Maryam Namazie speaking at Howthelightgetsin 2011 philosophy and music festival at Hay

Saturday 4 June 2011
10:30am
Venue: International Tent

Philosophy Session – The Scimitar’s Edge
Lauren Booth, Iain Edgar, Maryam Namazie. Mary Ann Sieghart chairs.
Islam is the most widely discussed religion in the West. Is its ‘success’ due to its beliefs, its certainty or its function as a political force? AreIslamic values compatible with western liberalism and should we be weary of or embrace its influence?

Journalist, reality TV star and Muslim convert Lauren Booth, Islam scholar Iain Edgar and Director of the Ex-Muslim Council Maryam Namazie examine the reasons behind Islam’s success.

Saturday 4 June 2011
2:00pm
Venue: Talk Tent

Philosophy Session – The Islamist Inquisition
Maryam Namazie
Iranian refugee, broadcaster and Director of the ex-Muslim Council, Maryam Namazie, examines how we are best able to deal with threat from radical Islamism in our globalised world.
‘One of the most important feminists from the developing world’ – Guardian

June speaking engagements

I’ll be speaking on Sharia law and Islam in Hay on Wye, Dublin, Lymington, Genoa, and Newcastle in June, including at Howthelightgetsin Festival and European Atheist Conference. Join me if you can. Anne Marie Waters will also be speaking in Dublin on the blaspehmy laws.

By the way, One Law for All is holding a debate on Sharia law at the houses of parliament on 28 June.

See our website for more information on any of the above.

The outrageous executions of brothers Abdullah and Mohammad Fathi

On 18 May hundreds of people went to pay respects to the mother and spouses and families of the two brothers executed on 17 May. Mohammad and Abdullah Fathi, aged 27 and 28 years old, were hurriedly executed as Moharebeh [Waging War Against God] in Isfahan in the early hours of the morning by the slaughter house that is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Hear their mother’s heartwrenching plea (in Persian) to save their lives a day before they were executed:

Hear Mina Ahadi’s brilliant piece (in Persian) in defense of the two brothers and against executions and the ‘reformists’ that excuse their cold-blooded murder:

Here is an interview with the brilliant Hamid Taqvaee against executions and also the judicial system in Iran (in Persian):

Muslim music artist and activist speaks out against honour killings

Norwegian born music producer and activist Deeyah, in association with friends, volunteers and supporters, starts an online place of remembrance for victims of honour killings.

Deeyah is a critically acclaimed singer, composer, music producer from Norway and a prize winning human rights activist. 

Born to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi descent, Deeyah encountered harassment throughout her music career and knows first-hand what it feels like to be threatened for stepping outside cultural ‘norms’.

Having worked within human rights for many years Deeyah is passionate about protesting against killings in the name of ‘honour’ – where young women are murdered for making decisions about their life including choice of marriage partner, education, divorce, clothing and the expression of sexuality:

Today honour killings are seen across religious communities and are not limited to one group only. The oppression and violence against women in the name of honour, culture or religion is rife around the world in strictly patriarchal societies and communities. Honour killings take over 5000 lives a year. 

The perpetrators of these honour motivated crimes want all signs of the lives of these young women to be completely wiped out– almost as if these young women never existed in the first place. Through MEMINI, we humbly hope to do our small part in acknowledging the existence of these women and honouring their memory”. –Deeyah

MEMINI is an entirely volunteer driven initiative where wonderful individuals are helping by donating their time to help support this online place of remembrance. MEMINI is dedicated to keeping the memory of these women alive and we invite you to join us in our mission.


Please help spread the word about MEMINI.  We are always looking for writing and research volunteers, if you would like to join us, please email MEMINI.

International Committee against Stoning’s visit to Brazil

A delegation from the International Committee against Stoning, spearheaded by its spokesperson Mina Ahadi, was invited by Millenium Institute to come to Brazil for a series of engagements.

The focus of the trip was the case of Sakineh Ashtiani and the gross human rights violations in Iran. The delegation had several high profile meetings with Brazilian politicians and dozens of interviews with print, TV and radio journalists. Mina Ahadi took part in a conference and gave a seminar on human rights in the Middle East.
São Paulo
The tour started in São Paulo with a speaking engagement at the 2nd Forum on Democracy and Freedom on Tuesday 3 May. The day-long conference saw five panels debating issues such as freedom, human rights, state capitalism, accountability of the media, democracy and citizenship. The panellists were diplomats, economists, journalists, political scientists, lawyers and representatives of human rights organisations.

Brasilia

Mina Ahadi was invited to the capital Brasilia for several meetings with government politicians. Arriving at the human rights offices, the first meeting was with Special Secretary for Human Rights, Maria do Rosário who was accompanied by Fábio Balestro Floriano, director of the Department of International Relations at the Secretariat of Human Rights.

Ms do Rosário expressed her and president’s Dilma Rousseff’s solidarity with women facing violence and stated that they are ready for an open dialogue with Mina Ahadi and her work. Mina Ahadi talked about the suffering and fear of those mothers and fathers whose children will be executed any day, as well as of the anguish of children whose parents have already been executed. She talked about the situation of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian, both of whom are still imprisoned and still face execution.

Numerous newspapers and TV channels interviewed Mina Ahadi on her life and work, the case of Sakineh Ashtiani, Osama Bin Laden’s assassination as well as the Brazilian government’s foreign policies with the Iranian regime.

Mina Ahadi gave a 20 minute speech on the human rights violations in Iran and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani. She then took part in the panel on ‘democracy, freedom and human rights’ together with Javier El-Hage, director of the Human Rights Foundation and moderated by Paulo Uebel, director of Millenium Institute Maria do Rosário stressed the Brazilian government’s willingness to not only support the victims of human rights violations but to also save them.

Ms do Rosário said that ‘execution is always a horror’ and that stoning is ‘unacceptable’. The delegation was then seen by Senator Paulo Paim, the chairman of the Brazilian Senate’s Commission on Human Rights and Participative Legislation. In their conversation Mina Ahadi talked about the wave of executions over the last six months and human rights violations in Iran. Senator Paim stated that the fight against violence is an ‘ongoing fight’.

Ms Ahadi asked the Commission to approve a resolution condemning any act that violates human rights, especially against women and with a specific condemnation of stoning in Iran. The senator promised to present the resolution in the plenary of the Commission with the voting results being made public.

A press conference in the lobby of the Palácio do Planalto followed that was attended by dozens of media outlets. The journalists asked questions about Ms Ahadi’s meeting with the politicians and how she sees the foreign policy of the Brazilian government past and present.

The last meeting of the day was in the Palácio do Planalto (Presidential Palace) with Marco Aurélio Garcia, Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the president.

Mina Ahadi brought up the close relation the previous president Lula da Silva and Ahmadinejad had and the stern condemnation it had caused within the Iranian population and opposition movement.

Ms Ahadi spoke about the late night, secret phone calls she gets, sometimes directly from those imprisoned, asking her for help to save them from execution. She appealed to Garcia and the government to continue towards a clear stance on human rights.

Ms Ahadi said: ‘The meetings today were very important. I want to declare here that we have a fascist, Islamic regime in Iran that should be isolated by the rest of the world’. Ms Ahadi talked about how the ‘Facebook generation’ was observing the government’s actions closely and that they were encouraged when president Rousseff spoke out against stoning, commenting that ‘Ahmadinejad’s last friend’ had abandoned him now.

Rio de Janeiro

On Friday, 6 May a seminar entitled ‘Human Rights in the Middle East’ was held at IBMEC University in Rio de Janeiro at which Ms Ahadi was the main speaker. The seminar was moderated by Leonardo Paz and Paulo Uebel from Millenium Institute was also on the panel. The talk centred on Ms Ahadi’s life and her work to save women and men from execution, especially stoning, and the life of people in Iran under the Islamic Republic.

The talk was followed by a Q& A session. The seminar was attended by over a hundred students, professors and journalists and was followed by interviews and private talks.

Ms Ahadi stated that she was very happy about the meetings and expressed her hopes that the Brazilian government would sever its diplomatic relations with Iran and continue the promising path the government had taken up recently with a clear stance on human rights. She said: ‘The very fact that we were meeting government officials today already sends a strong signal to Ahmadinejad and the Islamic regime’.

In all her meetings Mina Ahadi talked about the big movement for freedom and human rights in Iran that fights against the barbaric Islamic regime and she urged the Brazilian government to support the people in Iran and not the regime.

For more information on ICAS and Mina Ahadi go to ICAS website.

ICAS needs your support to continue our work. Please make a donation. (please earmark your donation ICAS )
You can contact ICAS and Mina Ahadi via email: [email protected] or call 0049 (0) 177 5692413.

Douglas Murray, Immigration and Multiculturalism revisited

In the past, I have argued against scapegoating immigrants and blaming them for all societal ills, including Sharia law and multiculturalism.

I came across a brilliant piece by Kenan Malik that addresses the issue and also Douglas Murray’s stance on it. It’s a must read: I’m still a critic of multiculturalism, honest

BTW I’ll be adding some notes on multiculturalism and the Oxford Union debate later this week.

International Committee against Execution officials meet Brazilian government

PR 123
May 5, 2011

A delegation of International Committee Against Execution (ICAE), consisting of Mina Ahadi and Patty Debonitas (also Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity) met with the Millenium Institute based in Rio de Janeiro today with a series of politicians of the Brazilian government to discuss the human rights violations in Iran, specifically stoning and executions and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani.

The meetings were part of a tour that started in Sao Paulo on 3 May with a day long conference on “democracy & freedom” at which Mina Ahadi, spokesperson of ICAS, gave a speech on Iran and took part in the panel on democracy, freedom and human rights.
The delegation was in the capital Brasilia today, welcomed first by the minister Maria Do Rosario, secretary for human rights accompanied by Fabio Balestro Floriano, the director of the secretariat of human rights, department of international relations. Minister Do Rosario expressed her and president Dilma Rousseff’s solidarity with women facing violence and stated the Brazilian government’s willingness for an open dialogue with Mina Ahadi and her cause.
Ms Ahadi related the wishes and hopes of mothers and children whose loved ones are facing execution in Iran to the Brazilian government. Ms Ahadi talked specifically about the case of Ms Ashitani who has been sentenced to death by stoning. Minister Do Rosario stated that the ‘death penalty is always a horror’ and that stoning is ‘unacceptable’. She added that the Brazilian government is not only committed to show solidarity with victims but to also rescue them.

In a second meeting at the Senate, the delegation met with the president of the human rights committee of the Brazilian Senate, Senator Paulo Paim. He said that the fight against violence is an ongoing fight and stated that he would present a resolution to the Human Rights Committee for discussion and approval stressing the importance of human rights in the world and to especially condemn the stoning of women in Iran.

Mina Ahadi states that the Brazilian government must put more pressure on those governments that practise stoning and should cut their diplomatic relations with those governments.
Mina Ahadi will be speaking about the human rights situation in Iran and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani tomorrow, Friday 6 May at the IBMEC University of Rio de Janeiro.
International Committee Against Execution
International Committee Against Stoning
http://stopstonningnow.com
http://notonemoreexecution.org/

Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi: [email protected] 0049-(0)177 569 24 13

Of course multiculturalism is a failure

I will be proposing the motion that “This House Believes that Multiculturalism has Failed” at Oxford University Union on 6 May 2011 from 20.30-22.30 hours.

Other debaters are:

In Proposition:

David Goodhart – Founder and Editor-at-Large of Prospect magazine, the respected London-based intellectual monthly. He is currently writing a book, Citizens, which will examine themes of multiculturalism, national identity and immigration

Maryam Namazie – Human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster, and spokesperson for Iran Solidarity and the One Law Campaign for All Against Sharia Law in Britain. Awarded Secularist of the Year in 2005

John Lee – PPEist and member of Standing Committee, who strongly supports cultural diversity because of his experiences in Korea and America. However, he believes advocating cultural diversity and endorsing multiculturalism are different concepts

In Opposition:

Medhi Hasan – senior politics editor for the New Statesman, and former deputy executive producer of Sky’s breakfast show Sunrise before moving to Channel 4 in June 2007 as their editor of news and current affairs

Caroline Knowles – Director of the Centre for Urban Research and Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, who recently completed Landscapes of Belonging, a project investigating British and South East Asian migrants in Hong Kong

Sunder Katwala – General Secretary of the Fabian Society, and previously online editor of The Observer, research director for the Foreign Policy Centre think-tank and a high profile blogger for Comment is Free, Next Left and Liberal Conspiracy.

Osama won’t live on

Andrew Brown, editor of the Guardian’s Comment is free Belief section, says Osama bin Laden ‘will live on.’ It’s not surprising really. I mean his comparison of the vile Osama with the abolitionist John Brown and wonderful labour activist Joe Hill says more about him than anything else.

But of course nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, even the vilest people may live on in some minds. There are still people celebrating Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet but that does not a Joe Hill make. Unfortunately for Andrew Brown (and thankfully for the rest of us), Osama won’t live on just because he and his pro-Islamist cohorts at the Guardian wish it to be so.

Brown quotes a folk song sung for Joe Hill: “And standing there, as big as life, and smiling with his eyes, said Joe what they could never kill went on to organise.”

What Brown doesn’t realise though is that the song is not about the likes of Osama but about the many rising up against oppression and the oppressor, including today against the Islamism Osama personifies. The unfolding revolutions in Iran and across the Middle East and North Africa clearly show the irrelevance of Islamism in people’s lives and demands.

No, Osama won’t live on, particularly not when this masss movement of humanity – a third force against both Islamic terrorism and US-led state terrorism – brings Islamism to its knees.

And its time is coming.

Campaigning against Sharia law and for human rights

Dear Friend,

Our battle against Sharia law persists, but we continue to need your help. Since we last wrote to you, we held a very successful conference on Sharia Law, Women’s Rights, and Secularism (see conference report and video footage here). This was held to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and was our most well-attended conference yet. We continue to take part in debates around the world and to oppose sharia and other faith-based laws from a human rights perspective – the only organisation in Britain to do so exclusively.

An Appeal

In our last letter, we informed you that we would write to every MP in the House of Commons and every Peer in the House of Lords, and will send to each one a copy of our report ‘Sharia Law in Britain – A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights’. Also included with each letter and report will be an invitation to a debate in the House of Commons on 28 June 2011, which will question the practice of sharia law under the powers of the Arbitration Act 1996 given its anti-woman and anti-child agenda. Final preparations for this are being made as I write.

To make our debate in the Commons as successful as possible in highlighting the problems related to sharia, we are asking you to contact your MP to draw his/her attention to this debate, which will take place on 28 June. They will receive further detail by the end of May. Please inform your representative in Parliament that sharia law operates in a way which is not in the public interest as it discriminates against women and children as a matter of course. Examples you can cite include that under sharia, the testimony of a woman is worth only half of a man, and fathers get child custody rights regardless of the circumstances of the case. You may also highlight a growing campaign among sharia advocates to effectively decriminalise domestic violence for Muslims in Britain (see ‘MAT exposed as liars’).

The Future

One Law for All will continue to battle against religious laws and tribunals and stand up for human rights. In the coming weeks, my co-spokesperson Maryam Namazie and I will be speaking at events in Oxford, London, Birmingham, Lymington, Newcastle, Dublin, Ireland and Genoa, Italy. On 4 June, Maryam will be giving a talk on the Islamist Inquisition at HowTheLightGetsIn philosophy festival at Hay on Wye and debating Islam with Lauren Booth and Iain Edgar. She will also be in Australia for a two-week speaking tour in August. Further details of debates we will contribute to can be found on our website.

Later in the year, we will release a guidebook to highlight women’s rights in British law – with regard to divorce, child custody, domestic violence and other issues – and to inform vulnerable women that they do not have to abide by sharia law; we will provide detailed information to anyone who wishes to avoid these councils and tribunals. This will be accompanied by a video which will be posted on YouTube and similar websites. And please keep an eye out for our ‘Enemies Not Allies’ report which will be posted on our site soon.

I want to thank you once again for your donations and/or support. Please do continue to support our work – every penny makes a real difference to us. And nothing we do would be possible were it not for your help.

Warmest wishes
Anne Marie Waters
Spokesperson
One Law for All

To donate to the crucial work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal.

We need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100 Club here.

The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable. To join the campaign, sign our petition.

For further information contact:
Anne Marie Waters and Maryam Namazie
Spokespersons
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk

[Not] Forgetting May 1

Chicago is full of factories. There are even factories right in the centre of the city, around the world’s tallest building. Chicago is full of factories. Chicago is full of workers.

Arriving in the Haymarket district I ask my friends to show me the place where the workers whom the whole world salutes every May 1 were hanged in 1886. ‘It must be around here,’ they tell me. But nobody knows where.

No statue has been erected in memory of the martyrs of Chicago in the city of Chicago. Not a statue, nor a monolith, not a bronze plaque. Nothing.

May 1 is the only truly universal day of all humanity, the only day when all histories and all geographies, all languages and religions and cultures of the world coincide. But in the United States, May 1 is a day like any other. On that day, people work normally and no one, or almost no one, remembers that the rights of the working class did not spring whole from the ear of a goat, or from the hand of God or the boss.

After my fruitless exploration of the Haymarket, my friends take me to the largest bookstore in the city. And there, poking around, just by accident, I discover an old poster that seems to be waiting for me, stuck among many movie and rock posters. The poster displays an African proverb: Until lions have their own historians, histories of the hunt will glorify the hunter.

- By Eduardo Galleano, the Book of Embraces

One World, One Movement!

“One World, One Movement!” This is the theme of the May Day’s march of the workers in Vancouver this year. But is this not the true essence of every May Day gathering in Stockholm, Moscow, London, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Cairo, Tehran and every other corner of this world? For nearly two centuries we have known that together we are “one movement and one world.” We have known that this world is built on our shoulders, and the richer we make it, the lesser our share of the wealth we produce becomes. We have known this, and generation after generation has fought to change this upside-down world. But there is a different clang to the slogan “One World, One Movement” this year.

The campaigns we have witnessed in the past year in France, Britain, United States, and Greece, as well as the chain of revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and the whole of North Africa and the Middle East region, open a different horizon in front of us. After nearly three decades of the most reactionary bourgeois forces being on the offensive, now a different discourse begins in the world. Since the 80s of the past century, the world’s political arena has been the scene of undisputed ravages of the “free market,” the “New Right,” the “New World Order,” the “War on Terror” and capital’s undisputed attack on the achievements, livelihoods and rights of workers and deprived masses across the globe. This situation is now changing, and revolutions, the overthrowing of dictators by the force of revolutionary people, the mass involvement of millions to determine their own destiny are among those serious factors contending for influence in the global political arena . It is under these circumstances that the slogan of “One World, One Movement” in the workers’ May Day march finds new meaning: This world needs a united global movement to free itself. The force that intends to lead and is capable of leading this movement to victory is the struggle and unity of the working class across the world.

Comrades, wherever in the world you are, unite! We can neutralize the bourgeoisie’s dirty tactics – ethnicity, religion, color, gender, “national interest,” and so on – to create division in our ranks. We share the same destiny and need each others’ help. We depend on your support for victory over the Islamic Republic and the establishment of freedom and equality in Iran. But our victory is definitely yours too. Join hands and unite ever more determined. Unite for the emancipation of the world and all humanity from the yoke of capital’s exploitation and dictatorship. Today, the world more than ever needs to respond to this call of the Communist Manifesto: “Proletariat of the world unite!”

Worker-communist Party of Iran
April 27, 2011