Defending Charlie and Opposing Terrorism is not enough; You need to stand up to Sharia Courts

This is a shortened version of my speech for a public meeting organised by the NE Humanists on 19 March 2015.

Dissent and criticism of religion has always been a crucial aspect of free expression. Such criticism has been key for human progress and is needed more than ever in the age of ISIS. For many of us, therefore, standing with Charlie, honours our own dissenters.

Those who condemn the massacre in Paris but blame Charlie for “offending Muslim sensibilities” have bought into the Islamist narrative that “Muslims” are Islamists who are more offended by cartoons than mass murder. This erroneous conflation between Muslims and Islamists is often promoted in the media by Guardian types and the pathetic excuse of a Left – and I say this coming from the Left myself – to justify its cosy alliances with and appeasement of “our” fascists against “their own”.

The far-Right also makes this conflation so as to promote its anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda.  And of course the Islamists use it to deflect any criticism as racism and an attack on a community or people. It is useful for the British government too in “managing” its “minorities” on the cheap by handing them over to parasitical imams and self-appointed “community leaders”.

This conflation is validated by multiculturalism (not as a wonderful lived experience but as a social policy) and multi-faithism, which segregates and divides people into homogenised religious and cultural “communities” and sees people as one and the same as the religious-Right.

“Muslims” in Britain are outsourced to Islamist groups to do as they wish with “their communities” – Sharia courts, forced marriages, child marriages, the burqa, Islamic schools, segregated university meetings… The “other” is different so doesn’t deserve the same rights and freedoms.

But clearly no “community” or society is homogeneous. There is dissent; there is class politics at play. There are social and political movements contesting and challenging the Islamists, Sharia law and Islam day in and day out.

Amongst those “Muslims”, which Islamists feign to represent, there are atheists, socialists, secularists, women’s rights campaigners like me… And also many believing Muslims – who call themselves Muslims – but who are opposed to Islamism, the veil, and Sharia and do not murder even when they are “offended” by cartoons.

Conflating Muslim with Islamist does a disservice to the many dissenters. It places collective blame. It implies that the “authentic” Muslim is a terrorist and fascist.

And it’s wrong to equate the two. It’s like conflating the BNP with the British, the English with the English Defence League and Sharia Watch, Americans with the Tea Party or the Christian-Right and Indians with the Hindu-Right.

You can see the distinction between Muslims and Islamists– if you want to. After the attack on Charlie, many  “Muslims” or those labelled as such sided with Charlie.

What is packaged as “offence” is really Islamism’s imposition of blasphemy laws and theocracy under the pretext of respect for “Muslim sensibilities”.  Only in Europe does this far-Right fascist movement use “offence” or Islamophobia to silence and censor. In countries where they have state power, there is no need for such niceties. In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, the “offenders” are called what they are – apostates, blasphemers, enemies against god, the corrupt of the earth, heretics – and legally murdered in broad daylight in the same way Charlie Hebdo’s journalists were “executed”.

Terrorism and indiscriminate violence, including via Sharia laws, have been pillars of Islamist rule for decades, aiding in creating a climate of fear and as a warning to those who refuse to submit.

Raising the question of “offence” absurdly implies that civility and manners are all that are needed to stop abductions and the slaughter of generations from Nigeria, Iran to Algeria.  But “offence” is a smokescreen. It serves to legitimise Islamist terror and blame the victims. It’s no different from blaming a woman who was raped for the rape – if only she had been better dressed. If only she had not had so much to drink. If only she had stayed home like good girls do instead of wandering the streets at night. If only…

These “explanations” are not meant to clarify the context but to condemn the woman who has been raped. The same is true of those who explain the terrorists’ mindset – they were angry at the depiction of Mohammad, they were not integrated, they faced racism… the aim of such justifications is to put the blame on Charlie, on the murdered, on the innocents slaughtered by Islamism.

Blaming Islamist terrorism in Paris on Charlie’s cartoons is like blaming Avijit’s book for his being hacked to death or Raif’s website for his lashes. What did Malala Yousefzai do to warrant being shot in the head on a school bus? She shouldn’t have “offended” the Taliban by going to school? What did the abducted girls in Nigeria or the 54 killed in one day in separate suicide attacks including on a busy marketplace in Nigeria do? Were the Islamists who killed dissenters like Avijit or Salwa  – including via the state apparatus – “not integrated enough”, had they faced racism in their societies; were they abused by the security services? And what about the many who have been abused by the Islamists or US militarism, who have faced racism, who have been disenfranchised and marginalised and have instead joined protest movements, unions and progressive actions that defend human beings and their rights and lives and not beheadings.

Cage Prisoners, a “human rights organisation” (which Amnesty International was working with despite criticism from Gita Sahgal, their head of gender unit and supported by the likes of the Socialist Workers Party and John Rees) recently described Mohammad Emwazi or Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man” and blamed the beheadings he had carried out on his being beaten and threatened by the security services.

But I have been badly beaten by NYPD (when protesting against the 1991 Gulf war parade) and have been threatened with beheading by Islamists. I have faced racism. I am also outraged at US intervention in Iran. I am particularly incensed at how the powers that be decided at the Guadaloupe Conference that they preferred an Islamic state to the left-leaning revolution in Iran during the Cold War and still I do not, would not, behead for anything.

Imagine all the people in Iran or Saudi Arabia languishing in prison or the many who have lost their loved ones to this killing machine? If they all resorted to beheadings – no one would be left.

An unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and a defence of the terrorised – no ifs and buts are the only principled and human response. But it’s not enough. It’s also important to stand firm against Islamism and its “political wing” that has permeated British society – what Southall Black Sisters’ Director Pragna Patel calls Shariafication-by-stealth, which includes the rise of Sharia courts, the burqa and gender segregation at universities (which is an attack on women) as well as Islamic schools, which deny children rights because they were born into Muslim families. This is where even more get it wrong, including the British Humanist Association. (This in no way implicates all humanists and secularists – after all some of our greatest supporters have been local humanist groups and well known humanists.)

In a debate with me a few years ago, the then Head of Public Affairs Naomi Phillips (now a BHA trustee) called Sharia courts “people’s right to religion”. Andrew Copson, its Chief Executive, has stated on Facebook on 8 December 2014 that he had visited a Beth Din and the Islamic Sharia Council with three of his fellow commissioners on the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life and was “left without a single secularist reason to say that they should not be allowed to operate as they do”.

Copson Sharia courts

In the Law Society debacle where the Society had endorsed discriminatory practices by issuing Sharia-compliant guidance on wills, the current BHA Head of Public Affairs, Pavan Dhaliwal, wrote: “The issue has been totally blown out of proportion… It’s just advice so that solicitors can provide a service to (Sunni) Muslim clients who want a will that fits with their beliefs. It does not claim to do any more than that.” [Read more…]

Not Ireland but Italy yes!

Since my talk at Trinity College Dublin was shamefully cancelled Monday 23 March, my next talks will be in Italy at the end of this month.

Mark my words: I will speak at Trinity College Dublin without any conditions and am trying to find a society that will invite me and not cave into “security” demands.
Here are details of my Italy trip:
27-31 March 2015
Marea Feminist Review 10th Anniversary, Italy
I will be speaking at the anniversary celebrations of the feminist review in Genoa and Torino with Inna Shevchenko, Nadia El Fani, Marieme Helie Lucas and others.

Details of Genoa event can be found here.

Details of Torino event can be found here.

Looking forward to being amongst friends who would NEVER cancel an event or side with the Islamists over our dissenters!

Trinity College Dublin: I was not born yesterday

I wrote a blog post earlier about my refusal to abide by conditions imposed by Trinity College Dublin for my speech on Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism which I am to give this Monday.

Aoife, the chair of the society which had invited me is contesting my version of things so I find it necessary (also for transparency’s sake) to post all correspondence below. There is not much since Aoife only contacted me today (well technically last night as it is 2am now) after things came to a head. Another student organiser has been in touch with me the whole time and been arranging my visit. If there is any miscommunication, it seems to have been promulgated by Aoife to “manage” the situation in the same way that they were hoping to manage me.

Even if it was Aoife who suggested a moderator, it has come about as a result of “pressure”. Also security concerns of my antagonising the “Muslim students” and being “one-sided” which were raised with student organiser have nothing to do with student security no matter how many times Aoife says it does.

Aoife is trying to manage a bad situation by blaming it on miscommunication but you know what folks, I was not born yesterday.

This reminds me of my speaking tour in 2011 Australia where I went to give my speech at the University of Western Sydney on “Sharia law & human rights”. When I got there, it had become a panel due to “pressure” and the audience were forced to listen to another view before I was even allowed to speak…

Anyway, here are the emails. The name of the student organiser has been left out at his/her request.

From: Maryam Namazie [mailto:maryamnamazie@gmail.com]
Sent: 21 March 2015 01:38
To: ‘Society for International Affairs’
Subject: RE: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Hi Aoife

I think you are missing the point here. Of course el Mekki is given free access. In my experience there is never any question raised about Islamists as they are seen to be one and the same with “Muslims” which is untrue. It is usually raised with regards my speaking engagements, and this is not a new experience for me.

The security mentioned concerns over one-sidedness and “antagonising Muslim students” with the person who I have been in touch with all along regarding this event. Clearly such concerns are not matters of student security but the usual matter of avoiding “offence” – and it is usually us ex-Muslims that are seen to be antagonistic and not the Islamist speakers who promote our murder.
Your email tonight was the first I had received from you – someone else was organising this for me – so I am more prone to believe that it is your impression that is mistaken and not the other way around.

Regards

From: Society for International Affairs
Sent: 21 March 2015 01:02
To: Maryam Namazie
Subject: Re: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Hi Maryam,

The situation is slightly difficult for me to comprehend as I feel we aren’t talking about the same event anymore. I think this has gone completely awry. I don’t know where you got the impression that Security were imposing restrictions on you. If that was communicated to you, I apologise as that would never happen in Trinity, and I would fight to uphold any individual’s right to express themselves freely. I also am upset that you have been given the impression that Trinity authorities are backward, on the contrary: it was never a matter of potentially causing offence, I believe that Kamal el-Mekki’s presence proves that Trinity authorities do not interfere with college society’s activities. College Security have never once asked me about the content of your speech, just who will be attending the event (Trinity students as per society rules and insurance reasons) and numbers for fire and safety reasons. They did not realise it was being facilitated by SOFIA and therefore were nervous about an individual hosting the event. But I personally cleared that and assured them that I had it under control.

I am disappointed that you are not going to be with us on Monday, and I wish you had waited until I had gotten in contact. I was attending a wake service then went for dinner and all I had was my dying mobile phone which I told [the organiser contact] I would be in contact with you tonight.

Sorry this has gone so dramatic.

Aoife

On 21 March 2015 at 00:19, Maryam Namazie wrote:
Hello Aoife

Thanks for your email. The issues raised by security were clearly not about student safety but about the fear of my causing offence. Raising concerns of one-sidedness and implying my defence of the right to apostasy would be antagonising are political positions not security matters. Regardless of who added a condition of my having a chair to “moderate” me, I find that to be unacceptable. It astounding that an Islamist who defends death for apostates can speak at your college without any such issues being raised, whilst I who am one of their targets, must be “moderated” and have limitations placed on my audience. My conditions are very clear. I have mentioned them here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2015/03/20/tcd/. I will not be coming if there are any restrictions.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Thank you.
All the best

From: Society for International Affairs
Sent: 20 March 2015 22:41
To: maryamnamazie@googlemail.com
Subject: Speaking Engagement at Trinity College Dublin (Monday, 23rd March)

Dear Maryam,

As Chair of the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA) I am delighted to welcome to Trinity College Dublin, on Monday. I apologise for not getting in touch earlier this evening but I was away from my laptop and our first point of contact deserves more than a hasty/shoddy email sent off my phone. [The organiser contact] has done a good job so far in putting things in motion.

Just so we are on the same page, could you inform me of your expectations of your visit to Trinity, and I’ll outline the same. You may have heard earlier today Trinity Security were concerned about the safety of the university students. Due to miscommunication, I was not aware until midday today that [the organiser contact] had not passed on basic SOFIA practice of being reserved for our members to you. As such, I was more than alarmed when Trinity Security contacted me and I was put in an awkward situation where it looked as though I was in breach of Trinity’s commitment to student safety by advertising our event externally. I was not informed that you would be advertising it on your website either.

Not wanting the event to be jeopardised, I suggested that you could be joined by another, an academic Dr Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity who is eager to meet you. I have asked him if he would do me the honour of chairing/introducing you. Dr Pierce’s status as member of staff also will be advantageous for SOFIA if a group of individuals log a complaint against our event on Monday as he will be in the position to speak on our behalf when the complaint is reviewed by the College Deans. I can personally vouch for Dr. Pierce’s character as a friendly party. (https://www.tcd.ie/ise/staff/a-pierce.php)

SOFIA is a young society but we pride ourselves on previously hosting speakers with varied views, but that’s what adds to the richness of our members learning.

Before I forget, are there any special requests? Sometimes our guests wish us to respect Chatham House rules and other times there have been strict measures imposed such as extensive background security checks for SOFIA members who wish to attend and metal detector scanning of attendees and their belongings.

SOFIA’s aim is to be a platform for discussion, but in a safe environment where individuals are free to express themselves without fear of being threatened after the discussion. We implement certain measures to ensure that all our guests, are afforded a courteous audience.

Looking forward to meeting you on Monday.

Best wishes,
Aoife Noelle Ngo
Chair

Society for International Affairs

I will not accept Trinity College Dublin conditions on my talk

I am to speak at Trinity College Dublin on Monday 23 March 2015 on “Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism”.

I’ve just been informed, however, that college security (why security?) has claimed that the event would show the college is “one-sided” and would be “antagonising” to “Muslim students”; they threatened to cancel my talk. After further consultation with college management, they have decided to “allow” the event to go ahead with the following conditions:

* All attendants of the event must be 1) Trinity students and 2) members of the society hosting the talk.

* For “balance”, they require that a moderator host the event; Prof. Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics has kindly agreed to do so.

I, however, will not be submitting to any conditions, particularly since such conditions are not usually placed on other speakers.

I intend to speak on Monday as initially planned without any restrictions and conditions and ask that TCD give me immediate assurances that I will be able to do so.

It is crucial that I be able to speak against Islamist fascism and honour our dissenters deemed apostates, blasphemers, heretics… whether ex-Muslims, Muslims or non-Muslims.

I particularly insist on being able to do so in light of the fact that only last month – 25 February – Kamal El Mekki who advocates the death penalty for apostasy was given space to speak at an event hosted by the “Muslim” Student Association. No conditions were placed on his talk and security did not threaten to cancel the event nor inform the Association that the speakers’ position on death for  apostates would “antagonise” ex-Muslim and Muslim students who do not support apostasy laws.

Interestingly, when the college’s Central Societies Committee was informed of El Mekki’s view on apostasy, they could not “see why there can even be a discussion about cancelling the event” and that his video was simply “explanatory and not advocatory”!

The video they were alerted to shows El Mekki advising his audience on how best to explain the death penalty for apostates. He tells them to start with the simplest example so that the need for the death penalty can be easily understood. In the video, he says:

The question is ‘Why is the apostate killed in Islam?’…if someone leaves their allegiance to their country they should be killed, so if they leave their allegiance to Allah nothing happens?

…in Islam, of course, you know, it’s a very different system. It’s not like somewhere you heard someone leaves Islam and you just go get him and stuff like that. First of all it’s done by the authorities, there are procedures and steps involved. First of all they talk to him, yeah, about, yanni, the scholars refute any doubt that he has on the issue, they spend days with him refuting and arguing with him, trying to convince him. Then they might even, yaani, threaten him with the sword and tell him ‘You need to repent from this because if you don’t you repent you will be killed.’ And if he insists on being killed that means really, really believing in that. And then, after the procedures take their toll, and then at the end, by the authority of the ruling body, it’s done.

This is beyond outrageous given the social and political reality where apostasy from Islam is punishable by death in 11 countries and especially at a time when it has come to light that British Islamists are executing apostates for ISIS after having been “radicalised” in British universities. Also it does a disservice to the many Muslims who oppose Islamism and apostasy laws by conflating “Muslim” students with Islamism or the religious-Right.

Trinity College Dublin, I am awaiting your response.

***

For those who want more information on this “beautiful young man”, see here – oh sorry that was Jihadi John who was beautiful according to Cage.

One does get confused when they all (the Islamists) say the same thing…

Free Jafar Azimzadeh now

The following is the translation of the statement by the Free Union of Workers of Iran (Ettehadieh Azad e Kargaran e Iran) following the sentencing of Jafar Azimzadeh, the President of the Free Union, for his trade union activities. Our campaign condemns this blatant attack by the government in Iran on the Free Union and worker activists, and demands the immediate revoking of these sentences, and the release from prison of all worker activists currently in prison for defending workers’ rights. We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world to condemn this latest attack on the Free Union and Jafar Azimzadeh and to demand an immediate end to the persecution of workers and labour activists in Iran.

Free Them Now! – Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Six years in prison and a two-year ban on trade union activity for Jafar Azimzadeh

Statement by the Free Union of Workers of Iran

Jafar Azimzadeh, the President of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, and one of the coordinators of the 40,000-signature minim-pay rise campaign, has been sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolution Court to a total of six years in prison: five years on the charge of gathering and collusion with intent to act against national security and to disturb the public peace, according to Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code, and one year in prison on the charge of propaganda against the Islamic Republic, according to Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code. He has also been banned for two years from membership of political parties and groups and of activity on the cyberspace and the media on the charge of illegal activities, according to Article 23 of the Islamic Penal Code.

The five-page ruling by Branch 15 of the Revolution Court is based on the following instances: the building of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, the National Union of Unemployed Workers and the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labour Organisations; taking part in the International Workers’ Day rally in Laleh Park in 2009, leading workers in the 2005 protests, organising, planning and managing workers’ gatherings under the current government and threatening to call rallies and strikes in March 2013, collecting 40,000 workers’ signatures for a petition and leading the rallies outside the National Assembly and the Labour Ministry, threatening the Labour Ministry in a letter to the Labour Minister to hold a rally on this year’s International Workers’ Day outside the Labour Ministry in protest at the announced [level of the] minimum wage, lodging a complaint, on behalf of 1,000 workers, against Saeed Mortazavi and others who have plundered the Social Welfare Fund to the tune of 3,000 billion Toman, protest at even worse anti-labour amendments in the Labour Law, meeting with other independent workers’ organisations, such as the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Workers Union, the Co-ordinating Committee to Form Free Labour Organisations, the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labour Organisations and giving interviews to the website of the Free Union of Workers of Iran and a number of international news media.

In the court ruling the attempt has been made to link Jafar Azimzadeh to a left organisation in the beginning of the 1979 revolution, when he was 12 to 13 years old, stating that “he was born with Marxist views”, so as to portray all of his legal and legitimate activities as a political action against the system, and thus as a basis for his prosecution.

This attempt by the intelligence and judicial officers of Branch 15 of the Revolution Court has been made at a time when there is not even a shred of evidence in his file or in the court ruling that Jafar Azimzadeh has acted against national security in the guise of trade union activity. According to the documents in his file, the interrogations and the instances cited in the court ruling, all that has led to the detention and trial of Jafar Azimzadeh and the six-year sentence against him is nothing but defending the right to life of workers in Iran and the right of millions of working-class families to a human existence.

The handing of such a sentence against Jafar Azimzadeh and the continuation of the policy of detaining members of independent workers’ organisations, such as Koorosh Bakhshandeh and other members of the committee, the mass trial of 28 workers of Chador Malou mine, the detention of Milad Darvish in the teachers’ legitimate protest in front of the National Assembly, the flogging sentences against Raazi Petrochemical workers, the collaboration of the Labour Ministry with the employers of Zagros Steel to lay off the workers of the company, the detention of the workers of Esfahan Polyacryl Company, the detention and threatening of the workers of Loushan Cement, the disgusting puppetry by the hired workers’ representatives in the Supreme Council of Labour, and the conniving by the [government’s] Labour House to impose a disgraceful pay on the working class in Iran, the detention of Jamil Mohammadi and the handing of a three and a half year sentence against him, the detention of Shapour Ehsanirad, Parvin Mohammadi and Tehran bus workers on May Day, the re-sentencing of jailed worker Behnam Ebrahimzadeh to a further nine and a half years in prison, harassment of labour activist Mohammad Jarahi in the central prison of Tabriz, the appointment of one of the highest ranking intelligence officers to the post of Labour Minister, and the full deployment of intelligence and security personnel in this ministry, etc., these actions mean nothing other than forcing the workers to yield to absolute slavery and declaration of an open war on the life and livelihood of the working class in Iran by the so-called ‘prudence and hope’ government of the marauding capitalists.

Undoubtedly, just as the repressions so far by the rulers against workers’ leaders, representatives and activists have failed to impede the struggle of the workers in Iran for a human life, as witnessed in the ongoing protests and strikes by thousands of workers and teachers around the country, so the sentences against Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi will not dent the resolve and determination of workers and members of the Free Union of Workers in their defence of the right to life and livelihood of workers.

The Free Union of Workers of Iran, while condemning the six-year prison sentence and the two-year ban on activity against Jafar Azimzadeh, declares that it will not remain silent on such vicious sentences against Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi, and will protest against these sentences both inside Iran and by taking this case to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Our Union will not let these two staunch labour activists, who are among the distinguished leaders of the Free Union of Workers and the workers’ movement in Iran, to be sacrificed to the repressive interests of a pillaging minority, who by imposing extreme poverty on millions of working-class families see no other tasks for themselves in running the country than ripping off workers of their meagre earnings.

Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi have not committed any other crime than round-the-clock struggle to improve the condition of workers, and curb the raids on workers’ bare tables by the plunderers, through such campaigns as the 40,000-signature petition and legal protests for a rise in the minimum wage and by launching complaints against those who have ripped workers off. The conviction of these two activists and the passing of the six-year sentence against Jafar Azimzadeh in the space of only 13 days is happening at a time when no action has been taken after one year in response to the complaint by Jafar Azimzadeh, Jamil Mohammadi and their colleagues, on behalf of 1,000 workers, against Saeed Mortazavi and others who have ransacked workers’ savings in the Social Welfare Fund, leaving them to continue to live in their billion-Toman homes on the spoils they have pocketed.

There is no doubt that taking such brutal measures against workers who have complained against those who have robbed them of their earnings, and who are demanding an end to the economic oppression against millions of working-class families, will not only not force us workers to surrender to the existing oppressive situation, but will add to the hatred and disgust of the workers and people of Iran towards the current situation.

The Free Union of Workers of Iran
15 March 2015

Translated from the Farsi original by Free Them Now! – Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Happy Nowrooz

Watch this week’s Bread and Roses TV programme with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya:

Happy Nowrooz!

Celebrating Nowruz and remembering the highlights of the past year with Chris Moos, Gita Sahgal, Imad Iddine Habib, Mersedeh Ghaedi, Pragna Patel and Sirvan Ghaderi
17 March 2015
Shocking News: Quran teacher in Turkey telling children who don’t wear hejab, they deserve to be raped
Insane Fatwa: Khamenei and his criticism of existing policy on contraception, describing it as an imitation of western lifestyle turning Iranian women into baby-making machines
Good News: Sweden tore up arms deal with Saudi Arabia due to human rights situation and Raif Badawi’s case
Background Briefing: The Persian New Year called Norooz marks the first day of spring. It is partly rooted in the Zoroastrian tradition, but is an ancient holiday that was celebrated thousands of years ago. When the Islamic regime of Iran first took power, it tried to ban the pagan celebration but couldn’t stop the celebrations. The advent of another year is a good time to reflect on the past and renew hopes for a future that will see positive changes in Iran beginning with an end to the Islamic regime and its brutality.

نوروزتان مبارک
۱۸ مارس ۲۰۱۵
ياد بهترينهاى سال با کريس موس؛ گيتا ساهگل؛ عماد الدين حبيب٬ مرسده قائدى؛ پراگنا پاتل و سيروان قادرى
اخبار تکان دهنده از معلم قران در ترکيه است که به شاگردهاى ۱۳ ساله گفته بود حقشان است تجاوز بشوند چون حجاب نمى پوشند
فتواى احمقانه از خامنه اى در مورد وسايل بيشگيرى
اخبار خوب از سوئد و لغو قراردادهاى اسلحه به خاطر وضعيت حقوق بشر
در مورد تم برنامه
جشن باستانى نوروز٬ پيام آور بهار و سال نو ميباشد؛ ساليان درازى است که مردم اين روز را فرخنده ميدارند؛ مرتجعىن اسلامى از همان روز نخست به قدرت در ايران تلاش ناموفقى را براى منع کردن اين جشن غير اسلامى آغاز کردند. اما تا کنون با شکست روبرو شده اند
آغاز سال نوىن زمان مناسبى براى تامل در مورد سال گذشته و نوين کردن اميد و آرزو براى آينده ميباشد
پايان حکومت اسلامي اولين قدم مثبت را براى آينده اى ايران به ارمغان مياورد

Bread and Roses: Women’s Liberation greatest threat to Islamism

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya on Women’s liberation movement as the greatest threat to Islamism
International Women’s Day Special
10 March 2015
Shocking news of the week: “human rights organisation” CAGE justifies the beheadings carried out by British jihadi Mohammad Emwazi.
Insane Fatwa of the week: From ISIS and its directives that women mustn’t slap their thighs!
Good news of the week: Maryam Namazie’s topless action in support of women’s rights and against Islam and Islamism.
Discussion of the week: We show a film made by Femmes Filment on the historic protest against compulsory veiling in 1979 in Iran and discuss it. 8 March International Women’s Day must commemorate the 1979 protests of Iranian women against Khomeini’s compulsory veiling order which captured the imagination of people across the world. The protests were suppressed by brute force and the control of women and their bodies a basis of the regime in Iran. Nonetheless, the women’s liberation movement against the veil and Islamic rule is the greatest threat faced by the regime today.

جنبش رهائى زن بزرگترين تهديد به اسلام سياسى
برمانه ۸ مارس
۱۱ مارس ۲۰۱۵
در اين برنامه فيلمى از تظاهرات سال ۵۷ عليه حجاب اجبارى را نشان مى دهيم و حولش بحث مى کنيم
۸ مارس روز جهاني زن را نمي توان بدون سخن گفتن و يادآوري اعتراضات زنان در سال
عليه فرمان خميني جهت حجاب اجباري گرامي داشت
اين اعتراض توجه جنبش جهاني زمان را به خود جلب كرد
اين اعتراضات با خشونت بي پايان سركوب شد و كنترل زنان و بدن آنها به ستون حكومت اسلامي تبديل شد
البته بعد از ٣٦ سال حكومت اسلامي جنبش زنان عليه حجاب و قوانين اسلامي بزرگترين تهديد است رژيم با ان روبرو ميباشد
اخبار شکه آور اين هفته در مورد سازمان اسلامى در انگليس و توجيهاتش در دفاع از جهادى انگليسى
فتواى احمقانه از داعش
خبر خوب در مورد اعتراض برهنه مريم نمازى براى روز جهانى زن

Call for political action to Free Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu Al-Khair

cropped-raifbadawiThis call will be sent to the UK Prime Minister and the leaders of other political parties as an Open Letter at 5pm on Tuesday, 10th March. Please continue to add your name after that time. Further action will be necessary. Sign on to the letter here.

Dear Sir/ Madam

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is currently imprisoned in a Saudi Arabian jail having received the first 50 of a threatened 1,000 lashes. If Raif survives these floggings he faces another 10 years in jail. His ‘crime’ was to have set up a website that called for peaceful change of the Saudi regime away from the repressive and religiously exclusive regime that it is.

In another shameful act his lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair, and other human rights activists were also later arrested. On February 20th this year Waleed had his sentence confirmed as 15 years in prison.

The European Parliament in its resolution of Feb 12th made clear its demands on Saudi Arabia to release Raif, as well as his lawyer Waleed and others imprisoned there for exercising their freedom of speech.

But to free Raif from this nightmare needs more than politicians saying that they disapprove of his punishment.

The total EU trade with the Saudi regime is currently close to €64 billion a year. The UK alone has approaching £12 billion invested in Saudi Arabia whilst it continues to invite Saudi investment in the UK, particularly in the property market. Saudi investment in the UK is currently over £62.5 billion. [Read more…]

Upcoming Events

Here are a few upcoming events that are either organised by the Council of Ex-Muslims and One Law for All or are by others in which I am speaking. More details can be found here.

16 March 2015, central London by Kings Cross station, 19:00-21:00 hours
International Women’s Day CEMB and One Law for All evening drinks with Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters.
£3 entry (waged); £1 entry (unwaged). E-mail exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com to register.

19 March 2015
NE Humanists Event, Newcastle
Maryam Namazie will be speaking in Newcastle.

23 March 2015, Trinity College Dublin
Maryam will be speaking on Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism.

27-31 March 2015
Marea Feminist Review Anniversary, Italy
Maryam Namazie will be speaking at the anniversary celebrations of a feminist review in Genoa, Torino and Imola, Italy with Inna Shevchenko, Nadia El Fani, Marieme Helie Lucas and others. [Read more…]

And still I rise

FARSI AND FRENCH BELOW

Maryam1b copy

Maryam2

maryam3

Commemorating 8 March, International Women’s Day
Maryam Namazie

Islam, like all religions, despises women.

Islamism and its Sharia laws are obsessed with controlling and restricting women.

Under their rule, the “perfect” woman knows “her place”: veiled, segregated, erased from the public space. She is the “disappeared”. Bound and gagged. Not seen or heard.

For the Islamists, being a free woman is the greatest crime.

So yes I am a free woman. I am a Kafir. Je Suis Charlie, Neda, Avijit, Salwa, Sadiq, Sameera, Rafiq, Monir, Katia*… the innumerable slaughtered over many decades in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

But still I rise.

I am, we are, Islamism’s greatest threat – a women’s liberation movement that will bring them – from ISIS to the Saudi and Iranian regimes – to their knees.

*****
* In January 2015, Islamists attacked Left satirical publication Charlie Hebdo for their caricatures of Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, killing 17 in Paris, including at a Kosher supermarket.
* In June 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, was shot dead by the Islamic regime of Iran at a mass demonstration in Tehran and became an icon of the protest movement.
* In February 2015, atheist Avijit Roy, 42, was hacked to death in Bangladesh because of writings critical of Islam.
* In June 2014, Libyan rights activist Salwa Bugaighis, 51, was shot dead in Benghazi for opposing the Islamists.
* In September 1992, Sadiq Abdul-Karim Malallah was publicly beheaded in al-Qatif for apostasy and blasphemy.
* In September 2014, women’s rights activist Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, 54, was seized from her home by ISIS after her messages on Facebook criticising the destruction of religious sites in Mosul and publicly executed for apostasy.
* In November 2011, Azerbaijani writer and journalist Rafiq Tagi, 61, was assassinated by Islamists in Baku. He had a death fatwa against him for his writings deemed critical of Islam and Mohammad, Islam’s prophet.
* In August 1983, Monir Hashemi, 29, a communist political activist, was executed in Iran along with her husband, Javad Ghaedi and her brother-in-law Sadegh Ghaedi.
* In February 1994, Islamists ambushed and killed Katia Bengana, 17, as she left school in Algeria. She had been warned to wear the hijab and had refused.

Photos and bodypainting by Victoria Gugenheim.

در گراميداشت ۸ مارس٬ روز جهانى زن
مريم نمازى

اسلام٬ مانند تمام مذاهب٬ از زن متنفر است.

كنترل زن مركز ثقل اسلام سياسى و قوانين شريعه است.

تحت حاکميت اسلاميون٬ زن ايده آل زنى است محجبه٬ مطيع٬ فرمانبردار. محو از ملا عام. “ناپديد” شده. اسير و خاموش.

براى اسلاميون٬ زن آزاد بودن٬ بزرگترين جرم است.

بنابراين، آرى من زن آزادم. کافرم. من چارلى٬ ندا٬ آويجيت٬ سلوى٬ صادق٬ سميرا٬ رافق٬ منير٬ کاتيا*… هستم – قتل عام شدگان بيشمار طى دهه ها در خاورميانه٬ آفريقاى شمالى و آسيا.

اما هنوز بر خيزم.

من و ما٬ بزرگترين تهديد عليه اسلاميون ميباشيم . جنبش رهائى بخش زنان آنان را – از داعش تا جمهورى اسلامى ايران تا رژيم عربستان سعودى – به زانو خواهد آورد.

***

* در ژانویه سال ۲۰۱۵، اسلاميون به نشريه چپ شارلی ابدو جمله کردند و ۱۷ نفر را در پاريس ترور کردند.
* در ماه ژوئن سال ۲۰۰۹، ندا آقا سلطان توسط عوامل رژیم اسلامی ایران در یک تظاهرات توده ای در تهران به ضرب گلوله کشته شد و به یک مظهر جنبش اعتراضی تبدیل شد.
* در فوريه ۲۰۱۵ اسلاميون آويجيت راى را به خاطر نوشته هاى انتقادي اش ازاسلام در بنگلادش به قتل رساندند.
* در ژوين ۲۰۱۴ فعال حقوق بشر سلوى بوقعيقيص را اسلاميون در ليبى ترور کردند.
* صادق عبد کریم مال‌الله در سال ۱۹۹۲ در عربستان سعودى بخاطر ارتداد و توهین به مقدسات اعدام شد.
اعدام شد. * در سپتامبر ۲۰۱۴ سمیرا صالح النعیمی فعال حقوق بشر بعد از انتقاد به داعش براى تخریب اماکن مذهبی در موصل در فیس بوک بشر
* در نوامبر ۲۰۱۱، نویسنده آذربایجانى رافق تقی توسط اسلاميون در باکو ترور شد.
* در سال ۱۹۸۳، منیر هاشمی، یک فعال سیاسی کمونیست، در ایران به همراه همسرش، جواد قائدی و برادر همسرش صادق قائدی اعدام شد.
* در سال ۱۹۹۴ کاتىا بنگانا شاگرد ۱۷ ساله به خاطر رد کردن حجاب در الجزاير ترور شد.

عکسها و نقاشى بدن: ويکتوريا گوگنهايم.

French, thanks to FEMEN France

“L’islam, comme toutes les religions, méprise les femmes.

L’islamisme et ses lois de la charia sont obsédés par le contrôle et la restriction des femmes.

Sous leur domination, la femme “parfaite” connait “sa place”: voilée, victime de ségrégation, effacée de l’espace public. Elle est absente : ligotée et bâillonnée . Ni vue ni entendue.

Selon les islamistes, être une femme libre est le plus grand des crimes.

Alors oui, je suis une femme libre. Je suis un kafir. Je Suis Charlie, Neda, Avijit, Salwa, Sadiq, Sameera, Rafiq, Monir, Katia * … les innombrables abattus sur plusieurs décennies au Moyen-Orient, Afrique du Nord et en Asie.

Mais encore une fois, je me lève.

Je suis, nous sommes, la plus grande menace pour l’islamisme – le mouvement de libération des femmes qui le fera tomber”.

This is how you blast Islamists at your university

If you want to know how one should deal with the Islamists entering British Universities under every cover other than promotion of the Caliphate, watch Reza Moradi. This is the way to do it!

Here’s what Reza says: The University and College Union (@UCU) invited Mohammed Kozbar (Muslim Association of Britain Vice President) to speak at @Londonmentuni in a panel on immigration! Diane Abbott (Labour MP) and Sally Hunt (UCU General Secretary) sat very comfortably with the MAB representative,despite the MAB’s links with the Muslim Brotherhood, its defence of death by stoning for adultery and support for the death penalty for apostates such as me. MAB is what is known as a “soft” Islamist organisation, normalising and justifying terrorism, the Caliphate and Sharia rules.

I am outraged that my union would share a panel with, and promote, an Islamist organisation in this way. This is not standing with immigrants and refugees – many of whom have fled the brutality of Islamists in our own countries, including myself and of course many Muslims.

The Unions’s job is to address the many issues we face in our workplace and to help people work for a more just and humane society. They have no reason or excuse for allying with the religious-Right anywhere in this remit. This relationship is very shameful for my union and for all those who welcome groups like the MAB as friends onto panels like these. Islamism is our fascism and the union should stand against all forms of fascism without any exceptions.

Given this collusion and legitimisation of Islamism within this dominant strand of the postmodernist Left, it is unsurprising to see the Islamist influence at our universities. These so called left wing groups need to understand that the Muslim Association of Britain is not the representatives of Muslims or refugees and immigrants any more than the EDL or BNP are representatives of the British students in the university. It represents a political far-Right movement that should be opposed by academics and students alike. The University should not become a welcoming space for fascists of any stripes.

Here’s an article on Reza blasting the pro-stoning speaker.

And if you don’t know about the disgusting Muslim Association of Britain, read One Law for All’s report on them here.

UNHCR India: Marzieh and Javed need to reach safety

If you would like to support Marzieh and Javed, please sign in the comments section of this post and your name will be added to the list before being forward to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India. Thank you.

URGENT ACTION

Marzieh Hosseinpoor (case number 513-05C00255) and Javed Riazi Ahmad Saraei (case number 513-00074683) have been granted refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India. Marzieh registered in 2005, making it nearly ten years since applying for protection.

Marzieh is an apostate from Islam having converted to Christianity. Apostasy is punishable by death in Iran.

Moreover, during her stay in India, she has been raped and assaulted and faced threats by what she believes were agents of the Islamic regime of Iran. As a result, she has been depressed and suicidal.

Her husband whom she met in India is living in pain with arthritis which he requires physiotherapy for.

After ten years of a life in limbo, we, the undersigned, call on the UNHCR to expedite their resettlement to a safe third country. Clearly, given Marzieh’s horrendous experiences, it is crucial that she be able to live in a safer and more stable environment.

Signatories:
Aliyah Saleem, Activist for a Secular Education
Chris Moos, Secularist Activist and Researcher
Dilip Simeon, Labour Historian
Fariborz Pooya, Head of Federation of Iranian Refugees UK and Host of Bread and Roses TV
Gita Sahgal, Executive Director of Centre for Secular Space
Hoshiar Soroush, Activist
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian
Lila Ghobady, Filmmaker
Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Mehran Mahbobi , Children Rights Activist
Nadia El Fani, Filmmaker
Nina Sankari, Vice President of Atheist Coalition Poland
Pascal Descamps, Activist
Paul V. Dudman, Archivist for Refugee Research Council Archive, University of East London, UK
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Rumana Hashem, Post-doctoral Associate at Centre for Research on Migration, Refugee and Belonging, University of East London
Safwan Mason, Council of Ex-Muslims of New Zealand
Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter
Sultana Kamal, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist

Bread and Roses TV: Syriza, Avijit, men in miniskirts and fatwa proving earth doesn’t spin

Watch this week’s Bread and Roses TV with Fariborz Pooya and Maryam Namazie

Syriza’s victory in Greece
3 March 2015
Interview with James Bloodworth, editor of Left Foot Forward
Background: Syriza’s victory in Greece is a triumph against austerity measures that has brought with it great hardship, including 26 per cent unemployment. The bailout of Greek banks by the Troika (the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) in 2010 meant that the Greek government was granted €240bn on the condition it implemented a brutal austerity programme.
Shocking New of the week: the hacking to death of Avijit Roy in Bangladesh
Insane Fatwa of the week: Saudi cleric “proves” earth does not spin
Good News of the week: Men wear miniskirts to defend women’s rights
Director: Reza Moradi
Translation: Khosro Gharib

موفقيت سيريزا در يونان
برنامه نان و گل سرخ
۴ مارس ۲۰۱۵
مصاحبه با جيمز بلادورت؛ سردبير نشريه چپ
پيروزي حزب سريزا در يونان در مخالفت با سياست رياضت اقتصادي، سياستي كه نتيجه ان بوجود آوردن فلاكت وسيع اجتماعي از جمله بيكاري بيش از ٢٦٪ بود. كمك هاي مالي بانك جهاني ، اتحاديه اروپا و صندوق مركزي اروپا به بانكهاي يونان تنها به شرط اجراي سياست خشن رياضت اقتصادي و تحميل ان به جامعه يونان مورد موافقت قرار گرفته بود.
اخبار تکاندهنده: کشتن آويجيت راى در بنگلادش
فتواى اخمقانه: از عربستان سعودى و “ثابت” شدن اينکه زمين نمى چرخد!
اخبار خوب: تطاهراتها در دفاع از حقوق زن از سوى مردان با دامن کوتاه در ترکيه
کارگردان: رضا مرادى
مترجم: خسرو قريب

Greece at a historical crossroads

I am posting this article on Greece by Hamid Taqvaee, which has now been translated into English.

The election of an anti-austerity government in Greece is a political milestone for the working class; a moment in the process of a struggle, which, though rooted in the urban revolts of 2008, specifically began with the May 2010 protests against welfare cuts. This struggle not only hasn’t ended yet, but with the election of Syriza, has entered a new and critical stage. Austerity – the issue at the heart of this struggle – is directly related to the conflict between labour and capital, not only in Greece, but throughout the world. This conflict will ultimately become polarised around the question of the very survival of capitalism as an economic system. However, at the beginning, and as long as the question of political power, from a class point of view, has not been resolved, this conflict will retain a political character. The question is: the perspective and politics of which class will ultimately prevail and be established as the general expectation and perception of the mode and structure of political power and the state?

The governmental crisis of the bourgeoisie

The bourgeoisie lacks a viable model of governance. The deadend of the traditional governments and parties in Greece, notwithstanding the active support of the EU and all the major international institutions, resulting in their defeat from a party they call ‘extreme left’ and ‘destabilising’, is the clearest proof of the bourgeoisie’s lack of a governmental alternative. However, the governmental crisis of the bourgeoisie is not limited to Greece. The bourgeoisie’s strategic institutions, think tanks and advisers, such as the World Bank, the IMF, the Economist, etc., ever since the collapse of Wall Street in the winter of 2008, have been talking about the impossibility of continuing the status quo, about a ‘crisis of democracy’, people’s desertion of the mainstream parties and a general mistrust towards the established system of government, specifically in the United States and Europe. They accurately show that not only is there no prospect for improving the present conditions, but the situation is increasingly getting worse.

In a briefing to the World Economic Forum at Davos last year, Oxfam reported that the minority economic elite, in collaboration with the political elite, had driven the world to a state where “the bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world”. Also, a survey by Oxfam conducted in Brazil, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA, showed that “a majority of people believe that laws are skewed in favor of the rich”, and that opposition to monopolisation of power in the hands of a privileged wealthy minority is growing. [Read more…]

Support ‘immoral’ and ‘corrupt’ Bread and Roses

Support Bread & Roses TV or NanoGoleSorkh, a taboo-breaking, free-thinking weekly programme broadcast in Iran via New Channel TV and available on Youtube, which the Islamic regime of Iran has labelled “corrupt” & “immoral”. You know you want to. Here is how you can do so.

از برنامه نان و گل سرخ که جمهورى اسلامى فاسد دانسته حمايت کنيد و اسپانسور هفتگى برنامه بشويد از طريق سايت پاتريون
مى دونيد که دلتان مى خواهد

Like Mukto-muna, we are united in our grief and remain undefeated

SIGN BELOW STATEMENT HERE.

We are outraged by the senseless and brutal hacking to death of well known scientist, atheist and writer Avijit Roy and the serious attack on his wife and blogger, Rafida Ahmed Bonya, by Islamists in Bangladesh.

Avijit had received numerous threats over the years for publishing articles critical of Islam, and promoting secular views, science and social issues on the Bengali-language blog, Mukto-mona (Free Mind), which he founded. He had travelled to Bangladesh from the US to attend a book fair where his book “The Virus of Faith” was being launched. It was whilst he was returning from the fair, that he was brutally killed.

This is not the first time atheists and secularists have been attacked in Bangladesh. In addition to the well known threats received by writer Taslima Nasrin, 29 year old blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed and Ahmed Rajib killed in 2013. In 2004, Humayun Azad, a secular writer and professor at Dhaka University, was also attacked and later died.

Whilst Islamists have continued to threaten prominent bloggers and called for the “execution of 84 atheist bloggers for insulting religion”, the Bangladeshi government has done little to defend the lives and security of freethinkers. In 2013, the government even arrested bloggers and shut websites down instead of arresting the Islamists involved.

We stand united in our grief for Avijit Roy with Mukto-muna but remain undefeated. We unequivocally condemn the attack on Avijit and his wife and also the many threats against atheist, secularist and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to prosecute the Islamists involved, guarantee the safety of dissenters and respect free expression. Freedom of expression, including to criticise Islam and Islamism as well as to blaspheme, is a basic right.

We are all Avijit.

Initial Signatories [Read more…]

Who is responsible for Paris and Copenhagen

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya is on who is responsible for the terrorist attacks on Paris and Copenhagen. FARSI BELOW.

Following Paris and Copenhagen, the reasons behind the terrorist attacks have debated. Those on the far-Right and bigoted Right will say it is because of Muslim immigration whilst the anti-imperialist Left will blame US militarism and racism in Europe as the cause for terrorism. In fact, Islamism, the far-Right fascist movement is directly responsible for the attacks.
We show Maryam Namazie’s tribute to Charlie and others at the 2015 Secular Conference
Shocking News of the Week: Saman Nasim
Insane Fatwa: Khamenei
Good News: Mahin Alipour gets awarded as “hero of the day” by Swedish magazine

کى مقصر است براى حملات تروريستى در پاريس و کپنهاگ
۲۵ فوريه ۲۰۱۵
سخنرانى مريم نمازى در کنفرانس ۷ فوريه لندن در مورد حق و نياز انتقاد از اسلام: براى چارلى هبدو و چارى ها
در مورد برنامه: بدنبال حملات تروريستي در پاريس و كپنهاگ ، بررسي علل اين حملات به موضوع بحث و گفتگوي داغ تبديل شده است. راست افراطي و متعصب ، علت اين حملات را مهاجرت مسلمانان به اروپا ميداند. از جانب ديگر، چپ پست مدرنيست و ضد امپرياليستي، ميليتاريسم امريكا و راسيسم در اروپا را باعث و باني تروريسم اسلامي مي دانند. در واقع اسلام سياسي بعنوان يك جنبش فاشيستي و دست راستي مقصر است.
اخبار تکاندهنده: سامان نسيم
فتواى احمقانه: از خامنه اى
خبر خوب: جايزه قهرمان روز مهين علىپور

Two Brothers, Ali and Habib Afshari were executed on the same day!

See statement of International Committee against Execution below:

On Friday, February 20th the Afshari family was informed that these two political prisoners, Ali Afshari and Habibollah Afshari were hanged on Thursday morning.

ICAE News Agency: Within the past two days, six political prisoners who were on death row were transferred to an unknown location and the news of execution of two of them was confirmed this morning.

The agents of the Ministry of Information instructed the Afshari family to conduct the memorial services quietly so that it does not attract any attention.

This is happening while there is no news of Saman Nasim’s conditions. In conversation with ICAE News Agency, the attorney and family of Saman Nasim announced that they still have no knowledge of his conditions. There is unconfirmed news that saman Nasim has been executed.

It should be mentioned that there is also no news of the conditions of three other prisoners, named Younes Aghayat, Sirvan Najavi and Ebrahim Shapoori who on Wednesday February 18th were transferred to an unknown location together with Saman Nasim, Ali Afshari and Habib Afshari.

Born in 1980, Ali Afshari and his brother Habibollah Afshari who was born in 1987 were from the village of Googajloo Habilbeh, outside the city of Mahabad. They were arrested in early 2011, by the Revolutionary Guards and the agents of the Ministry of Information in the cities of Bookan and Mahabad. [Read more…]

Stop executing “apostates” and “blasphemers” and release them now!

Press Release of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain reproduced below:

On 22 February 2015, a Saudi court sentenced a man in his twenties to death by beheading for apostasy.  The identity of the man has not been made public but, according to Al-Shabaka, he was arrested last year and is charged with becoming an atheist and insulting Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, on social media.

This heinous ruling comes against the backdrop of the recent attacks on freedom of expression in Paris and Copenhagen.  Whilst the Saudi government hypocritically condemned the Paris massacre as a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”, it condemned a man to death for similar “crimes” only a matter of weeks later. This ruling follows the recent case of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years’ imprisonment for a website promoting public discussion of religion and politics which has been deemed “insulting to Islam”.

Apostasy and blasphemy are punishable with death in Saudi Arabia and also in a number of other countries, including Iran and Mauritania.

In Iran, 30 year old blogger Soheil Arabi, has been sentenced to execution for “insulting the prophet” on Facebook.

In December 2014, a 28 year old Mauritanian journalist Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet”.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is outraged at these death sentences. “Apostates” and “blasphemers” have not committed any crime and should be immediately released. The real crime is imprisoning and executing people for their beliefs and expression.

Clearly, there is no place in the 21st century for such medieval laws. Apostasy and blasphemy laws must end. And they must end now.

To demand the release of the unnamed atheist facing execution, please contact the Saudi embassy in your country of residence or Tweet @SaudiEmbassyUK.

Sign the petition in support of Raif Badawi here.

Join Facebook page to defend Sohail Arabi here or tweet @khamenei_ir.

Sign a petition in support of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir here.

For more information, contact:
CEMB
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/