmudic more than Christian and has been boom and bust the past few centuries and is fuelled by cheap labour, debt slavery and subjugation of others under democracy – they haven’t. I’ve no opinion on the matter of Sharia Law we make provisions for other people this will just be another addition.

    Lastly Islam is not based on a concept of race lke Judiasm and it’s not a mass controlled institution like Christianity, nor is it perverse self worship like Atheism. Its a system of individualism that you follow on your own, as you are responsible for your own actions in life and in the afterlife.

    There is nothing wrong with the Islamic religion it's all down to translations of Arabic which few Western scholars in the Crusade era could read, but in their drive to spread Christianity they miseducated and schooled a lot of the misfacts that are around today.

    Islam has more rights for women than Judasim and Chistianity have (the Church used to burn women at the stake in England at one time)but it's corrupt indivduals who are causing problems not the religion just as is the case in every other religion.

  42. 42
    Web Design

    It was such a pleasure reading it. I have bookmarked it..

  43. 43
    The Geekster

    Reinaldo Roman 'america'i support
    your cause and this so called law is nothing than humen rights violation and people need to know you cant force religion on people if you do there will be a revolution at the end people do get sick of haveing other people tell them how to live relegion or not"long live the resistance"

  44. 44
    Shobi

    It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also get knowledge, from these type of blog, nice entry. Thanks

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