Support Iranian Labour activists. Reza Shahabi life is in danger

10346106_750929241631298_2506882444654765833_nReza Shahabi and Behanm Ebrahimzadeh need urgent support
The life of Reza Shahabi is in real danger

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. He has already served more than three years of a four-year sentence.

There are concerns that he is dying due to his hunger strike in Gohardasht Prison. On 1 June 2014 Shahabi was transferred from ward 350 to Gohardasht Prison rather than being transferred to hospital for surgery. Since his transfer to Gohardasht Prison, Reza Shahabi has been on a hunger strike for the past 35 days, he is in now critical health conditions and his life is in danger. No prison authorities or the Islamic regime officials have paid any attention to his legitimate demands yet. Shahrokh Zamani, another worker activist in Iran who himself is under constant threat and pressure in Gohardasht prison has expressed his serious concerns for the life of the jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi.

Shahabi suffers from multiple medical conditions, including a severe back problem. Unfinished treatments have led to deterioration in Shahabi’s condition; problems in his neck, back and arms and legs are threatening and might paralyse him. In a protest letter to the prison authorities, he writes: “I have problems in both my legs, which go numb and are getting weaker, so I can only get up with massage and with the help of my cell mates”. He then asks: “Is this anything but prisoners’ slow death through physical and mental exhaustion”? He says, if anything happens to him, the responsibility lies with the judiciary, the prisons’ organisation and the highest state authorities.

Another labour activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, has been in prison since June 2010 on a five-year sentence for union activities. During a recent assault on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison on 17th of June, he was among the prisoners who were severely beaten up and injured and moved to ward 240 of Evin prison. Due to massive protests, he was moved back to ward 350 on May Day. On May 3rd, he was moved to ward 209. (Ward 209 is the interrogation unit of Evin Prison in Tehran. Run by the Ministry of the intelligence, torture and maltreatment is routinely practised as part of the interrogations.) Authorities has forbidden him visitors since then.

We are concerned for his well-being too. Before the time he was moved to general ward 209, he had the chance to meet his family on June 27. However, following this meeting police forces raided his home and took their computers and some documents; the police threatened his wife and his 15 years old son in order to extract from them whatever they knew.

It should also be noted that Nima Ebrahimzadeh, Behnam’s only son, suffers leukaemia, a fact that has added to Behnam Ebrahimzadeh’s psychological distress.

Ebrahimzadeh is a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Labour Organisations and a campaigner for children’s rights. He has been subjected to severe torture 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 and workers rights in Iran.

All jailed trade unionists and political prisoners must be freed immediately and unconditionally! Harassment of workers and their families must stop immediately!

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Shahla Daneshfar [email protected]
Bahram Soroush [email protected]
4 July 2014

What isn’t wrong with Islamic and faith Schools?

نقش مخرب مذهب در آموزش و پرورش
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد٬ ۲ ژوئيه ۲۰۱۴
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
مصاحبه با آليا سليم٬ فعال قانون برابر براى همه
کارگردان: رضا مرادى
مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

What isn’t wrong with Islamic and faith Schools?
Bread and Roses, 1 July 2014
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya and Bahram Soroush
Interview with Aliyah Saleem who attended an Islamic school for 6 years in Britain and 1 year in Pakistan
One Law for All activist.
Director: Reza Moradi.
Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi.

Executions protect state not society

This week’s Programme on Bread and Roses TV in Persian and English.

عدام براى حفاطت از دولت است نه جامعه

برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد٬ ۲۵ ژوئن ۲۰۱۴
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
مصاحبه با سخنگوى کميته بين المللى عليه اعدام و سنگسار مينا احدى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى
مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

Execution Protects State not Society
Bread and Roses on New Channel TV, 25 June 2014
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya and Bahram Soroush.
Interview with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of International Committee against Execution and Stoning.
Director: Reza Moradi. Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi.













To see all the programmes, visit Bread and Roses TV channel on Youtube.

Repeal Moroccan Article 222: Stop penalising people for eating during Ramadan

Article 222 of the Moroccan Penal Code states that: “a person commonly known to be Muslim who violates the fast in a public place during Ramadan, without having one of the justifications allowed by Islam [such as travelling or sickness], shall be punished by one to six months in prison,” as well as a fine.

Non-Muslim minorities in Morocco – such as Jews and foreigners – are exempted from the prohibition of eating in public during Ramadan. However, its application to people “commonly known to be Muslim” denies anyone the state considers as a Muslim, the right to come out either as a non-Muslim, or as a Muslim who simply choose not to fast.

As the month of Ramadan begins, we young secular Moroccans, call the Moroccan authorities, once again, to immediately repeal Article 222 of the Penal Code. This is clearly an attack on freedom of conscience, which includes the right of everyone to change their religious views, according to their choice, and at any time. It is also incompatible with a true rule of law, since “commonly known to be Muslim” is unclear as a notion that leaves the door wide open to judicial discretion of judges which is unacceptable. This creates an a fortiori, allowing for the imposition of a heavy prison sentence.

We stand for freedom of conscience, inseparable from any democratic state based on respect for the choices of its citizens.

We are Moroccans of all religious views (including practising Muslims), united to defend individual liberties. To this end, a press conference will be held Monday, June 23, 2014 at 11 am in the premises of the AMDH (Moroccan Association for Human Rights) at Avenue Hassan II, 6 Rue Aguensous in Rabat.

The press conference is open to public.

For more information, contact:
Imad Iddine Habib
Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
[email protected]
Skype ID : ZokTooR
+212 (0) 626-172590
Twitter: @imadiddinehabib

In support of Shahin Najafi’s nude protest for political prisoners in Evin

پيام به شاهين نجفى و گروهش از مريم نمازى٬ فريبرز پويا و بهرام سروش٬ برنامه نان و گل سرخ در دفاع از اعتراض عريان
کارگردان: رضا مرداى
مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

Bread and Roses: Nothing is Sacred. On free expression

.برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد. روز پخش ۱۸ ژوئن ۲۰۱۴

اين هفته در مورد آزادى ابراز عقيده و تمسخر مذهب. هيچ چيز مقدس نيست
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى. مصاحبه با کمدين کيت سمورتويت. کارگردان: رضا مرادى مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

Bread and Roses, 17 June 2014, On Nothing is Sacred. With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya and Bahram Soroush.
Interview with Comedian Kate Smurthwaite. Director: Reza Moradi. Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi.

Ofsted must revise its guidance and put needs of children before religion and religious-Right

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is appalled at Ofsted’s recently updated guidance on faith schools. The guidance asserts that segregation of the sexes is not a sign of inequality and that veiling is a sign of Islamic “modesty” and “identity”; it also justifies restrictions on everything from art and music to sex and health education.

The guidance helps to further normalise the Islamist agenda at a time when the Birmingham Trojan horse plot has been exposed.

CEMB calls on Ofsted to revise its guidance and put the educational needs of children before religion and the religious-Right.

All children have a right to a full education, free from restrictions and discrimination, and regardless of the nature of the school they attend – be it privately or publicly funded. Children and young adults must be recognised as equal members of society and not as “community members” with culturally relative rights.

The increasing problem surrounding faith and other religious schools highlights the importance not of “British values” but of a secular education for all.

For more information, contact:
Laylah Hussain
Maryam Namazie
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]

Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

Only 6 days left to support Bread and Roses

285Dear friend

Thanks to 82 people, we have managed to raise £2,465 towards our second Bread and Roses fundraising campaign for much-needed equipment.

With only 6 days left and more than £12,500 more to raise, though, we were hoping you or someone you know might be willing and able to help us reach our target.

Bread and Roses is an important taboo-breaking, freethinking political-social TV magazine in Persian and English broadcast in Iran and the Middle East via New Channel satellite TV and globally via social media. Millions have already seen the programme. It has been extremely well-received and can play an important role in opposing Islamism and promoting universal rights, free-thought and secularism.

To continue long-term, though, we will need additional equipment. We cannot keep producing our programmes with the current computer and without a video mixer or proper lighting.

Please help us if you can.

16 June is the last day you can help.

For your information, we have produced the following programmes so far:

* Mothers of Khavaran and their movement for justice in Iran (with an interview with Iran Tribunal London Spokesperson Mersedeh Ghaedi), English, Farsi

* Stealthy Freedom and Unveiling of Women in Iran (with an interview with Journal Editor Keyvan Javid), English, Farsi

* Apostasy and right to belief highlighting case of Sudanese apostasy case Mariam Yahya Ibrahim (with an interview with Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain co-Spokersperson Nahla Mahmoud), English, Farsi

* Secularism as a Human Right (with an interview with Philosopher AC Grayling), English, Farsi

* Sharia Law is madness (with an interview with Southall Black Sisters Director Pragna Patel), English, Farsi

* Nude Protest as a form of resistance to Islamism (with an interview with Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and Tunisian activist Amina Sboui), English, Farsi

The programme is hosted by Maryam Namazie, an award-winning secularist and atheist blogger and campaigner; Fariborz Pooya, founder of the Iranian Secular Society and Bahram Soroush, a civil rights activist. Its director is Reza Moradi; programme consultant is Poone Ravi.

Please support our fundraising campaign if you can. You can donate here. Every penny will help.

Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook Page, Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow us on Twitter: @NanoGoleSorkh.

Thank you for any support.

Warmest wishes
Maryam Namazie
Bread and Roses
Nan  o Gole Sorkh
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @NanoGoleSorkh

PS Listen to my interview with Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist on the importance of Bread and Roses here.


Really iERA? Legal action?

Below is an email I just received from iERA – the organisation we recently exposed  as a hate group (not charity) in our report entitled Evangelising Hate.

They are now threatening the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and myself with legal action unless we remove one paragraph on my blog (though they are also “taking legal advice on the whole report”).

Really iERA? Just one teeny tiny little paragraph though we have over 40 pages of the organisation’s hate speech documented in our report?

In the letter, the hate group says they have never called for anyone’s death. Well, we beg to differ and we think the facts speak for themselves.

And to prove our point, after the report was published, a number of iERA supporters/activists have called me a “murtad” and “munafiq”, which are clear death threats for anyone who knows the Islamist movement. There have been death threats against me on their Facebook page (which have now been deleted). Plus one of their speakers we exposed in our report, Adnan Rashid, has been calling me Janazie (which means a corpse)…

iERA: If anyone should face legal action it is you lot.

And no we will not be removing anything.

Here’s their letter, which if looked at carefully just exposes them even more…

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you in relation to your “Evangelising Hate” report against iERA as well as further comments made by Maryam Namazie on the website entitled FreeThoughtBlogs ( where she wrote:

“The iERA has sent the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) two T-shirts. You know, the yellow ones which their dawah teams wear on the streets of Britain to hate-preach misogyny and death to apostates, gays, Jews, unveiled women, Muslims who don’t agree with them….”

We are taking legal advice on the report as a whole because we believe there are some blatant untruths and twisting of many matters. As for the paragraph above, this contains outright falsehood as iERA has never called for the death of anyone. In fact, iERA does not know of any mainstream organisation in the West who has called for the death to unveiled women or Muslims who don’t agree with them. We advise you to take down this paragraph as this puts Ms. Namazie and your organisation at considerable risk of legal action.

I look forward to your confirmation of taking down this quote.

Yours faithfully,

Abdurrahman bin Jaseem

Stealthy Freedom and unveiled women in Iran

Watch this week’s Bread and Roses TV on Stealthy Freedom and Unveiling of Women in Iran. In English. Interview with Journal Editor Keyvan Javid. UPDATE: Farsi programme below.

Clearly an Islamic regime with unveiled women walking around is impossible.

An advisor to Khamenei has said the regime has lost control of compulsory veiling.


Yes it has…



What happens to iERA T-Shirts in my hands

The iERA has sent the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) two T-shirts. You know, the yellow ones which their dawah teams wear on the streets of Britain to hate-preach misogyny and death to apostates, gays, Jews, unveiled women, Muslims who don’t agree with them….

They have sent the T-shirts to prove that anyone can wear them. This is in response to the CEMB’s recent report on the group called Evangelising Hate where we show Ifthekar Jaman in one of their T-shirts doing Dawah.

IIn case you don’t know, Jaman is from Portsmouth and was killed in Syria whilst fighting for a Jihadi group called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which has engaged in brutal terrorist violence. It seeks to set up an Islamic caliphate in territory that it controls, and its members have engaged in beheadings, amputations and public executions. Shias and Christians have been persecuted by them. ISIS executed a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy”.

Nine months before being killed in Syria, Jaman was participating in an iERA dawah event in Portsmouth city centre.

In a picture posted on his Twitter account on 14 April, Jaman is standing in a group of men, wearing a yellow iERA T-shirt with the slogan ‘Is Life Just a Game?’ He comments under the picture “Us Portsmouth Dawah group & brothers from Newham dawah joined today. Alhamdullilah for shahadahs! Allahu Akbar”.


In their pathetic response to our report, iERA tried to deceptively dissociate themselves from Jaman by saying that anyone could wear their T-shirts, including me.

But sending the T-Shirts to CEMB has once again proven them wrong and confirmed my position that only Islamists, terrorists, and their apologists would wear their T-Shirts. When I get my hands on them, something else happens. Here’s some before and after photos:

iERA T-Shirt before I get my hands on them

april-may2014 093








iERA T-Shirt after I get my hands on them:

april-may2014 102








I will leave the intentions of a group preaching the death of apostates (by beheading no less as it is “painless”) sending unmarked post to those it wishes dead to the readers of this post. Needless to say, as I have written earlier, the iERA’s charity status is the least of our worries.

Revoking its charitable status should be a first step in further investigation of this organisation and its links to terrorism.

A female earthquake by “stealth”

Editorial-Facebook-Stealthy-Freedoms-Sign says Maintaining Hijab and Islamic rules are compulsory

The poster reads: Maintaining hijab and Islamic norms is compulsory

My editorial in May issue of Fitnah’s “Unveiled”

(Full Issue available here)

Tehranˈs Interim Friday Prayers Leader Hojjatoeslam Kazem Sedighi recently said: “In certain towns and cities, some have been seen to have removed their headscarves. This lack of hijab has infiltrated homes via internet and satellite TV…”

Hadi Sharifi, a “media activist” interviewed by Tasnim, a state-run news agency in Iran controlled and operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp, has said when a man forces himself onto a woman because she is “showing off her beauty”, this should not be considered rape because it is natural and instinctual for a man to be drawn to the beauty of a woman and seek sex with her. Since men have not granted women permission to show off their beauty, then men who become aroused by the “nakedness” of women do not need the permission of women to pursue their sexual urges…

Recently, too, thousands held a protest in Tehran, urging the Islamic regime to confront what they say is the increasing flouting of the Islamic dress code.

Clearly, the Stealthy Freedom Facebook page, where women in Iran are posting unveiled photos of themselves despite the compulsory veiling law has hit a nerve with the regime and its apologists. And rightly so. The veil is an important symbol of the regime. One of the first things Islamists did after expropriating the Iranian revolution was to impose compulsory veiling. The slogan of their thugs attacking women protesters was “either veil or a smack” (ya rusary ya tusary).

Throughout its 35 year rule, women have challenged the regime’s compulsory veiling law by transgressing them; improper or “bad” veiling has always been a form of resistance to the regime despite the morality police’s constant harassment, and risks of fines or imprisonment.

The unveiling of women, however, in broad daylight, for all the world to see is an even more fundamental challenge to the regime and its rule.

The unveiled woman is the beginning of the end of the regime. A female revolution has long been in the making and it is this movement that will bring the regime to its knees. And not a day too soon.

Fitnah Unveiled (May): Secularism is a Human Right

fitnah-UNVEILED8-may14-A4_Page_01A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation

May 2014

Volume 2, Issue 5

Editor: Maryam Namazie

Design: Kiran Opal



Secularism is a Human Right
Interview with AC Grayling

The below is a Bread and Roses TV  interview broadcast via New Channel TV on 20 May 2014:

Maryam Namazie: What is secularism and what is the value of secularism for both believers and non-believers?

AC Grayling: Firstly let me say it’s a great pleasure to be with you as I’m a big admirer of what you do.  Secularism has to be distinguished from atheism and from other isms, like for example, humanism, which are naturally associated with it.

Most people who are atheists are probably likely to be secularists, but there are religious secularists as well, because secularism is a view about the place of religion – the religious voice, the religious organisations – in the public square, as this impacts for example, public policy matters. And the idea behind secularism is that the public square of society should be neutral with respect to all the different belief systems or to no belief systems. That what people believe in their private lives and in their religious commitments is not relevant to the public debate other than as a special interest point of view.

I think it is a very important point that religious organisations and movements should recognise themselves as interest groups, lobby groups: they have a point of view, of course they want to put their point of view in public debate, but they should take their turn in the queue with everybody else – other NGOs, political parties, pressure groups, lobby groups – whereas of course for historical reasons, in many societies, religion has a massively inflated presence in the public square. It is given charitable status, it is given a seat at the top table, and is heard first by people in positions of temporal power and that, I think, is where things have gone so wrong in our world.

Maryam Namazie: On the issues of neutrality, some might say that the very fact that a secularist state demands that religion stays out of the public space, means that it is not really neutral, because it’s giving a sort of negative viewpoint on religion.  That it’s not a good thing to be in the public space.

AC Grayling: It certainly is a view which has been of course developed from the enlightenment thinking, about how individuals living together in a society can best flourish. So in that sense it is a positive view about allowing all sorts of different viewpoints, all sorts of different beliefs, and no beliefs, to coexist peacefully side by side. Not privileging any one of them, and not therefore coercing others, either to believe or not believe.  So in that sense it is a positive view. But the heart of it, the essence of it is neutrality with respect to these different viewpoints.  That is, you allow people to have a belief and to practice that belief, providing it does not impact negatively on other people. But also, and very, very importantly, it allows people who have no religious commitment – who are atheists, who are agnostics, who don’t belong to a church or a religious movement – to live without the coercion or pressure, or a social ‘bad odour’, that used to be the case, and in some societies remains the case.

Maryam Namazie: You mention the fact that there can be believers who are secularists but can religion, can Islam, be compatible with secularism?

AC Grayling: Well this is a very interesting question about Islam because it would seem to be in the very nature of Islam that a secular society is impossible because Islam pervades every aspect of life.  It is not just a religion; it is a social end and is in many ways a political philosophy as well.  Of course nowadays people use the term Islamism to mean political Islam.  But Islam is so all embracing.   It permeates the lives and thoughts of people from the very earliest memories of their lives, all the way up through their education, and the presence of the religion’s demand on, or offer to, people is there every few hours when the muezzin cries from the mosque.  So it’s very hard even to imagine a translation of the English word ‘secularism’ into Farsi or Arabic, which doesn’t have a negative connotation. [Read more...]

Bread and Roses: On Apostasy

See this week’s Bread and Roses TV programme in English on the issue of apostasy and the execution sentence of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim in Sudan. In this week’s programme, I speak with Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

The Persian programme will be broadcast via New Channel TV tomorrow and will be available then.

Next week’s programme is on Stealthy Freedoms and women unveiling in Iran. What does this movement represent to you? Send us any questions and comments or even 30 second videos to broadcast on our programme to the below:

Bread and Roses
نان و گل سرخ
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @NanoGoleSorkh
Telephone: +44 20 3287 6128

By the way, we have managed to raise £2000 of the £15,000 we need for a video mixer, computer, microphones and lighting for the programme. There’s only 20 days left so please help if you can. See our fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. Right now, we have to manually edit footage from 4 separate cameras on a computer that keeps shutting down. It takes too long to produce each programme, which makes it impractical over the long-term. A video mixer and computer will make things easier!

Thanks for any support for our free-thinking, taboo-breaking work.. We’ll owe you one.

On iERA: Let me say what no one is saying clearly enough

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) has a new report “Evangelising Hate” on the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA). It has received quite a bit of media coverage (though of course not from the Guardian) particularly since its publication coincides with a Charity Commission investigation into the iERA. CEMB is calling for iERA to be considered a hate group and not a charity.

But there is more.

Let me say what others are avoiding or not saying clearly enough.

As we have mentioned in our report, iERA is not a “religious group” but rather a “soft” Islamist group, normalising and justifying the Islamist agenda, including by perpetrating hatred against gays, Jews, women, ex-Muslims, a majority of Muslims who don’t abide by their values… But there is more to this story and that is that “soft” Islamists are often linked with violent Islamists or jihadis.

At least one iERA dawah activist, Iftekhar Jaman, has been killed in Syria whilst fighting for the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which even Al Qaeda has broken ties with.

ISIS executed a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy” and has taken up crucifiction. Moreover, Iftekhar was friends with Mashudur Choudhury, the first Briton to be convicted of terrorism charges for travelling to Syria to train for jihad…

Clearly, groups like iERA are responsible for more than normalising the Islamist agenda like gender segregation at universities, Sharia-compliant wills, and the imposition of burkas and Sharia courts. They have links to and are – let’s just be frank - even cultivating British jihadis.

This should not be surprising given the freedom they have been given to organise around their hate-speech, including on university campuses.

Britons now make up most of the foreign members in Syria’s most violent terror group. UK Islamists are involved in activities including beheadings, crucifixions and ill-treatment of women – many of them not unlike iERA’s teachings.

The iERA’s charitable status is the least of our worries… Someone with the access needed to investigate these links needs to get on it – and fast.


I am annoyed to no end at reports that worry about what will happen when the British jihadis come home. What about what they are doing right now to the people of Syria? And what about the climate of threats and intimidation they are creating right here in Britain for dissenters – Muslim and ex-Muslim?

iERA: Islamic far-Right and Hate Group not Charity

The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has responded to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) new report “Evangelising Hate”.

Rather than address the numerous documented facts of hate speech by those associated with the organisation against ex-Muslims, Jews, gays, women, Muslims and others who don’t agree with their values the iERA uses predictable and standard responses in order to circumvent the main issue at hand: that it is a hate group which should have its charitable status revoked.

The iERA’s tactics include the usual deception, obfuscation, irrelevant arguments about context, false accusations of bigotry and denial in order to evade scrutiny.


The iERA says the CEMB report is “filled with spin and statements deliberately taken out of context”. It is unclear how exact quotes, including from video footage, justifying everything from domestic violence, stoning to death, execution for apostates, hatred against Jews, non Muslims, and Muslims who oppose iERA’s views, to FGM and jihad can be taken out of context. How can the below quote by Abdurraheem Green, a founding member and chairman of iERA, for example, be taken in any way other than it is intended? He says:

“We want to create an environment where it is encouraging people to be good, otherwise what is the point in the hudood? [Hudood laws are the bounds of acceptable behaviour and the punishments for serious crimes.] What is the hudood? Why you chop the hand off the thief? Why you stone the adulterer and the adulteress to death? Why do you chop the hand and the leg of the one who commits highway robbery and leave them to bleed to death or crucify them? All of this is to deter the people from being evil and committing evil. Why is the person who drinks alcohol, who is a drunk, whipped eighty times in public? All of this is to deter the people from being evil”.

The out of context argument is a bogus one that aims to portray critics as deceptive in order to move attention away from iERA’s hate speech.

On the issue of “clarification”

The iERA statement says the CEMB report “quotes out of context, outdated or clarified statements from iERA speakers” giving as an example clarifications provided by iERA’s head of research teams and lectures Hamza Tzortzis.  One example will suffice to reveal iERA’s dishonesty. In his supposed clarification, Hamza says with regards gender segregation:

“There have been various newspapers and bloggers that have implied that Hamza Andreas Tzortzis has been involved in public events that have enforced gender segregation or separation. Tzortzis has not been involved in such events or been aware of enforced gender separation. He advocates a tolerant position that all choices should be offered. If some women regardless of religious background wish to sit with women only, that should be accommodated if possible”.

This is clearly untrue since Hamza was himself a speaker at an iERA organised debate entitled “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?” at UCL with US scientist Lawrence Krauss on March 9, 2013 where segregation was enforced. Separate entrances were put in place for males and females and audience members were separated into male and female only queues by the organisers’ security staff. Security guards tried to forcibly remove those who refused to comply with segregated seating. The students were only allowed back after Krauss threatened to leave the debate.

Abdurraheem Green, a founding member and chairman of iERA, has made very clear why gender segregation is a necessity:

“Let us also bear in mind that Muslim societies take every precaution to avoid the means that can lead to adultery. Public nudity is forbidden. In fact a strict dress code is observed. This is part of the wisdom behind the hijab. It is an act of social responsibility that helps towards a harmonious society. Also free mixing between sexes is avoided, men and women should not have physical contact and men and women should not even be alone together (unless they are husband and wife, or from close relatives who are permanently forbidden in marriage). Again in this context adultery is inexcusable, and justly punished with severity”. 

Denying links to Jihadis

The iERA states that the CEMB report “unscrupulously” tries “to link other individuals who are not at all connected with the charity”, namely Ifthekar Jaman and Hassan Farooq.

Despite iERA’s supposed lack of affiliation with Hassan Farooq and Ifthekar Jaman, iERA has provided Dawah teams, including theirs, with T-shirts and materials. In one video by Young Dawah, founding member and iERA chairman Abdurraheem Green is seen giving the Dawah group his support. In another Tweet, the Newham Dawah Team says: “Had a call conference meeting with abdur raheem green, the iera team and hundreds of da’ee emirs all over UK, mashAllah the dawah movement is massive, and we have massive plans for 2013, our focus will be on Newham, by the permission of Allah this borough shall change, for those who wish to help us get in contact asap”.


The iERA is clearly linked to the dawah teams but makes contrary assertions to aid in deniability when suitable, particularly if jihadis are involved.

Hassan Farooq can be seen in a picture posted on 14 April 2013 participating in a dawah mission with Ifthekar Jaman on Jaman’s Twitter account. In the picture, both are standing in a group of men, wearing yellow iERA T-shirts with the slogan ‘Is Life Just a Game?’ He comments under the picture “Us Portsmouth Dawah group & brothers from Newham dawah joined today. Alhamdullilah for shahadahs! Allahu Akbar”. Several months later, Jaman was killed in Syria whilst fighting for a Jihadi group called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in December 2013. ISIS has engaged in beheadings, amputations and public executions, including the execution of a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy”. Iftekhar was also friends with another Portsmouth man Mashudur Choudhury, the first Briton to be convicted of terrorism charges for travelling to Syria to train for jihad…

Accusations of bigotry

The iERA assert that the CEMB has “bigoted views about Islam and mainstream Islamic speakers” and that it espouses “hatred”. Clearly, though, it is not bigotry to expose the bigotry of the Islamic far-Right. It is also not espousing hatred to expose the hate speech propounded by iERA speakers.

More importantly – and despite claims about the CEMB’s deception and misrepresentation – iERA stands by their “mainstream Islamic speakers”. The very use of the term “mainstream” is an attempt to neutralise criticism and portray it as an attack on religion rather than legitimate opposition to Islamism. In this way, the promoters of hatred depict themselves as victims of those who expose their hatred.

As always, despite the mountains of evidence, iERA hopes to carry on doing what they do best: normalising Islamist values and norms as “mainstream” and creating a climate where extremism and hate can flourish.

The iERA has been able to evade scrutiny for so long by using many of the tactics mentioned above. The iERA’s role in propagating Islamism here and even abroad has been largely missing from the public debate on this issue. The iERA’s modus operandi has been to take advantage of multiculturalism (as a social policy that segregates “communities”) and cultural relativism as well as the language of diversity, rights, tolerance and inter-faith dialogue to increase influence and access.

It is high time that they are recognised for what they truly are: the Islamic far-Right and a hate group not a charity.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson
Al Razi, CEMB Forum
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]

برنامه امروز نان و گل سرخ در مورد سکولاريسم

برنامه امروز نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد در مورد سکولاريسم را در مى توانيد اينجا ببينيد

با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى. مصاحبه با فيلسوف اى سى گريلينگ.

کارگردان: رضا مرادى

دستيار کارگردان: پونه راوى

روز پخش ۲۱ مه ۲۰۱۴