So much for human values

Ahmadinejad gave his speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday and has conducted a number of interviews. He didn’t say anything new really – basically his usual same old same old on everything from the nuclear issue, Israel and of course homosexuality.

Homosexuality is very ugly behaviour’ and ‘this kind of support of homosexuality is only engrained in the thoughts of hard-core capitalists and those who support the growth of capital only, rather than human values’, said the man who came with an entourage of over 140.

An Iranian  ‘journalist’  tweeted that Ahmadinejad’s views on homosexuality is not very different from Romney or Santorum – err, except for the little fact that he heads a state that hangs people for homosexuality.

In response to a question about an Iranian institute raising the bounty on the head of Salman Rushdie, Ahmadinejad responded with a veiled threat: ‘Salman Rushdie, where is he now? … There is no news of him. Is he in the United States? If he is in the US, you shouldn’t broadcast that, for his own safety.’

So much for ‘human values’…

The good news is that we need not worry about all the woes in the world which he recounted in his speech. The Al-Mahdi (you know the imam who disappeared who is going to return – the ‘ultimate saviour’) will bring an end to it all:

‘God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam Al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ, peace be upon Him, and the righteous’ and whose arrival on earth ‘will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life,’ he said.

Of course Iranians can’t – and won’t – wait that long. One of Ahmadinejad’s entourage, Ramin Mehmanparast, deputy foreign ministry spokesperson, had to secure the help of none other than the NYPD to save him from angry protesters.

And not even their dear old al-Mahdi will be able to save their regime from the wrath of the Iranian people.

As an aside, that’s not to say that the anti-imperialist post-modernist Left aren’t trying hard to defend the regime any chance they get. The disgusting Communist Party of Canada and Canadian Peace Alliance have called for an International Day of Anti-War Action on 6 October to denounce, among other things, the severance of ties between Canada and Iran. It’s like ‘progressives’ siding with the apartheid regime of South Africa when it was being boycotted by various states.

Any sane person should be against a war on Iran but that doesn’t mean they have to do the regime’s bidding now does it? But try and explain it to this lot.

The al-Mahdi will be here before they get it.

This is about politics not religion

Below is my speech at the 22 September National Secular Society conference in London:

Sometimes I really don’t know what more to say.

What else can be said about Sharia law that– at least in your gut – you don’t already know?

It is based on the Koran, the Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence. Its criminal code includes stoning to death for adultery and execution for apostasy and homosexuality. In Iran, for example, there are over 130 offences punishable by death.

Its civil code – which is imposed by Sharia courts in Britain – is discriminatory and unfair particularly against women. Basically it is a code of death and despair.

Not breaking news, is it? After all it is religious law. And that’s what – in my opinion – religion does best. A court based on the Bible and Torah would be similarly discriminatory and barbaric.

Yet the numbers of people who continue to defend Sharia courts in Britain as people’s ‘right to religion’ is staggering.

And of course – any excuse – will do. The best I have heard recently has to be ‘I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not as you say it is’. End of. Their skepticism seems to apply to everything but Islam. [Read more…]

NSS London Conference on Secularism

On Saturday 22 September 2012, I will be speaking at the sold-out National Secular Society One Day Conference on Secularism in London along with other speakers, including the fantastic Richard Dawkins and Peter Tatchell. For more information on the conference, click here.

Here are two articles on it:

London: Challenging religious privilege, Examiner, 16 August 2012 [external link]

Dawkins to speak at conference on Secularism, NSS Newsline, 14 August 2012 [external link]

Bravo Charlie Hebdo

In a climate where Islamist murder, violence and intimidation is cowering many into silence and submission,  Charlie Hebdo’s insistence on poking fun at Islam on par with all religions and its refusal to back down despite calls for censorship is one that will be remembered when Islamism is in the dustbins of history.

French professor Marlière writes in the Guardian that the magazine’s aim to reassert its leftwing secular tradition in this climate is more anti-Islamic than anti-clerical.  But anti-Islamism is this era’s anti-clericalism.

He adds that the cartoons are ‘unhelpful’ in a ‘climate of religious and racial prejudice’ but like the Guardian and many a liberal and post-modernist leftist, he misses the point. What is ‘unhelpful’ is Islamism’s murder and mayhem.

Criticising Islam and Islamism is not about prejudice – that is Islamism’s narrative – which has been bought hook, line and sinker by those calling for censorship. In fact, in this day and age, criticism is a historical necessity and legitimate challenge to our era’s inquisition.

Also, what the professor and the Guardian seem to forget is that those most at threat of the Islamist herds are not satirical French publications or even US and French embassies worldwide but the many countless human beings living under Islamism and Sharia law  – a lot of them Muslims – who daily face threats, imprisonment and death for their dissent from and criticism – like Saudi Hamza Kashgari, Indonesian Alex Aan, Egyptian Alber Saber and Pakistani Asia Bibi.

When will the professor and the Guardian side with them?

As the most wonderful Salman Rushdie says: we “need to be braver”.

Yes, clearly we do if we are going to stop this barbarism once and for all…

As an aside, of course Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon is different from the despicable and racist Christian Right film, the Innocence of Muslims. But free expression is not just for those we agree with. And let’s not forget a bad film is just a bad film. The real problem that needs to be addressed head on is Islamism and censorship is the wrong response.

This is annoying

I did refugee rights work for 18 years until I had a melt-down from the very depressing state of affairs for asylum seekers. Until then I always had access to resources and support. In the US, where I lived before I moved to the UK, NYANA – the New York Association for New Americans – gave me free office space – a whole office mind you – right by the twin towers in New York City for years. I was heading the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees and International Federation of Iranian Refugees at the time. They never asked for any money.

When I moved to the UK in 2000, I soon joined the UK Civil Rights Caravan, which toured 14 cities in Britain calling for an end to racism and racist killings. I soon became a spokesperson for the caravan and one of the co-organisers who did refugee work and also spearheaded the Stephen Lawrence Campaign offered me free office space in Southall.

That’s basically all I had known as a refugee rights advocate – fantastic support and a sharing of resources that I thought was the norm.

When I started to do other non-refugee rights-related work, I gravitated towards Conway Hall, which is a centre for free inquiry and thought.

I insisted that we hold all our public events there, which we paid for, as an act of support and solidarity.

I did, however, ask Conway Hall to give us access to rooms free of charge for our monthly volunteer meetings or Management Committee meetings.

Well in July this year Conway Hall wrote saying it  would no longer be able to provide free monthly meeting space and would need to charge us for using a tiny room on the third floor – which has always been empty whenever we’ve asked – because they are ‘trying to increase their revenue’.

As a result, we have had to meet at various locations, which in inconvenient to say the least. So far it’s been at the LSE,  a pub, a cafe, and this Sunday, we’re even getting free space in a church!

When people bang on about privilege, this is what I understand about the term. A huge building owned for nearly a century by freethinkers with dozens of rooms at any given time and lots of money in the bank but not a tiny room can be spared once a month for ex-Muslims and activists against Islamism and Sharia who have limited resources and are facing unbelievable pressures from all sides.

I do miss the good old-fashioned solidarity I saw in refugee rights work.

This is annoying…

Cover your damn eyes

Did you hear the report about the mullah who told a girl to  cover herself properly whilst on his way to the mosque in a VILLAGE(!) in Iran?

Veiling is compulsory there and ‘bad-hejabi’ a form of dissent and resistance.

The girl told him  to cover his eyes, insulted him and beat him so bad he had to be hospitalised.

This in the anti-Islamic backlash I often speak of in my talks.

It reminds me of the mullah who arrived late to a session of the ‘Islamic Assembly’ and said it was because he could not get a cab in his clerical garbs. He had to go home and wear street clothes before anyone picked him up.

As the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:

Clearly, with the rise of the power of political Islam, pressure to revive religious appearances in society intensifies. This, however, is a political pressure. The people sometimes yield to these pressures. This Islamic ‘renaissance’ is backed by violence and terror, which takes one form in Algeria and another in Iran. In Iran, quite the reverse, the reality is that the rise of political Islam and religious rule has caused a staggering anti-Islamic backlash, in both ideological and personal spheres. The emergence of political Islam in Iran has become the prelude to an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution in people’s minds, particularly amongst the young generation, which will stun the world with an immense explosion and will proclaim of the practical end of political Islam in the whole of Middle East.


Atheism Plus revisted

I did say I would write more on Atheism Plus and feel I should given the various comments I have received. This will be my last post on this for now.

I registered my support for Atheism Plus after reading the FAQs on its official website. I won’t be calling myself an Atheist Plus but I thought it important to support an initiative that is recognising the links between atheism and social justice.

As I said before, I don’t see the creation of Atheism Plus as necessarily divisive.

For example, the establishment of “Muslims for Secular Democracy” doesn’t divide all Muslims. Muslims – like atheists – are not a homogeneous group or community. Moreover, those who don’t join or support “Muslims for Secular Democracy” and even those who may oppose its establishment for various reasons aren’t necessarily anti-secular or anti-democracy. Nonetheless “Muslims for Secular Democracy” is making an important point and contribution. From my perspective, Atheism Plus is similar. It’s a group of atheists who want to assert the importance of social justice.  This in and of itself isn’t divisive and isn’t a condemnation of anyone and everyone who isn’t on board.

Having read beyond the FAQs, though, I must now in all honesty add that whilst I still fully support the aims of Atheism Plus, good aims and intentions are not always enough. How the aims are promulgated and carried out matter too. [Read more…]

Child ‘marriages’ and Sharia courts: It must end now

Dear Friend,

We are writing to you today to ask for your urgent and immediate support.

As you may have seen in the papers recently, there is growing evidence that young children – some as young at 5 years old – are being “married” to older men in Sharia courts across Britain. This is increasingly being sanctioned by the Islamists who run Britain’s network of Sharia courts, and there is evidence that this practice is growing.

Recent Investigations

A recent undercover investigation by the Sunday Times found imams in Britain willing to “marry” young girls, provided this was carried out in secret. The imams had been approached by an undercover reporter posing as a father who said he wanted his 12 year old daughter married, to prevent her from being tempted in to a “western lifestyle”.

Imam Mohammed Kassamali, of the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough, sanctioned the marriage, but stressed the need for total secrecy. He stated: “I would love the girl to go to her husband’s houses (sic) as soon as possible, the younger the better. Under sharia (Islamic law) there is no problem. It is said she should see her first sign of puberty at the house of her husband. The problem is that we cannot explain such things (the marriage) if the girl went tomorrow (to the authorities).”

Abdul Haque, who officiates at weddings at the Shoreditch mosque, east London agreed to carry out the formalities of the wedding. However, he told the reporter that he should “tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage”. He added: “In Islam, once the girl reaches puberty the father has the right, the parents have the right, but under the laws of this country if the girl complains and says her marriage has been arranged and she wasn’t of marriageable age, then the person who performed the marriage will be jailed as well as the mother and father”.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that at least 30 girls, some as young as 9, were “married” in sharia courts in one London borough alone.

Clearly, child “marriages” are an abomination; they are nothing short of religiously-sanctioned child rape and paedophilia.

Sharia proponents deceptively say that forced marriages are unacceptable under Sharia and that both bride and groom must choose to marry as if that is the issue at hand. Islamists have gotten away with years of misogyny against Muslim women under cover of “choice” and are now using similar language with regards children. Nonetheless, child welfare must take precedence irrespective of religious beliefs. This is something we must urgently remind the Government of. Sharia courts are a scandal and must be stopped.

Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill

One important way to tackle this matter is to galvanise support for the Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill introduced to the House of Lords last year by crossbench peer, Baroness Caroline Cox. The Bill is due for a second reading in October.

The Government has so far declined to support Cox’s Bill. They do not believe there is a parallel legal system in operation. They also insist that everyone has full right of access to the British courts. This is simply not the case. There are many with little or no English language skills, trapped by community pressure, who believe Sharia courts operate as real courts and who regard their decisions as legally binding. The idea that they can easily instruct a high street solicitor to help them access their full rights under UK law is far from reality.

The Government must be pressured into taking immediate action, including by supporting Cox’s Bill, and shutting down Sharia and religious courts. If child welfare takes precedence then the Government is duty-bound to take action.

Sign our new petition in support of Baroness Cox’s Bill; tell the Government that enough is enough! Please sign it now.

Help Us

Baroness Cox has said in the past that her Bill was inspired by One Law for All. To donate to our important work, 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 and also 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.

If you shop online, please do so via the Easy Fundraising’s website. It won’t cost you anything extra but can help raise much needed funds for One Law for All.

We look forward to your immediate intervention in this matter.

Best wishes,

Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Secular Europe

If you’re around London this Saturday, why not join the Secular Europe march and rally? Sudanese atheist and activist Nahla Mahmoud will be speaking on behalf of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All. Other speakers include Sue Cox, Terry Sanderson and Joan Smith. Here are more details.

When you’re marching, please remember those who have lost their lives to Sharia and religious laws, like the sweet 16 year old girl who recently committed suicide after being arrested by Aceh Sharia police at a concert and charged with ‘prostitution’ because of what she was wearing. And don’t forget: we desperately need secularism not just for Europe but the world.


The other film: The Innocence of Muslims

Another film that has hit the headlines – ‘The innocence of Muslims’ – merits comment particularly since it has sparked protests that have resulted in the death of several US officials in Libya.

Have you seen the film? It is absolutely ludicrous.

It’s low budget (though they say they spent $5 million on it), poorly edited, badly acted – I mean just really, really bad. It’s almost impossible to get through the trailer let alone the movie itself.

It’s even worse (if that’s an option) than Geert Wilders’ film, Fitna, which we did a remake on.

Clearly the incompetence of the far-Right is even more astounding than its racism…

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it:

What I find most ironic out of all of this is how the producers of the film and their supporters – like the crackpot pastor Terry Jones of Stand Up America! – don’t see how they are one and the same with the Islamists.

Like the Islamists, everyone is guilty. No one is innocent, which explains the very pathetic title of their film.

By the way, did you hear that the pastor is holding a trial for Mohammad who will face execution if found guilty? Does he not realise Mohammad isn’t even a real live person? And I also love the whole Christian love (we’re better than Islam) bit that ends with a public execution.

Like I said, two sides of the same coin.

Urgent Action: Islam: The Untold Story must not be cancelled

Dear friend

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain would like to make public its support for Tom Holland’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’. We are indignant to learn that due to threats made on Holland, Channel 4 has cancelled a repeat screening of the historical inquiry into the origins of Islam similar to the kind of inquiry that has been applied to other religions and histories in Britain for many years.

The threats and concerted attempt to stigmatise the documentary and its producers by attacking its credibility and even legitimacy as a field of inquiry is nothing less than an attempt to impose a blasphemy taboo by stealth and coercion against programming that scrutinises Islam.

Caving in to the coercive pressure of Islamists will have catastrophic effects on free inquiry and expression where it pertains to Islam. It would not only further silence academic, historical and theological scrutiny of Islam but would also have the chilling effect of exerting added pressure on Muslims and ex-Muslims who wish to dissent from and question Islam.

CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie says:

“Here’s my question to Channel 4: what about the threats on our lives for being apostates, ex-Muslims, atheists, freethinkers, secularists, 21st century human beings?

“What part of our thoughts, lives, and bodies do you recommend we cancel to appease the Islamists?

“If only there was such an ‘easy’ ‘solution’ for those who are languishing under Islam’s rules.

“You may accept censorship and cowardly silence in the face of Islamist threats and intimidation but we cannot afford to do so. And we never will.”

The CEMB urges you to view the documentary (also available on Youtube and on liveleak) and write to Channel 4 and Ofcom (contact information below) calling for a repeat screening.

We look forward to your support. [Read more…]

We never will

I have just posted a statement by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain in support of Tom Holland’s documentary “Islam: The Untold Story”.

Channel 4 has just cancelled a repeat screening due to threats.

Here’s my question to Channel 4: what about the threats on our lives for being apostates, ex-Muslims, atheists, freethinkers, secularists, 21st century human beings?

What part of our thoughts, lives, bodies do you recommend we cancel to appease the Islamists?

If only there was such an  ‘easy’ ‘solution’ for those who are languishing under Islam’s rules – like Afghan actors facing death threats or  the 16 year old girl waiting to be flogged in the Maldives?

You may accept censorship and cowardly silence in the face of Islamist threats and intimidation but we cannot afford to do so.

And we never will.


View the documentary here.



We must be able to scrutinise Islam

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain would like to make public our support for Tom Holland’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’. We are indignant to learn that due to threats made on Holland, Channel 4 has cancelled a repeat screening of the historical inquiry into the origins of Islam similar to the kind of inquiry that has been applied to other religions and histories in Britain for many years.

The threats and concerted attempt to stigmatise the documentary and its producers by attacking its credibility and even legitimacy as a field of inquiry is nothing less than an attempt to impose a blasphemy taboo by stealth and coercion against programming that scrutinises Islam.

Caving in to the coercive pressure of Islamists will have catastrophic effects on free inquiry and expression where it pertains to Islam. It would not only further silence academic, historical and theological scrutiny of Islam but would also have the chilling effect of exerting added pressure on Muslims and ex-Muslims who wish to dissent from and question Islam.

The CEMB urges Channel 4 to reconsider its decision and urges the public to view the documentary and write to Channel 4 calling for a repeat screening.


I am slightly embarrassed to say that I only found out about Jen McCreight’s Atheism Plus yesterday when someone Tweeted to ask me for my position on it. And so I had to do a search to find out more. [I must confess that I am a terrible blogger in the sense that I don’t usually follow many of the important debates taking place and don’t respond in as timely a manner as I should.]

There is of course much to say about this new wave of atheism but  suffice it to say  that I support Atheism+ unequivocally.

I personally don’t see it as a backlash against New Atheism or divisive in any way. In my opinion it is first and foremost a recognition of the fact that for many atheists – like myself – our atheism is intrinsically linked to issues of social justice.

The very vocal opposition to this very good idea is merely a confirmation of its importance, and when the dust settles, I do strongly believe that atheism and the various social justice movements will be the stronger for it.

This is why

There are those who ask how I could be a communist.

My gut response is always, how could you not?

The recent outrageous slaughter of miners in South Africa is just one more reason why. I am usually the first to use the end of apartheid as an example of how things can change for the better if we intervene and show real solidarity with people fighting oppression. But the slaughter of miners is an important reminder that even an end to something as inhuman as racial apartheid is no where enough. People mowed down for demanding fair pay raises, 270 miners charged with ‘provoking’ the police to murder their colleagues and labelled greedy for wanting living wages when they “at least” have jobs!

And you don’t need to live in South Africa or even Iran to understand whose interests matter, particularly when push comes to shove. Everything is stacked up against you; it’s all one big fraud with not a minute of a day passing by when you aren’t being screwed.

So of course I am a communist and it’s not because of the books and wonderful theories but because I cannot stand to live in a world that is so unfair and I want, I demand, something different.

As Mansoor Hekmat says in the video below in Persian (which I have translated a summary of):

I want to speak about communism without the usual formulations of class struggle, the proletariat, the bourgeoisie, and so on and instead speak about the heartbeat of communism.

I and many of us present here are not politically active because of books, Marx’s formulations or Lenin’s actions. This is not our career. We are not doing this because we have nothing else to do.

This relationship is much deeper – beyond the books, slogans, scientific discussions, politics, history of 200 plus years, etc. There is something much deeper and more direct that gives meaning to our political lives and the establishment of the Worker-communist Party of Iran.

Just look at the UN’s statistics whereby millions of children die per year from preventable diseases. Not war, or accident, or murder but preventable diseases.

With every breath you take, imagine a child dying. This is not just another number. Anyone who has lived in a relatively civilised society or has had children of their own, knows very well what this means. With every child dying, a huge vacuum is created in the lives of a large number of people. Each death is a catastrophe. And like clockwork, tick tock, it happens as we speak.

This is a reality of the world we live in. Put aside those who die from preventable diseases and look at those who are lucky enough to survive. 80-90% must go for 30 years to work, be humiliated, and exploited. For the one life one has to live, one must work all one’s life and then figure out how to survive during retirement. They take taxes, and immense wealth from our work but they are always looking to see how to cut unemployment or pensions. This is the reality for the majority. If you strike, you could be killed or imprisoned. If you establish a union in Iran you might be killed; in Sweden you might have your phone tapped.

Most people spend all their lives working only to get back a small part of what they have produced themselves. In the work process, they lose all the pleasures of life. 99% live like this. Even in Sweden if you lose your job, your child loses his/her childcare. Your child is only human depending on your work.

This is where communism, worker-communism, starts. It starts when some won’t accept this and question why it must be so.  Why can’t I swim, or go to see the wall of China or go to Africa to help flood victims, if I prefer to do that? Rather I must work because if I don’t I won’t be able to pay my rent or mortgage and will lose my home.

After a day of mistreatment and lashes, even slaves would gather around the fire and sing and dance seemingly taking pleasure from life. They – and we – can see that it is possible to live another way, that this life just isn’t fair. We can see this.

I have to work for you and then whenever you have an argument, I have to go face mines and bombs for your wars. Why should I accept this?

We are born only once and live only once. Once. We can only laugh, create, form relationships, etc. once…

At a basic level this is where communism’s heart lies.

It’s not just a matter of Iran or any other single country. It is related to the fact that we are human, and that we can see that another life is possible, that the basis of society can be equality, welfare, freedom and cooperation not profit and competition.

Until it’s like this, communism will exist…

Changing the situation from what it is to what it must be is the philosophy of the existence of communism and the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI). Prosperity for the majority is directly linked to our equality, freedom and welfare.

The beginning of the work of any communist and the WPI starts here. This is where our hearts beat.

In my opinion we are the party of the majority, of those who have not died from preventable diseases, of those who believe the world can be different.

Later we can discuss politics, tactics, strategies, past and future positions but one thing is clear communism equates humanity and humanity equates communism. If humanity is part of someone’s being, so is socialism. That’s why we believe the future is ours. We are part and parcel of the desires of humanity. Anyone who wants to live in peace wants the same thing the Worker-communist Party wants, that Marx wants, that socialism wants…. [Read more…]

I’m back blogging

I’ve been meaning to start blogging regularly again. But it does become difficult to get back into the groove of it all once you’ve been away for a while.

I hope everyone had a good summer. I eventually did – after my personal crisis was sorted out.

Anyway it’s good to be back blogging again.

By the way, this month I have the below speaking engagements if you’re in London or Coventry:

19 September 2012, 7.30pm
Coventry, UK
Maryam Namazie will be speaking to a meeting organised by Coventry Skeptics in the Pub on Sharia law at The Albany, 24 Albany Road, Coventry, CV5 6JU. More information here.

22 September 2012, 9am-5pm
National Secular Society One Day Conference on Secularism
Maryam Namazie will be speaking at the conference along with other speakers including Richard Dawkins and Peter Tatchell. For more information, click here.

September 2012: Freedom and Nudity

September 2012 is here. The photo for this month’s Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar is that of atheist  blogger, Emily Dietle.

Here’s what Emily said about the project:

– Why did you join the ‘Scream’ and Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar?
There are people who are actively trying to silence, shame, and control women, in this country and abroad.  It is up to those of us who can make an impact, to do so.

My involvement with this calendar has nothing to do with religion, other than it being a stand against those, this time in Islam, that wish to control women; it has everything to do with my values. I have no shame about my body, and this is a stand against those who fear & despise women and want them to be hidden in society.  If it weren’t for people who took a strong stand against misogyny and for free-expression, we’d still be in an age where showing your ankles was taboo. Look to countries that still practice misogynistic practices, without opposition, they are successful at their attempts to bind and control women. [Read more…]