Passion for Freedom: Breaking the last taboo
The recent murders of Syrian poet and song writer Ibrahim Qashoush and Iraqi playwright and filmmaker Hadi al-Mahdi, as well as the sentence of one year in jail and 90 lashes to actress Marzieh Vafamehr, and the six-year jail sentence and 20-year filmmaking and travel ban against international award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi, amongst others, demands serious attention.
In the west, whilst artists are very often free to express themselves, many nonetheless face huge amounts of pressure for addressing matters deemed ‘offensive’. Artists Sooreh Hera in the Netherlands and Lee-Anne Raymond and Demetrios Vakras in Australia come to mind, raising serious questions about tolerance of dissent, particularly when it comes to criticising religion and that which is taboo.
Criticism of religion is not racist. In fact open disagreement and the freedom to criticise tradition, culture and religion are essential for social progress. Turning a blind eye to the wrongs, threats and injustices committed by religion and religious states and laws is unfair to the innumerable people who are wronged, threatened and treated unjustly. No religion should be immune to criticism.
One Law for All unequivocally supports artists’ freedom of expression to address taboo issues wherever they may be and invites the public to our 2011 Passion for Freedom Art Festival showcasing a shortlist of international artists discussing the taboo through painting, drawing, sculpture, film and installation.
To attend the private view on Saturday 29 October 2011, 18.00 – 21.00 hours at UNIT24 Gallery, 24 Great Guildford Street, London SE1 0FD (Transport Underground stations: Southwark), RSVP your name and mobile number. For more information on the week-long exhibition, visit here.
Sharia and the Children Act
One Law for All will host a seminar on Sharia Law and the Children Act on 22 November 2011 from 18.30-20.30 hours at Conway Hall to explore the terms of the Children Act and whether these are compatible with the tenets and practice of sharia law. The seminar will look at the protections provided to children by the provisions of the Children Act and ask if children in Britain, by virtue of their parents’ religion or culture, are at risk of being denied these protections. In addition, One Law for All will provide information on Catholic Canon Law and how this has been used to facilitate the continued abuse of children in Catholic institutions. Speakers include: Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe; Anne Marie Hutchinson, Dawson Cornwell Solicitors; Maryam Namazie, One Law for All; Diana Nammi, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation; and Yasmin Rehman, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Domestic Violence Intervention Project. The seminar will be chaired by Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All.
For more information or to pre-register for the seminar, visit here.
1. 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.
2. 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 here.
3. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731