29 January – a successful day of protest against executions and in support of political prisoners

We salute all the people and organisations around the world that came out on Saturday 29 January 2011 making their voices heard to stop executions and in defence of political prisoners in Iran.

As you will see from the photos and videos – the day was a resounding success with 38 events! You can find them here.

Let’s continue working together – putting an end to executions in Iran and in defence of political prisoners!

You can sign the petition here.

Also here is the Resolution of the January 29, 2011 Protests:
In Defense of Political Prisoners and against Executions in Iran

1 – We consider execution a criminal and inhumane act and strongly condemn the Islamic regime, the regime of execution and stoning. All death sentences and the death penalties should be abolished immediately.

2 – All political prisoners must be released immediately and unconditionally from the Islamic regime’s prisons. Freedom of opinion, expression, association, assembly, protest, strike, dress, and and to have or not to have a religion are unquestionable rights of all people.
3 – We demand full political and diplomatic isolation of the Islamic Republic, the closure of its embassies, and the expulsion of the Islamic Republic from the United Nations, the International Labor Organization, and all international institutions.

4 – We call on all world governments to condemn the Islamic Republic for the crimes it has committed, and to demand abolishment of the death penalty and the immediate release of all political prisoners. We strongly condemn the silence, the cooperation, and the policy of appeasement of the world’s governments in the face of the Islamic regime’s crimes. Iranian people will not forgive the silence of these governments and the United Nations.

5 – We firmly support the Iranian people’s rightful struggle, we declare our solidarity with them, and we ask the humane world to show solidarity with the Iranian people to overthrow the Islamic regime.

For more information, contact Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity at iransolidarity@rocketmail.com.

Religion and Fascism work hand in hand; if in doubt ask the Pope!

I have emailed a number of people asking them to respond to the absurd claim that communism and fascism are alike – something that the far-Right and Right in general have been peddling. I am still working on my entry but couldn’t wait until then to post the following brilliant comment received from Hamid Taqvaee yesterday:

In response to the question of communism and fascism being alike I have the following brief points:

1- In theory and according to its ideological principles, fascism is racist; it’s against Jews, the disabled, gays, and so on. Communism, on the other hand, in theory and principle, is pro the equality and freedom of all people.

2- In comparing the two, Right-wing groups refer to ‘existing’ communism (such as the Soviet bloc, China, and so on). What was practiced in those cases was in fact not communism and completely opposite and despite what communism in theory and principle represents. What has happened in these cases had and has nothing to do with what communism advocates.

In the case of fascism and religion, however, when they attack and kill other races, women, gays and people of other or no religions, they act in complete accordance with their belief and ideology. Religions believe in killing for God and they have done so all along history and are doing it today everywhere they can.

3- What has saved the people of Europe from the atrocities of the church in the Middle Ages and from what the people of Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are experiencing today, is the renaissance, the enlightenment and atheism.

4- Finally, religion and fascism work hand in hand. If in doubt ask the present Pope!

Hamid Taqvaee, Leader of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran

Limiting immigration is racist; why not limit bankers and NeoCons?

I am still reeling from much of the rubbish Douglas Murray spouted at yesterday’s One Law for All seminar entitled ‘Enemies not Allies.’ I couldn’t respond to him as I would have liked because there just wasn’t enough time and as spokesperson of One Law for All I had to try to keep to the subject at hand.

But that is what personal blogs are for.

Video footage of the excellent event and discussion will be made available soon but I want to make sure that I address some of the things he said particularly on immigration, the pope and paedophilia in the church, and of course the absurd portrayal of communism as being one and the same with fascism.

Anyway let me begin with the issue of immigration.

Murray says that the call for limiting immigration is not a racist one.

I say it is – whether in the context of Sharia law, which was the discussion of the evening, or any other context.

A call for limits on immigration when discussing Sharia law implies that immigrants are responsible for the bleak state of affairs.

Have a problem with cut-backs in the health care system? Let’s limit immigration. Schools too full and not up to par? Let’s limit immigration. You don’t like Sharia? Let’s limit immigration.

Immigrants and asylum seekers (‘cockroaches’ according to the British Nationalist Party) are just easy scapegoats for problems that are caused elsewhere.

Take the issue of Sharia law. Immigrants haven’t brought Sharia law. Many of the Islamists here are British-born. And anyway the rise in Sharia is a result of the rise of Islamism. Islamism was encouraged and brought to centre stage by Western governments as a green belt against the former Soviet Union during the Cold War. And even today with their ‘war on terror’ Islamists are some of the US and British government’s closest allies. Iraq has more become more Islamic since their ‘intervention;’ British troops are setting up Sharia courts in Afghanistan, the Government keeps funding and appeasing Islamists, and encouraging religion’s role in society and immigrants are to blame?

Murray says he prefers the pope and a religion that discriminates against him for being gay than one that will push him off a building. But he is not at risk of being pushed off a building. Yet quite a few of the immigrants and asylum seekers who have escaped Islamism and Sharia law are.

It is absurd how the Right will profess to care about people’s rights when opposing Sharia law and Islamism but will never support the victims and survivors of Islamism or US-led militarism who dare to demand a better life.

If we do need limits – and I agree that we do – rather than limiting immigration, why not limit the far-Right, the bankers, the war industry and NeoCons for that matter. It wouldn’t change everything but I know I for one would be a lot happier. And I think most people would too.

On the current revolution in Tunisia

Interview with Leader of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran Regarding the Current Revolution in Tunisia

Toward Socialism: The events in Tunis started with a man burning himself to protest against his unemployment, humiliation, and his inability to make a living. How do you describe the unfolding huge demonstration that led to the escape of Ben Al family?

Hamid Taqvaee: The man who protested by setting himself on fire was representing the majority of Tunisian people. The majority of people are facing unemployment, poverty, low wages and high prices, and the current uprising shows that people cannot stand the status quo anymore. On the other hand, the people of Tunisia have been oppressed by a brutal and corrupt regime for 23 years. When a couple of weeks ago people found out about the multi-billion dollar wealth of the Ben Ali family, it was the last straw. The majority of Tunisians like people of Iran, or any other country under a brutal dictatorship, have hated their government and the existing regime for a long time but a revolution erupts under certain political conditions. In the case of Tunisia, unbearable poverty in contrast to the unimaginable wealth of the dictator and his gang provided those conditions. The revolution already succeeded in overthrowing Ben Ali, but it is only the beginning. The dictator has escaped but the dictatorship is still present. The revolution should, and it seems that it does, go forward to overthrow the whole regime.

The revolution in Iran that occurred about 1.5 years ago and still expresses itself in different occasions has a similar nature – an eruption of a revolt of millions of people, young, women, intellectuals, workers, unemployed … and so on, after the results of the “elections” were announced. Do you see a similarity between the events in Iran and the current one in Tunisia?

Hamid Taqvaee: The people of Iran have been confronting a brutal dictatorship for more than three decades. In Iran like Tunisia people are facing poverty, unemployment, government corruption, lack of political freedom and civil liberties, persecution, arrest, torture and execution of opposition parties’ members, political activists, and even individuals who do not totally agree with the Supreme Leader, etc. The uprising of 2009 was a mass protest against these conditions. I think the present revolution in Tunisia as far as the immediate goals and demands of people are concerned, is very similar to the 2009 uprising in Iran. In both countries people are protesting against a corrupt and brutal regime and fighting for freedom, equality, prosperity and a decent life.

I think the present events in Tunisia will have a crucial impact on the political situation in Iran. You already can see slogans like “after Ben Ali, is Seyed Ali’s turn” on many Iranian internet sites and groups- referring to Syed Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Islamic Republic in Iran.

Towards Socialism: Now Ben Ali has escaped but the regime is still there. What do you say to the people of Tunisia? Is it over? If not then how they proceed?

Hamid Taqvaee: Of course it is not over and people on the streets know that. That’s the reason nobody accepted the interim government and Ghanochi, who himself is a leftover of Ben Ali’s gang, and is facing the resignation of his ministers every other day. As I have already mentioned, the dictatorship is still in place. The ruling class and reactionary forces, including Western powers and all governments in the Arab world, are trying to abort the revolution and are trying to save and keep in place as many parts of the state apparatus as they can. It is a classic case of reaction of anti revolutionary forces. The revolution can and should go on until the whole system is overthrown.

Towards Socialism: What in your opinion are the basic demands of the people to any government that might replace the old one? Why are particular demands important for the people to defend at this juncture?

Hamid Taqvaee: The very first and urgent goal of any revolution is to get rid of the old state and political system. All the authorities and individuals who took part in Ben Ali’s dictatorship should be prosecuted and put on trial. They are criminals and have no legitimacy to be a part of a new government or take part in elections and so on. The revolution is against them and only by arresting these criminals and putting them on trial, can it go forward. Also all the reactionary laws and institutions should be abolished. All the political prisoners should be released. Other urgent demands of people are civil and political freedoms, freedom of speech, press, assembly, strike and demonstration, abolition of capital punishment, abolition of discriminatory laws especially against women. As I mentioned before one of the main causes of the revolution is poverty and unemployment. So providing decent jobs and unemployment insurance for everybody who is ready to work is the immediate task of any government that wants the support of people. These are the minimum and basic demands of people and should be accepted by any government and also any political party in the opposition. These are the criteria people should use to differentiate between revolutionary and reactionary forces in today’s political situation in Tunisia.

Toward Socialism: Do you expect Islamists to come to power as an alternative? What are your ideas in this regard? What do you say to people who see the Islamists mobilizing in this vacuum and call for mass prayers in the streets of Tunisia? Is it enough to be an opposition party or oppressed party by the old regime to be elected as “democratic”? Why?

Hamid Taqvaee: I don’t think Islamists have much chance to come to power by their own merits. Tunisia is not Lebanon or Gaza and Islamists don’t have much social influence there. Tunisia is a secular and modern society and people and their revolution up to now showed no intention to move toward Islamism. I think the only way for Islamic groups to emerge as an alternative for political power in Tunisia is by getting the support of Western states and it is not very likely unless of course Western powers find no other alternative. Nevertheless, considering the general status of Political Islam in the region and presence of a banned Islamic opposition party in Tunisia one should take the threat of Islamism very seriously.

In answer to the second part of your question I should point out that if a party is in opposition to a dictatorship that does not necessarily make it a democratic and progressive party. Khomeini in Iran opposed the Shah’s regime and was a very reactionary figure. If the Iranian people have found out the true nature of political Islam the hard way, Tunisians do not have to. The experience of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamist groups in Iraq shows that political Islam everywhere and in power or opposition is a reactionary force and a major barrier for people, especially women, to achieve freedom and equality. People of Tunisia should be aware of the danger of Islamic groups and not accept any interference of religion and Sharia laws and code in the government, in the educational system, in the law and judiciary system.

Toward Socialism: The Left worker-communist Party of Iraq is supporting the revolution in Tunisia. What role do you think this party can play in this revolution even though it’s thousands of miles away? How can worker-communism be active and affective?

Hamid Taqvaee: I think your party can play a very important role. One of the benefits of dictators like Ben Ali for the ruling class is their suppression of communists and revolutionary parties and activists who can, when revolution emerges, lead people toward freedom. Therefore it is the duty of all communists and revolutionary activists all over the world to contribute in any way they can to support, show the way, formulate and articulate the goals and demands of the uprising of people against existing governments in any part of the world. And in the case of the current revolution in Tunisia especially your party can be very effective. You speak the same language, you have a rich experience confronting all kinds of reactionary forces in Iraq, and above all you are representing worker-communism, a radical and active force in Iran and Iraq and all over the world, criticizing and fighting new world order – i.e. post cold war capitalism- and political Islam at the same time.

All those factors give your party a unique place in helping the people and revolutionary and radical groups and activists in Tunisia.

Toward Socialism is the political newspaper of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq LWPI, published in Arabic. The interview will show in its special issue dedicated to the revolution of Tunisia and published in Baghdad.

Don’t forget to come to enemies not allies seminar

If you have ever thought that the English Defence League or Stop Islamisation of Europe are okay or that United Against Fascism is a progressive organisation, come to our seminar on 26 January and hear why they are not. We have been researching a number of far-right organisations as well as the pro-Islamist left in order to show that they are not to be allied with in the fight for equal rights and against religious laws.

Join us for an interesting discussion and debate.

You don’t need to pre-book to come to the event. Registration begins at 18.00 at Conway Hall. The seminar will start at 18.30 and go on until 20.00.

Make sure you come.

Here is more information on it:

‘Enemies not Allies’ Seminar
26 January 2011, 18.30 – 20.00 (Registration begins at 18.00), Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL (Holborn Tube)

Bigots and neo-Nazis feigning to campaign for rights… ‘anti-racist’ groups promoting fascism… ‘anti-war’ rallies run by supporters of terrorism and dictatorship… Enough!

The One Law for All campaign is holding a seminar to expose how important debates including on Sharia law have been hijacked by the far-Right to promote their racist agenda, and by anti-racist and anti-war groups to defend Islamism, both at the expense of people’s rights and lives. The seminar will focus on: The British National Party, the English Defence League, Stop Islamisation of Europe (also Stop Islamization of America), the Stop the War Coalition, the Respect Party, and Unite Against Fascism.

Speakers at the seminar are Adam Barnett (One Law for All), Rahila Gupta (Women’s Rights Campaigner), Marieme Helie Lucas (Secularism is a Women’s Issue), Ghaffar Hussain (Quilliam Foundation), Douglas Murray (Centre for Social Cohesion), Maryam Namazie (One Law for All), and Shiraz Maher (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation), with John Adams (Emeritus Professor at the University of Hertfordshire) to chair.

Entry fee: £5 individuals; £10 voluntary and statutory organisations. For booking form and speaker bios visit http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/26-january-2010-seminar-london/.

January 29 Global Day of Action

In support of political prisoners and against execution in Iran

Many organizations and individuals have announced their serious concern about public executions and intensification of executions in Iran. Saturday 29th January 2011, has been declared as a day of global protest against executions and in defense of political prisoners in Iran.

Updated list of 32 events

AFGHANISTAN

Kabul, Herat, Mazarsharif & Kandahar
Date: Saturday, January 29
Details to follow

Note: In an exchange with the responsibles of the Afghan Solidarity Party, we were informed that on 29th January, in the four cities of Kabul, Herat, Mazarsharif and Kandahar, there will be protests against execution and in support of political prisoners in Iran.

AUSTRIA

Vienna
Date: Saturday January 29
Details to follow

CANADA

Toronto
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Yonge and Dundas St. In front of Eton Center.
Contact: wpicanada@yahoo.com, 416-726-9321

Vancouver
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2pm
Location: In front of Robson Art Gallery
Contact: 60-47278986

Ottawa
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 12-2pm
Location: In front of Ottawa Parliament
Contact: Davoud Aram, 6138597929

DENMARK
Copenhagen
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-3pm
Location: In front of Amnesty International – Gammeltorv – 1457 København K
Also,
4-6pm meeting in Pouyandeh library

FRANCE

Besançon
Date : saturday January 29
Time : 3pm
Location : Place du 8 septembre
Organised by : Iran Solidarité supported by CGT ADDSEA, Initiative Communiste-Ouvrière, Fédération Anarchiste, SUD Santé Social and others,
Contact: cgt.addsea@gmail.com

GERMANY

Berlin
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-5pm
Joachimstaler Platz, (U-Bhf Kurfürstendamm
Contact: 0178 2486 6317

Frankfurt
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2pm
Location: Raymondstrasse, in front of Islamic Republic Consulate
~followed by subsequent action:
Time: 4pm
Location: Frankfurt City Center, Hawptwache
Contact: 015774650186 and 015787497231

Bremen
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-5pm
Location: Marktplatz
Contact: 01724037035

Köln
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 1-3pm
Location: Domplatte

Hamburg
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 12noon
Location: Hauptbahnhof (Nord) – Glockengießerwall
Contact: 0176-4832 5613 , 0172-4044 323

München
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 4-6pm
Location: Opfer des Nationalsozialismus

Leipzig
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Grimmaische Straße -Zentrum
Contact: saeede999@yahoo.de , 0176 29 31 9819

IRAQ

Soleimaniya
Date: Saturday January 29
Details to follow

NETHERLANDS

Den Haag
Date: Friday January 28
Time: 3-5pm
Location: In front of the Dutch Parliament
Contact: Bahman Khani, 06-51-273261, Yalda Bayram, 06-50-994005

NORWAY

Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 1-2pm
Location: In front of Islamic Republic Embassy
~followed by subsequent action:
Time: 2-3:30pm
Location: In front of Foreign Ministry of Norway
Contact: Saber Rahimi 9-869-4001

SWITZERLAND

Zurich
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: vor der Kirche Stauffacherstr. 10

SWEDEN

Malmö
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 1-3pm
Location: Davidhallsbron
Contact: 0703 63 80 88 , 0703171102

Stockholm
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Sergels torg
Contact: 0737-801510

Gothenburg
Date: Saturday January 29
Details to follow
Contact: 0708-544 529

Borås
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Stortorget
Contact: 0737-598566

For more information re the events in Sweden contact: Afsaneh Vahdat 0702-468454

UNITED KINGDOM

London
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Trafalgar Square, North Terrace (outside the National Gallery)

London
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 11-12.30pm
Location: In front of BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, W1A 1AA

UNITED STATES

Washington DC
Date: Sunday January 30
Time: 12-3pm
Location: In front of the Islamic Republic Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Ave
Hassan Massali: 301-792-3370; hmassali@aol.com
Maria Rohaly: 240-472-9565; maria.rohaly@gmail.com

San Francisco, California
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Union Square

Irvine, CA
Date: Friday January 28
Time: 5-7pm
Location: on the corner of Jamboree & Barranca city of Irvine, CA

New York City, NY
Date: Saturday January 29
Time: 3-5pm
Location: Union Square

We call on everyone to be part of this global day of protest and support the people of Iran. Solidarity with people of Iran and international pressure is a significant factor that helps people of Iran in their struggle to liberate themselves; protest works, remember the case of Sakineh Ashtiani!

1. Join or organize a protest in your city;
2. Let us know time and venue of your protest and action
3. publicize the news of the protest in your local paper, trade union and other organisations
4. Sign the declaration of the global day of action
5. Governments everywhere must come under pressure to break all diplomatic links with the Islamic regime of Iran

Free all political prisoners
End capital punishment

International Committee against Execution

For more information, contact: Mina Ahadi
Email: minaahadi@aol.com
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413
http://notonemoreexecution.org
http://stopstonningnow.com

Petition:

http://stopstonningnow.com/united/listunite600.php?nr=22774802&lang=en

Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie executed

Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie were murdered today by the Islamic regime of Iran. Both had been arrested in September 09 in connection with post-electoral protests. Both have been tortured. Jafar Kazemi’s wife said in a telephone earlier today that she went to prison to see her husband when she was told that he had been executed.

The killing of these two political prisoners brings up the number of executed to about 100 in just over a month.

Please help stop this!

Come out this Saturday, 29th and let the world hear our cries of protest against this killing machine.
Please get in touch: iransolidarity (at) rocketmail (dot) com

What has charitable status have to do with anything?

Skeptical Science posted the call for emergency support for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on its site.

PW commented: ‘They don’t have a charity no. I’m not a fan of giving money to people who I have no idea who they are or what they do with the money I give.’

My response is:

I am not sure what not having charitable status has to do with organisations not knowing who they are or what they need funds for. We are an organisation with very clear aims – coming out in the open and renouncing Islam and religion in order to break the taboo and challenge the Islamist movement that punishes apostasy with death. It is very much like gays coming out of the closet. Yes religion or atheism is a private matter but not when you can get killed for it. Then coming out becomes a form of resistance…

This has nothing to do with having charitable status. Religion is a charitable object but not what we do. The charity commission has said that we cannot become a charity since we promote secularism. Plus there are many organisations such as the National Secular Society and Amnesty International that don’t have charitable status because of the charity commission’s narrow rules – that doesn’t make them worthless organisations.

If PW is so desperate to fund charities irrespective of their aims – or believes that only charitable organisations have aims that are worthy of support – there is always the Sharia Council or the Muslim Council of Britain which he can fund….

Maryam

Emergency Call: The Council of Ex-Muslims needs your support!

An ex-Muslim from Birmingham writes:
“I’ve discarded Islam and I want to be with others like me in the effort to break the taboo associated with leaving Islam. This organisation is significant because it represents one of the most difficult things I must deal with in my life, and is the only effort in the UK to tackle the hardships of those in much worse situations than I.”

Another ex-Muslim woman from the UK writes:
“After 20 years of Islam, I finally gave up the prison for my freedom… It has been a long and painful journey, with many more obstacles ahead, but I am confident that things can only get better for the long-term. Well done CEMB for creating this unified voice for ex-Muslims!”

And here’s one from Pakistan:
“I was born and raised in a Muslim family and later studied medicine, two polarizing aspects, which led me to the conclusion that there is no god… Living in a place like Pakistan, where there’s zero tolerance for freedom of thought and choice, I find this Council a big step forward in the face of religious conservatism, a place where people like myself can find acceptance. I reject the religious hypocrisy that surrounds me and thank you all for accepting a free mind.”

Since its establishment in 2007, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) has become the refuge for people to come to if they have left Islam and religion. It is a hugely important sanctuary for women and men who face threats, intimidation and/or isolation for taking this step.

And, since our inception, we’ve always been here to help – whether it is finding a safe house and giving support or defending the right to asylum for ‘apostates’ fleeing Sharia law.

In the past year, we’ve helped hundreds of people, held an important conference on Apostasy and Sharia Law, had speaking engagements across the country and developed a number of crucial resources including Guidelines for Ex-Muslims and Frontline practitioners and an information document on Apostasy and Asylum in the UK.

But all this work needs money and the CEMB is in the worst financial situation since its inception. It is incredibly hard to get support for our work from funders, even some who might be perceived as allies. The media and government, too, continue to avoid real discussion on the issues at hand. That’s why we have to depend on you for your help in getting the word out, supporting ex-Muslims and challenging Islamism and Sharia law, which punishes ‘apostates’ with the death penalty.

We hope you can take time out to send us a donation. Any amount, whatever you can give, will truly help. We are looking for people to give just £3 a month (more, if possible), so that we can begin to have an income that we can rely on.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest wishes

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson

NOTES:

1. To donate to the crucial work of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, please either send a cheque, made payable to CEMB, to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via World Pay. We desperately need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £3 a month via direct debit. You can find out details here.

2. You can find out about our recent activities here:
* Our latest statement on Baroness Warsi and Islamophobia
* Video footage on 11 December conference on Apostasy and Sharia Law, a video in Arabic (English subtitles) in support of Arabic speaking apostates as well as Guidelines for Ex-Muslims and a report on Asylum and Apostasy.
* Inspiring statements from our members
* Media coverage

3. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
CEMB
BM Box 1919
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
www.ex-muslim.org.uk

International Women’s Day – A Day of Solidarity with Iranian Women!

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a gender apartheidist and misogynist regime that has imposed the most severe discriminatory laws, the most brutal and insulting rules and regulations on women, and has deprived them of their basic rights. Women under Islamic rule are officially and legally considered sexual slaves to serve men. But women in Iran have not given in to this unfairness and have always been on the front lines of the fight against the regime of gender apartheid and misogyny. According to official documentation, every year hundreds of thousands of women are arrested and either punished or fined, or even executed or stoned. Their crimes are mainly disobedience against the unfair laws and regulations, wearing improper clothes, or having had sexual relations outside of marriage. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death by stoning for having had extramarital sex, is a clear example.

The scale of women’s suppression is a vivid sign of the mass struggle women are leading that has truly exhausted the Islamic regime. Fighting full force and with all their might against gender apartheid and for their human rights has made women a great and influential social movement. In the recent uprising, women were in the vanguard in opposing the Islamic regime. In the past few years many organizations have been formed and lots of schemes and plans have been drawn up to further suppress the women’s movement and impose Islamic rules on them, but the scale of women’s resistance and struggle is such that all these plans have faced defeat one after the other.

This year on International Women’s Day you should show your solidarity with women in Iran. Women in Iran deserve the warmest support worldwide. Condemn the regime of gender apartheid and the misogynist Islamic Republic. Send your solidarity messages to Iranian women. Along with women and people of Iran, demand that the Islamic government be expelled from all international bodies and the United Nations. Demand all diplomatic ties with the Islamic government be broken by the west. Organize demonstrations wherever you can and when you go to your demonstration, bring banners in support of women’s rights in Iran.

The overthrow of the Islamic regime will be a great progress for women and people in Iran, for secularism and women’s liberation in the region, and a great step against Islamic terrorism and the political Islam movement in the world. People of the world must treat gender apartheid in Iran the same way as racial apartheid was treated in South Africa.

Join or intensify the fight! Together we can make a difference!
Please contact us and let us know of any plans you have to stand in solidarity with women’s struggle in Iran!

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

Sohaila Sharifi
sohailasharifi@yahoo.co.uk 0044-771 911 1738

Revolution in Tunisia: Forward and Onward!

On Friday 14th January, a month-old mass protest and struggle of the working class and people of Tunisia against unemployment and destitution and the corrupt police state resulted in the hasty flight of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, the President of Tunisia. This was the first achievement of the people of Tunisia in their fight for freedom and equality.

This is the beginning of a revolution whose victory cannot be anything short of the establishment of direct rule of citizens based on direct popular participation in administration of the state, complete overthrow of the current government, and the destruction of the oppressive machinery of the state which has been used against the people of Tunisia for more than half a century.

The swift victory of the people Tunisia in forcing Ben Ali, who has been at the helm of a fearsome machinery of terror, to flee, gave rise to optimism and was welcomed by the people of the world, particularly in Arab countries. In some countries, people demonstrated in support of the people of Tunisia, while a shadow of fear fell on the face of the dictators. In Iran the people eagerly watched the scenes similar to their own struggle against the Islamic regime in the 2009 revolution, and sent messages of support and congratulations following the flight of the Tunisian dictator; they felt stronger in their fight against the Islamic regime of Iran.

The start of the Tunisian revolution is an important development with a momentous impact on the region and in particular on the countries of the so-called ‘Arab World’. This revolution must move forward vigorously and achieve its victory. The ruling elite of Tunisia, in co-ordination with Western powers, particularly France and the United States, is trying to ‘put out of sight’ some of the hated figures of the Tunisian state and save the oppressive state machinery, such as the army and other oppressive organs; by inviting some nationalist, Islamist and reactionary elements of the opposition to form a government of ‘national unity’, they are trying to maintain and justify the current system of oppression and exploitation. The code name for this operation is the ‘Jasmine Revolution’, which is supposedly based on the model of the Velvet Revolution. By passing the power between different groups of the ruling class, the ruling elite aims to defeat the people’s revolution in Tunisia.

The people of Tunisia must advance their revolution; they must put forward such demands as the unconditional release of political prisoners, public trial of Ben Ali and all those responsible for the recent killings, an end to Marshal Law, abolition of all the oppressive organs of the state, publication of the all the documents of the theft and embezzlement by top government officials, direct and popular participation in all decision- making in industries, government organisations, universities and neighbourhoods, unconditional freedom of expression, strike, organisation and political activities, immediate rise in pay levels, etc. No government – ‘national unity’ or otherwise – has any legitimacy unless it recognises the above demands. Any government that fails to recognise these demands would be deemed as the continuation of the old dictatorship and consequently must stand aside.

Moving forward and achieving these demands is only possible by the mass organisation of the working class and people of Tunisia.

We are for the advance and comprehensive victory of the people of Tunisia; their victory will be a victory for the people of world, including the people Iran.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
16 January 2011

About the Revolutionary Developments in Tunisia!

After the evolvement of struggles of the unemployed, working class, and all oppressed in Tunisia, into mass protests and rallies attended by teachers, lawyers, and youth, and after the expansion of demonstrations to nearby cities and townships especially the capital Tunis, and the joining of trade unions, the government, represented by its oppressive forces, began to shoot live bullets at the demonstrators. It was announced that the death toll reached 60 and many were killed in prisons as well. The mass demonstrations and confrontations had lead to the escape of the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was replaced by Mohamed Ghannouchi as president and the imposition of martial law. The army is now protecting the airport and major centers of government, but the streets are still filled with people who are still unconvinced of what is happening and who have formed several councils to manage the situation and protect public property from looting and vandalism of the gangs and looters who took advantage of the current situation.

The current protest in Tunisia is a mass revolution sparked by a toiler who burned himself in a show of protest against the police assault on his means of livelihood. This incident had escalated into flames of protests of thousands of unemployed workers in all of Tunisia and evolved into a demand to topple the regime, release of political prisoners, and wider political freedoms. The masses rose up courageously and led an uprising to topple the despotic tyrant who had fled in panic. But the current ruling regime, which claims to save the country, is but an extension of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. It is incapable of serving the interests and objectives of the egalitarian revolution of the Tunisian masses. The people did not rise up to form a national-unity nor a constitution based government, or to get some sedative solutions by which the ruling class aim to defuse the revolution and bring Islamists and nationalist reactionaries to power. The Islamic and nationalist forces which, along with the global propaganda media, promote a so-called national-unity rule and consolidation of democracy, want, in fact, to abort the uprising, and to domesticate it into another velvet democratic revolution (jasmine revolution!) and allude the masses into believing that the present government is capable of solving their troubles and problems, especially deprivation, unemployment, discrimination, oppression, inequality, and lack of rights and freedoms.

Our Party asserts that the bourgeois class, which came out after the defection of Ben Ali, will try to make promises to end the situation to peoples favor, but in fact, they aim to kill the revolution and distract the masses with trivial reforms in order to perpetuate their rule. Our Party asserts that the current reactionary Arab nationalists and Islamists, guards of the regime, and army officers, are all incapable to represent the revolution or to lead it towards its goals, and that the solution lies in the hands of the Tunisian working class and millions of toilers and their socialist, leftist, and secularist forces. Our party, while seeing in this revolution a new era of liberty and emancipation to the people in the Arab region, points out that the ultimate emancipation of the masses off their deprivation, abuse, poverty, lack of political freedoms and equality to women, will only be recognized through the victory of socialism. This requires sustaining the struggles to accomplish it by the working class of Tunisia itself.

There lie difficult tasks in front of the revolution, but the most important task at the moment is to block the way on the Tunisian bourgeoisie to deceive the masses by talking about democracy, human rights, coalition governments, and so on, so it could catch its breath and regain its grip with new faces. We emphasize the need to develop means of class struggle for the workers of Tunisia, and to escalate the struggle and reach the level of determining working class political alternatives towards socialism. The formation of councils in some cities and turning them into nuclei for people’s councils, is a first step to take control of the situation, but leading the revolution requires a worker-communist party competent of leading the revolution to the victory of the Socialist Republic, is the only alternative for the direct and wide intervention of people and to restore their robbed humanity.

Victory of the Revolution of the masses of Tunisia!
Long live freedom and equality!
Long live the Socialist Republic!

The Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq – LWPI
17 January, 2011

The Islamic Regime of Iran is to execute two young men to death by stoning for homosexuality

According to the news we have received Ayub and Mosleh, 20 and 21 years old, are in danger of execution by stoning in the city of Piranshahr in the province of Kurdistan. The two young men are currently imprisoned in the city of Orumieh. They have been accused of having and filming homosexual relations. Pictures of President Ahmadinejad were incorporated into the film and loaded onto their mobile telephones. In additions, headshots of Khamenei pasted over a donkey were also found on the mobiles.

This film fell into the hands of the regime’s agents in Piranshahr who immediately ordered the young men’s execution by stoning to instill fear in the people of Iran. The news indicates that they will be stoned this Friday, Jan 21st 2011.

The International Committee Against Stoning calls for immediate action to protest the Islamic Regime’s medieval and brutal sentence against these two young men.

We particularly ask the people of Piranshahr to contact us immediately with further news about this case, and to prepare to prevent this heinous act. We urge the young people of Piranshahr to hasten to the aid of Ayub and Mosleh and declare that they will not permit this tragedy to occur in Piranshar. We must gather and collectively declare that we will not permit the Islamic Regime to murder and stone the youth of Iran in fear mongering acts.

We call on people everywhere to spread the news of the inhuman and medieval act against Ayub and Mosleh and do whatever they can to save them.

After the worldwide campaign against the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani that drove the Islamic Regime to a weakened position and brought the world out against the murderers of the Islamic Regime and against stoning, the Islamic Regime wants to show that it will not stop stoning and such depraved inhuman tactics. We must stand against stoning in Piranshahr.

The International Committee Against Stoning
Jan 16, 2011

It is time to act!

People of the World
It is time to Act

Let’s Bring an End to Executions
Free all Political Prisoners in Iran

The history of the Islamic regime of Iran is known to many; it is a history of darkness and suppression;

This is a regime of:

• Imposition of sexual apartheid
• Public lashing, torture and executions of its opponents and prisoners
• Imposition of medieval religious rules on 70 million people
• Stoning for sexual relations out of marriage
• Hostage taking of foreign nationals as a means of political bartering with other governments
• Execution of minors
• Denial of free thought and freedom of expression and belief
• Discrimination and appalling treatment of other religions, none-believers, humanists and atheists
• Imposition of the most barbaric labour law on working people justified by religious rules
• Active backing and arming of terrorist groups all over the world as the main pillar of its foreign policy
• Seeking nuclear weapons to be able to take the world hostage
• Arrest and imprisonment of lawyers for defending their clients
• and the list goes on and on

Now, to subdue the angry people of Iran, who are on the verge of mass revolt, the Islamic regime of Iran has intensified the execution of political prisoners and is announcing day after day lists of executions. In the last 3 weeks alone, it has carried out public executions of at least 50 people and most were allegedly for possession of drugs, the real ‘crimes’ are never known in the judicial system of the Islamic regime.

The intensification of public executions is a worrying development; the Islamic regime has a history of mass execution of political prisoners and on many occasions throwing in accusations of drug related activity, sexual deviancy, enmity with god and other made trump up charges as a means to silence and subdue the population. In 1988, the Islamic regime within a short period of time executed thousands of prisoners without any trial. (1) This can not happen again; that thousands of political prisoners and protesters are massacred and buried in unknown graves and the world remaining unaware of such atrocities. We will not allow this to be repeated.

In the past and on many occasions the world has come together to remove stains from human history; remember the global struggle and victory to put an end to the South Africa’s racial apartheid. Now is the time for the world to come together again and act to bring an end to a shame of 21st century and remove this stain that is the Islamic regime of Iran.

Many organizations and individuals have announced their serious concern about public executions and intensification of executions in Iran. Saturday 29th January 2011, has been declared as a day of global protest against executions and in defense of political prisoners in Iran.

We call on everyone to be part of this global day of protest and support the people of Iran. Solidarity with people of Iran and international pressure is a significant factor that helps people of Iran in their struggle to liberate themselves; protest works, remember the case of Sakineh Ashtiani!

1. Join or organize a protest in your city;
2. Let us know time and venue of your protest and action
3. publicize the news of the protest in your local paper, trade union and other organisations
4. Sign the declaration of the global day of action
5. Governments everywhere must come under pressure to break all diplomatic links with the Islamic regime of Iran

Sign the petition here.

Free all political prisoners
End capital punishment

International Committee Against Execution
January 15, 2011
http://notonemoreexecution.org/
http://stopstonningnow.com
Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi 0049 (0) 177 569 2413

(1) Geoffrey Robertson QC’s report The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran 1988 can be downloaded here.

In Defence of Political Prisoners & Against Executions in Iran – International Campaign

January 13, 2011

In Defence of Political Prisoners & Against Executions in Iran – International Campaign

Over the last three weeks alone the Islamic Republic of Iran has executed more than 50 people; among them several political prisoners.

Dozens of political prisoners have been sentenced to death; their execution imminent – like Jafar Kazemi and Zahra Bahrami. Many have been given hefty sentences – like lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and is banned from practicing law and leaving the country for 20 years.

Executions and repression have always been distinctive features of the Islamic regime in Iran; indeed they have been its most cherished tools of survival over the last 32 years.

It is no coincidence that with the ongoing and ever increasing pressure from the Iranian people against the regime, repression and executions of political prisoners, activists and the general public have been intensified.

No doubt, this carnage has only one aim: to terrorize and silence the people of Iran, to ensure the regime’s survival.

This wave of executions and repression is going to continue – unless we stop it.

In this atmosphere of terror, powerful urgent action at the international level to defend political prisoners and to prevent further executions is crucial. We have seen in the past that international attention and protests freed political prisoners and stopped executions.

Thus we are asking you to join the International Campaign in Defence of Political Prisoners and Against Executions in Iran.

Executions in Iran must stop! Political Prisoners must be released and their sentences revoked!

Join us and call for action on Saturday, 29 January 2011, a Day of International Protest. Please mark the day within your organisations, with your friends and colleagues. It could be a gathering, a protest, a letter, a march, a song or other things.

Please also take a moment to sign the declaration of support which can be found at
http://stopstonningnow.com/united/unite600.php?nr=22774802〈=en
and is currently available in English, Spanish, French, German, Farsi, Italian, and Dutch.

Dozens of Iranian opposition groups, organisations and individuals from across the globe have already joined the campaign and called for action on 29 January – we hope you will too.

International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning

For more information, contact: Mina Ahadi
Email: minaahadi@aol.com
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413
http://notonemoreexecution.org

http://stopstonningnow.com

Hold these dates of seminar, conference and event against Sharia law and Stoning and for Women’s Rights

‘Enemies not Allies’ Seminar
26 January 2011, 18.30 – 20.00 (Registration begins at 18.00), Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL (Holborn Tube)

Bigots and neo-Nazis feigning to campaign for rights… ‘anti-racist’ groups promoting fascism… ‘anti-war’ rallies run by supporters of terrorism and dictatorship… Enough!

The One Law for All campaign is holding a seminar to expose how important debates including on Sharia law have been hijacked by the far-Right to promote their racist agenda, and by anti-racist and anti-war groups to defend Islamism, both at the expense of people’s rights and lives. The seminar will focus on: The British National Party, the English Defence League, Stop Islamisation of Europe (also Stop Islamization of America), the Stop the War Coalition, the Respect Party, and Unite Against Fascism.

Speakers at the seminar are Adam Barnett (One Law for All), Rahila Gupta (Women’s Rights Campaigner), Marieme Helie Lucas (Secularism is a Women’s Issue), Ghaffar Hussain (Quilliam Foundation), Douglas Murray (Centre for Social Cohesion), Maryam Namazie (One Law for All), and Shiraz Maher (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation), with John Adams (Emeritus Professor at the University of Hertfordshire) to chair.

Entry fee: £5 individuals; £10 voluntary and statutory organisations. For booking form and speaker bios.

International Conference on Women’s Rights, Sharia Law and Secularism
12 March 2011, 10.00-19.00 hours, University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E (Russell Square)

The one day conference to mark International Women’s Day will discuss the adverse impact of religious laws on the status of women.

Speakers include: Mina Ahadi (International Committee against Stoning), Karima Bennoune (Law Professor), Helle Merete Brix (Journalist), Nadia Geerts (Writer), Hammeda Hossain (South Asians for Human Rights), Monica Lanfranco (Journalist), Anne-marie Lizin (Honorary Speaker of Belgian Senate), Maryam Namazie (One Law for All and Iran Solidarity), Taslima Nasreen (Writer), Yasmin Rehman (Women’s Rights Activist), Nina Sankari (European Feminist Initiative Poland), Sohaila Sharifi (Equal Rights Now), Bahram Soroush (Civil Rights Activist), Daniel Salvatore Schiffer (Philosopher), Annie Sugier (la ligue du Droit International des Femmes), Anne Marie Waters (One Law for All), Linda Weil-Curiel (Lawyer), and Stasa Zajovic (Belgrade Women in Black).

Entry fee: £10 individuals; £3 unwaged and students. For booking form and speaker bios. The event is sponsored by the International Committee against Stoning, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now and One Law for All.

Event against Stoning
9 July 2011, 14.00-17.30 hours, University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E (Russell Square)

The Event against Stoning marks International Day against Stoning and will include a film screening of The Stoning of Soraya M followed by a panel discussion including with film director Cyrus Nowrasteh and campaigners Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie. The event will be dedicated to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Entry fee: £10 individuals; £3 unwaged and students. For more information. The event is sponsored by the International Committee against Stoning, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now and One Law for All.

Save your place now

To register for the above events, send a completed booking form along with a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal. Donations are also welcome.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX
onelawforall@gmail.com
www.onelawforall.org.uk

Is there nothing to learn from Sharia and the Stoning of Soraya M

Today I finally mustered up the courage to watch The Stoning of Soraya M after being in contact with the film’s wonderful director Cyrus Nowrasteh. It’s a heart wrenching account of one woman’s life, the status of women in Iran and the brutalities of stoning and Sharia law. The stoning scene is one of those scenes that will leave anyone who watches it forever changed and hopefully more resolute in fighting to end stoning and Sharia law altogether.

On the same day – still reeling from the film – I received yet another rejection email from a funder saying amongst other things that one of the reasons for rejection was their “doubts” about “the absolute nature of the [One Law for All] campaign – is there nothing that British law can learn from Sharia courts?”

Whilst such statements no longer surprise me, I still cannot stop myself from being enranged at the ease with which the denial of the rights and freedoms of ‘others’ – those of supposedly different cultures and religions – are excused.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have but I had to write back immediately and say: “All campaigns defending rights are absolutist in some sense. You cannot oppose torture and then believe that some forms of torture are alright. You can also not defend women’s rights if you believe that religious laws that deem women to be worth half that of a man have some merit.”

I suggested in my response that the grant officer read our report on Sharia law in Britain to see why the law must be opposed, full stop. I’d also recommend that see The Stoning of Soraya M while he’s at it.

Defend Political Prisoners; Protest Against Executions

The Islamic Republic has started a vicious wave of executions since two weeks ago against worker activists, political prisoners and the general public. We must stop it before it goes too far.

Currently available in English, Spanish, German, Farsi, Italian, and Dutch, please take a moment to sign the following declaration in defence of political prisoners and those on death row in Iran.

Sign petition here.

Defend Political Prisoners; Protest Against Executions

To subdue the angry people of Iran, who are on the verge of revolt, the Islamic regime of Iran has intensified the execution of political prisoners and is day after day announcing list of executions.

Recent successful protest in the city of Sanandaj backed by international outrage and campaign forced the Islamic regime to call off the execution of Habibolah Latifi. However the regime immediately executed two other prisoners, Ali Saremi and Ali Akbar Siyadat.

Millions are rightly outraged by these atrocities; it is important that the international campaign is coordinated and unified; We, the undersigned, therfore join this international protest and

1. Support the international campaign in support of the people of Iran to bring an end to executions and immediate release of all political prisoners. Capital punishment is an inhumane and must be ended.

2. Demand revoking of all execution orders;

3. Demand that all political prisoners, including students, worker activists, woman rights activists or anyone who has been imprisoned for their religious or non-religious views or sexuality are released immediately. Freedom of expression is a basic human right.

4. We condemn any appeasement of this regime and demand that all governments condemn these atrocities; break all diplomatic and political relations with the regime of Iran.

For more information, contact: Mina Ahadi
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Email: minaahadi@aol.com
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413
http://notonemoreexecution.org

http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/