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

Women in the Revolutions

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

THIS WEEK’S PROGRAMME/برنامه ها

زنان در انقلابات
۹ ژوئيه ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با مجدولين عبيده٬ فعال حقوق زن اهل ليبى

Women in Revolution
8 July 2014
Interview with Magdulien Abaida, Libyan Women’s Rights Activist


[Read more...]

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…

.

Farsi

We should not abandon secularism

fitnah-UNVEILED3-dec13-c_Page_01WE SHOULD NOT ABANDON SECULARISM
Unveiled: A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
December 2013, Volume 1, Issue 3
Editor: Maryam Namazie. Design: Kiran Opal

The publication is available here.

PDF version available for download.

URGENT ACTION: REJECT SEX SEGREGATION
IT’S 2013. LET’S NOT TIME TRAVEL
Universities UK (UUK) guidance to universities on external speakers endorses gender apartheid by saying that segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way!” Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. Join us on International Human Rights Day to unequivocally reject gender apartheid. It’s 2013. Let’s not time travel. DATE: Tuesday 10 December 2013; TIME: 5:00-6:30pm; AT: Universities UK, Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ.

WE SHOULD NOT ABANDON SECULARISM
Maryam Namazie’s Interview with Pragna Patel and Gita Sahgal
Pragna Patel responds: “…If we don’t defend secular values and instead embrace religious ones then we will be guilty of developing counter resistance strategies against racism and imperialism that hides other forms of oppression. Religion cannot be embraced as a framework for articulating disaffection and alienation or to address questions of equality and rights since its very foundation is based on recognising some rights but not others. We see this most clearly played out in the clash between the right to manifest religion and the right to be free from religion. Women who want to be free from religious impositions that deny them their autonomy and sexual freedom are constantly excluded. But we need to alert to the ways in which this exclusion is actually articulated. Often demands for the right to manifest religion may seem on the surface to be progressive but in fact hide a highly reactionary agenda. A good example of this is the recent capitulation by Universities UK (UUK), a representative body of universities in the UK, to demands for gender segregation in universities… It would appear that UUK is ignorant of the history and struggles against racial discrimination based on the flawed logic of ‘separate but equal.’ Such logic legitimised racial apartheid in South Africa and now legitimises gender apartheid. There is a disturbing failure to recognise that this stance will allow the right to manifest religion (a qualified right) to trump the right to be free from gender discrimination and subjugation (an absolute right).”

NEWS FLASH: NOVEMBER 2013
“Afghanistan: Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s government is considering bringing back stoning as a punishment for sex outside marriage. The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country’s penal code being drawn up by the ministry of justice. It is the latest in a string of encroachments on hard-won rights for women, after parliament quietly cut the number of seats set aside for women on provincial councils, and drew up a criminal code whose provisions will make it almost impossible to convict anyone for domestic violence.
“Iran: A document adopted by the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council with president Rouhani’s signature has been forwarded to the education and health ministries to “reduce the unnecessary mixing of males and females.” The section on gender segregation included the expansion of the culture of chastity and the veil…”

ARTS CORNER: BURKA AVENGER
“The Burka Avenger is a mild mannered unveiled teacher who becomes the burka avenger when her school is threatened with being shut down by Islamists, armed with pens and books…”

EDITORIAL: SECULARISM AS A UNIVERSAL RIGHT
Maryam Namazie
“…There are strong secular movements in so-called Muslim-majority countries like Iran, Pakistan, Algeria and Mali, despite the great risks involved. Karima Bennoune has brought to light many such groups and individuals in her recently published book, the title of which is based on a Pakistani play where the devotional singer who is beaten and intimidated for singing deemed ‘un-Islamic’ retorts: ‘Your fatwas do not apply here.’ The uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the mass protests against Islamists for the assassination of Socialist leader Chokri Belaid in Tunisia; the vast secular protests in Turkey against Islamisation; the Harlem Shake in front of Muslim Brotherhood headquarter in Egypt and the largest demonstration in contemporary history against the Muslim Brotherhood – 33 million people – are all evidence of that. Post-secularism (leaving people at the mercy of ‘their own culture’) and the systematic and theorised failure to defend secularism and people’s, particularly women’s, civil rights in many countries and communities, only aids and abets the religious-Right to the detriment of us all – believers and non. As British philosopher AC Grayling has said: secularism is a fundamental right. Today, given the influence of the religious-Right, it is also a precondition for women’s rights and equality and for rights and freedoms in the society at large. It must be actively defended, promoted, and articulated”…

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: UNDECIDED ABOUT LEGISLATING DRESS
Marieme Helie Lucas Responds for Fitnah
“…Women wearing the burqa in Europe today are instrumentalised by the Muslim extreme-right, whether or not they realise it. They display their ‘difference’ and ‘identity,’ which is exactly what the traditional far-right needs in order to fulfil its xenophobic agenda. Both the traditional xenophobic extreme-right and the Muslim extreme-right want a violent confrontation and need it in order to recruit fresh troops. This is not a reason for shying away from addressing the proliferation of burqas everywhere, but it should be an incentive to not isolate the ‘flag’ from the broader issue of the growing far-rights in Europe, including the Muslim far-right…”

Also see Maryam Namazie’s Channel 4Thought.tv interview on banning the niqab.

Previous issues:

Fitnah Unveiled number 2 on the burqa and veil

Fitnah Unveiled number 1 on the rise of fitnah

Contact Unveiled Editor:
Maryam Namazie
+44 (0) 7719166731
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Email: fitnah.movement@gmail.com
Blog: http://fitnahmovement.blogspot.co.uk
Site: www.fitnah.org

Rescind endorsement of sex segregation at UK universities

segregationlogoUPDATE:

* There will be a protest at Universities UK offices in London on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day, to oppose sex segregation. You can join Facebook Events Page here.

* Teams of Sex Apartheid Busters are being organised to break segregation wherever it is instituted. To join, email maryamnamazie@gmail.com. 

UniversitiesUKSegregationUniversities UK (UUK) has issued guidance on external speakers saying that the segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.” The guidance has been supported by the National Union of Students.

UUK add that universities should bear in mind that “concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system” and that if “imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely-held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.”

We, the undersigned, condemn the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK. Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. By justifying segregation, Universities UK sides with Islamist values at the expense of the many Muslims and others who oppose sex apartheid and demand equality between women and men.

The guidance must be immediately rescinded and sex segregation at universities must come to an end.

Join initial list of signatories below by signing the petition here.

Initial List of Signatories:
A C Grayling, Philosopher
Abhishek N. Phadnis, President, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Anissa Helie, Academic
Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of Lawyers’ Secular Society
Chris Moos, Secretary, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Deborah Hyde, Editor of Skeptic magazine
Deeyah Khan, Film Director and Music Producer
Dilip Simeon, Chairperson of the Aman Trust
Elham Manea, Author
Faisal Gazi, Writer and Blogger
Fatou Sow, International Coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space
Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web
Helen Palmer, Chair of London Humanists
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Marieme Helie Lucas, Coordinator, Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for One Law for All and Fitnah
Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Nina Sankari, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Ophelia Benson, Writer
Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs of the British Humanist Association
Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation
Polly Toynbee, Journalist
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Rahila Gupta, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Rohini Hensman, Social Activist
Rory Fenton, President of The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies of the UK and ROI
Rumy Hassan, Academic
Safia Lebdi, Founder, “Les insoumis-es”
Salil Tripathi, Writer
Soad Baba Aissa, President, of Association pour l’ Egalité, la Mixité et la Laicité en Algérie
Terry Sanderson, President of National Secular Society
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner

I’m a dishonour to culture and tradition; a black mark on faith and religion

Have you heard the lovely Aryana singing about the plight of Afghan women?

She’s one of the judges of an Afghan singing competition (The Voice) and has received threats for appearing on TV unveiled.

In the below interview in English, she says: Being a woman, the problem is… whatever she does in Afghanistan is a problem.

Here are the full lyrics of her song:

I am the Lady of the Land of Fire
I am incurable wound of this earth
I am so full of hurt, pain and suffering
That even Death says Bravo! to me [Read more...]

Even pregnant women are immoral

The absurdity continues.

In Turkey, an Islamist or “Muslim thinker” as they are often called has said that pregnant women should stay home as “it’s disgraceful”, it’s “immorality”.

The country’s highest religious body has said that whilst motherhood is a gift, pregnant women should dress more “modestly”.

The misogynist comments have sparked protests, including by partners of pregnant women with pillows stuffed in their clothing as a show of solidarity.

We should all do the same.

As my act of solidarity, I am posting a photo of myself when I was pregnant and had the cheek to walk around in public whilst ready to pop nearly 8 years ago. Oh, the immorality of it… #direnhamile – #pregnant resist

P1010006

 

Many problems can be solved with sex slaves

If only someone had thought of it sooner. But better late than never I guess… (This is from 2011 by the way but too good to pass up on)

A female Kuwaiti politician has called for the legalization of sex slavery, saying it would protect decent, devout and virile Kuwaiti men from adultery.

And all along we thought the veil, burka, sex segregation… was going to be enough.

Plus according to this humanitarian, the sex slaves would be women prisoners from war-torn countries who would be saved from starvation as a result.

It’s a real win-win situation for all.

Seriously though you can’t make this stuff up even if you tried.

Yes I am a whore

Throughout the ages, dissenting women have always been called whores. I know I have many times.

My response? “Yes, yes, I am a whore…”

Read below Taslima Nasrin’s poem called “You go Girl”, which she read out during her speech at Atheist Ireland’s Dublin conference “Empowering Women Through Secularism” (and which by the way made me sob uncontrollably…)

You Go Girl!
Taslima Nasrin

They said—take it easy…
Said—calm down…
Said—stop talkin’…
Said—shut up….
They said—sit down….
Said—bow your head…
Said—keep on cryin’, let the tears roll…

What should you do in response?

You should stand up now
Should stand right up
Hold your back straight
Hold your head high…
You should speak
Speak your mind
Speak it loudly
Scream!

You should scream so loud that they must run for cover.
They will say—’You are shameless!’
When you hear that, just laugh…

They will say— ‘You have a loose character!’
When you hear that, just laugh louder…

They will say—’You are rotten!’
So just laugh, laugh even louder…

Hearing you laugh, they will shout,
‘You are a whore!’

When they say that,
just put your hands on your hips,
stand firm and say,
“Yes, yes, I am a whore!”

They will be shocked.
They will stare in disbelief.
They will wait for you to say more, much more…

The men amongst them will turn red and sweat.
The women amongst them will dream to be a whore like you.

My Right, Woman’s Right

From Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Here is some interesting footage of women in Iran at a football stadium. The regime’s female security is warning women to behave via loudspeakers and telling them to stop dancing and shouting slogans.

As is the case in Iran, even attending a football match becomes political.

Women continue shouting slogans, including:

My Right, Woman’s Right: Half of Freedom
(Hagh e Man, Haghe Zan: Neemy az Azadi)

Entry to a Stadium is our Inalienable Right
(Vurud be Stadium, Hagh e Mosalam e Mast)

At the end of the footage, one woman says: “They keep telling us don’t behave this way, don’t give slogans, don’t do this and don’t do that.  Men can do what they want… their rules and restrictions are for women only.”

Support “red-clothed” women of Marivan

Fitna – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Press Release

marivan

On Monday 15 April 2013, the Islamic regime of Iran’s security forces paraded a man dressed in women’s clothing and a hejab on the streets of Marivan, Iranian Kurdistan in order to punish and humiliate him. A judge had sentenced three men from two feuding families to be “humiliated” by wearing women’s clothing in public.

You can see a video of it here.

The regime’s anti-women laws mean that women are seen to be the source of fitnah, corruption and harm; the greatest humiliation that can be bestowed on a man is to have him dressed as a woman!

Zanan_MariwanOn Tuesday, red-clothed women started a protest and called on others to join. 400 men and women joined in a march throughout the city. The police arrested some of the protesters; all of whom were subsequently released.

On Friday 19 April, there was another public protest, in which there were banners saying:

“Being a woman is not a source of humiliation or punishment”.

Many of the protesting women are wearing red. The protests are gaining prominence in Iran and elsewhere.

On Monday 21 April, there was a gathering in Iraqi Kurdistan is support of this move. Petitions are being circulated in towns and villages in Iran in support of the “red-clothed” women.

menmarivan

Also, over the past few days, men from the region and abroad have begun to publish photos of themselves wearing women’s clothing as a form of protest and declaring that being a woman is not shameful.

As Maryam, one of the campaigners from Marivan, Iran says:

“Our protest is against misogyny and the humiliation of women but also against parading men in this way and the humiliation of human dignity. We ask the people of the world to support and defend us”.

Fitnah-Movement for Women’s Liberation wholeheartedly defends this protest, has initiated a campaign in their defence, and is calling for 27 April 2013 to be an international day to defend the “red-clothed” women of Marivan.

For more information, contact:
Mina Ahadi, +49 (0) 1775692413
Keyvan Javid: +44 (0) 7861476869
Maryam Namazie: +44 (0) 7719166731
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Email: fitnah.movement@gmail.com
Blog: http://fitnahmovement.blogspot.co.uk

Yaay! Saudi Arabia lifts ban on female cyclists

Yaay!

There are reports that Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on female cyclists!

A Saudi daily cited an unnamed official as saying women can now ride bikes in parks and recreational areas but must wear a full-body abaya, be accompanied by a male relative, and stay within certain areas. They are allowed to bike for recreational purposes only, not as a primary mode of transportation.

So no, not really… Unless of course you want to go out like this:

12

(Via Tarek Fatah)

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)

Impossible not to see

01-8marsFrankfurt (2)Below is my speech at the wonderful International Women’s Day event in Frankfurt.

• 15 year old Malala Yousefzai shot by the Taliban for defending girls’ education.
• Egyptian atheist Aliaa Magda ElMahdy’s nude scream against misogyny and hypocrisy.
• The outrage over the assassination of socialist leader Chokri Belaid in Tunisia.
• The “Harlem Shake” in Egypt in front of the Muslim brotherhood headquarters.

Even if you’re not looking, it is becoming impossible not to see the immense and modern resistance and dissent taking place day in and day out – even in the darkest corners of the globe.

It’s a new period of human development after decades of Islamic terrorism, US-led militarism, unbridled free market reign, cultural relativism and the retreat of all things universal.

Much of it is based on the actual occupation of public spaces – citizens taking back control. Content-wise, its demands are deeply rooted in a criticism of the current economic crisis, capitalism, inequality, mass unemployment, and poverty as well as dictatorship and Islamism.

The high visibility and presence of women in the resistance is a hallmark of this era. A “female” revolution which contradicts and finally brings to an end the racist cultural relativism and multi-culturalism where people are boxed into imagined homogenous ‘communities’ and where dictatorship and Islamism are forever deemed to be part of people’s ‘culture’.

Labelling the Arab spring a winter does a disservice to this resistance, denies its very existence by only focusing on Islamism and oppressive forces, and hinders the expression of solidarity and support that is crucial in any fight of this nature.

The foot soldiers of the revolutions have been workers, the unemployed, youth, women, the poor… Islamists didn’t spearhead the revolutions nor have they been instrumental in them. They were nowhere to be seen. And the revolutions’ demands were not Islamist ones.

After all, Islamism has certain characteristics – such as the demand for Sharia law or veiling, which were not people’s demands when they took to the streets.

Any gain for Islamism in this period is a gain for the establishment and for the counter-revolutionary forces and must be seen as such.

I worry whether secularists and women’s rights campaigners outside the region are ready for this new era to show real solidarity and support… [Read more...]

Sexual Harassment of Women is State Sponsored Say Egyptian Women

Today was a day of action against sexual terrorism in Egypt.

One Islamic cleric gave a fatwa justifying the sexual assaults saying women were going to the protests to get raped.

Nonetheless he and his Muslim Brothers have received their response by women on the streets of Egypt.

See the magnificent protest below:

Here are what some of them have said:

HAFIZ: Rights groups and activists are convinced the systematic attacks are products of state-sponsored repression.

LODNA DARWISH, ORGANIZER, OPANTISH: This is not the first time that the government uses sexual violence to intimidate men and women, especially women. We’ve been seeing, since Mubarak years until now, the government paying thugs—and it’s proven—to come and sexually harass women. They would come to the protest and not beat up women, just sexually harass them, undress them, drag them undressed—and everybody probably saw the video of the blue-bra girl who was stripped of her clothes and dragged on the streets. This was the army. And then there was the virginity test, the so-called virginity test, which was like a rape incident of the army again, forcing 18 women to go through virginity tests. So it’s a continuous pattern of sexual humiliation… [Read more...]

Women are always expendable

Did you hear that Ikea had airbrushed all women out of their Saudi Arabian catalogue?

Ikea released a statement expressing regret over the issue: “We should have reacted and realised that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values.”

Starbucks it seems also removed the long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown, when it opened a store in Saudi.

It seems women are easily expendable when it comes to profits. Oh and also for ‘religious tolerance’, ‘respect’, and ‘not causing offence’ and in order to ‘stop discrimination’, ‘end racism’, and of course ‘prevent Islamophobia’ and what not…

Cover your damn eyes

Did you hear the report about the mullah who told a girl to  cover herself properly whilst on his way to the mosque in a VILLAGE(!) in Iran?

Veiling is compulsory there and ‘bad-hejabi’ a form of dissent and resistance.

The girl told him  to cover his eyes, insulted him and beat him so bad he had to be hospitalised.

This in the anti-Islamic backlash I often speak of in my talks.

It reminds me of the mullah who arrived late to a session of the ‘Islamic Assembly’ and said it was because he could not get a cab in his clerical garbs. He had to go home and wear street clothes before anyone picked him up.

As the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:

Clearly, with the rise of the power of political Islam, pressure to revive religious appearances in society intensifies. This, however, is a political pressure. The people sometimes yield to these pressures. This Islamic ‘renaissance’ is backed by violence and terror, which takes one form in Algeria and another in Iran. In Iran, quite the reverse, the reality is that the rise of political Islam and religious rule has caused a staggering anti-Islamic backlash, in both ideological and personal spheres. The emergence of political Islam in Iran has become the prelude to an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution in people’s minds, particularly amongst the young generation, which will stun the world with an immense explosion and will proclaim of the practical end of political Islam in the whole of Middle East.

 

Ex-Muslim Women Coffee Morning

Ex-Muslim Women’s Coffee Morning

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is organising a second meet-up for ex-Muslim women after the summer term to provide a safe space for meeting like-minded friends and discussing concerns. The second meet-up will be held on Friday 7 September from 11:30am-1pm in central London.

If you would like to join us, email Maryam Namazie at exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com or call 07719166731 for further details.

Unveiled women are like buses

This is my final blog for Secular Student Alliance blogathon. I can’t believe I managed to post a blog every half an hour from 9am-3pm GMT! But all for a good cause.

I leave you with some pearls of wisdom – not mine of course – but of an Islamic ‘scholar’ and Friday prayers leader.

He says:

“An unveiled woman is like a bus – everyone gets to ride her.

“A woman who is not wearing a full-chador (all encompassing covering) but wearing a head-scarf and manteau (overcoat type covering) is like a taxi – a limited number get to ride her.

“But a woman wearing a chador, like my wife, is like a donkey – only one person gets to ride her.”

 

 

 

Ahh bless, now I wonder how the defenders of religious education are going to explain this one. Oh let’s just stick to the mantra of golden rules and all religions preach love and peace (albeit only for those who agree with them).

Now if this has been useful to you – or more likely not – then go and donate to the SSA.

It’s  the best revenge.

Here’s a link to the official SSA Week page, which has lots of information about the SSA as well as an easy-to-find donation widget.

Here’s a list of quotations collected by Greta on why the SSA is worth supporting.

(Clipping via Afsaneh Vahdat)