Law Society failure to withdraw Sharia-compliant Practice Note gross derogation of duty

The below letter was sent to all Law Society Council Members stating that the Law Society’s continued failure to withdraw its Sharia-compliant Practice Note amounts to a gross derogation of duty on both legal and moral grounds.  A copy of our Legal Advice (Law Society Sharia Advice final August 2014) was included.

We write this open letter as a concerned group of organisations and individuals working on issues of gender equality and human rights in the UK and elsewhere.

You may be aware that recently, under threat of legal action in respect of a breach of the Equality Act 2010, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) withdrew its ethics guidance on ‘Drafting and Preparation of Wills’ which purported to endorse the Law Society’s ‘Practice Note on Sharia Succession Rules’. The Practice Note – which was intended to assist solicitors in drafting so called Sharia compliant wills – serves in effect to endorse discrimination against minority women and children on the grounds of their gender, marital and family status and religious backgrounds, in so far as it encourages legal and state welfare services to accommodate highly gender discriminatory religious laws that are being increasingly defined by religious fundamentalists in our society. This is a source of immense concern to those of us who have for so long contested gender discrimination in our communities and fought for the freedom of women and children.

The Practice Note reminds solicitors that:

‘… illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs … The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir … Non-Muslims may not inherit at all … divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir…’ [Read more…]

Secularism. Today. Now: 11-12 October Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights

Dear Friend

“Secularism is probably the one big issue for our century. This century is not, as many still think, marked by a religious or spiritual revival. What we are actually witnessing is the rise of extreme-Right political movements, working under the cover of religion. Everywhere. No one is spared… Secularists are being attacked in many places in the world today: they are jailed, killed, tortured; their very existence is considered an offense to believers in many non-secular states. … There is a need for secularists around the world to come together and examine their situations, to exchange information, to strategize and to join hands,” writes Algerian secularist Marieme Helie Lucas.

This is the impetus behind the 11-12 October 2014 International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London with speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, UK, USA and Yemen.

Join Us!

Join this historic conference which will establish an international front of secularists against the religious-Right.

Secularism. Today. Now.

Register for the conference today.

See the conference agenda here.

See the biographies of our distinguished speakers here.

See a short Bread and Roses Video on the conference here.

The conference is endorsed by Atheist Alliance International; Bread and Roses TV; Children First Now; Center for Inquiry; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation; International Committee against Stoning; International Committee against Execution; International Federation of Iranian Refugees; Iran Solidarity; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Secularism is a Women’s Issue; The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK; and Women Living Under Muslim Laws amongst others.

Richard Dawkins will be attending the conference.

For more information, contact:
Amal Farah, Atoosa Khatiri, Eileen McFadden, Gaby Grammeno, Marieme Helie Lucas and Maryam Namazie
Conference Organising Committee
Email: maryamnamazie@gmail.com
Facebook
Twitter
Website

Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

سلاح های هسته ای “حق” رژيم اسلامى ايران نيست
۳ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با اصغر کريمى٬ رئيس هئيت اجرايى حزب کمونيست کارگرى ايران

Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran
2 September 2014
Interview with Asqar Karimi, Head of Worker-communist Party of Iran’s Executive Board

11-12 October Conference Schedule NOW AVAILABLE

ConferenceIcon1smallConference of a life-time on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
11-12 October 2014
The Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LD, UK

BACKGROUND

The global rise of the religious-Right, including but not limited to Islamic State (or ISIS), and their efforts to gain political power and control the state apparatus and public institutions has meant that organised religions’ role vis-a-vis the state as well as secularism and the complete separation of religion from the state have become critical political and civil rights matters.

At this unprecedented conference, prominent women and men on the frontlines of opposing the religious-Right and defending secularism, including those of faith and none, will come together to discuss the religious-Right, its attacks on civil rights and freedoms, and the role of secularism for 21st century humanity.

Speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, UK, USA and Yemen will reflect on the struggle for secularism in both regional and thematic ways and will discuss the specific forms that attacks on secularism – and on secularists themselves – take in various parts of the world. They will also discuss how these attacks are linked to the rise of the religious-Right in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East and its confluence in countries of emigration such as Europe and North America.

The conference aims to highlight the voices of the many persecuted and exiled, address the challenges faced by activists, elaborate on the links between equality, democratic politics and secularism, promote secular and rights-based alternatives to the religious-Right, establish priorities for regional and international collective action and influence policy and practice locally, nationally, and internationally.

The conference will result in the establishment of an international front of secularists against the religious-Right.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
(Subject to Change)

Saturday 11 October 2014

8:00-9:30am    Registration
Arrival Tea/Coffee 

9:30-9:40        Welcome and Housekeeping with MCs Amal Farah, Mahal Kamal and Nahla Mahmoud

9:40-9:50        Maryam Namazie: Opening Address
Maryam Namazie will give an overview of the conference aims, the political necessity for such a conference during the rise of the religious-Right and the need for secularism as a minimum precondition.

9:50-10:05      Marieme Helie Lucas: Attacks on Secularism
Marieme Helie Lucas will look at the shifting meaning of ‘secularism'; the political consequences of this shift and how it enhances and legitimises both the rise of fundamentalist theocratic ideologies and the fragmentation of people into ‘communities’ with unequal rights.

10:05-10:10    Ouachdek: 20 Ans Barakat 

10:10-10:30    Film

10:30-12:00      Secularism Panel
This panel will discuss the definition of secularism and whether secularism is a minimum precondition for a democratic society.
Chair: Peter Tatchell
Panellists: Caroline Fourest (“Secularism against Fanaticism”), Faisal Saeed Al-Muttar (“The Need for a Global Secular Humanist Movement, My Journey from Baghdad to Washington D.C.”), Hamid Taqvaee (“Rise and Fall of Secularism”), Pragna Patel and Sue Cox (“The Isolation and Alienation Caused by Clergy and Why Secularism is Important”)
[Read more…]

Defence of the burka is a defence of Islamism

See the latest programme on Bread and Roses TV

Defence of the Burka is a defence of Islamism
26 August 2014
Interview with Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space

دفاع از برقع دفاع از اسلام سياسى است
۲۷ اوت ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با گيتا ساهگل٬ دبير سازمان مکان سکولار

A conference in defence of the separation of religion from the state

Join our conference. It is not to be missed. Hear about some of the fantastic speakers…

A conference in defence of the separation of religion from the state
On religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
11-12 October 2014

در دفاع از جدايى دين از دولت – کنفرانس تاريخى در لندن
در مورد مذهب، سکولاریسم و حقوق مدنی

Fitnah Unveiled: June/July on ISIS, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and more

A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
June/July 2014
Volume 2, Issues 6 and 7
Editor: Maryam Namazie
Design: Kiran Opal

DOWNLOAD PDF OF ISSUE HERE.

IN THIS ISSUE

* Thfitnah-UNVEILED9-10-junejuly14-A4_Page_01e unfolding of a human tragedy, On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Interview with Nira Yuval-Davis

* ISIS is no-one’s representative, Interview with Houzan Mahmoud

* Newsflash June/July 2014

* Campaign: Reyhaneh Jabbari’s stay of execution. We must keep the pressure on.””

* Editorial: Murder can never justified, On the Israeli offensive on Gaza, Maryam Namazie

* Conference Update: Join Historic International Conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
www.secularconference.com

The unfolding of a human tragedy
On the Israeli-Palestinian issue
Interview with Nira Yuval-Davis

Maryam Namazie: I wanted to ask you about the Israeli-Palestinian issue; it’s a human tragedy unfolding before our eyes.

Nira Yuval-Davis: It is a human tragedy and it’s more than that. It’s important to emphasise that this is not something that has started now or even in 1967 or 1948. This is something that has been going on in different ways (and not to the terrible way that it is now though it has always been in many ways horrible) since the beginning of the settler-colonial project of the Zionist movement. The Zionist movement sought to solve the so-called ‘Jewish problem’ – the terrible persecution and pogroms of Jews and anti-Semitism in Europe that culminated in the extermination and genocide of Jews under the Nazis. They sought national liberation but because of the dispersal of the Jewish population did it in a manner that was popular during that time – of settler-colonialism. In such projects, the indigenous people, in this case the Palestinians, were completely invisible, or when they were visible, there were all kinds of assumptions that either they will disappear (and settlers were always happy to ‘help’ the indigenous people to ‘disappear’ by various acts of genocide), assimilate or like, in the utopian Altneuland (Old New Land) of Hertzl, they would willingly become second-rate citizens. What’s happening now in Gaza is of course the latest manifestation and the whole evolution and various dislocations that this country has had during more than 100 years, and with all its national, regional and global implications.

Maryam Namazie: When you look at this situation, you find people mainly either siding with the Israeli state or siding with Hamas and the Islamists, whereas in fact there are so many people who are opposed to both and who want real peace.

Nira Yuval-Davis: We should not forget that Israeli security originally helped to bring about the birth of Hamas in the same way that the Taliban was helped and supported by the CIA. This is because they thought that the British imperial policy of ‘divide-and-rule’ would be the best weapon to weaken the PLO and divide the Palestinian resistance. Unfortunately, they succeeded too well but, of course, in their kind of racist superiority they didn’t think that Hamas and the Palestinians in general are not just puppets; they have their own agency and would use the support that had been given to them to promote their own project, which was Muslim Fundamentalism. And unfortunately now, this is a rising political project of belonging and we see for the first time in the history of the Middle East a series of territories controlled by Muslim Fundamentalists – ISIS in Syria, what is happening in Iraq and Libya, the ongoing fight in Egypt… So we shouldn’t see the rule of Hamas in Gaza in isolation. And this is one of the reasons that once the PLO was willing to have a unity government with Hamas, Israel became so scared by this. In a way, what is happening now is a direct result of the Israeli government being absolutely determined not to facilitate this unity government and in this sense they achieved this immediate goal, At least for now, but at what cost? The other goal was to end Palestinian resistance, especially in Gaza, which has faced a complete blockade especially now that the military Junta in Egypt is cooperating so closely with Israel. Gaza has no outlets on the Egyptian side, Israeli side or via the sea. In a way they have almost nothing to lose, except, of course those they are very willing to sacrifice – women and children and the people. But, on the other hand, people will not resist them because there is no alternative unless Israel and the world, by exerting pressure on Israel, will allow the space for alternatives to emerge. Otherwise, they are not going to exist. [Read more…]

Conference of a life-time On the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights

Conference of a life-time On the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
11-12 October 2014
The Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LD, UK
www.secularconference.com

Join notable free-thinkers, atheists and secularists from around the world for a weekend of discussions and debates on the religious-Right, its attacks on civil rights and freedoms, and the role of secularism for 21st century humanity. The exciting two-day conference will discuss the Arab Spring, Sharia and religious laws, the limits of religion’s role in society, free expression, honour killings, apostasy and blasphemy laws, faith schools, women’s rights, secular values and much more.

The conference will be held at the Tower Hotel with spectacular views of the River Thames and the Tower of London. On the evening of 11 October, participants will enjoy cocktails followed by a delicious three-course meal and entertainment in the company of our speakers.

Distinguished speakers and acts:

  • AC Grayling is a Philosopher, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and author and commentator.
  • Amal Farah is Spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All. She is Somali-born and was raised in a conservative and literalist Muslim household.
  • Amel Grami is Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba; she was on the frontlines of Manouba’s successful struggle to defy a Salafist siege last year and is a leading expert on Religion and Women’s Studies.
  • Amina Sboui is a Tunisian activist threatened and imprisoned after posting topless photos of herself on Facebook carrying the slogan: “My Body is not the Source of Anyone’s Honour”.
  • Bahram Soroush is Public Relations Officer of the Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran and a co-host of Bread and Roses TV Programme.
  • Ben Baz Aziz is a Presenter at Arab Atheist broadcasting and a blogger focusing on LGBT and atheist rights in the Middle East who was imprisoned in Kuwait for blasphemy.
  • Caroline Fourest is a French writer, editor of the magazine ProChoix, and author of Frère Tariq, a critical look at the works of Tariq Ramadan and books on topics such as the conservative right, the pro-life movement and the fundamentalist trends in the Abrahamic religions.
  • Chetan Bhatt is the director of the Centre for the Study of Human rights at LSE. His current projects include work on the emergence of virtue in modern political ideologies, new forms of the regional state in South Asia and the sociology of religious paramilitia groups.
  • Chris Moos is a secular student activist who has led a successful campaign for the right to wear ‘Jesus and Mo’ t-shirts after being harassed and threatened with removal at his university. He was a nominee for the NSS’ Secularist of the Year 2014 award.
  • Elham Manea is a Yemeni associate professor specialized in the Middle East, a writer, and a human rights activist. Her concept of humanistic Islam was first published in a series of articles in Arabic.
  • Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar is an Iraqi born writer and a social activist living in the United States. He is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement and Secular Post.
  • Fariborz Pooya is the founder of the Iranian Secular Society, was one of the founding members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and is a co-host of Bread and Roses TV.
  • Fatou Sow is a Senegalese Sociologist, and a member of a number of African and international associations as well as the International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws.
  • Gita Sahgal is an Indian-born writer, journalist, film-maker and rights activist, Director of Centre for Secular Space who was suspended by Amnesty International as head of its Gender Unit in 2010 for criticising the organisation’s relations with an Islamist group.
  • Hamid Taqvaee is the Secretary of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran’s Central Committee and a leading Marxist opposition figure to the Islamic regime of Iran.
  • Houzan Mahmoud is a Kurdish women’s rights campaigner and the Spokesperson of the Organisations of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. She has written and campaigned extensively on women’s rights issues.
  • Horia Mosadiq has been Director of the Afghanistan Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium and an advisor to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, as well as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Imad Iddine Habib is a Moroccan atheist threatened for his atheism, founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco, the first public atheist organisation in a country with Islam as the state religion.
  • Inna Shevchenko is leader of FEMEN topless activists who was kidnapped and threatened by the Belarus KGB in 2011 for her activism. She was granted political asylum in France.
  • Julie Bindel is an English writer, feminist and co-founder of the group Justice for Women. She was listed in the Independent’s “Pink List” as one of the top 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in the UK.
  • Kacem El Ghazzali is a Moroccan secularist writer, blogger, activist and atheist. He was the head of the Moroccan Center for Human Rights’ Youth Chapter and is a member of the Executive Board of the Moroccan Bloggers Association.
  • Karima Bennoune is a law professor at the University of California Davis School of Law, and author of “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism”.
  • Kate Smurthwaite is a stand-up comedian and political activist. She has appeared on more than 500 TV and radio shows including This Morning, The Big Questions, Woman’s Hour and The Moral Maze.
  • Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis and a panellist on The Moral Maze. His book From Fatwa to Jihad was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.
  • Kiran Opal is a Pakistani-born human rights activist, writer, and editor living in Canada. She is co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America and Editor of ExMuslimBlogs.
  • Layla Saleem spent 6 years in an Islamic school in Britain and now campaigns for secular education.
  • LCP is a multimedia and multiethnic dance company which emphasises human rights issues mainly human trafficking.
  • Lila Ghobady is an Iranian writer-journalist and documentary filmmaker. Her first independent release, Forbidden Sun Dance, was banned by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Maha Kamal is an ex-Muslim who was disowned by her parents for leaving Islam, President of the Colorado Prison Law Project, and Commissioner at the Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Commission on Inclusiveness.
  • Magdulien Abaida is a Libyan Activist and president of Hakki (My Right) Organization for Women Rights. She was kidnapped by Islamists in Benghazi in August 2012 and fled after her release three days later.
  • Marieme Helie Lucas is an Algerian sociologist, founder and former International Coordinator of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws. She is also the founder of Secularism Is A Women’s Issue.
  • Maryam Namazie is Spokesperson for Fitnah, One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; editor of Fitnah’s Unveiled; and producer and co-host of Bread and Roses.
  • Nadia El Fani is a Tunisian filmmaker who risks arrest and up to five years in prison if she returns to Tunisia after Islamists filed a complaint against her film “Neither Allah nor Master”.
  • Nahla Mahmoud is an environmentalist and human right activist originally from Sudan. She leads the Sudanese Humanists Group and is Spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
  • Nina Sankari is Vice-President of the Polish Rationalist Association.
  • Pervez Hoodbhoy is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and recipient of a number of awards. He is also a prominent environmentalist and social activist.
  • Peter Tatchell has been campaigning for rights and global justice since 1967. New Statesman readers voted him sixth on their list of “Heroes of our time”. He was Campaigner of the Year in The Observer Ethical Awards.
  • Pragna Patel is a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism. She was listed in The Guardian’s Top 100 women: activists and campaigners.
  • Ramin Forghani is founder of the Ex-Muslims of Scotland and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Secular Society.
  • Randa Kassis is President and founder of the Movement for a Pluralistic Society. She was a member of the Syrian National Council until she was excluded for her warnings against Muslim fundamentalists in 2012.
  • Rumy Hassan is Senior Lecturer at University of Sussex and author of “Dangerous Liaisons: The Clash between Islamism and Zionism” and “Multiculturalism: Some Inconvenient Truths”.
  • Salil Tripathi is an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor at Mint and at Caravan in India. He was board member of English PEN from 2009 to 2013, and co-chaired PEN’s Writers-at-Risk Committee.
  • Sanal Edamaruku is an author and founder-president of Rationalist International and the Indian Rationalist Association. In 2012, he was charged with hurting religious sentiments for his role in examining a claimed miracle at a local Catholic Church.
  • Shelley Segal is a Melbourne based singer-songwriter involved in secular activism. ‘An Atheist Album’ is a passionate response to dogmatic belief, inequality, religious oppression and the idea that only the devout can be grateful and good.
  • Siba Shakib is an Iranian/German film-maker, writer and political activist. She was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Her international best-seller Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep has been translated into 27 languages and won a P.E.N. prize.
  • Sue Cox is the co-founder of Survivors Voice Europe, an international organisation that has at its heart the support and empowerment of catholic clergy abuse survivors of which she is one.
  • Taj Hargey is South African Muslim scholar. He was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa and founder of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford and the Imam of the Summertown Islamic congregation.
  • Tarek Fatah is a Pakistani born Canadian writer, broadcaster and a secular activist. He is the author of “Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State” and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.
  • Taslima Nasrin is a Bangladeshi-born award-winning writer, physician, and activist, known for her powerful writings on women oppression and unflinching criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death.
  • Terry Sanderson is a writer and journalist and current President of the National Secular Society, which campaigns for the separation of church and state.
  • Waleed Husseini is a Palestinian blogger arrested in 2010 by the Palestinian Authority for blaspheming against Islam on Facebook and in his blog. He founded the Council of Ex-Muslims of France in 2013.

Richard Dawkins will be joining the conference.

An International Secular Manifesto and the establishment of a united front of secularists to meet future challenges will be the final outcome of the Conference. Conference contributions will also be published in a book.

For full details of the conference, including on registration and obtaining tickets, visit the event’s dedicated website: www.secularconference.com/ or email maryamnamazie@gmail.com.

Please also join the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/630996160274751/ and follow the conference on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SecularConf or Tweet #SecularConf.

The conference is endorsed by Atheist Alliance International; Bread and Roses TV; Children First Now; Center for Inquiry; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation; International Committee against Stoning; International Committee against Execution; International Federation of Iranian Refugees; Iran Solidarity; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Secularism is a Women’s Issue; The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK; and Women Living Under Muslim Laws amongst others.

کنفرانس تاريخى در مورد مذهب، سکولاریسم و حقوق مدنی

کنفرانس تاريخى در مورد مذهب، سکولاریسم و حقوق مدنی

11-12  October 2014

تاور هتل، لندن، انگلستان

آزاداندیشان و سکولاریست‌های سرشناس از سراسر جهان در ۱۱ و ۱۲ اکتبر ۲۰۱۴ در تاور هتل لندن گرد هم می‌آیند تا درباره راست افراطى و اسلام سياسى، حملات آن به حقوق و آزادی‌های مدنی، و نقش سکولاریسم در سرنوشت بشریت قرن حاضر به بحث و جدل بپردازند.

تمهاى مورد بحث انقلابات منطقه، شریعه و قوانین مذهب، آزادی بیان و ارتداد، قتلهاى ناموسی و ارزش‌های سکولار و ديگر مسائل خواهد بود.

کنفرانس در تاور هتل با منظره تماشائی رود تیمز و برج لندن برگذار خواهد شد. در شب ۱۱ اکتبر ۲۰۱۴ از شرکت کنندگان در کنفرانس با مجموعه‌ای از برنامه‌های متنوع سرگرم کننده و با شام مفصلی در مصاحبت با سخنرانان سرشناس ما پذیرائی خواهد شد.

اسامی سخنرانان به این شرح است (به ترتیب الفباى انگليسى):

اى سى گريلينگ، فیلسوف، استاد فلسفه و نويسنده
آمل فرح، سخنگوى سازمان قانون برابر براى همه و اکس مسلم بريتانيا و متولد سومالي
آمل گرامی، استاد دانشکده مانو در تونس. درسال گذشته او در صف مقدم مبارزه ای موفق درجهت عقب راندن محاصره اسلامى ها در دانشگاه بوده
آمينه السبوعى، فعال اعتراض برهنگى تونسى که بخاطر فعاليتهايش زندانى شد
بهرام سروش، فعال سیاسی، مفسر و تحلیل گر و مسئول روابط عمومى كمپين براي آزادي كارگران زنداني در ایران
بن باز عزيز، بلاگر مصرى که بخاطر بى خدايى در کويت زندانى شد
کارولاین فورت، نویسندۀ فرانسوی و سردبیر مجلۀ چپ
چيتان باط، مدیر مرکز مطالعات حقوق بشر در دانشکدۀ علوم سیاسی و اقتصادیِ اِل اس ای در لندن
کریس موس، فعال دانشجویی سکولار
الهام مانيا، نویسنده و فعال حقوق بشر يمنى
فريبرز پويا، بنيانگذار جامعه سکولار ايران و يکى از مجريان برنامه نان و گل سرخ
فاىسل سعيد المطعار، بنيان کذار عراقى جنبش بين المللى سکولار اومانيست
فاتو سو، جامعه شناس اهل سنگال و هماهنگ کنندۀ شبکۀ همبستگی بنام زندگی زنان تحتِ قوانین مسلمانان
گیتا ساهگل، نویسنده، روزنامه نگار، فیلم ساز، مدیر مرکز سکولار. او در فوریۀ سال ۲۰۱۲ از سازمان عفو بین المللی به خاطر انتقادش به آن سازمان براى رابطه اش با اسلامىيون اخراج شد.
حميد تقوائى، لیدر حزب کمونيست کارگرى ايران
هوزان محمود، فعال حقوق زن و سخنگوی سازمان آزادی زن در عراق
حوريه مصدق، مشاور کمیسیون مستقل حقوق بشر در افغانستان و روزنامه نگار در افغانستان و پاکستان
عماد هبيب ادين، بنیانگذار شورای اکس مسلم مراکش – اولین سازمان علنی خداناباوران در کشورى که اسلام دین رسمی آن کشور است.
اینا شوچنکو، رئيس سازمان فمن که درسال ۲۰۱۱ توسط ” کا گ ب” سازمان اطلاعات بلاروس، تهدید و ربوده شد و سپس در فرانسه به عنوان پناهندۀ سیاسی پذیرفته شد.
جولی بيندل، نویسندۀ انگلیسی و از بنیانگذاران گروه عدالت برای زنان
کاظم الغزالی، مدیر بخش جوانان مرکزحقوق بشر مراکش و عضو هئیت اجرایی انجمن وبلاگ نویسان مراکش بود.
کریمه بنون، استاد حقوق بین الملل ازدانشکدۀ قانون دِی ویس کالیفرنیا و نویسندۀ الجزايرى کتاب “فتوای شما اینجا جایز نیست ”
کيت سمورتويت، کمدین و فعال سیاسی
کينان مالک، نویسنده
کیران اپال، فعال پاکستانی حقوق بشر، نویسنده و از بنیانگذاران اکس مسلم شمال آمریکا
ال سی پی، گروه رقص که به مسائل مربوط به حقوق بشر و عمدتا مساله قاچاق انسان تاکید دارد.
ليلا قبادى، فیلمساز، نویسنده و روزنامه نگار ایرانی
لينو ولجک، استاد فلسفه در دانشگاه مغرب
مگدامين آبيدا، فعال حقوق زن که توسط اسلاميون در بنغازی ليبى ربوده شد و بعد از آزادی مجبور به فرار از این کشور گردید
مريم هلى لوکاس، جامعه شناس الجزایری، بنیانگذار سکولاریسم مسئله زنان است
مریم نمازی، سخنگوی فتنه، قانون برابر برای همه و تولید کننده برنامه نان و گل سرخ
نادیا ال فانی، فیلمساز تونسی که بعد از شکايت اسلامى ها در مورد فيلمش به اسم “نه خدا و نه ارباب” مجبور به فرار شد.
نهلا محمود، فعال حقوق محیط زیست و انسانى سودانى
نينا سنکارى، رئیس انجمن آزادانديشان لهستان
پرويز حودبى، فیزیکدان هسته ای پاکستانى و فعال محیط زیست و اجتماع
پیتر تاچل، خوانندگان يک روزنامه انگليسى او را يکى از “قهرمانان زمان ما” شناختند. او مدافع حقوق انسان و همجنسگرايان است
پراگنا پاتل، رئيس سازمان حقوق زنان. روزنامه گاردين او را به عنوان ۱۰۰ زن اول فعال شناخت
رندا کاسيس، عضو شورای ملی سوریه بود تا زمانی که بخاطر هشدار به اسلاميون در سال ۲۰۱۲ از این شورا کنار گذاشته شد
رومى حسن، نویسنده
سانال اداماروکو، نویسنده و بنیانگذار بین المللی خردگرا و انجمن خردگرا در هند
شلی سگال، خواننده و فعال سکولار
سیبا شکیب، فیلمساز ایرانی / آلمانی، کتابش در مورد افغانستان “جایی که فقط خدا می آید گریه کند” جايزه برده و به ۲۷ زبان ترجمه شده
ستاسا زجويچ، از بنیانگذاران و هماهنگ کننده زنان ضد جنگ بلگراد
سو کاکس، از بنیانگذاران بازماندگان صدای تجاوز جنسى کودکان از سوى کليسا
تاج هرجى، فعال ضد آپارتاید آفریقای جنوبی و بنیانگذار مرکز آموزش و پرورش مسلمانان
طارق فتح، نویسنده پاکستانى، بنیانگذار کنگره مسلمانان کانادا
تسليمه نسرين، نویسنده بنگلادشی، پزشک و فعال حقوق زنان
تری ساندرسون، رئیس انجمن سراسرى سکولار بريتانيا
ولید حسینی، وبلاگ نویس فلسطینیکه در سال ۲۰۱۰ در فلسطین به اتهام “کفر” زندانى شد. او شورای اکس مسلم فرانسه را تاسیس کرد.

دانشمند ريچرد داوکينز هم در کنرانس شرکت خواهد کرد

بيوگرافى کاملتر سخنرانان را مى توانيد در ساىت کنفرانس مشاهده کنيد.

حاصل نهائی کار کنفرانس تدوین یک مانیفست سکولاریستی جهانی و تشکیل یک جبهۀ متحد سکولاریستی بمنظور پاسخگويى به چالش‌های آینده خواهد بود. تمامی درافزوده‌هاى کنفرانس در قالب يک کتاب منتشر خواهد شد.

سازمان‌های زیر از جمله اسپانسرهاى برگزاری کنفرانس هستند:
کودکان مقدمند؛ مرکز تحقيقات، شوراى اکس مسلم بريتانيا، فتنه، علیه تبعیض – سازمان دفاع از حقوق زن، کمیته بین المللی علیه سنگسار و اعدام، فدراسیون سراسرى پناهندگان ایرانى، همبستگى با مردم ايران، قانون برابر براى همه، سکولاريسم مسئله زن است، بنياد ريچارد داوکينز و زنان تحت قوانين مسلمانان.

بهای بلیط شرکت در کنفرانس (شامل دو روز ناهار، یک مهمانی عصرانه، برنامه سرگرمی و شام شنبه شب):
 برای میهمانی که زودتر و قبل از اول مه رزرو کنند: شاغل۱۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۱۵۰ پوند
 بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۱۷۰ پوند، غیرشاغل ۱۵۵ پوند، سازمان‌ها ۱۸۰ پوند
بهای بلیط برای شنبه و یکشنبه، فقط روز، با ناهار:
 قبل از اول مه: شاغل ۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۰ پوند
 بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۷۰ پوند، غیرشاغل ۵۵ پوند، سازمان‌ها ۸۰ پوند
بهای بلیط فقط برای برنامه شام و سرگرمی شنبه شب:
 قبل از اول مه: شاغل ۶۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۰ پوند؛ سازمان‌ها‌ ۷۰ پوند
 بعد از اول ماه مه ۲۰۱۴: شاغل ۷۰ پوند؛ غیرشاغل ۵۵ پوند؛ سازمان‌ها‌ ۸۰ پوند

تعدادی اطاق‌ در تاور هتل برای شرکت کنندگان در کنفرانس رزرو شده است. علاقمندان می‌توانند از طریق شماره تلفن‌های ۶۹۱۲ ۶۸۰ ۰۲۰۷ و ۰۲۱۸ ۹۷۷ ۰۸۷۱ مستقیما با دفتر هتل تماس بگیرند و اطاق خود را با ذکر کد تخفیف ONEL080314 رزرو کنند. اطاق‌ تک نفره ۱۳۰ پوند و دو نفره ۱۴۰ پوند (هر دو شامل صبحانه). در وب سایت ما هم لیستی از هتل‌های نزدیک اطراف با قیمت‌های مناسبتر درج شده است.

برای دریافت اطلاعات بیشتر، ثبت نام و خرید بلیط لطفا به ما مراجعه کنيد:
مريم نمازى؛ برگزار کننده کنفرانس
www.secularconference.com
maryamnamazie@gmail.com

There must be widespread support for jailed workers in Iran

This week’s Bread and Roses is on the labour movement in Iran and courageous jailed workers there.
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi

کارگران زندانى بايد بيشترين همبستکى جهانى را با خود داشته باشند
۱۳ اوت ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با شهلا دانشفر٬ هماهنگ کننده کمپین برای آزادی کارگران زندانی

There must be widespread support for jailed workers in Iran
12 August 2014
Interview with Shahla Daneshfar, Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Maryam Namazie tears ISIS flag

At the World Humanist Congress this weekend, I urged Humanists to stop self-flagellating and called on them to focus on the fascists of our era – the Islamists – rather than looking inwards to the so-called “aggressive atheists”. It’s during a question and answer period with Richard Dawkins where I also mention his contribution to those coming out as ex-Muslims.

I then rip the ISIS flag.

You can watch it here.

ISIS (and Islamism) is our dark ages and we must fight it to the end.

Most amusing is the woman who thinks I am calling Muslims fascists. Pretty sad that there are so many people that can still not distinguish between a Muslim and a fascist. Islamists are the fascists not Muslims. Try focusing on the fascists for a change and stop being so racist as to think that all Muslims are far-Right Islamists!

I invite her and the others at the Congress – like Alom Shaha – who think that criticising Islam and Islamism are bigotry to come to our October conference and learn the differences by people – Muslim and none – who are on the frontlines…

You can still buy tickets for the Secular Conference and some of you need to buy it more than others!

Islam in the state is the end of everything worthy of a 21 century life

Flag_of_the_Islamic_State_in_Iraq_and_the_Levant.svgThe below is my opening remarks at the World Humanist Congress today 9 August 2014.

In this day and age, there is most certainly something about Islam.

Not because it is any worse than other religions.

As I have said many times before, all religions are equal and equally bad.

No religion looks favourably upon women, gay and lesbians, freethinkers, dissenters, other religions or atheists, and blasphemers, heretic and apostates… Punishing freethinkers is a long-standing and fundamental feature of all major religions. But there is something about Islam primarily because it is the banner of Islamism, a far-Right political movement, spearheading what I call an Islamic inquisition.

Islamists want the far-Right restructuring of societies – concretely this means a Caliphate or Islamic state, the implementation of Sharia law, the imposition of the burka and compulsory veiling, gender segregation, defending Hududd punishments like death by stoning, and the execution of apostates to name a few.

You don’t have to look far to see what Islamism is. The Islamic regime of Iran. The Saudi government. Hamas. Boko Haram. Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb Ut Tahrir and the Taliban.

And of course the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) which has made tremendous advances over the past few days and months and which continues to shock and outrage humanity with its sheer terror and brutality.

ISIS is Islamism without its palatable wrappings often fed to people in Europe and the West where its manifestations like Sharia courts in Britain and the Law Society’s guidance on Sharia wills (which institutionalises Islamist values) – are portrayed as people’s “right to religion” even by some humanist groups.

Whilst there are differences in degree amongst Islamists as there are in any phenomenon, fundamentally they are all striving for the same things. Including groups like IERA in the UK which has charitable status and debates well known scientists and atheists whilst defending the Caliphate, death to apostates (they say beheading is painless) and segregating British universities.

Some keep telling us of such “moderate” or “soft” Islamists. There are none.

Fascism is fascism no matter how it is wrapped and dressed.

There is also, given the context, no moderate Islam. Even if there are a million interpretations, today, Islam is what ISIS tells you it is. It is what Khamenei in Iran says it is. It is what the Taliban says it is by sheer and brute force. In many places, you must either submit to their Islam or die.

When religion is in the state or has influence it is no longer a question of personal belief but of political power.

Of course when I talk about Islam I am not speaking of Islam as a personal belief or Muslims who are believers like my father and mother or some of yours.

People practice Islam and religion in innumerable personal ways; they pick and choose what aspects fit their lives and more often than not, people’s humanity shines through whatever their religion or belief.

Being Muslim doesn’t mean one is an Islamist anymore than being Turkish means you support Erdokan, or being Nigerian means you are with Boko Haram or being British means you are a supporter of the British National Party or Christian Right.

No group, community, society is homogeneous. As Kenan Malik says “secularism and fundamentalism are not ideas stitched into people’s DNA. They are, like all values, absorbed, accepted, rejected”.

In fact, Muslims or those perceived to be Muslims are the first victims and at the forefront of resistance against Islamism.

Karima Bennoune highlights nearly 300 such people and groups of Muslim heritage as she calls them who refuse and resist in her book called “your fatwa does not apply here”.

Also, over the past decades, many have “voted” against Islamism with their feet by fleeing Islamic states and movements in unprecedented numbers.

Right now, thousands of Yazidis considered devil worshipers by ISIS languish in the mountains of Sinjar with children dying of thirst and nowhere to go surrounded by ISIS.

Islam today isn’t a private matter, especially not during an inquisition.

Islam is not just the ‘opium’ of the masses as Marx has said but their genocidaire.

Of course, it is good to be balanced and speak of all religions as being equally problematic. Even after the enlightenment has removed much of Christianity’s power and influence, Christianity is still not a benign force; it creates misery where it can.

But you cannot look at ISIS right here and now and its beheadings and crucifixions and sexual jihad and speak of similar attitudes during Victorian England or Europe’s dark ages.

ISIS represents our dark ages today in the 21st century.

It is good to be balanced – particularly when you have a far-Right using the issue of Sharia law and Islamism to attack immigrants and Muslims and absurdly demanding a ban on the Koran as if the Bible was banned to stop the Spanish inquisition. A far-Right that feigns “crocodile tears” for those killed by Islamists yet cheers the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza by the Israeli state.

It is important to be balanced but one must also be fair and just.

If we cannot see that there is something about Islam and Islamism, then we cannot respond as we must.

And if we don’t, who will?

Defending freethought and expression is crucial in this fight. Defending blasphemy and apostasy cases are important. Removing blasphemy laws from the legal system is key.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain deals with hundreds of such cases every year. But it is not enough to defend free expression and thought within a limited human rights or legal context.

We must see blasphemy and apostasy laws and a defence of free expression within the larger context of religion in general and Islam in particular vis-a-vis the question of political power.

Islam in the state or with political power is the end of freethought and the end of free expression.

It is the end of democratic politics.

It is the end of women’s rights and gay rights and the rights of minorities. It is the end of everything worthy of a 21 century life.

It is a return to the dark ages.

A Humanist congress today can only begin and end united for Sinjar and united against ISIS.

It must stand unequivocally against Islamism, Sharia law and the Caliphate. This is not about “people’s right to religion”. It is about stopping Islamism’s right to kill and slaughter and oppress.

A humanist congress must stand for equality (of people – not religions and beliefs), for universal rights, and for secularism and the separation of religion from the state – not just for Europe but the world.

This is not a clash of civilisations. It’s a clash between the theocrats and fascists versus the rest of us – Muslim, Atheist and none.

As the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:

“In Islam … the individual has no rights or dignity. In Islam, the woman is a slave. In Islam, the child is on par with animals. In Islam, freethinking is a sin deserving of punishment. Music is corrupt. Sex without permission and religious certification, is the greatest of sins. This is the religion of death. In reality, all religions are such but most religions have been restrained by freethinking and freedom-loving humanity over hundreds of years. This one was never restrained or controlled.”

Restraining it – controlling it – in this day and age – that is our task.

The lives of thousands of people in Iraqi Kurdistan are in danger

189356_newsdetailStatement by the Worker-communist Party of Iran

Following the atrocities of the barbaric Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Iraq, thousands of people have fled to the mountains from fear of this group, and are in danger of dying.

In the past five days, areas to the east of Mosul, including the town of Shangal, have been captured by ISIS. Hundreds of people in these areas, including 17 girl students, have reportedly been executed for belonging to the Yazidi religion. Over 200,000 have been displaced, of which around 50,000 have taken refuge on the mountains near Shangal.

These people are now under the siege of ISIS forces.

Since June this year, after several years of fighting the Islamic Maliki government, ISIS has succeeded in capturing a number of areas in five central provinces of Iraq. In the past two months, it has murdered thousands of people, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from fear of these Islamic savages.

According to the latest reports, many people on the mountaintops have already perished from lack of water and food. The rest, if they receive no help, are also in danger of certain death. This is genocide. Those trying to come down from the mountains to save themselves are being executed by ISIS. ISIS has blocked all the escape routes, which means that tens of thousands of people, stranded in 45-degree Celsius heat and without water or food, have little chance of survival. The world states and international bodies have done nothing so far. If no help arrives immediately, these people will certainly perish.

We cannot and must not wait for the next few days, which will undoubtedly bring human catastrophes of far greater proportions. We must act immediately. We must put the world states and international bodies under pressure to bring food and water to these people immediately.

The civilised people of the world must come out in support of the people of these war-ravaged areas. The people in Iran, and in particular in Iranian Kurdistan, must come out in support of the people of Iraq and Syria, who have been terrorised by ISIS and other Islamic and reactionary forces and by murderous states.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran supports the struggle of the people of Iraq and Syria for liberation from the hands of ISIS and all the reactionaries and criminal states in these countries.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
7 August 2014