Maryam Namazie debates Sharia Law on BBC Radio »« Divinely ordained law makes abolition more difficult

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

December 10, 2008

The One Law for All campaign, which is seeking legislation to curb the influence of sharia law in Britain, will be launched at the House of Lords on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2008.

Gina Khan (activist), Maryam Namazie (campaign organiser), Carla Revere (Lawyers’ Secular Society), Joan Smith (writer), Ibn Warraq (writer), and Keith Porteous Wood (National Secular Society) will be speaking at the event, which will be chaired by Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society).

The campaign has already received widespread support including from Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Mina Ahadi, Sargul Ahmad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mahin Alipour, Homa Arjomand, Susan Blackmore, Nazanin Borumand, Caroline Cox, Austin Dacey, Richard Dawkins, Deeyah, Nick Doody, Sonja Eggerickx, Afshin Ellian, Tarek Fatah, Caroline Fourest, Tahir Aslam Gora, AC Grayling, Maria Hagberg, Johann Hari, Khayal Ibrahim, Shakeb Isaar, Maryam Jamel, Alan Johnson, Mehul Kamdar, Asqar Karimi, Naser Khader, Hope Knutsson, Hartmut Krauss, Stephen Law, Shiva Mahbobi, Houzan Mahmoud, Anthony McIntyre, Caspar Melville, Navid Minay, Tauriq Moosa, Reza Moradi, Douglas Murray, Taslima Nasrin, Samir Noory, Carla Revere, Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Udo Schuklenk, Sohaila Sharifi, Issam Shukri, Bahram Soroush, Peter Tatchell, Hamid Taqvaee, and Afsaneh Vahdat.

It has also received the support of organisations such as Center for Inquiry; 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; Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

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 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 law 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.”

Ends

For more information, please contact Maryam Namazie, email: onelawforall@gmail.com, telephone: 07719166731; website: onelawforall.org.uk.

List of signatories

Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Coordinator, Stop Child Executions Campaign
Canada

Mina Ahadi
Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany; Coordinator,
International Committee against Stoning
Köln
Germany

Sargul Ahmad
Activist, Women’s Liberation in Iraq
Canada

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Writer
Washington, DC
USA

Mahin Alipour
Coordinator, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
Stockholm
Sweden

Homa Arjomand
Coordinator, International Campaign against Sharia Courts in Canada
Toronto
Canada

Farideh Arman
Coordinator, International Campaign in Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran
Malmo
Sweden

Abdullah Asadi
Executive Director, International Federation of Iranian Refugees
Gutenberg
Sweden

Mohammad Asangaran
Political activist
Köln
Germany

Ophelia Benson
Editor, Butterflies and Wheels
USA

Susan Blackmore
Psychologist
UK

Nazanin Borumand
Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings
Germany

Roy Brown
Past President, International Humanist and Ethical Union
Geneva
Switzerland

Ed Buckner
President, American Atheists
USA

Marino Busdachin
General Secretary, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Netherlands

Center for Inquiry
USA

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
UK

Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany
Germany

Council of Ex-Muslims of Scandinavia
Sweden

Caroline Cox
Peer, House of Lords
London
UK

Austin Dacey
Representative to the United Nations, Center for Inquiry-International
USA

Shahla Daneshfar
Central Committee Member, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
London
UK

Richard Dawkins
Scientist
Oxford
UK

Patty Debonitas
TV Producer, Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism
London
UK

Deeyah
Singer and composer
USA

Nick Doody
Comedian
UK

Sonja Eggerickx
President, International Humanist and Ethical Union
Belgium

Afshin Ellian
Professor, Leiden University Faculty of Law
Leiden
Netherlands

Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
Sweden

European Humanist Federation
Belgium

Tarek Fatah
Author, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State
Toronto
Canada

Caroline Fourest
Writer
France

Tahir Aslam Gora
Writer and journalist
Canada

AC Grayling
Writer and Philosopher
London
UK

Maria Hagberg
Chair, Network against Honour-Related Violence
Gothenburg
Sweden

Johann Hari
Journalist
London
UK

Christopher Hitchens
Writer
USA

Farshad Hoseini
Activist, International Campaign against Executions
Netherlands

Khayal Ibrahim
Coordinator, Organization of Women’s Liberation in Iraq; Arabic Anchor for Secular TV
Canada

International Committee against Executions
Netherlands

International Committee against Stoning
Germany

International Humanist and Ethical Union
UK

Iranian Secular Society
UK

Shakeb Isaar
Singer
Sweden

Maryam Jamel
Activist, Women’s Liberation in Iraq
Canada

Keyvan Javid
Director, New Channel TV
London
UK

Alan Johnson
Editor, Democratiya.com
Lancashire
UK

Mehul Kamdar
Former editor of The Modern Rationalist
USA

Asqar Karimi
Central Committee Member, Worker-communist Party of Iran
London
UK

Naser Khader
Founder, Association of Democratic Muslims
Denmark

Gina Khan
Activist
Birmingham
UK

Hope Knutsson
Chair, Sidmennt, Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association
Iceland

Hartmut Krauss
Editor, Hintergrund
Germany

Stephen Law
Editor, Royal Institute of Philosophy journal
London
UK

Lawyers’ Secular Society
London
UK

Shiva Mahbobi
Producer, Against Discrimination TV Programme
London
UK

Houzan Mahmoud
Abroad Representative, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq
London
UK

Azar Majedi
President, Organisation for Women’s Liberation; Executive Committee Member of Worker-communism Unity Party
London
UK

Doreen Massey
Peer, House of Lords
London
UK

Anthony McIntyre
Writer
Ireland

Caspar Melville
Editor, New Humanist magazine
London
UK

Bahar Milani
Activist, Children First Now
London
UK

Navid Minay
General Secretary, Communist Youth Organization
Gothenburg
Sweden

Tauriq Moosa
Writer
Capetown
South Africa

Reza Moradi
Producer, Fitna Remade
London
UK

Douglas Murray
Director, Centre for Social Cohesion
London
UK

Maryam Namazie
One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain Organiser
London
UK

Taslima Nasrin
Writer and activist

National Secular Society
London
UK

Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings
Germany

Samir Noory
Writer; Secular TV Manager
Canada

David Pollock
President, the European Humanist Federation
London
UK

Fariborz Pooya
Founder, Iranian Secular Society
London
UK

Carla Revere
Barrister; Founder, Lawyers’ Secular Society
London
UK

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
Pakistan

Fahimeh Sadeghi
Coordinator, International Federation of Iranian Refugees-Vancouver
Vancouver
Canada

Terry Sanderson
President, National Secular Society
London
UK

Michael Schmidt-Salomon
Chief Executive Officer, Giordano Bruno Foundation
Germany

Udo Schuklenk
Philosophy professor, Queen’s University
Canada

Sohaila Sharifi
Editor, Unveiled
London
UK

Issam Shukri
Head, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq; Central Committee Secretary, Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq
Iraq

Joan Smith
Writer and activist
London
UK

Bahram Soroush
Founding member, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
London
UK

Peter Tatchell
Activist
London
UK

Hamid Taqvaee
Central Committee Secretary, Worker-communist Party of Iran

Afsaneh Vahdat
Coordinator, Council of Ex-Muslims of Sweden
Stockholm
Sweden

Lars Vilks
Artist
Sweden

Karin Vogelpohl
Pedagogue
Germany

Ibn Warraq
Writer

Keith Porteous Wood
Executive Director, National Secular Society
London
UK

Babak Yazdi
Head of Khavaran
Toronto
Canada

Marvin F. Zayed
President, International Committee to Protect Freethinkers
OttawaCanada

Eduardo Robredo Zugasti
Tercera Cultura
Spain

Leave a Reply