The people of Libya did not revolt for a Karzai-type government

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Ghadafi’s former Justice Minister and current head of the “National Transitional Council” of Libya, has rejected both “fundamentalist Islam” and “secularism,” and declared in his first speech that the government of Libya will be a “modern and democratic” one based on “moderate Islam and sharia law.” In other words, he promises the people of Libya a government like Karzai’s in Afghanistan.

This is not what the people of Libya have risen up for. The Ghadafi regime was also a form of “moderate Islamic government.” The promised government of Mr. Abdul Jalil can only be as “modern and democratic” as Ghadafi’s regime. Ghadafi’s ex-Justice Minister may not have a problem with this but those masses of people who, for more than 6 months, fought heroically and forced the dictator to flee, are not going to be satisfied with another version of the same government.

Clearly, this is the prescribed desirable alternative for Western governments too. One objective of NATO’s military involvement was to put in place a Karzai-type government as the “fruits” of the Libyan revolution, and now, the task of assembling such a government has been delegated to Ghadafi’s former minister, in the same way that this role has been given in Egypt to Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, an ex-Mubarak general.

Facing the remnants of the overthrown regimes and their Western government cohorts are the people who have risen up and demanded prosperity, freedom, equality and a humane life. Islam, of any kind, is fundamentally antithetical to these demands and wishes of the people. No one understands this better than the people of Iran who have lived under the yoke of Islamic rule and Sharia law for more than 30 years.

Our message to the people of Libya and other countries who have risen up is this: Do not allow Islam – be it “moderate,” “fundamentalist,” or with any other label – in the government, educational system and judiciary. Secularism is a basic prerequisite for securing freedom, welfare, and respect for human beings and humanity in any society. Particularly in the current revolutions in Islam-ridden societies – from the 2009 revolution in Iran through to the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian revolutions – a commitment to secularism is a fundamental precondition to any form of freedom-seeking, and is an important indicator for differentiating revolutionary forces from reactionary ones.

We must be hopeful and resolutely support the continued struggle of the people of Libya, like of Egypt, in standing up against the reactionary front of the transitional government put together by Western governments, Islamists, and the remnants of toppled regimes until the achievement of “bread, freedom, and human dignity.”

Worker-communist Party of Iran
13 September 2011

We don’t want Sharia in Libya

The head of the Transitional National Council of Libya has said that Sharia law will be the main source of legislation in Libya.

Listen to a debate on BBC’s Have Your Say programme today where I speak against Sharia and others in favour. As usual, I am the only secularist on the panel (well at least this time the BBC didn’t leave me out!)

Surprise, surprise, Aina Khan who feigns to be a women’s rights defender but only seems to defend Sharia and sweep its realities under the carpet, was there to promote its use and lie through her teeth about it; I suppose she does need to make sure sharia stays around so she can carry on making money from the misogyny! She is a ‘Sharia lawyer’ after all.

Here is the debate.

Secularists need to come forward now. We must stand vigilant against Islamism, but rather than dooming the revolutionary movements to failure, we must recognise and unequivocally defend them, help them expand and gain depth, and instead emphasise their modern and human dimensions which are diametrically opposed to Islamism. We must help mobilise support and solidarity for a secular, modern and human Libya, Middle East and North Africa.

Stop the execution of Troy Davis, an innocent man in Georgia. Sign his sister’s petition.

Radical Women sent me this urgent action. I’ve signed the petition; please take a few minutes to do the same. Troy must not be executed. How utterly disgusting that a state dares to execute a citizen in broad daylight on behalf of society. This is, according to Mansoor Hekmat, the most deplorable form of deliberate murder.

Troy Davis has 10 days to live before he is executed by the State of Georgia. But 7 witnesses say Troy is innocent, and that another man committed the crime for which he will be killed.

With just days left to save Troy’s life, his sister Kim Davis started a petition on Change.org asking the Georgia Parole Board to stop his execution. Please add your name to Kim’s petition now and save her brother’s life.

Evidence presented at Troy’s trial was considered shaky at the time. Since then, seven witnesses have recanted their testimony, many saying they were pressured by police into false testimony.

There’s no physical evidence Troy committed the crime. And, according to Amnesty International, nine people have signed affidavits implicating another man.

Please click here to add your name to Kim Davis’ petition asking the Georgia Parole Board to stop her brother’s execution.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani – One Year On

It has been one year to the day that the spokesperson of the Islamic regime’s foreign ministry announced that Sakineh Ashtiani’s ‘…verdict regarding the extra-marital affair has stopped and it is being reviewed.’

This announcement came in the midst of a massive, international campaign to save Sakineh Ashtiani from death by stoning. No doubt, under the immense attention and appeals from across the world, the Iranian regime tried to buy time. Since that time last year, Sakineh has been forbidden to receive visitors; she has no access to her family or a lawyer. By isolating her and intimidating and harassing her relatives and supporters, the Iranian regime wishes that the utter disgrace of trying to kill yet another innocent woman might vanish from the face of the international arena. But it won’t.

Sakineh has come to represent the suffering of a nation under the Islamic regime of Iran’s rule – with all its injustice, barbarity, misogyny and violence.

They tried to discredit Sakineh and those that support her in Iran and internationally – all to make their barbarity more acceptable to the international community. In vain. The world has stopped buying the lies of the regime and the world is waiting for the safe release of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian who is also still in prison. The world is waiting for the release of all those other, as yet faceless, women and men who linger in the regime’s dungeons.

We are waiting for real justice to be handed out in an international criminal court to those who have been crushing life and dignity with their rulebooks, batons, fists and guns.

Sakineh Ashtiani’s stoning sentence has not been revoked.

We will not give up pushing for the safe release of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian.

Patty Debonitas
Iran Solidarity
iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
Sakineh Ashtiani – one year on

TODAY: Demonstrations in defence of people of Iraqi Kurdistan

Condemn the Governments of Iran and Turkey’s invasive policies!

The people of Kurdistan in the frontier region of Iran, Turkey and Iraq have been under the Iranian artillery fire and the Turkish jet fighters’ attacks during the past month, on the pretext of fighting the armed forces of two organisations: PKK and Pejak.

These bombardments were accompanied by cannons and artillery from the two bordering countries of Iraqi Kurdistan and military attacks on villages, as a result of which many people were killed, wounded, displaced and a great deal of casualties was caused. In just one day, on August 21st, seven civilians from a family, including a child, lost their lives as a result of the Turkish air raid. Kurdistan Regional Government’s authorities and the Kurdish media in Iraq stated that the inhabitants of 35 villages have been forced from their homes due to these attacks.

This is just a part of the atrocities of the governments, armed forces, and terrorist gangs operating in Iraq and pursuing its own reactionary aims. Up until now, the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government have not reacted to these crimes against people. This silence is due to the reactionary nature of these governments, their etnic-religious composition, and their wheelings and dealings with the regimes of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. The people of Iraqi Kurdistan are in a tight corner of repression and crime caused by the governments of Iran, Turkey, Iraq and the U.S on one hand and nationalist, reactionary, and ethnic forces as Pejak or PKK on the other – whose aim is only to gain a share of power. The people are victims of power struggles among these reactionary forces. A vigorous defence of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan is an urgent task of freedom-loving people, a civilised world, and socialism.

Worker-communist Party of Iran expresses its deepest solidarity with the people of Iraq and the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, against the insecure situation caused by the involved forces, and strongly condemns the criminal aggressions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. We call on all freedom-loving people and political forces in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and the whole world to come to the forefront in condemnation of the governments of Turkey and Iran and against the military climate in the region.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
August 23, 2011

See also Issam Shukri on the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the actions by the Islamic regime of Iran and the Turkish government:

3

Global Demonstrations in Defense of People in Iraqi Kurdistan,
against the Atrocities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Turkish Government!

CANADA
Toronto
Time: September 3, 2-4 pm
Place: Turkish Consulate General, 10 Lower Spadina Avenue, Suite 300 Toronto, M5V 2Z2
Organiser: WPI & LWPI
Contact: 416 858 6974, 647 298 0409

Vancouver
Time: September 3, 5-7pm
Place: In front of the Art Gallery, Robson & How

CYPRUS
Nicosia
Time: Saturday 3 September 2011, 10-11am
Place: Islamic Republic Embassy
Contact: Amir Masoud Khaghani, tel: 99170803
Organized by: Cyprus Refugee Rights Movement

GERMANY
Frankfurt
Time: September 3, 1-5pm
Place: Hauptwache
Organiser: LWPI & WPI

Koln
Time: September 3, 5pm
Place: Domplatte
Organiser: LWPI & WPI

Munich
Date: September 3
Time: 4pm
Place: Isarinselfest, in front of Lukaskirche
Organizer: Petra Plötz, 0176-50728972

SWEDEN
Borås
Time: September 3, 2-4pm
Place: Stora torget.
Contact: Esmail Mardukh 0 737 59 85 66

Gothenberg
Time: September 3, 1-3pm
Place: Brunnsparken
Contact: Abe Asadi 0737178819

Malmo
Time: September 3, 1-3pm
Place: Davidshallsbron
Contact: Farideh Arman 0703638088

Orebro
Time: September 3, 4-5pm
Place: Stortorget
Organiser: Mission Free Iran

Sävsjö
Time: September 3, 4-5pm
Place: Sävsjö Centrum
Organiser: Mission Free Iran
Contact: moied83@gmail.com 0736561595

USA
Washington DC
Date: Saturday 3 September 2011
Time: 1-3pm
Place: Embassy of Turkey (2525 Massachusetts Ave NW) starting at 1pm, then at 2pm move to protest at the offices of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2209 Wisconsin Ave) and protest for an hour.
Organizer: Mission Free Iran
Contact: maria.rohaly@gmail.com; +1-240-595-2633

Maryam Namazie’s speaking tour in Australia a huge success

Maryam Namazie’s Australian tour in the last week of August 2011 was a huge success, attracting a high media profile and hundreds who attended her various speaking engagements, which included a fundraising dinner in Sydney, a talk at the Wheeler Centre organised by Melbourne PEN and WISA, a talk at Melbourne Free University’s open discussion space, a talk at University of Western Sydney Open forum with award winning author Hanifa Deen providing commentary, and a talk organised by the NSW Humanists.

During her week-long speaking tour, Maryam highlighted the many parallels between Britain and Australia, drawing attention to the unholy alliance between the Islamists and the pro-Islamist Left that refuse to condemn sharia in the false belief that to do so would be “racist”. She insisted that in fact, sharia’s advancement restricts the rights and freedoms of Muslims first and foremost, and that relegating Muslims to a separate legal system that restricts the rights of women and children in particular is the real act of racism.

“Just because people were born into Muslim families, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms as everyone else,” Maryam said.

While battling the skewed perspectives of the Islamists and their apologists, Maryam also stressed the urgent need to oppose the far-Right, including the Australian Defence League and the Stop Islamisation movement, which feigned to oppose Sharia law in order to attack Muslims and immigrants. She called for an unequivocal defence of asylum seekers and refugees, many of whom have fled Islamism and Sharia law.

Maryam’s visit coincided with the publication of research by academics who found that legal pluralism “abounds” in Australia, creating a shadow legal system that endorses polygamous and underage marriages in which women have lesser entitlements to divorce and child custody.

During her visit, Maryam was interviewed by a number of media outlets. Some of the coverage can be found below:

Keeping quiet allows intolerance to thrive, Elizabeth Farrelly, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 2011.

British experiment a warning on Sharia law by Chris Merritt, The Australian, 26 August 2011.

ABC Radio 774’s Conversation Hour with Jon Faine (Melbourne) interviewing Maryam Namazie along with artist Kavisha Mazzella and 9/11 survivor Genelle Guzman-McMillan, 24 August 2011.

Strength in Numbers, Channel 7;Today Tonight, 24 August 2011.

British campaigner battles media cone of silence on Sharia law by Chris Merritt, The Australian, 23 August 2011.

ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live with Phillip Adams interviewing Maryam Namazie along with Director of DV8 physical theatre Lloyd Newson whose latest work, Can We Talk About This? deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. The production premiered in August 2011 at Sydney Opera House, and will be followed by an international tour. This documentary-style dance-theatre production is based on interviews, thoughts and speeches of individuals such as Maryam Namazie, the director of ‘One Law for All,’ which fights for the rights of women, and against Sharia courts and Sharia law being introduced in Britain, 22 August 2011.

Maryam was also interviewed in Persian on SBS Radio’s Persian Program, 27 August 2011.

Links to interviews by Ida Lichter, author of Muslim Women Reformers, Rachael Kohn of ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things and with Virginia Hausegger, ABC News 24’s One Plus One program will follow.

For more information on Maryam Namazie’s Australia tour, please contact tour organiser and One Law for All Australia contact person Gaby Grammeno, at ggrammeno@bigpond.com.

DV8 physical theatre: Can we talk about this?

Lloyd Newson’s latest work, Can We Talk About This? deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. The production premiered in August 2011 at Sydney Opera House, and will be followed by an international tour.

From the 1989 book burnings of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, to the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and the controversy of the ‘Muhammad cartoons’ in 2005, DV8’s production will examine how these events have reflected and influenced multicultural policies, press freedom and artistic censorship.

In the follow up to the critically acclaimed To Be Straight With You, this documentary-style dance-theatre production is based on interviews, thoughts and speeches of individuals such as Maryam Namazie, the director of ‘One Law for All,’ which fights for the rights of women, and against Sharia courts and Sharia law being introduced in Britain.

For more information, visit here.

For dates and tickets, visit here.

Veil, on no condition!

Conflict and dispute on the question of the veil among the factions of the Islamic regime in Iran is escalating. The paper of Iran supporting president Ahmadinejad, has called the veil “the worst kind of clothing” and attacked its black colour. The paper has even damned King Nasser al-Din Qajar (1831 – 1896) as the initiator of the black veil!

The fact is that from the very outset the veil was the banner of the Islamic regime indicating its character. Quite a few weeks before the people’s uprising in February 1979, wherever Islamic thugs could, they attacked unveiled women. After the coming of the Islamic regime to power, these thugs continued their misogyny by shouting the slogan “either a veil or a box on the head”, hurling acid on unveiled women, whipping women breaking the Islamic rules, abominable propaganda against woman, kicking them out of job, etc. But the resistance and struggle of women did not stop even for a single day. For refusing to carry a “proper veil”, millions of women have been warned, charged, whipped, imprisoned, raped and been called prostitutes in the media during the Islamic rule. However, they didn’t give up! In the past 32 years, a widespread war has been going on between women and the Islamic regime. It could without any exaggeration, be said that the winner has been the women.

The fact that today the regime is divided into adherents and opponents of the black veil, that one is denouncing the other, and that the other one is emphasising the penalties of improper veiling and saying that “just as King Reza (1878 – 1944) unveiled women by force, we have to use force to put it back on women”, speaks for itself the shameful defeat of the regime. An official says that 22 organs that are responsible for controlling the veil have not performed their duties and that in Tehran just 37% of women consider the veil, and even these are only for fear of its consequence! Another official says that the plan of sexual separation has been laid dormant for 24 years. Statistics published by the regime indicates that about 80% of teenager students have a boyfriend – something that precisely contradicts the whole Islamic system. For 32 years, all the regime’s measures of repression and propaganda have been working to impose the veil and yet all the Islamic ruling gangs are today admitting that in one way or another, they have failed.

Veil in any form, size, and color is the heinous banner of the Islamic reaction. They need the women’s rightlessness to keep up the system of exploitation, poverty and subjugation. The war on veil, sexual separation and other Islamic misogynious policies are a class struggle and cosequently concern all freedom-loving people, anyone attempting to stop religious intervention in people’s lives, anyone that esteems humanity or fights against misery, and all those fighting for the overthrow of this regime. The split and weakened forces of the regime may once again try to impose veil and sexual separation, but the freedom-fighting people of Iran are not going to give up. As they have shown in the past 32 years, they’ll not accede to this yoke of oppression. On the contrary, they’ll emerge more determined and firm, now that they’ve stirred up divisions in the ranks of the regime.

From the very begining of its coming to power, the Islamic regime introduced the veil by force. Consequently, unveiling would be the end of its miserable existance! It’s time to take the field with all their might and abolish the Islamic regime’s veil and sexual separation.

Long live the women’s liberation movement!
Down with the Islamic regime in Iran!
Long live freedom, equality, workers’ rule!

Worker-communist Party of Iran
August 17, 2011

Maryam Namazie in Australia for the next two weeks

I am leaving for Australia early tomorrow morning and will there for the next two weeks. Here are the events I will be speaking at:

Dinner and Talk: Should Australia follow Britain in accommodating Islamic sharia law?: 6.30 pm Monday 22 August 2011
Description: Talk by Maryam Namazie and fundraising dinner for One Law For All.
Maryam will speak about the implications of legal pluralism for Australia, with insights from the UK experience to date in accommodating Islamic sharia law through the Arbitration Act 1996, and the current effort to limit the power of sharia courts and religious tribunals through the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.
Venue: Finola’s Restaurant (Balmain Bowling Club), 156 Darling St, Balmain, Sydney.
Cost $50 per person – SOLD OUT
RSVP: Gaby Grammeno at ggrammeno@bigpond.com (02) 4754 3569.

Sharia law and human rights
Melbourne PEN and WISA
6.30 pm, Tuesday 23 August 2011
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Cost: $10
RSVP: Melbourne PEN at admin@melbournepen.com.au

Religious Courts in the Secular State
Date: Wednesday 24 August
Description: Maryam will talk at Melbourne Free University’s open discussion space.
Venue: Dexter Bar/Cafe, 123 Queens Pde, Clifton Hill, Melbourne.
Cost: Free
RSVP: Gavin Vance at gavin.vance@gmail.com

Sharia law and human rights
Date: 6.00 pm Thursday 25 August 2011
Description: UWS Open forum
Venue: University of Western Sydney Parramatta South Campus (main campus), cnr Victoria Rd and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere, Building EE room G.03.
Cost: Free

Challenging sharia law
NSW Humanists
Date: 2.00 pm, Saturday 27 August 2011
Venue: Humanist House, 10 Shepherd St, Chippendale
Cost: Free for NSW Humanist members, gold coin donation for others.

She also has interviews arranged with the following:
SBS TV News
ABC News 24’s One Plus One program
ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live, with Phillip Adams
ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things with Rachael Kohn
ABC Radio 774’s Conversation Hour, with Jon Faine (Melbourne)
Elizabeth Farrelly, contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald
Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor, The Australian
SBS Radio’s Persian Program, 24 August
Ida Lichter, author of Muslim Women Reformers

This trip could not have happened without the hard work of Gaby Grammeno so am especially looking forward to meeting up with her.

I will still be available on email (I don’t think my phone will work there) if anyone needs to reach me urgently.

Also see Maryam Namazie’s op-ed in the Australian entitled Australia must fight calls for Sharia law published on 12 August 2011.

Robert Spencer should be more honest and own up to his far-Right politics

Robert Spencer has responded to One Law for All’s report Enemies not Allies: The Far-Right by saying: ‘If Maryam Namazie’s One Law For All claims to oppose the jihad while attacking anti-jihadists and supporting the genocidal jihad against Israel, then it is simply a false-flag operation. He links to a press release of the Left Worker-Communist Party of Iraq posted on my blog as proof of ‘anti-Semitism’.

On charges of ‘anti-Semitism’

I find it interesting how Spencer uses the tactics of Islamists. Islamists will often say any criticism of Islam and Islamism is an attack on Muslims and racism in order to silence opposition and in fact bulldoze over the rights of Muslims and others. Spencer labels any criticism of Israeli government policies as anti-Semitism in order to do the same. Needless to say, it is ironic to see the far-Right oppose anti-Semitism – at least tactically for now – when anti-Semitism has always been one of its important cornerstones.

The December 2008 press release of the Left Worker-Communist Party of Iraq that Spencer is referring to opposes the ‘brutal airstrikes of the Israeli government’ and its having ‘dropped more than 100 tons of explosives on Gaza in the deadliest bombing campaigns’.

The press release goes on to say that:

‘Israel’s bombing of Gaza is a barbaric act of state terrorism that must be met with outrage and protest. This is part of the on-going conflict between the State of Israel and the barbaric Islamic movement Hamas, which spares no opportunity to fire rockets at Israeli populated neighborhoods. The bombing is a vicious attack on over one million defenseless civilians living in Gaza. While it claims its aim is to eliminate Hamas military targets, the purpose of its vicious air campaign is to create terror in the region with the greatest possible destruction and death toll among Palestinians in order to impose its hegemony and power in defiance of all calls and cries of humanity to stop the massacre and to lift the economic blockade on the innocent people of Gaza. Our Party denounces the brutal bombing by the state of Israel against the people of Gaza and considers it as a crime of state terrorism and calls for its immediate and unconditional stop, and to bring those who ordered it to trial as criminals. The end of the brutal conflict between the forces of terrorism on the regional level and the world will only be achieved through the establishment of a Palestinian state with equal rights to the State of Israel, and therefore, put an end to terrorism, racism and fascism, and the religious Right-wing on both sides of the conflict. This is the task of humanity and the Palestinian Left and also the task of civilized humanity around the world.’

The press release ends with the slogans: ‘Stop the Barbaric Bombing of the civilian population in Gaza Now! Freedom and Security for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel! Yes to the establishment of a Palestinian State with Equal Rights to the State of Israel!’

Claiming to ‘oppose the jihad while attacking anti-jihadists’

Spencer also asserts that opposing him makes us ‘no more anti-jihad than Hassan Nasrallah’. Again, this is based on a false premise. Look, this is a question of politics. One Law for All wants to create a huge movement of people and groups with differing opinions. In fact, many of those involved in the campaign won’t agree with my politics in other areas, e.g. on the Palestinian question and worker-communism as I won’t agree with many of theirs. But that is the point of single issue campaigns and how many movements are strengthened.

Just because the BNP, Stop Islamisation of Europe and America or the EDL are also claiming to be opposed to Islamism, it doesn’t put us in the same camp. We are opposed to Islamism because we want to defend rights, equality, secularism, citizenship rights. They oppose Islamism because it is their competition. Just because Bush invades Iraq to ‘defend women’s rights’ doesn’t make it so. And just because I am a women’s rights campaigner, doesn’t mean I must now support the US’ militarism across the globe.

Marxism

Moreover, Spencer says, ‘Not coincidentally, One Law For All is headed up by Maryam Namazie, a Marxist antisemite who claims to be anti-jihad’. Suffice it to say that I know that anti-communism is a characteristic of the Islamists and far-Right alike, and that the end of the Cold War and a pathetic pro-Islamist Left have made it fashionable to attack the Left and Communism. But people seek out the Left because they demand justice as Mansoor Hekmat had said. Also, worker-communism has never supported the Soviet Union or the Gulags or whatever. If you really want to know what the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) stands for there is ample information on it here.

One Law for All and I are not one and the same

Most importantly, though, my Marxism and worker-communism’s press release on the Palestinian question are not relevant to One Law for All since the campaign does not promote Marxism, nor does it issues press releases on the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestine. But again this is an attempt to muddy the waters in order to evade the questions raised about him and his movement in our report.

Spencer has asked for an apology for labelling him far-Right. He should not wait for one as none will be forthcoming. I have suggested, however, that he be more honest with himself and others and own up to his regressive and inhuman politics. It would be much more respectable.

Look, if Spencer wants to challenge the One Law for All report, he will have to refute the evidence in the report, which is the result of a January 2011 seminar on the issue and months of research and not grab at straws.

By the way, this is the last time I will address Spencer’s comments. I have better things to do with my time. The goal, after all, behind writing the report was not to make Spencer have a ‘change of heart’ but to persuade a majority that is against Islamism and Sharia law to also be vigilant against ‘their own far-Right’.

You can read Adam Barnett’s response to Robert Spencer here. He co-wrote the Enemies not Allies report and did most of the research for it.

Adam Barnett’s response to Robert Spencer

Adam Barnett co-wrote One Law for All’s Enemies Not Allies: The Far:Right report. Here he responds to Robert Spencer’s statement on the report.

Following the publication of ‘Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right’, our new report which investigates his and similar organisations, Stop Islamization of America director Robert Spencer has invited One Law for All to ‘substantiate [our] charges, or withdraw them and issue a public apology.’ One could simply recommend that Mr. Spencer read our report. Indeed, in his ‘rebuttal’, he writes as if he has answered all of these charges before. It’s therefore strange that he felt the need to reply to them at ‘11:53pm’ on a Sunday night, and to attempt to smear his critics as ‘racist anti-Semites’ and ‘supporters of Jihad’. One could be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Spencer hoped to prevent people from reading the report for themselves.

In any event, I’m happy to list our main charges against his group and refer interested readers to the relevant citations in our report:

– Stop Islamisation of Europe is the ‘expansion’ of a Danish anti-Muslim party, Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark (SIAD), which was itself the result of a split within a xenophobic lobby group. (p.36-37) It calls for a boycott of all ‘Islamic countries’, for the Qur’an to be banned, for the mass deportation of immigrants from Europe, and protests against the building of Mosques. (p.37, 44-46) SIOE’s leadership consider all Muslims to be congenital liars who have a ‘culture of deceit’, and never tire of announcing that they ‘do not believe in moderate Muslims’. (p.40-41, and here)

– SIOE’s leaders have collaborated with and defended Julius Borgesen, former spokesperson for the right-wing extremist group Danske Front, which has ‘co-operated’ with Blood & Honour and Combat 18. Borgessen has reportedly participated in a march to celebrate Rudolf Hess, and was imprisoned in 2007 for calling for an arson attack against a Danish minister. SIOE insist that Borgesen is ‘in no way Nazi [or a racist], but is fighting for the democracy and freedom of Denmark’. (p.38-39) Further, there is evidence to suggest that other Danish neo-Nazis, as well as members of the BNP and the National Front, have attended SIOE and SIAD events. (p.38, 47)

– Stop Islamization of America is the U.S. branch of the SIOE umbrella group, and was entrusted by its leadership to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer in January 2010. Geller and Spencer have praised SIOE, endorsed its political programme, published its statements and expressed admiration for its leaders. (p.48-49)

– SIOA’s leaders have surpassed SIOE’s defence of war criminal Radovan Karadzic, (which included offering justifications for his actions), by defending Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, denying Serbian atrocities including the Srebrenica genocide, publishing the work of professional apologists for the Milosevic project, and in Spencer’s case working on an institutional level with such people to oppose an independent Kosovo. Ms. Geller has gone so far as to say that Bosnian Muslims killed themselves in order to ‘manipulate media coverage’, and refers to the 1995 genocide as a ‘propaganda lie’ which was ‘manufactured [by] the international community’ as part of ‘the ongoing blood libel against the Christian Serbs’. (p.42-43, 53-54 and here)

This is presumably what Mr. Spencer means when he writes of SIOA’s ‘opposition to the jihad in the Balkans and skepticism (sic) about some of the charges made of Serbian war crimes.’

– SIOA’s leadership has supported, defended and praised the English Defence League, (without equivocation until recently), and has promoted their events, published their statements and attacked their critics. (p.55-59) Co-director Pamela Geller’s web log has featured conspiratorial articles regarding the President of America’s religion, his family, his sexual history, and the circumstances of his birth, and has likened his ‘stealth jihad on the White House’ to ‘an SS officer getting elected president during WW II’. (p.52-53) In 2010, Robert Spencer defended his and Geller’s ‘colleague’ Joseph John Jay, who had recommended the ‘wholesale slaughter’ of Muslim civilians, including children, on the grounds that he had been ‘misinterpreted’. Spencer maintains this still, and Ms. Geller has recommended Jay’s writings as recently as July 2011. (p.51-51)

I could go on, but I ought to address Mr. Spencer’s direct challenge regarding a quote of his which we included. Here is the quote, published on his Jihad Watch site in 2005: ‘there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.’

Writing today, Spencer claims ‘what [he] meant was there is no institutional distinction, so jihadis move freely in Muslim circles among those who oppose them and claim to do so’. However, when asked by a commenter on the original article in 2005 ‘how distinctions can be made’, Spencer replied: ‘That’s simple. Let American Muslims renounce all attachment to violent Jihad and Sharia, refuse all aid from Sharia states (chiefly Saudi Arabia), and cooperate fully with anti-terror efforts aimed at rooting jihadists out of American mosques.’ (p.52) Having thus identified all Muslims as suspects who are guilty until proven innocent, Spencer does not specify how to treat Muslims who do not ‘cooperate fully’, or who fail to make the prescribed disassociations. But based on his record and the company he keeps, I’m glad we’ll never have to find out what it might entail.

I think this meets Mr. Spencer’s challenge, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring all of this to people’s attention. I’m not sure how one squares the above with the claim that SIOA ‘stand[s] for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for all people’. Perhaps Mr. Spencer will enlighten us.

The Far-Right and Islamism are two sides of the same coin

Below is the conclusion of the new One Law for All report – Enemies not Allies: The Far-Right that was written by Adam Barnett and myself. It’s an important piece of research proving the racism behind groups like the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe and America and revealing how similar these groups are to the Islamists they feign to oppose in order to push forward their racist and anti-immigrant agenda. Read on…

The July 2011 atrocity in Norway has put the spotlight on the far-Right once more. There are numerous organisations and political parties with similar platforms to that of Anders Behring Breivik, which have gained and are gaining influence, including winning parliamentary seats. This is due to a number of factors, including the unprecedented attack on people’s welfare and livelihood, the respectability afforded anti-immigrant policies, the ‘war on terror’, appeasement, the ethno-cisation of the world, and multi-culturalism – not as a positive lived experience, but as a social policy that has segregated communities and the world. Today people everywhere are divided into religions, cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities and our humanity, universalism and citizenship have been deemed irrelevant.

Though the far-Right appears to target Islamism, they are two sides of the same coin. Islamism is also very much an extreme Right movement.

And whilst there are obvious differences within far-Right and Islamist groups as there are in any phenomenon, the differences are not fundamental. The ‘hate cleric’ Anjem Choudhary supports stoning to death as do more ‘liberal’ Islamists like Tariq Ramadan. The ‘liberals’ have merely adapted their language and changed tactics to better dupe public opinion. The same is true with the far-Right. There is fundamentally little difference between Anders Behring Breivik’s Knights Templar and the EDL or SIOE. What they want is the same; their tactics are different. The EDL and SIOE are merely better at duping the public.

In his 1500 page European Declaration of Independence, Brevik says, ‘Organisations like EDL, doesn’t have an official extreme political doctrine [emphasis ours]. When they “bait” the UAF, and Jihadi youth (in the thousands) in to rioting, they ensure that the riots are covered by national and international press…. It also results in increased polarisation. Is it really that bad that more Europeans are shocked out of their slumber?’ He adds later, ‘Instead of condemning and rejecting organisations like EDL it is essential that conservative intellectuals contribute to help them on the right ideological path’. Clearly, the various organisations see themselves as part of the same movement; the groups addressed in ‘Enemies Not Allies’ are all mentioned by Breivik. They often work together and defend each other’s words and actions (even if ‘only’ to legitimise atrocities by explaining why they happened and threatening more to come).

The far-Right and Islamists have similar ideologies, characteristics, tactics and aims. Both rely on religion. Both use a language of hate and are extremely xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Both rely on indiscriminate violence and terrorism to intimidate the population at large. They are dogmatic and punish free thinkers and dissenters. They use threats and scaremongering to push forward their agenda. Both are vehemently anti-working class and the Left. They believe in the superiority of their views and culture and deal harshly with anyone who transgresses…

The world they have in mind is equally bleak, segregated, hateful and inhuman.

Religion

Much of the language and symbolism of the far-Right is Christian, and makes reference to the crusades. The BNP’s Nick Griffin has spoken of a ‘traditional, upright, decent and honest Christianity that defended Europe from Islamic conquest, the Christianity of the Crusades and the Christianity of our forefathers’. The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has said, ‘We don’t care whether you arrived here yesterday, you are welcome to protect our Christian culture and our way of life’. Similarly, Islamists use Islam as their banner and call for Sharia law and the Caliphate.

Misogynist

Nick Eriksen, until recently the BNP’s London organiser, has said: ‘Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence’. Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayed, a Sharia judge, has similarly said marital rape is ‘not aggression because when they got married, sexual intercourse was part of the marriage’. In fact, he says, ‘calling it rape is a major aggression’.

Homophobic

BNP candidate and activist Mark Collett has said of AIDS that ‘Blacks, drug abusers and gays have it. So really, I’ve got no problem with AIDS. In fact I would call it a friendly disease’. 28 Likewise, the Islamic Education and Research Academy chairman, Abdur-Raheem Green, argues that homosexuality and adultery are ‘inexcusable, and justly punished with severity’.

Anti-Semitic

The BNP’s Nick Griffin has called the holocaust a “Holohoax” saying: ‘I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades… I have reached the conclusion that the “extermination” tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria’. 7 The Islamic scholar Yusuf Al Qaradawi who has been hailed as ‘progressive’ by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, has likewise said: ‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the (Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers’.

Support of Violence

Both rely on indiscriminate violence and terrorism to intimidate the population at large and justify their abominations. In fact, both target civilians and place collective blame. Breivik said his massacre in Norway was ‘atrocious but necessary’. John Jay, a Stop Islamization of America board member says ‘[…] every person in [I]slam, from man to woman to child may be our executioner. […] there are no innocent [M]uslims’. Regarding Israel and ‘the poor, terrorist Palestinians’, Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America states, ‘I say to Israel, stand loud and proud. Give up nothing. Turnover not a pebble. For every rocket fired, drop a MOAB [Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb]’. Islamists are exactly the same. ‘Progressive’ Islamic Scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings by saying: ‘Israeli women are not like women in our society because Israeli women are militarised’. Even when they renounce violence for public consumption, the violence is always justified. The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has said about a May 2011 attack of a meeting attended by Labour councillors and the National Union of Teachers in Barking, ‘I would condemn the attack if there was any violence. But I can completely understand their frustration. People are so fed up with the leftist agenda’.

Use of Threats and Scaremongering

Suhaib Hasan, Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council says, ‘If Sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief’s hand is cut off nobody is going to steal. Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all. We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don’t accept it they’ll need more and more prisons’. In a July 25th 2011 interview on the Norwegian atrocity, the EDL’s Tommy Robinson said, ‘We are against extremism and all kinds of violence but you need to listen. God forbid this ever happens on British soil. It’s a time coming. You’re probably five or ten years away… I believe it could and it’s not a threat, it’s a wakeup call to say listen we don’t want this to happen but we need to address the problem’.

Use of victim status

The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has spoken of the Emblem of St George being banned at a school and said at a rally that the EDL was formed ‘…To combat a two-tier system. One rule for them, and another rule for us. And it’s true, it’s oppression. That’s exactly what it is. It’s apartheid. Its kid gloves for their community, and iron fist for our community’. Islamists and their apologists do this all the time. Mehdi Hassan, the political editor of New Statesman, likens criticism of Lutfur Rahman – the new Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets who has close links with the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe – to McCarthyism.

Use of Islamophobia and racism

Both the far-Right and Islamists have co-opted rights and anti-racist language to gain legitimacy. Far-Right groups will say they are not racist to evade scrutiny and even invite non-whites to join. Islamists speak of Islamophobia and the ‘right’ to Sharia law in a bid to silence criticism by labelling it racism.

It’s important to note that a fight against Islamism is not a fight against Muslims; it’s a defence of rights and freedoms. Muslims or those labelled as such are the first victims of Islamism and many are at the forefront of battling it. Nowhere is opposition against Islamism and Sharia law greater than in countries under Islamic rule.

It is also not a fight against immigrants. Islamism was brought to centre stage by the US Cold War policy of creating a green Islamic belt around the then Soviet Union. It was not concocted in some immigrant’s kitchen. In fact, many immigrants have fled Islamism and Sharia law and continue to fight it here. Moreover, many of the Islamists in Europe are European born. ‘Hate cleric’ Anjem Choudary is one such example.

The Fight against Islamism and the Far-Right

Whilst the fight against Islamism is an historical task and duty, it must go hand in hand with a fight against the far-Right, particularly in Europe, Australia and North America.

Clearly, any opponent of Islamism today must also be an anti-fascist, but not the pro-Islamist and anti-racist Left version of anti-fascism. This grouping is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists, including Unite Against Fascism, Socialist Workers Party, and George Galloway. United Against Fascism even joined the Islamist Muslims against Crusades counter rally against One Law for All’s rally in June 2010. Another form of ‘anti-fascism’ that must be resisted is the sort we are increasingly seeing amongst secular groups that have joined hands with the far-Right against the Islamic and ‘foreign’ versions of fascism, such as the French Riposte Laique and others at the 2010 Conference on the Islamicisation of Europe.

Groups like SIOE and the EDL are as hateful as the Islamists; they are enemies not allies. Clearly, our enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our friend.

According to women’s rights campaigner, Rahila Gupta, ‘Recent anti-racist alliances, such as the one against the EDL in Tower Hamlets, which includes Socialist Workers Party and the East London Mosque, reveals the capitulation of the left to the fascists within while organising against the fascists without. We should be sophisticated enough by now to construct a politics that is simultaneously anti-racist and anti-fundamentalist so that vulnerable groups like women, lesbians and gays and religious minorities do not get hung out to dry. As feminists we have been abandoned by those who should have been supporting our right to make ‘legitimate criticism’. They feel now, during the War on Terror, is not the right time. In a racist society, it is never the right time. When we expose the underbelly of our communities we are told that we are providing ammunition for racists. For us it isn’t a choice. We can’t hide one evil to fight another’.

This fight also includes challenging multi-culturalism, which the far-Right and Islamism use to show that the ‘other’ is different, thereby validating identity, separation and ‘clash of civilisations’ politics. The idea of difference has always been the fundamental principle of a racist agenda. The defeat of Nazism and its biological theory of difference largely discredited racial superiority. The racism behind it, however, has found another more acceptable form of expression. Instead of expression in racial terms, difference is now portrayed in cultural terms.

Today, more than ever, there is a need for a renewed anti-fascism that stands firm against both the far-Right and Islamism. It is within this context that the One Law for All Campaign fights against Sharia law in Britain. In the face of regression and abomination, its banner is humanity without labels. It holds the human being sacred and nothing else. And it unequivocally defends citizenship and universal rights, freedom, equality and secularism for people not just in Britain but everywhere.

August 10th 2011

New Report – Enemies not Allies: The far-Right

15 August 2011

A new report by One Law for All explores how the far-Right has attempted to hijack opposition to Islamism for its own ends. It focuses on the British National Party, the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe/America, and exposes how their activities, associations, opinions and intentions reveal a racist and inhuman worldview, which must be resisted and criticised with as much vigilance as Islamism itself. See report here.

Enemies Not Allies features:

– Evidence of the BNP’s relationship with neo-Nazi and ‘white’ supremacist groups and individuals, including Blood & Honour, Combat 18 and former Klansman David Duke.

– Proof that the BNP’s leadership believe Islamism is ‘the threat that can bring [them] to power’, and examples of how they have tried to use it for political gain.

– Evidence of how senior BNP members have praised the National Front, applauded acts of violence and expressed ‘nostalgia’ for ‘Germany in the 1930s’, while its election candidates have made racist comments and fought with Asian youths.

– Interviews with former members of the English Defence League who left due its bigotry and racism towards Muslims, which they believe is endemic and ‘increasing’.

– Evidence of EDL spokespeople, including leader Tommy Robinson and Guramit Singh, making racist and bigoted comments, as well as justifying or endorsing violence.

– A history of the umbrella group Stop the Islamisation of Europe and evidence of its racism and bigotry, as well as its collaboration with European neo-Nazis.

– Evidence of Stop Islamisation of Europe/America’s racist and alarmist literature and its promulgation of conspiracy theories.

– Documentation of Stop the Islamisation of Europe’s defence of and support for Serbian fascists and war criminals, including Stop Islamisation of America’s explicit denial of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

The recent massacre in Norway carried out by Anders Behring Breivik, (who praised the groups discussed in this report), has placed a spotlight on the new ‘Islamisation’ and ‘Crusader’ strain within far-Right politics, and the groups and individuals who promote its conspiratorial worldview. One Law for All’s new report by Adam Barnett and Maryam Namazie provides crucial evidence for the struggles ahead, and argues for greater care in distinguishing between allies and enemies.

NOTES:

1. The report can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £8.50. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal by visiting: Donate Page.

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.

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

August update on One Law for All from Anne Marie Waters

Dear friend

New Report – Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right

A new One Law for All report explores how the far-Right has attempted to hijack opposition to Islamism for its own ends. It focuses on the British National Party, the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe/America, and exposes how their activities, associations, opinions and intentions reveal a racist and inhuman worldview, which must be resisted and criticised with as much vigilance as Islamism itself. You can see the relevant press release and report here.

‘Sharia controlled zones’

Recently, the Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades began what it called a campaign for “Islamic emirates” throughout Britain by putting up posters declaring areas of east London as “sharia controlled zones”. One Law for All has pointed out that this group is a far-Right group which must be opposed. See press release here.

Upcoming events and coverage

Co-Spokesperson, Maryam Namazie, will be visiting Australia during the last two weeks of August to highlight the importance of opposing Sharia and religious laws and defending universal rights, citizenship and secularism. To see a list of engagements and read her recent opinion piece in The Australian, click here. You can also read my article on sharia law in the Cambridge University Law Society journal here.

Support us!

Thanks to each and every one of you who has donated to our important campaign. We wouldn’t have come this far without your support. If you’d like to and can donate or become a 100Club member, please visit here. Every little does go a long way in the fight against Sharia and for secularism and rights.

By the way, if you shop online, you might be interested in doing so via the Easy Fundraising website. It won’t cost you anything extra but can help raise much needed funds for One Law for All.

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up to the One Law for All campaign, please join the over 28,000 people and groups that have.

Thanks again
Warmest wishes
Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All Spokesperson

NOTES

1. Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £8.50. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal by visiting: Donate Page.

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.

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

Sharia-controlled zones not welcome

One Law for All Statement

13 August 2011

Recently, the Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades began what it called a campaign for “Islamic emirates” throughout Britain by putting up posters declaring areas of east London as “sharia controlled zones”. The posters stated that alcohol, gambling, and music were banned and the group said it was willing to patrol east London enforcing sharia. One Law for All maintains that Muslims Against Crusades is a far-Right group that intends to stir up mistrust and division and impose its medieval rules on the public. Sharia law is the demand of Islamists like Muslims Against Crusades to limit rights and freedoms and must not be tolerated. To oppose Sharia law is a defence of the rights of all citizens, including Muslims.

Clearly, Muslim Against Crusades is the mirror image of other far-Right groups and campaigns. They do not tolerate difference or dissent, are misogynist and wish to deny rights to women, and are homophobic – often murderously so.

Whilst Muslims Against Crusades argue that they will solve social problems in these zones, in reality, they are offering a discriminatory, brutal and oppressive system with barbaric punishments and interference in people’s private lives which will exacerbate problems. Rather, people need education, equality and citizenship rights amongst others.

Muslims against Crusades say women need their “protection”. On the contrary, we need protection from misogynist and religious laws and this protection will be supplied by a just, equal, and secular legal and political system not Sharia. The rape of women in countries governed by sharia often ends in the punishment of the raped woman, and rape and sexual abuse is widespread.

Sharia is not the answer. We must – and will – maintain our campaign for secularism, human rights, justice and equality until there is no Sharia and religious laws here in Britain or anywhere.