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?

No one wants them

Here’s a good report on the opposition to Asad but also the Islamists in Syria. It says:

“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria detained the media activist Mohammad Nour Matar on Tuesday evening outside its base… after he stood alongside a woman who tried to stage a sit-in,” Matar’s brother Amer told AFP.

In Idlib province in the northwest, whose borders with Turkey have allowed foreign jihadists to join the fighting in numbers, dozens of mainstream rebels were killed in a battle with ISIS last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The fighting broke out after rebels protested against the detention by the jihadists of a 12-year-old boy accused of uttering a blasphemous phrase.

“The chief of the [Free Syrian Army-affiliated] Hamzah Assadullah Brigade and his brother were both killed” in the fighting, the Britain-based watchdog said.

“We haven’t seen many such battles, but it is clear the anger against the Islamic State and other jihadists is on the rise across Syria,” its director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The case echoed that of a 14-year-old boy executed by ISIS fighters in the main northern city of Aleppo who accused him of blasphemy for using a colloquial phrase.

Rahman said mainstream rebels appeared set for a new confrontation with their jihadist rivals in Idlib after ISIS demanded that all other groups surrender their weapons.

Nizar, an activist from the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, said: “Time is running out for all these [jihadist] groups.”

“They use violence and religion to try control us and, although people are afraid to openly express their dissent, no one wants them.”

Yes, indeed, no one wants them…

***

With no end in sight to the worsening situation in Syria, the number of refugees outside the country at almost 2 million and millions more internally displaced, help is urgently needed. Save the Children are doing crucial work, providing food, shelter, protection, education and counselling to children caught up in the violence and instability – but as always are in desperate need of funds to keep going. An activist of the Council of Ex-Muslims, Chris Roche and another are living in tents for a month until 8 August so as to raise money to support Syrian children. Help support them here.

We have changed with the revolution and will not go backwards

34 year old Egyptian female cartoonist, Dooa Eladl who calls herself a Muslim anarchist is facing blasphemy charges for her political cartoons that poke fun of Islamists.

“The extremists don’t scare me,” she insists. “Whatever they do, I will continue to use my skills to poke fun at them. They must understand that we Egyptians have changed with the revolution, and we will not go backwards.”

Here are some of her brilliant cartoons:

Egyptian-Female-Cartoonist-Pokes-Fun-at-Fundamentalists_html_215a5681-e1364525773158

One against FGM: [Read more...]

Only you are to blame

734128_500427196691818_1634755817_nIslamists who are supporters or part of the Morsi government have said that women are to blame for the increasing rape and sexual assault in Egypt.This despite the fact that there is clear evidence that much of it is state-sponsored and that a large number of those assaulted are veiled women.

“How do they ask the Ministry of Interior to protect a woman when she stands among men?” Reda Saleh Al al-Hefnawi, a lawmaker from the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, asked at a parliamentary meeting on the issue.

“Sometimes,” said police general Adel Abdel Maqsoud Afifi, “a girl contributes 100 percent to her own raping when she puts herself in these conditions.”

Television preacher, Ahmed Abdullah, known as Sheik Abu Islam said “You see those women speaking like ogres, without shame, politeness, fear or even femininity”. Such a woman is “like a demon,” he said, wondering why anyone should sympathize with those “naked” women who “went there to get raped.”

And this is the main issue at hand; Islam hates disobedient women – veiled or unveiled – topless or not. And will blame them for any and every calamity and disaster.

Listen up Islamists: You and your lackeys can blame women all you want but we all know that only you are to blame. Now can you please fuck off to the Middle Ages and leave the 21st century for us?

(News via Mohsen Ebrahimi)

4 April 2013: International Day to Defend Amina; she represents us

amina

UPDATES AND MORE:

4 April 2013: Today is our day to defend our Amina

3 April 2013: For Amina: My body against political Islam. No Sharia.

3 April 2013: On 4 April, we will breast them!

2 April 2013: Why an International Day to Defend Amina?

2 April 2013: I have no regrets

28 March 2013: Free Amina, Free Tunisia: It is the same cry

27 March 2013: Amina must be back at school next week

25 March 2013: Don’t stop fighting for Amina!

23 March 2013:Let’s Breast Them

Farsi translation of letter: آمنه صداي ماست

22 March 2013: Release Amina Now!

21 March 2013: FEMEN Tunisia’s Facebook page hacked

19 March 2013: Amina represents me

****

19 year old Tunisian Amina who posted a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” has been threatened with death.

Islamist cleric Adel Almi, president of Al-Jamia Al-Li-Wassatia Tawia Wal-Islah, has called for Amina’s flogging and stoning to death saying Amina’s actions will bring misfortune by causing “epidemics and disasters” and “could be contagious and give ideas to other women…”

We, the undersigned, unequivocally defend Amina, and demand that her life and liberty be protected and that those who have threatened her be immediately prosecuted.

On 4 April 2013, we call for an International Day to Defend Amina.

Amina represents us all.

On the day and beyond, groups and individuals can join in by highlighting her case, posting topless photos of themselves and their activism on social media sites, signing a petition, Tweeting #Amina, writing letters in her defence, and more.

On 4 April, we will remind the Islamists and the world that the real epidemic and disaster that must be challenged is misogyny – Islamic or otherwise.

Signed

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Nude Photo Revolutionary
Alina Isabel Pérez, Filmmaker
Amanda Brown, We are Atheism Founder
Annie Sugier, President of Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
Arash T. Riahi, Film Director
Caroline Fourest, Writer and Journalist; most recent film: “Our Breasts; Our Arms
Darina Al-Joundi, Lebanese Actress and Author of “The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing
Deeyah, Music Composer and Filmmaker; most recent film “Banaz: A Love Story” about an honour killing
Elia Tabesh, Iranian Women in Support of Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar
Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
Fariborz Pooya, Iranian Secular Society
Farzana Hassan, Writer
Fatou Sow, President of the Groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois au Sénégal
FEMEN
Fiammetta Venner, Filmmaker and Writer
Greta Christina, Writer and Blogger
Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq
Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Spokesperson
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Jacek Tabisz, President of Polish Rationalist Society
Joseph Paris, Radical Cinema
Kareem Amer, Egyptian Blogger
Kian Azar, Communist Youth Organisation
Marian Tudor, President of Romanian Association for Workers’ Emancipation
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Campaigner and Spokesperson for Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and initiator of Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar
Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of International Committee against Stoning  and International Committee against Execution
Nadia El-Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker; most recent films “Neither Allah nor Master” and “Our Breasts; Our Arms
Nahla Mahmoud, Sudanese Researcher and Human Rights Activist
Nina Sankari, President of European Feminist Initiative Poland and Secularist
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Rumy Hassan, Writer
Safia Lebdi, Co-founder of Neither Whores nor Submissives
Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Soad Baba Aïssa, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Sohaila Sharifi, Iranian Women’s Rights Campaigner
Sundas Hoorain, Pakistani Human Rights Lawyer
Tarek Fatah, Writer
Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi Writer

For more information on the International Day to Defend Amina, contact:

Maryam Namazie
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: maryamnamazie@gmail.com
web: http://www.maryamnamazie.com/
blog: http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/

Inna Shevchenko
FEMEN
tel: +33605857180
e-mail: femen.ua@gmail.com
web: http://femen.org/en

A lesson on sex-segregation with more work to be done

UPDATE: Peter Tatchell just sent information on Islamists being blocked from meeting at East London University after protests; their meeting was meant to be segregated too. Read more here.

gender_segregationI had earlier reported on the sex segregation scandal at University College London (UCL)  during a March 9 debate between atheist Lawrence Krauss and Islamist Hamza Andreas Tzortzis organised by the Islamic Education & Research Academy (a nice sounding front for Islamism).

UCL did quickly concede that sex segregation was contrary to its policies and banned IERA from holding future meetings on its premises.

This is in and of itself an important gain for those who are opposed to sex apartheid given that  segregation of the sexes has happened at UCL before and that segregation at UCL is not an exception as reported by Student Rights.

In discussing the scandal, Lorraine Harding, a retired social policy academic, mentioned that even the police had been segregated at a meeting she attended in Bradford. She wrote on my Facebook page:  “I went to an Islamic Society debate at Bradford University where gender segregation was enforced – even on the police officers present! – by young men. I complained to both the University and the Union but had no response.”

What’s clear as daylight – to me at least – is this: had the two male students not made a fuss about the segregation, the meeting would most likely have gone ahead as planned. It’s a lesson in how even one or two students can challenge Islamists on campus even when the University is complicit. And UCL is no exception. Whilst they have come out with a statement opposing sex segregation, there are still many questions about their complicity in this whole affair, namely via staff members (Dr Aisha Rahman and security staff) who enforced the segregation on the day. You can read more about it in a new statement issued by concerned students below:

The following is a statement from concerned students

Despite denial, UCL staff found to have actively enforced gender segregation.

Following the events of March 9th, UCL has denied that its members of staff were allowing the enforced gender segregation on attendees, and issued a statement that alleged that UCL had responded appropriately to warnings from student, putting measures in place that only failed to protect students because the organiser iERA acted in counter of them (see annex). New evidence has now emerged that UCL has neglected its duty of care towards students to an unprecedented amount, with UCL staff not only tolerating, but also actively enforcing gender segregation.

An individual who identified herself as “Dr Aisha Rahman”, who claimed that she was “teaching at UCL Chemistry” and that she had “booked the room on behalf of UCL Chemistry”, said the segregation had been agreed with the university and repeatedly refused two students, Christopher Roche and Adam Barnett access to the venue unless they complied with the segregated seating plan. [Read more...]

Islamist group banned from UCL for gender apartheid

Earlier I reported on how the Islamic Education and Research Academy, an Islamist front, had segregated women and men at a March 9 debate on Islam and Atheism.

I also posted a statement by students who were there about the scandal and a statement by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

After receiving complaints about sex apartheid on its campus, UCL has banned the organisation from holding events on its premises.

Well done to the UCL for standing up for gender equality!

What remains is for other universities where these misogynists are speaking to follow suit…

(Via Chris Moos)

Chokri Belaid murdered in broad daylight

The anti-Islamist, Marxist, and secularist political figure Chokri Belaid was assassinated as he left his home in Tunis yesterday.

His brother accuses the leader of Ennahda, the Islamist ruling party, for his murder as do we. After all, terror and assassination are what they do best.

For those who keep saying that secularists are the same as Islamists, answer me this.

Why is it that the secularists are the ones who always end up dead? And how long shall they kill our leaders while we stand aside and look?

The outrage over his death may bring an end to Islamist politics in Tunisia and not a day too soon. As one report says:

If Belaid was a thorn in the side of the al-Nahda, the Salafis and the government during his life, he is likely to be a decisive nail in their coffin now that he is dead.

Long live Belaid!

As an aside, Ennahda means Renaissance. As Mansoor Hekmat said:

This Islamic ‘renaissance‘ is backed by violence and terror, which takes one form in Algeria and another in Iran.

And yes another in Tunisia.

This is how it’s done

When news spread that 14 year old Malala Yousafzai had been shot on her way home from school by the Taliban for being an advocate of  girls’ education, huge numbers of people showed up at the hospital to see if they could give blood or help in any way and held protests in her defence.

Like I said, Muslims (real or implied) are not a homogeneous community  – not in Britain and not in Pakistan or Iran.

Take a good look at Malala and also photos from some protest rallies and relish as I did the face of human resistance and dissent.

Islamists: this is the power that will eventually defeat you.

Now if only the nice liberals and post-modernist Left in Britain and the west could muster up the courage that is so often shown by people in the Middle East and North Africa…

I can hope can’t I?

You don’t need to speak Arabic to know that Sharia stinks

I had a ball in Sheffield when I went to speak about Sharia law at the invitation of the Sheffield Humanist group. Some Islamists came to the meeting to try and win their case. Poor things. They spent the entire time giving me the evil eye and whispering about their strategy and all they could muster was this: one of them got up at the end of my talk and said something in Arabic. I responded in Persian. But of course his point was how a person could speak about sharia when they don’t speak Arabic.

Err well lots of people.

Islamists can’t have it both ways. They say that they represent a billion or more ‘Muslims’ – many of whom don’t speak a word of Arabic. But if you speak against Sharia – you’re not allowed to unless you speak Arabic. (Oh and if you do speak Arabic, they have other excuses up their sleeves.)

Well, I’ll tell you how I can speak about Sharia – I have lived through it and survived to tell the tale of its medievalism and barbarity.

But as an aside, according to this piece of ‘logic’, someone should have told the black South African that s/he couldn’t resist racial Apartheid because s/he couldn’t speak Afrikaans…

By the way, some woman came up at the end of the session to say that I should have been nicer to the poor chap since he made a valid point!? Yes, let’s leave it to the well meaning to feel sorry for the Islamist…

Anyway, the video of the very fun night should be available soon and when it is I will be sure to post it for you.