سونامى آتئيسم و روى گرداندن از اسلام
۲۰ اوت ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با دانشمند ريچارد داوکينز
Explosion of Atheism and People leaving Islam
19 August 2014
Interview with Scientist Richard Dawkins
Conference of a life-time On the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
11-12 October 2014
The Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LD, UK
Join notable free-thinkers, atheists and secularists from around the world for a weekend of discussions and debates on the religious-Right, its attacks on civil rights and freedoms, and the role of secularism for 21st century humanity. The exciting two-day conference will discuss the Arab Spring, Sharia and religious laws, the limits of religion’s role in society, free expression, honour killings, apostasy and blasphemy laws, faith schools, women’s rights, secular values and much more.
The conference will be held at the Tower Hotel with spectacular views of the River Thames and the Tower of London. On the evening of 11 October, participants will enjoy cocktails followed by a delicious three-course meal and entertainment in the company of our speakers.
Distinguished speakers and acts:
Richard Dawkins will be joining the conference.
An International Secular Manifesto and the establishment of a united front of secularists to meet future challenges will be the final outcome of the Conference. Conference contributions will also be published in a book.
The conference is endorsed by Atheist Alliance International; Bread and Roses TV; Children First Now; Center for Inquiry; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation; International Committee against Stoning; International Committee against Execution; International Federation of Iranian Refugees; Iran Solidarity; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Secularism is a Women’s Issue; The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK; and Women Living Under Muslim Laws amongst others.
کنفرانس تاريخى در مورد مذهب، سکولاریسم و حقوق مدنی
11-12 October 2014
تاور هتل، لندن، انگلستان
آزاداندیشان و سکولاریستهای سرشناس از سراسر جهان در ۱۱ و ۱۲ اکتبر ۲۰۱۴ در تاور هتل لندن گرد هم میآیند تا درباره راست افراطى و اسلام سياسى، حملات آن به حقوق و آزادیهای مدنی، و نقش سکولاریسم در سرنوشت بشریت قرن حاضر به بحث و جدل بپردازند.
تمهاى مورد بحث انقلابات منطقه، شریعه و قوانین مذهب، آزادی بیان و ارتداد، قتلهاى ناموسی و ارزشهای سکولار و ديگر مسائل خواهد بود.
کنفرانس در تاور هتل با منظره تماشائی رود تیمز و برج لندن برگذار خواهد شد. در شب ۱۱ اکتبر ۲۰۱۴ از شرکت کنندگان در کنفرانس با مجموعهای از برنامههای متنوع سرگرم کننده و با شام مفصلی در مصاحبت با سخنرانان سرشناس ما پذیرائی خواهد شد.
اسامی سخنرانان به این شرح است (به ترتیب الفباى انگليسى):
اى سى گريلينگ، فیلسوف، استاد فلسفه و نويسنده
آمل فرح، سخنگوى سازمان قانون برابر براى همه و اکس مسلم بريتانيا و متولد سومالي
آمل گرامی، استاد دانشکده مانو در تونس. درسال گذشته او در صف مقدم مبارزه ای موفق درجهت عقب راندن محاصره اسلامى ها در دانشگاه بوده
آمينه السبوعى، فعال اعتراض برهنگى تونسى که بخاطر فعاليتهايش زندانى شد
بهرام سروش، فعال سیاسی، مفسر و تحلیل گر و مسئول روابط عمومى كمپين براي آزادي كارگران زنداني در ایران
بن باز عزيز، بلاگر مصرى که بخاطر بى خدايى در کويت زندانى شد
کارولاین فورت، نویسندۀ فرانسوی و سردبیر مجلۀ چپ
چيتان باط، مدیر مرکز مطالعات حقوق بشر در دانشکدۀ علوم سیاسی و اقتصادیِ اِل اس ای در لندن
کریس موس، فعال دانشجویی سکولار
الهام مانيا، نویسنده و فعال حقوق بشر يمنى
فريبرز پويا، بنيانگذار جامعه سکولار ايران و يکى از مجريان برنامه نان و گل سرخ
فاىسل سعيد المطعار، بنيان کذار عراقى جنبش بين المللى سکولار اومانيست
فاتو سو، جامعه شناس اهل سنگال و هماهنگ کنندۀ شبکۀ همبستگی بنام زندگی زنان تحتِ قوانین مسلمانان
گیتا ساهگل، نویسنده، روزنامه نگار، فیلم ساز، مدیر مرکز سکولار. او در فوریۀ سال ۲۰۱۲ از سازمان عفو بین المللی به خاطر انتقادش به آن سازمان براى رابطه اش با اسلامىيون اخراج شد.
حميد تقوائى، لیدر حزب کمونيست کارگرى ايران
هوزان محمود، فعال حقوق زن و سخنگوی سازمان آزادی زن در عراق
حوريه مصدق، مشاور کمیسیون مستقل حقوق بشر در افغانستان و روزنامه نگار در افغانستان و پاکستان
عماد هبيب ادين، بنیانگذار شورای اکس مسلم مراکش – اولین سازمان علنی خداناباوران در کشورى که اسلام دین رسمی آن کشور است.
اینا شوچنکو، رئيس سازمان فمن که درسال ۲۰۱۱ توسط ” کا گ ب” سازمان اطلاعات بلاروس، تهدید و ربوده شد و سپس در فرانسه به عنوان پناهندۀ سیاسی پذیرفته شد.
جولی بيندل، نویسندۀ انگلیسی و از بنیانگذاران گروه عدالت برای زنان
کاظم الغزالی، مدیر بخش جوانان مرکزحقوق بشر مراکش و عضو هئیت اجرایی انجمن وبلاگ نویسان مراکش بود.
کریمه بنون، استاد حقوق بین الملل ازدانشکدۀ قانون دِی ویس کالیفرنیا و نویسندۀ الجزايرى کتاب “فتوای شما اینجا جایز نیست ”
کيت سمورتويت، کمدین و فعال سیاسی
کينان مالک، نویسنده
کیران اپال، فعال پاکستانی حقوق بشر، نویسنده و از بنیانگذاران اکس مسلم شمال آمریکا
ال سی پی، گروه رقص که به مسائل مربوط به حقوق بشر و عمدتا مساله قاچاق انسان تاکید دارد.
ليلا قبادى، فیلمساز، نویسنده و روزنامه نگار ایرانی
لينو ولجک، استاد فلسفه در دانشگاه مغرب
مگدامين آبيدا، فعال حقوق زن که توسط اسلاميون در بنغازی ليبى ربوده شد و بعد از آزادی مجبور به فرار از این کشور گردید
مريم هلى لوکاس، جامعه شناس الجزایری، بنیانگذار سکولاریسم مسئله زنان است
مریم نمازی، سخنگوی فتنه، قانون برابر برای همه و تولید کننده برنامه نان و گل سرخ
نادیا ال فانی، فیلمساز تونسی که بعد از شکايت اسلامى ها در مورد فيلمش به اسم “نه خدا و نه ارباب” مجبور به فرار شد.
نهلا محمود، فعال حقوق محیط زیست و انسانى سودانى
نينا سنکارى، رئیس انجمن آزادانديشان لهستان
پرويز حودبى، فیزیکدان هسته ای پاکستانى و فعال محیط زیست و اجتماع
پیتر تاچل، خوانندگان يک روزنامه انگليسى او را يکى از “قهرمانان زمان ما” شناختند. او مدافع حقوق انسان و همجنسگرايان است
پراگنا پاتل، رئيس سازمان حقوق زنان. روزنامه گاردين او را به عنوان ۱۰۰ زن اول فعال شناخت
رندا کاسيس، عضو شورای ملی سوریه بود تا زمانی که بخاطر هشدار به اسلاميون در سال ۲۰۱۲ از این شورا کنار گذاشته شد
رومى حسن، نویسنده
سانال اداماروکو، نویسنده و بنیانگذار بین المللی خردگرا و انجمن خردگرا در هند
شلی سگال، خواننده و فعال سکولار
سیبا شکیب، فیلمساز ایرانی / آلمانی، کتابش در مورد افغانستان “جایی که فقط خدا می آید گریه کند” جايزه برده و به ۲۷ زبان ترجمه شده
ستاسا زجويچ، از بنیانگذاران و هماهنگ کننده زنان ضد جنگ بلگراد
سو کاکس، از بنیانگذاران بازماندگان صدای تجاوز جنسى کودکان از سوى کليسا
تاج هرجى، فعال ضد آپارتاید آفریقای جنوبی و بنیانگذار مرکز آموزش و پرورش مسلمانان
طارق فتح، نویسنده پاکستانى، بنیانگذار کنگره مسلمانان کانادا
تسليمه نسرين، نویسنده بنگلادشی، پزشک و فعال حقوق زنان
تری ساندرسون، رئیس انجمن سراسرى سکولار بريتانيا
ولید حسینی، وبلاگ نویس فلسطینیکه در سال ۲۰۱۰ در فلسطین به اتهام “کفر” زندانى شد. او شورای اکس مسلم فرانسه را تاسیس کرد.
دانشمند ريچرد داوکينز هم در کنرانس شرکت خواهد کرد
بيوگرافى کاملتر سخنرانان را مى توانيد در ساىت کنفرانس مشاهده کنيد.
حاصل نهائی کار کنفرانس تدوین یک مانیفست سکولاریستی جهانی و تشکیل یک جبهۀ متحد سکولاریستی بمنظور پاسخگويى به چالشهای آینده خواهد بود. تمامی درافزودههاى کنفرانس در قالب يک کتاب منتشر خواهد شد.
سازمانهای زیر از جمله اسپانسرهاى برگزاری کنفرانس هستند:
کودکان مقدمند؛ مرکز تحقيقات، شوراى اکس مسلم بريتانيا، فتنه، علیه تبعیض – سازمان دفاع از حقوق زن، کمیته بین المللی علیه سنگسار و اعدام، فدراسیون سراسرى پناهندگان ایرانى، همبستگى با مردم ايران، قانون برابر براى همه، سکولاريسم مسئله زن است، بنياد ريچارد داوکينز و زنان تحت قوانين مسلمانان.
بهای بلیط شرکت در کنفرانس (شامل دو روز ناهار، یک مهمانی عصرانه، برنامه سرگرمی و شام شنبه شب):
برای میهمانی که زودتر و قبل از اول مه رزرو کنند: شاغل۱۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۱۵۰ پوند
بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۱۷۰ پوند، غیرشاغل ۱۵۵ پوند، سازمانها ۱۸۰ پوند
بهای بلیط برای شنبه و یکشنبه، فقط روز، با ناهار:
قبل از اول مه: شاغل ۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۰ پوند
بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۷۰ پوند، غیرشاغل ۵۵ پوند، سازمانها ۸۰ پوند
بهای بلیط فقط برای برنامه شام و سرگرمی شنبه شب:
قبل از اول مه: شاغل ۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۰ پوند؛ سازمانها ۷۰ پوند
بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۷۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۵ پوند؛ سازمانها ۸۰ پوند
تعدادی اطاق در تاور هتل برای شرکت کنندگان در کنفرانس رزرو شده است. علاقمندان میتوانند از طریق شماره تلفنهای ۶۹۱۲ ۶۸۰ ۰۲۰۷ و ۰۲۱۸ ۹۷۷ ۰۸۷۱ مستقیما با دفتر هتل تماس بگیرند و اطاق خود را با ذکر کد تخفیف ONEL080314 رزرو کنند. اطاق تک نفره ۱۳۰ پوند و دو نفره ۱۴۰ پوند (هر دو شامل صبحانه). در وب سایت ما هم لیستی از هتلهای نزدیک اطراف با قیمتهای مناسبتر درج شده است.
برای دریافت اطلاعات بیشتر، ثبت نام و خرید بلیط لطفا به ما مراجعه کنيد:
مريم نمازى؛ برگزار کننده کنفرانس
This week’s Bread and Roses is on the labour movement in Iran and courageous jailed workers there.
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
کارگران زندانى بايد بيشترين همبستکى جهانى را با خود داشته باشند
۱۳ اوت ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با شهلا دانشفر٬ هماهنگ کننده کمپین برای آزادی کارگران زندانی
There must be widespread support for jailed workers in Iran
12 August 2014
Interview with Shahla Daneshfar, Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
At the World Humanist Congress this weekend, I urged Humanists to stop self-flagellating and called on them to focus on the fascists of our era – the Islamists – rather than looking inwards to the so-called “aggressive atheists”. It’s during a question and answer period with Richard Dawkins where I also mention his contribution to those coming out as ex-Muslims.
I then rip the ISIS flag.
You can watch it here.
ISIS (and Islamism) is our dark ages and we must fight it to the end.
Most amusing is the woman who thinks I am calling Muslims fascists. Pretty sad that there are so many people that can still not distinguish between a Muslim and a fascist. Islamists are the fascists not Muslims. Try focusing on the fascists for a change and stop being so racist as to think that all Muslims are far-Right Islamists!
I invite her and the others at the Congress – like Alom Shaha – who think that criticising Islam and Islamism are bigotry to come to our October conference and learn the differences by people – Muslim and none – who are on the frontlines…
You can still buy tickets for the Secular Conference and some of you need to buy it more than others!
In this day and age, there is most certainly something about Islam.
Not because it is any worse than other religions.
As I have said many times before, all religions are equal and equally bad.
No religion looks favourably upon women, gay and lesbians, freethinkers, dissenters, other religions or atheists, and blasphemers, heretic and apostates… Punishing freethinkers is a long-standing and fundamental feature of all major religions. But there is something about Islam primarily because it is the banner of Islamism, a far-Right political movement, spearheading what I call an Islamic inquisition.
Islamists want the far-Right restructuring of societies – concretely this means a Caliphate or Islamic state, the implementation of Sharia law, the imposition of the burka and compulsory veiling, gender segregation, defending Hududd punishments like death by stoning, and the execution of apostates to name a few.
You don’t have to look far to see what Islamism is. The Islamic regime of Iran. The Saudi government. Hamas. Boko Haram. Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb Ut Tahrir and the Taliban.
And of course the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) which has made tremendous advances over the past few days and months and which continues to shock and outrage humanity with its sheer terror and brutality.
ISIS is Islamism without its palatable wrappings often fed to people in Europe and the West where its manifestations like Sharia courts in Britain and the Law Society’s guidance on Sharia wills (which institutionalises Islamist values) – are portrayed as people’s “right to religion” even by some humanist groups.
Whilst there are differences in degree amongst Islamists as there are in any phenomenon, fundamentally they are all striving for the same things. Including groups like IERA in the UK which has charitable status and debates well known scientists and atheists whilst defending the Caliphate, death to apostates (they say beheading is painless) and segregating British universities.
Some keep telling us of such “moderate” or “soft” Islamists. There are none.
Fascism is fascism no matter how it is wrapped and dressed.
There is also, given the context, no moderate Islam. Even if there are a million interpretations, today, Islam is what ISIS tells you it is. It is what Khamenei in Iran says it is. It is what the Taliban says it is by sheer and brute force. In many places, you must either submit to their Islam or die.
When religion is in the state or has influence it is no longer a question of personal belief but of political power.
Of course when I talk about Islam I am not speaking of Islam as a personal belief or Muslims who are believers like my father and mother or some of yours.
People practice Islam and religion in innumerable personal ways; they pick and choose what aspects fit their lives and more often than not, people’s humanity shines through whatever their religion or belief.
Being Muslim doesn’t mean one is an Islamist anymore than being Turkish means you support Erdokan, or being Nigerian means you are with Boko Haram or being British means you are a supporter of the British National Party or Christian Right.
No group, community, society is homogeneous. As Kenan Malik says “secularism and fundamentalism are not ideas stitched into people’s DNA. They are, like all values, absorbed, accepted, rejected”.
In fact, Muslims or those perceived to be Muslims are the first victims and at the forefront of resistance against Islamism.
Karima Bennoune highlights nearly 300 such people and groups of Muslim heritage as she calls them who refuse and resist in her book called “your fatwa does not apply here”.
Also, over the past decades, many have “voted” against Islamism with their feet by fleeing Islamic states and movements in unprecedented numbers.
Right now, thousands of Yazidis considered devil worshipers by ISIS languish in the mountains of Sinjar with children dying of thirst and nowhere to go surrounded by ISIS.
Islam today isn’t a private matter, especially not during an inquisition.
Islam is not just the ‘opium’ of the masses as Marx has said but their genocidaire.
Of course, it is good to be balanced and speak of all religions as being equally problematic. Even after the enlightenment has removed much of Christianity’s power and influence, Christianity is still not a benign force; it creates misery where it can.
But you cannot look at ISIS right here and now and its beheadings and crucifixions and sexual jihad and speak of similar attitudes during Victorian England or Europe’s dark ages.
ISIS represents our dark ages today in the 21st century.
It is good to be balanced – particularly when you have a far-Right using the issue of Sharia law and Islamism to attack immigrants and Muslims and absurdly demanding a ban on the Koran as if the Bible was banned to stop the Spanish inquisition. A far-Right that feigns “crocodile tears” for those killed by Islamists yet cheers the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza by the Israeli state.
It is important to be balanced but one must also be fair and just.
If we cannot see that there is something about Islam and Islamism, then we cannot respond as we must.
And if we don’t, who will?
Defending freethought and expression is crucial in this fight. Defending blasphemy and apostasy cases are important. Removing blasphemy laws from the legal system is key.
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain deals with hundreds of such cases every year. But it is not enough to defend free expression and thought within a limited human rights or legal context.
We must see blasphemy and apostasy laws and a defence of free expression within the larger context of religion in general and Islam in particular vis-a-vis the question of political power.
Islam in the state or with political power is the end of freethought and the end of free expression.
It is the end of democratic politics.
It is the end of women’s rights and gay rights and the rights of minorities. It is the end of everything worthy of a 21 century life.
It is a return to the dark ages.
A Humanist congress today can only begin and end united for Sinjar and united against ISIS.
It must stand unequivocally against Islamism, Sharia law and the Caliphate. This is not about “people’s right to religion”. It is about stopping Islamism’s right to kill and slaughter and oppress.
A humanist congress must stand for equality (of people – not religions and beliefs), for universal rights, and for secularism and the separation of religion from the state – not just for Europe but the world.
This is not a clash of civilisations. It’s a clash between the theocrats and fascists versus the rest of us – Muslim, Atheist and none.
As the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:
“In Islam … the individual has no rights or dignity. In Islam, the woman is a slave. In Islam, the child is on par with animals. In Islam, freethinking is a sin deserving of punishment. Music is corrupt. Sex without permission and religious certification, is the greatest of sins. This is the religion of death. In reality, all religions are such but most religions have been restrained by freethinking and freedom-loving humanity over hundreds of years. This one was never restrained or controlled.”
Restraining it – controlling it – in this day and age – that is our task.
Following the atrocities of the barbaric Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Iraq, thousands of people have fled to the mountains from fear of this group, and are in danger of dying.
In the past five days, areas to the east of Mosul, including the town of Shangal, have been captured by ISIS. Hundreds of people in these areas, including 17 girl students, have reportedly been executed for belonging to the Yazidi religion. Over 200,000 have been displaced, of which around 50,000 have taken refuge on the mountains near Shangal.
These people are now under the siege of ISIS forces.
Since June this year, after several years of fighting the Islamic Maliki government, ISIS has succeeded in capturing a number of areas in five central provinces of Iraq. In the past two months, it has murdered thousands of people, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from fear of these Islamic savages.
According to the latest reports, many people on the mountaintops have already perished from lack of water and food. The rest, if they receive no help, are also in danger of certain death. This is genocide. Those trying to come down from the mountains to save themselves are being executed by ISIS. ISIS has blocked all the escape routes, which means that tens of thousands of people, stranded in 45-degree Celsius heat and without water or food, have little chance of survival. The world states and international bodies have done nothing so far. If no help arrives immediately, these people will certainly perish.
We cannot and must not wait for the next few days, which will undoubtedly bring human catastrophes of far greater proportions. We must act immediately. We must put the world states and international bodies under pressure to bring food and water to these people immediately.
The civilised people of the world must come out in support of the people of these war-ravaged areas. The people in Iran, and in particular in Iranian Kurdistan, must come out in support of the people of Iraq and Syria, who have been terrorised by ISIS and other Islamic and reactionary forces and by murderous states.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran supports the struggle of the people of Iraq and Syria for liberation from the hands of ISIS and all the reactionaries and criminal states in these countries.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
7 August 2014
I’ll be away in Oxford this weekend.
On 9 August 2014, I’ll be speaking on a panel “Is there something about Islam? at the World Humanist Congress with Alom Shaha, Maajid Nawaz, Kenan Malik and Jim Al-Khalili chairing.
You can find out more about the congress here.
See this week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV with Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush. Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى
جهان به رسوایی کشيده شده است
در مورد حمله دولت اسرائیل به غزه
مصاحبه با نيرا يوال ديويس٬ شبکه تحقيقاتى در مورد زنان در مناطق جنگى
‘The World Stands Disgraced’, On the Israeli offensive in Gaza
5 August 2014
Interview with Nira Yuval Davis, Israeli dissident
Pakistani ex-Muslim atheists Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon are currently detained in Harmondsworth IRC, which is a Cat B prison. Their crime? They have left Islam and want to live a life free from threats and intimidations prevalent in Pakistan.
Jogezai’s date for deportation has been set for 5th August 2014. Tabish’s deportation on 5th August has been cancelled and he has been granted 5 days to prepare for a fresh asylum trial.
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Case Manager Tanjir Sugar visited the three men at the detention to find out more about their cases and offer support. One of the men, Sher Shah was harassed by some of his fellow Muslim detainees. Rather than being given protection, he has been taken into isolation.
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain knows only too well the dangers involved for those who renounce Islam and become atheists in countries where Sharia rules apply. Pakistan is officially an Islamic Republic. The government often uses its blasphemy law to prosecute atheists and those who allegedly hurt religious sentiments or defame Islam’s prophet Muhammad.
The above three men face great risk of persecution for openly and publicly leaving Islam and for being critical of Islam if they are returned. They have also been ostracised from their families and have no safe place to return to.
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain calls on the Home Office to immediately release Pakistani ex-Muslim atheists Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon from detention and grant them asylum.
To support the cases of these men, please Tweet the Home Office: @ukhomeoffice or write to Home Secretary Theresa May asking for their right to asylum at 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF or via email: [email protected]
The individuals and organizations undersigned note with concern the increasing violence against the women’s peace organisation Women in Black -Belgrade, and in particular against its founder, Stasa Zajovic, who has been targetted repeatedly in the past few months by extreme-right political groups and individuals, as well as harrassed by the police and justice system in her country.
We will remain alert and closely monitor Serbian authorities’ actions to ensure Stasa Zajovic’s safety.
First Signatories :
Marieme Helie Lucas, International Co-ordinator Secularism Is A Women’s Issue
Karima Bennoune, Professor of Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, University of California-Davis School of Law, Former Legal Advisor, Amnesty International.
Lynn Freedman, Professor, Columbia University, New York
Nira Yuval Davis, Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London; founder member of Women Against Fundamentalism, founder member of the international research network on women in militarized conflict zone
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation.
Jennifer Green , Associate Professor, Director of Human Rights Clinic, University of Minnesota Law School
Virginia Vargas, Articulacion Feminista Marcosur, Peru
Anissa Helie, Professor of History, John Jay College, New York
Lalia Ducos, President, Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights
Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web
Soad Baba Aïssa, AMEL Association pour la Mixité, l’Egalité et la Laïcité
Georgina Ashworth, founder of CHANGE International Women’s Reports
Indai Lourdes Sajor Gender and Women, Peace and Security Adviser/Consultant
Fatou Sow, International Director Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director Center for Women’s Global Leadership, distinguished professor Department of Women and Gender Studies Rutgers University
Cynthia Rothschild, human rights consultant and activist
Edmée Ollagnier, docteur en psychologie – Genève
Rina Nissim, naturopathe et auteure – Genève
Malika Zouba, journalist
Ariane Brunet, human rights activist
Laura McLeod, Lecturer in International Politics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester
Mimouna Hadjam, association AFRICA
Reza Shahabi, a member of the executive board of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company (Vahed), has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in forming the bus workers’ union.
In early June 2014 Shahabi began a hunger strike in protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr Prison and demanded to be admitted to hospital for urgent medical care and treatment. After 43 days hunger strike and a global campaign in support of Reza, he was transferred to hospital and the prison authorities have agreed to his demands.
Shahrokh Zamani, another leading worker activist in Iran is under constant threat and pressure in Rajaee Shahr prison, have written a letter to protest their imprisonment.
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been in prison since June 2010 on a five-year sentence for union activities. Ebrahimzadeh is a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Labour Organisations in Iran and a campaigner for children’s rights. He has been subjected to severe tortures during his incarceration.
We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all those appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Shahrokh Zamani and all jailed workers in Iran. All jailed trade unionists and political prisoners must be freed immediately and unconditionally!
Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
Since 8 July, the Israeli military has killed nearly 1,400 Palestinians, a majority of whom have been civilians. It has wounded 8000 people. 3 Israeli civilians have been killed along with 56 Israeli soldiers during this time. At least 15 women and children have been killed when the Israeli state hit a UN-run school and another 19 when it hit a crowded market on 30 July.
Mass killings in the name of protecting one’s ‘own people’ can never be justified nor can the aerial bombardment of such a densely-populated area like Gaza, which is the biggest “prison camp” in the world. The murder of civilians cannot be explained away as military “achievements”.
In this human tragedy, the number of civilian dead and wounded – many of them children – increase several-fold every day in Gaza, leaving the world stunned. On the other hand, the Right-wing anti-Semitic Hamas continues firing towards Israel, forcibly preventing Palestinians attempting to flee their homes to seek shelter and demanding the destruction of Israel.
War and continuation of war now for both of the reactionary sides seems to be the means as well as the objective. They both benefit from this war; ceasefire for them is only to prepare for another round of killing and destruction of the other side.
Humanity’s voice is not represented by either the Israeli government or the anti-Semitic Hamas. In the continuation of the carnage, these two reactionary forces feed off each other and prevent peace and a two-state solution for their own interests and in order to legitimise their rule. The Israeli government continues to prevent the formation of a legitimate and independent Palestinian state whilst Hamas sees the formation of a Palestinian state as its own downfall.
International bodies and Western governments also rely on empty rhetoric to deflect the growing popular and public opinion against this murder of innocent and defenceless civilians in Gaza.
This war is criminal and must end immediately and unconditionally. The voice of humanity must clearly side with neither of the two poles of reaction: the Israeli state and its Western government backers on the one-hand and the reactionary right-wing Islamic Hamas backed by and the Islamic regime of Iran and Hezbollah of Lebanon on the other.
The third camp, the camp of humanity, must defend the people of Gaza against this criminal bombardment of civilians and side with the people of Israel and Palestine who deserve nothing less than peace and this could only be achieved through a two-state solution.
Worker-communist Party of Iran – Organization Abroad
1 August 2014
One Law for All, Southall Black Sisters, the Centre for Secular Space, and the LSESU Atheist Secularist Society have welcomed the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) ruling against gender segregation in universities and students’ unions.
On 17 July, the EHRC published its guidance on gender segregation, stating that: “Gender segregation is not permitted in any academic meetings or at events, lectures or meetings provided for students, or at events attended by members of the public or employees of the university or the students’ union.”
The EHRC’s ruling came after a campaign of a broad coalition of women’s rights and secular activists who have opposed Universities UK’s guidelines on external speakers in universities, which said that: “Assuming the side-by-side segregated seating arrangement is adopted, there does not appear to be any discrimination on gender grounds merely by imposing segregated seating. Both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.”
The campaign saw a petition signed by almost 10,000, an open letter co-signed by renowned human rights activists and secularists like AC Grayling, Peter Tatchell, Polly Toynbee, Fatou Sow, Richard Dawkins and Yasmin Rehman as well as support from political leaders like Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP and Stewart Maxwell SMP. It culminated in a letter sent to UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights Farida Shaheed, and a protest attended by more than 100 activists in front of the office of Universities UK, which received media coverage from major national and international news outlets. As a result, the UUK withdrew its guidance.
Maryam Namazie, one of the main organisers of the campaign, commented: “The EHRC ruling is good news indeed. Finally common sense has prevailed with equality trumping religious beliefs and the religious-Right, which is really what the demand for gender segregation is. It’s an Islamist demand to gain access and institutionalise its values whilst limiting civil rights and equality under the guise of the ‘right to religion’. A victory here is a triumph for equality between women and men but also against Islamism.”
Chris Moos of LSESU ASH said: “This is a great victory for gender equality in the UK. It is great to see that the EHRC has found a clear answer to the claims of the proponents of segregation, specifically that segregation is a ‘religious right’ whose denial amounts to discrimination, that ‘voluntary’ segregation can be reasonably practised in an educational setting and that the provision of a ‘mixed’ seating area makes segregation somehow less discriminatory. Hopefully, universities and students union will now live up to their responsibilities and prevent segregation.” He added: “However, the exemptions that the ruling provides, legitimising gender segregation in religious settings, leave a bitter aftertaste. Equality is a human right that cannot be ‘exempted away’ – it is therefore saddening that British legislation still puts religion above considerations of equality.”
Gita Sahgal, Director of the Centre for Secular Space said: “The Centre for Secular Space would like to congratulate all the students who opposed gender segregation at some risk to themselves. Their stand resulted in a campaign which has lead to the ruling by the EHRC. Universities UK and university authorities should be ashamed of themselves. Rather than stopping gender segregation they endorsed it or did nothing about it.”
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters, commented: “We welcome the ruling. Had the UUK guidance endorsing gender segregation gone unchallenged, it would have had a profoundly detrimental impact on black and minority women who already struggle to assert their fundamental rights to education, freedom and independence. The whole sorry affair is symptomatic of a bigger battle waged by the religious-Right (aided and abetted by public bodies like the UUK) to control women’s minds and bodies. We must remain alert to the dangers of religious fundamentalism in all religions because its very goal is to use public spaces to gain power and to destroy the very principles of democracy and the universality of women’s human rights.”
You can read a full analysis of the ruling of the EHRC and its likely impact here.
For further enquiries please contact:
One Law for All and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
077 1916 6731
Southall Black Sisters
LSE SU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
074 2872 0599
Continuing the campaign for the release of Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani
* 2 August, Another international day of action in support of jailed workers in Iran
*Call on all worker organisations worldwide
*Reza Shahabi, Behanm Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani need urgent support
*We need an international campaign to save the lives of jailed Iranian worker activists
Reza Shahabi, a member of the executive board of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company (Vahed), has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in forming the bus workers’ union.
In early June 2014 Shahabi began a hunger strike in protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr Prison, instead of being admitted to hospital for urgent medical care and treatment. After 43 days hunger strike and a global campaign in support of Reza, he was transferred to hospital. He is still on hunger strike though because he has been handcuffed to his hospital bed and not allowed him to visit with his family. As a result, they have removed his hand cuffs and let him meet his family. Reza continues to protest and insist on his demands. Finally on the fiftieth day of his hunger strike the authorities have agreed with Reza’s sick leave and allowed him medical care. He will be returned to jail when his doctors give the go ahead.
Now Reza and Shahrokh Zamani, another worker activist in Iran who himself is under constant threat and pressure in Rajaee Shahr prison, have written a letter to protest their imprisonment.