My Blog has Moved to since 1 November 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

In solidarity with Charlie Hebdo: A photo of Mohammad will have to do!

In 2006, Charlie Hebdo, the French left-wing journal, published a Manifesto against Totalitarianism that I and several others including Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie and Ibn Warraq signed in support of freedom of expression during the Danish Mohammad caricature fiasco. I published the cartoons on my blog at the time too.

Today, the weekly was firebombed for publishing a special edition on the Arab Spring and calling itself Charia (Sharia) Hebdo for the occasion. Mohammad was featured as the ‘guest editor.’

In solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, Mohammad is being featured here as a guest blogger though I can’t really publish anything he’s written because it violates every anti-discrimination code in existence (to say the least!).

A photo will have to do.

Whilst the Islamophobia watch hall monitors will start blaming Charlie Hebdo for provoking the attack, we must target the real cuprits - Islamism - and unequivocally defend free expression and speech.

As I've said before, whilst living under an Islamic inquisition, ridiculing Islam and Islamism is an historical task and duty. No ifs and buts!


See some other articles I have written on free expression and the Islamic inquisition:
The Islamic Inquisition
Free expression no ifs and buts
Islam must be criticised
Offensive shomfensive
Apologise for what: On the Mohammad caricatures

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Passion for Freedom Private Viewing in Photos

To see some photos of the 29 October private viewing of One Law for All's Passion for Freedom Art show, click here.

The show is on until the end of the week so go and visit it if you can.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Political Islam’s and misogyny’s hands off the people of Libya!

Chairperson of The National Transitional Council of Libya, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, in a celebration of the “liberation of Libya”, held on October 23rd, said Libya would take Sharia law as its basic source of legislation. Laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified and restrictions on the number of wives Libyan men could take would be lifted.

As we declared before, the people of Libya did not revolt against the dictatorship of Gadhafi to enslave themselves to the misogynous dictatorship of Political Islam! The recent statements from the chairperson of the NTC reveals the reactionary nature of this institution more than ever, and emphasises that the people of Libya have to continue the revolution until they get rid of all reactionary forces and establish the direct rule organs of all citizens based on secularism, freedom, and equality. Furthermore, the Western governments must be held accountable and attacked by public opinion for supporting the NTC. It seems as if one must remind them that Political Islam, whether “benign” or anti-Western, is a reactionary, misogynous, and anti-freedom current.

Worker-communist Party of Iran call upon all freedom-loving people of the world to severely condemn the scandalous statements of the chairperson of the NTC, all attempts for establishing an Islamic rule in Libya, and concessionary position of the Western governments towards Political Islam; likewise to advocate the introduction of religion and state separation, unconditional equality between man and woman, individual and civil liberties, and direct rule of all citizens in Libya.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
October 24, 2011

5 November 2011: International Day of Solidarity with Iranian Workers

5 November 2011
International Day of Solidarity with Iranian Workers
Join us on this day of action

Currently in prison:
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to 6 years in prison
Reza Shahabi in prison since June 2010
Ebrahim Madadi, in prison since December 2008, sentenced to a 3.5 year prison
Rasoul Bodaghi sentenced to 6 years in prison
Ayat Niyaafar was arrested on Monday 17 Oct.

Their "crimes"
Fighting for workers rights including rights to union activities without fear of being persecuted
Demanding to be paid their wage for the work they have done
Demanding the right to strike and freedom of expression
Organising May Day
Establishing labour organisations

The attack on labour activists must be stopped!

We demand:
• the immediate and unconditional release of all jailed workers in Iran
• the expulsion of delegates of the Islamic regime of Iran from International Labour Organisation (ILO)

We call on all trade unions, concerned organisations and individuals to join us in this campaign. We need to show our solidarity with these jailed workers and their families.


To see a list of countries and cities where protests are taking place, click here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


For Immediate Release
27 October 2011

76 secularists and human rights campaigners, including Mina Ahadi, Nawal El Sadaawi, Marieme Helie Lucas, Hameeda Hussein, Ayesha Imam, Maryam Jamil, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin, Farida Shaheed, Fatou Sow, and Stasa Zajovic have signed on to a Manifesto for a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa.

In light of the recent pronouncements of the unelected Libyan Transitional Council for ‘Sharia laws’, the signatories of the manifesto vehemently oppose the hijacking of the protests by Islamism or US-led militarism and unequivocally support the call for freedom and secularism made by citizens and particularly women in the region.

Secularism is a minimum precondition for a free and secular Middle East and for the recognition of women’s rights and equality.

We call on world citizens to support this important campaign by signing on to our petition.

We also ask that supporters click ‘like’ on our Facebook page to support this important campaign and Tweet: #freesecularMENA in support of a free and secular Middle East and North Africa.


Manifesto for a Secular Middle East and North Africa

The 2009 protests in Iran followed by the Arab Spring have the potential to herald a new dawn for the people of the region and the world. The protests have clearly shown that people in the region, like people everywhere, want to live 21st century lives.

We, the undersigned, emphasise their modern and human dimension and wholeheartedly welcome this immense and historical development. We are vehemently opposed to their hijacking by Islamism or US-led militarism and support the call for a free and secular Middle East and North Africa made by citizens and particularly women in the region.

Secularism is a minimum precondition for the freedom and equality of all citizens and includes:
1. Complete separation of religion from the state.
2. Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes.
3. Separation of religion from the educational system.
4. Freedom of religion and atheism as private beliefs.
5. Prohibition of sex apartheid and compulsory veiling.


1. Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, International Committees against Stoning and Execution, Iran/Germany
2. Marieme Helie Lucas, Sociologist, Founder and former international coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws and founder of Secularism Is A Women's Issue, Algeria/France
3. Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Iran/UK
4. Shahla Abghari, University Professor, Iran/USA
5. Siavash Abghari, Esmail Khoi Foundation, Iran/USA
6. Ahlam Akram, Palestinian Peace and Human Rights Writer and Campaigner, Palestine/UK
7. Sargul Ahmad, Women's Liberation in Iraq, Iraq/Canada
8. Mahin Alipour, Coordinator, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Iran/Sweden
9. Reza Alkrami, Human Rights Activist, Iran/USA
10. Farideh Arman, Coordinator, Committee to Defend Women’s Rights, Iran/Sweden
11. Sultana Begum, Human Rights Activist, Bangladesh
12. Djemila Benhabib, Writer, Algeria/Canada
13. Codou Bop, Journalist and Director of GREFELS, Dakar, Senegal
14. Ariane Brunet, co-founder Urgent Action Fund, Québec, Canada
15. Micheline Carrier, Sisyphe, Québec, Canada
16. Patty Debonitas, Iran Solidarity, UK
17. Denise Deliège Femmes En Noir, Belgium
18. Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Sweden
19. Fanny Filosof, Femmes en Noir, Belgium
20. Mersedeh Ghaedi, New Channel TV Programme host, Iran/Norway
21. Groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois, Dakar, Senegal
22. Laura Guidetti, Marea Feminist Magazine, Italy
23. Zeinabou Hadari, Centre Reines Daura, Niger
24. Anissa Hélie, Historian, Algeria/France/USA
25. Rohini Henssman, Human Rights Activist, India
26. Hameeda Hossein, Chairperson Ain o Salish Kendra, Dhaka, Bangladesh
27. Khayal Ibrahim, Women's Liberation in Iraq, Iraq/Canada
28. Leo Igwe, Founder, Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
29. Ayesha Imam, Women's Human Rights and Democracy Activist, Nigeria/Senegal
30. International Campaign in Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran, Sweden
31. International Committee against Execution, Germany
32. International Committee against Stoning, Germany
33. Iran Solidarity, Iran/UK
34. Maryam Jamil, Women's Liberation in Iraq, Iraq
35. Sultana Kamal, Executive Director, Ain o Salish Kendra and Chairperson Transparency International, Bangladesh
36. Abbas Kamil, Unity Against Unemployment in Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq
37. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web, India
38. Akbar Karimian, Human Rights Activist, Iran/UK
39. Cherifa Kheddar, President of Djazairouna, Algeria
40. Monica Lanfranco, Marea Feminist Magazine, Italy
41. Houzan Mahmoud, Representative of Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq, Iraq/UK
42. Nahla Elgaali Mahmoud, Biologist, Sudan/UK
43. Anwar Mir Sattari, Human rights Activist, Iran/Belgium
44. Amena Mohsin, Professor, Dept. International Relations Dhaka University, Bangladesh
45. Khawar Mumtaz, Director Shirkat Gah, Lahore, Pakistan
46. Taslima Nasrin, Writer and Activist, Bangladesh
47. U. M. Habibun Nessa, President, Naripokkho, Bangladesh
48. Partow Nooriala, Poet, Writer and Human Rights Activist, Iran/USA
49. Asghar Nosrati, Human Rights Activist, Iran/Sweden
50. One Law for All, UK
51. Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters, UK
52. Fariborz Pooya, Iranian Secular Society, Iran/UK
53. Protagora, Zagreb, Croatia
54. Hassan Radwan, Activist, Egypt/UK
55. Mary Jane Real, Women’s Human Rights Coalition, Manila, The Philippines
56. Edith Rubinstein, Femmes en Noir, Belgium
57. Nawal El Sadaawi, Writer, Egypt
58. Fahimeh Sadeghi, Coordinator, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Iran/Canada
59. Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space, UK
60. Nina Sankari, Secularist and Feminist, Poland
61. Secularism Is A Women's Issue (International Network)
62. Aisha Lee Shaheed, London, UK
63. Farida Shaheed, Shirkat Gah, Lahore, Pakistan
64. Siba Shakib, Filmmaker, Writer and Activist, Iran/USA
65. Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Campaigner, Iran/UK
66. Issam Shukri, Head, Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq, Iraq/Canada
67. Southall Black Sisters, UK
68. Fatou Sow, Sociologist CNRS, Dakar, Senegal
69. Afsaneh Vahdat, Coordinator, International Campaign for Women’s Rights in Iran, Iran/Sweden
70. Lino Veljak, Professor of Philosophy, Zagreb University, Croatia
71. Fauzia Viqar, Director Advocacy and Communications, Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, Lahore, Pakistan
72. Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All, UK
73. Vivienne Wee, anthropologist, feminist and human rights activist, Singapore and Hong Kong, China
74. Women In Black, Belgrade, Serbia
75. Sara Zaker, Theatre Director, Bangladesh
76. Stasa Zajovic, spokesperson Women in Black, Belgrade, Serbia


Manifeste pour la laicité au Moyen Orient et en Afrique du Nord

Les protestations de 2009 en Iran et le Printemps Arabe qui a suivi pourrait faire se lever une nouvelle aurore pour le peuple de la région et du monde. Les manifestations ont clairement montré que le peuple dans la région, comme partout, veut vivre au XXI° siècle.

Nous sous signés, soulignons leur dimension moderne et humaine et soutenons de tout coeur cet immense tournant historique. Nous nous opposons avec véhemence à ce qu'il soit détourné par l'islamisme ou par la militarisation sous l’égide des Etats Unis et reitérons l'appel pour un Moyen Orient et une Afrique du Nord libres et laiques, lancé par les citoyens et particulièrelent les femmes de la région.

La laicité est le pré-requis minimum pour assurer la liberté et l'égalité de tous les citoyens, et cela inclue:
1. la totale separation de la religion et de l'état.
2. l'abolition des lois religieuses en matière familiale et dans le code penal.
3. la séparation de la religion et du système d'éducation.
4. la liberté de religion et d'athéisme, définis comme croyances personnelles.
5. l'interdiction de l'apartheid sexuel et du voile obligatoire.

بيان من أجل شرق اوسط وشمال افريقيا علمانية
إن احتجاجات إيران عام 2009 والربيع العربي الذي أعقبها تحمل أملاً بفجر جديد لشعوب المنطقة وللعالم. لقد أظهرت الاحتجاجات بشكل واضح أن شعوب المنطقة، كغيرها من شعوب العالم، تسعي لحياه تواكب متطلبات القرن الحادي والعشرين.
نحن، الموقعون أدناه، نؤكد على البعد الحديث والإنساني لهذه الثورات ونرحب ترحيبا حارا بهذا التطور التاريخي الكبير. ونحن نعارض بشدّة سلب مكتسبات هذه الثورات سواء كان ذلك على يد الحركات الإسلامية أو السياسات العسكريتارية بقيادة امريكا، ونؤيد الدعوة لقيام شرق أوسط وشمال إفريقيا علمانية بارادة المواطنين في المنطقة وخاصة النساء.
إن العلمانية تمثّل الحد الأدنى من أجل تحقيق حرية ومساواة كل المواطنين، ويشمل ذلك:
1. فصل الدين عن الدولة فصلاً تاما.
2. إلغاء التشريعات الدينية الخاصة بالأسرة والتشريعات المدنية والجنائية.
3. فصل الدين عن النظام التعليمي.
4. حرية الدين والإلحاد كمعتقدات شخصية.
5. منع سياسة التمييز الجنسي والحجاب الإجباري.

مانیفست برای خاورمیانه- شمال آفریفای سکولار

مبارزات سال 88 (2009 میلادی) در ایران و در پی آن "بهار عربی" این ظرفیت را دارد که طلوعی تازه را به مردم منطقه و جهان نوید دهد. اعتراضات به روشنی میدهد که مردم این منطقه، نظیر مردم هر جای دیگر، خواهان یک زندگی قرن بیست و یکمی هستند.

ما امضاء کنندگان زیر بر ابعاد انسانی و مدرن این مبارزات تاکید میگذاریم و با تمام وجود از این تحول عظیم تاریخی استقبال میکنیم. ما قاطعانه مخالفت خود را با مصادره این انقلابات و مبارزات توسط اسلام گرایی و یا میلیتاریسم (دولتی) تحت رهبری آمریکا اعلام میداریم و از فراخوان "یک خاورمیانه و شمال آفریقای آزاد و سکولار" حمایت میکنیم که توسط شهروندان این منطقه بویژه زنان مطرح شده است.

سکولاریسم پیش شرط حداقل برای آزادی و برابری همه شهروندان و دربرگیرنده این مفاد است:
١- جدائی کامل مذهب از دولت.
٢- الغای قوانین مذهبی در قوانین خانواده، مدنی و جنایی.
٣- جدائی مذهب از سیستم آموزش و پرورش.
٤- آزادی مذهب و بی مذهبی بعنوان اعتقادات شخصی.
٥- ممنوعیت آپارتاید جنسی و حجاب اجباری.

For more information, contact:
Marieme Helie Lucas
Maryam Namazie
Telephone: +44 (0) 7719166731
For a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa
BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK

TV International: Interview with Hamid Taqvaee on the 'Arab Spring'

See my interview on this week's TV International with Hamid Taqvaee on the 'Arab Spring':

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Judge Islamism's apologists for yourselves

Finally, the British Humanist Association has made available video footage of the panel discussion on Islam in a Secular Europe, which you can see for yourselves below.

If you recall, I blogged about it earlier saying give me an Islamist any day - at least they are more honest!

Now you can see for yourselves whether Humeira Iqtida (author of Secularising Islamists) and Maleiha Malik (professor of law) are really - as I said - textbook cases of apologists for Islamism.

Well at least you can see whether Humeira Iqtida is since - wait for it - Maleiha Malik asked for her interventions to be deleted and of course the BHA kindly obliged! We shouldn't be too judgmental though, it must have been hard for someone who hides behind academia to see themselves so exposed...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Passion for Freedom and Sharia and Children Act

Passion for Freedom: Breaking the last taboo

The recent murders of Syrian poet and song writer Ibrahim Qashoush and Iraqi playwright and filmmaker Hadi al-Mahdi, as well as the sentence of one year in jail and 90 lashes to actress Marzieh Vafamehr, and the six-year jail sentence and 20-year filmmaking and travel ban against international award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi, amongst others, demands serious attention.

In the west, whilst artists are very often free to express themselves, many nonetheless face huge amounts of pressure for addressing matters deemed ‘offensive’. Artists Sooreh Hera in the Netherlands and Lee-Anne Raymond and Demetrios Vakras in Australia come to mind, raising serious questions about tolerance of dissent, particularly when it comes to criticising religion and that which is taboo.

Criticism of religion is not racist. In fact open disagreement and the freedom to criticise tradition, culture and religion are essential for social progress. Turning a blind eye to the wrongs, threats and injustices committed by religion and religious states and laws is unfair to the innumerable people who are wronged, threatened and treated unjustly. No religion should be immune to criticism.

One Law for All unequivocally supports artists’ freedom of expression to address taboo issues wherever they may be and invites the public to our 2011 Passion for Freedom Art Festival showcasing a shortlist of international artists discussing the taboo through painting, drawing, sculpture, film and installation.

To attend the private view on Saturday 29 October 2011, 18.00 - 21.00 hours at UNIT24 Gallery, 24 Great Guildford Street, London SE1 0FD (Transport Underground stations: Southwark), RSVP your name and mobile number. For more information on the week-long exhibition, visit here.

Sharia and the Children Act

One Law for All will host a seminar on Sharia Law and the Children Act on 22 November 2011 from 18.30-20.30 hours at Conway Hall to explore the terms of the Children Act and whether these are compatible with the tenets and practice of sharia law. The seminar will look at the protections provided to children by the provisions of the Children Act and ask if children in Britain, by virtue of their parents’ religion or culture, are at risk of being denied these protections. In addition, One Law for All will provide information on Catholic Canon Law and how this has been used to facilitate the continued abuse of children in Catholic institutions. Speakers include: Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe; Anne Marie Hutchinson, Dawson Cornwell Solicitors; Maryam Namazie, One Law for All; Diana Nammi, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation; and Yasmin Rehman, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Domestic Violence Intervention Project. The seminar will be chaired by Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All.

For more information or to pre-register for the seminar, visit here.


1. To donate to the crucial work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal.

We need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100 Club here.

2. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable. To join the campaign, sign our petition here.

3. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Friday, October 21, 2011

99% Movement is about a lot more than Greed

I've started my TV programmes again - yaay. They will be broadcast weekly on Thursday via New Channel TV.

In this week's programme, I speak to the brilliant Hamid Taqvaee on the 99% movement, on the economic system, parliamentary democracy and socialism.

If you have any comments, post them here or email me so I can address the issues you raise in future programmes.

Next week's programme is on the Arab Spring.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We didn't kick Ben Ali out to have others tell us things are forbidden by God

See a wonderful protest of Tunisian for secularism and free speech against the Islamist attempts to silence free speech by attacking the broadcast of the film Persepolis via a TV station:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From Wall Street to Every Street

Revolution against Capitalism is Raging!

The revolution that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East have inspired millions in Europe; In Greece, Italy, Spain, England, France, and in North America; New York, Portland, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, and in Australia in Sydney and in Auckland, New Zealand, and in Tokyo, Japan, and in many others.

The essence of this international uprising is the protest against capitalism. It is the uprising of the deprived humanity against the oppression and greed of capitalism. It is also the uprising against corruption and the complete inability of this system to answer for the needs of the people. This revolutionary uprising will not be delayed by the plots of the owners’ class, neither by its soft talk, nor by its military threats and wars.

The International bourgeoisie has been trying, since the fall of the two pole system some 20 years ago, to regain its balance through creating another terrorist pole, another monster that it had dragged from the dirts of the Middle East, in order to put as a competitor in its military slaughter. But the camp of humanity today has come forward and is currently protesting in many countries around the world, and clearly announces that it does exist in the face of these two monsters. It announces that it can no longer accept the attacks and atrocities of capitalists, not by Islamic nationalist capitalists in North Africa and the Middle East, not by the Liberal, conservatives, and neo-conservatives in Europe, the US, Japan, and elsewhere. It has decided that it stops this brutal force from attacking people’s livelihood and strongly strike back.

In Iraq, the situation is very tense. The rate of unemployment has reached rocket-high levels. People are hungry and deprived of basic services and of any hope in the future. All infra-structure has been destroyed.The Youth are in dismay and have no clear future. The state in Iraq is a state of robbers, looters, gangs of Islamic terrorist thugs who serve the interests of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and of course, the US. The state in Iraq, with the support of Western governments, is intimidating the egalitarian, women, and workers activists, following a policy of kidnap and assassination. The time for these thugs to go has come.

Our party salutes the revolutionary uprisings that sweep the world from Athens and London, to New York and Los Angeles and Toronto, from San’a in Yemen to Tunisia, through Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and Ben Ghazi, the revolution is gaining momentum. Our party considers itself one of the forces of social revolution for a better world, a freer and more humane world. Our party also salutes the uprising of the people of Iraq for freedom and equality and human dignity and call them to strengthen their ranks to overthrow the gangs imposed by the US after swamping millions in their own blood.

Victory to the Peoples’ Revolution for Freedom, Equality, and Human Dignity!
Down with Capitalism!
Forward for a Better and Socialist World !

The Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq – LWPI

Issam Shukri

Help save the NHS

Over 400,000 people have signed the petition to save the NHS. This Thursday, 38 Degrees will meet with key Lib Dem members of the House of Lords. They’ll be taking their independent legal experts to discuss the alarming impact the government's plans could have on the NHS and want to hand in a copy of the Save our NHS petition. They want to collect half million signatures by tomorrow so please sign up here if you haven't yet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'll be speaking in Lymington tonight

18 October 2011
Lymington, UK

Maryam Namazie will be speaking on Sharia Law and Women’s Rights at a meeting organised by Amnesty International New Forest Group, Lymington Community Centre at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Secularists must stand up to Islamism!

Below is the text of my speech at the 17 September 2011 rally for a secular Europe in London. You can see video footage of the speech here.

Secularism is an important demand. Secularism is the strict separation of religion from the state. There aren’t 20 definitions of secularism. I know religious groups and their supporters are trying to water down the concept in order to push back secularism but we mustn’t allow them.

We need secularism more today than ever. We need it.

Of course in a secular society people who are religious or not have a right to believe in what they want.

But don’t forget religion in the state, and educational and judicial system has nothing to do with belief; it has to do with political power. And therefore, this fight is first and foremost a battle against religion in political power.

Let’s be frank. There is a demand for the separation of religion from the state because it is harmful when it is part of the state. Because as I often say, like cigarettes religion should come with a health warning: Religion Kills. It kills. And Islam is central to this debate on secularism. It is central; please stop tiptoeing around it.

In my opinion we are living under an Islamic inquisition today. This movement is hanging gays in city centres and stoning women to death in the 21st century. This is not a private religious belief; it is an Islamic inquisition.

With regards Christianity today, it is not that its tenets, dogmas or principles have changed since the days of the inquisition. Its social status, its relation to the state, educational and judicial systems has changed as a result of the enlightenment so that today it seems – only seems – cuddlier. We can see from sexual abuse survivor Sue Cox’s testimony and that of others how harmful it still is depending on its influence and access to power.

As I said before, Islam today is not just a personal belief; it is a political movement with state power in many places. Opposing Islamism and Sharia law or the burka is not an attack on minorities. Don’t forget Islamism is a global movement. Moreover it is not an attack on minorities to defend their rights to equality, to non-discrimination and to living as equal citizens under the law.

The pro-Islamist lobby, including some on the Left, humanists, and feminists keep excusing Sharia courts as people’s right to religion. It’s not. In a Sharia court, a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s. A sharia judge has said ‘there is no such thing as marital rape; calling it rape is the aggression.’ Domestic violence is seen as the prerogative of the husband. Child custody is given to the father at a preset age irrespective of the welfare of the child. This is Sharia’s family law. Would you accept canon law for people in this country? No. So we cannot and must not accept sharia law or the Beth Din for people either.

They say the burka is a form of clothing; yes if you accept the chastity belt as a form of clothing. Yes, if you accept foot binding as a form of footwear, then yes the burka is a form of clothing. Rather, it is a symbol of the oppression and suppression of women. How can anyone who defends women’s rights support it?

This is not a question of identity: Muslims against everyone else. It’s about politics and choice. There are many Muslims who are more secularist than a large majority of people in Britain. The greatest opponents against Islamism are people living under, suffering under, and resisting Sharia law day in and day out. We need to choose to be on their side and support them.

This is not a question of culture. It is in fact racist to say that people because they were born in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia or their grandparents were born there and they are citizens for several generations now don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else. That’s racist. It’s not racist to oppose Sharia law.

There is a far-Right that discriminates against Muslims. We have to stand up to the far-Right. Don’t forget Islamism is our far-Right. They are one and the same; two sides of the same coin. We have to push back both of them.

We have to choose. No more tiptoeing around. There is an anti-Islamic inquisition enlightenment taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. Where are the secularists defending them? We need to be vocal. They will bring Islamism over the heads of people who have resisted and opposed Islamism and shown their lives are antithetical to Islamism. Libya for example - as a result of NATO’s intervention, the transitional government has said it will bring sharia law. We secularists have to say no. It’s not about a secular Europe; it’s about a secular world.

It’s not about western versus eastern. Secularism is the demand of many people who have never come to the west. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani facing death by stoning in Iran wants to live; she doesn’t want to be stoned. We must choose. Do we choose to be on the side of Sakineh or the Islamic Republic of Iran that wants to stone her? Do we side with Sharia courts in this country or women who want equality?

Secularists must choose and they must be at the forefront of defending the rights of people everywhere against Islamism – today’s Islamic inquisition.

Iran Solidarity Stall at Frankfurt Book Fair 12-16 October

Iran Solidarity has a stall at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair from 12 - 16 of October!

After Brazil, we are continuing with our Iran Solidarity Tour, this time in Frankfurt, Germany - raising awareness of the situation of people in Iran and protesting the fact that the Islamic regime of Iran will be present at the book fair with a stall of their own.

It is quite unbelievable that a regime that brutally kills off free expression and those who use it, that forbids women to sing in public, a regime that bans and censures books, films and the media in the tradition of the vilest dictatorships will be able to freely spread their views and propaganda at the fair. No doubt this will be done displaying a show of civility that the Islamic regime hardly shows to its own people. In the name of representing 'Iranian culture' we will see some well dressed, smiling henchmen of the very regime that has just honoured Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr with 90 lashes and one year in prison for playing in the film ‘My Tehran for sale’ which was first given permission (yes, films need to be approved by the regime) but subsequently banned. Inside Iran, the regime imprisons writers, journalists and directors – abroad it takes part in the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Iranian regime’s only claim to culture is that of a culture of censorship and brutality - and its representatives shall not be allowed to run around and speak freely when the Iranian people as a whole are not.

We are very pleased that we will be there as a voice of information and protest and we will do our utmost to let every single visitor know about the brutality, misogyny and criminal character of the Islamic regime of Iran and the frankly quite outrageous fact that the Islamic regime has been allowed to have their own stall at the book fair.

Please come and say hello!

For more information please contact:
In Germany
Shahnaz Morattab (Deutsch, Farsi)
+49 (0) 15774650186

Patty Debonitas (English, Deutsch)
+44 (0) 7435156444

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Multiculturalism Conference must oppose all forms of fascism - including Islamism

Press Release
11 October 2011

On Saturday 15 October 2011 a National Conference to Celebrate Diversity and Multiculturalism is being jointly held in London by One Society Many Cultures and Unite Against Fascism. The conference describes its aims as opposing Islamophobia and racism.

One Law for All condemns racism and hatred unequivocally, and rejects the racist and violent politics of groups such as the English Defence League (EDL). We also reject the far-right hatred of Islamist groups such as Hizb ut Tahrir and Muslims Against Crusades and reject attempts to silence criticism of Islamism under the guise of multiculturalism or Islamophobia.

We are concerned that the practice of multiculturalism, as it is being manifested in Britain today, allows a blind eye to be turned to the human rights abuses often perpetrated against people within minority communities; in particular the oppression and mistreatment of women and girls. Sharia law, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and the increased forced veiling of women and girls must be condemned as human rights abuses and not legitimised in the name of culture or pluralism.

One Law for All calls on this conference, and its organisers, to condemn the mistreatment of women and girls irrespective of their cultural, religious or ethnic background. We call on them also to oppose all far-right fascism and hate, including the misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, theocratic and violent rhetoric of Islamist fascists, and to express a full commitment to the advancement of rights, freedom of conscience, and freedom of speech of all people.


The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.

For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10: International Day against the Death Penalty

Listen to Hamid Taqvaee's brief message in Persian to mark the International Day against the Death Penalty.

He says: Capital punishment is the state's act of pre-medidated murder. They call it justice but it has nothing to do with jutice. The aim of capital publishement is to assert control and instill fear in the population at large.

Unite Against Facism is anti-fascist in name only; we are today's anti-fascists

I received this email today from Peter Flack:

As a supporter of One Law for all - a colleague and I attended the first demonstration and Maryam attended our union branch in Leicester - I was concerned at a picture circulating on Facebook showing what are clearly EDL supporters standing with One Law for All Placards.

I have attached the picture. It appeared on the page of the local UAF Secretary, making no distinction between OLFA and EDL. Given the readiness of the SWP to join with Muslims against Crusades on the grounds they are 'victims of Islamophobia' i think it is important to get a clear repudiation of EDL out, while making it clear that opposition to Sharia Law, Female Genital Mutilation etc is neither racist nor Islamophobic but about the rights of women to be treated equally before the law.

The page it appeared on was that of Tom Mycock, from Leicester.

Here is my response:

We can’t stop people from downloading our materials and using them; we have posters and resources available for download from our website. But have a very clear position on the EDL and the far-Right – see our recent report entitled Enemies not Allies: the Far Right. We attack the far-Right every chance we get. After all, Islamism is our far-Right and we see no fundamental difference between the EDL, Stop Islamisation of Europe and America or the BNP on the one hand and the Islamists on the other.

Islamists also carry UAF placards. I saw it myself when they joined Al-Muhajiroun’s and Muslims against Crusades' counter-demonstration against us at our rally against Sharia and religious laws and for secularism in June 2010 whilst shouting Allah-o-Akbar.

The difference though is that whilst we have a zero tolerance for the EDL and its likes, the UAF actively supports Islamic fascists against ordinary Muslims and others.

The UAF secretary may make no distinction between One Law for All and the EDL but that is due to political dishonesty. The reality is that the UAF is anti-fascist in name only.

We are today’s real anti-fascists – against the European far-Right and also its Islamist version.

2011 Passion for Freedom Art Festival

One Law for All presents its 2011 Passion for Freedom Art Festival showcasing a shortlist of international artists discussing religion, equality and one secular law for all through painting, drawing, sculpture, film and installation.

Exhibited artists are Sandra Ackermann, Karin Roy Andersson, Eskild Beck, Milena Buljan, Victoria Burgher, Edna Cantoral Acosta, Magdalena Czubak Vlasak, Fiona Dent, ARINA, Heather MCDonald, Roland Okon, Despina Papadopoulou, Polina Pakhomova, Mario Raoli, Steve Rosenthal, Flora Robertson, Axelle Russo, Govinda Sah, Karine Schneider, Fianne Stanford, Paula Stevens-Hoare, Zoe Sua Kay, Valeriya Vygodnaya, Ewa Zasada, and Artur Zarczynski.

Competition judges include Polly Toynbee (Writer and Columnist), Francisco Laranjo (Artist and Head of School of Arts at Porto University) and Deeyah (Singer and Composer).

Private View: Saturday 29 October 2011, 18.00 - 21.00 hours

Gallery: UNIT24 Gallery, 24 Great Guildford Street, London SE1 0FD (Transport Underground stations: Southwark)

Exhibition: 29 October – 5 November 2011
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 8.00 - 18.00 hours; Thursday – Friday 8.00 - 18.30 hours

To RSVP for the private viewing, please email your name and mobile number to

For more information, visit Passion for Freedom website.

Passion for Freedom Art Competition, Second Edition, 2010

Passion for Freedom Art Competition, First Edition, 2009


To donate to the crucial work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal.

We need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100 Club here.

The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable. To join the campaign, sign our petition here.

For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

مریم نمازی: مردم سکولار باید قاطعانه علیه اسلام سیاسی بایستند

To see the Persian translation of my speech at the 17 September 2011 rally for Secularism in London, click here.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Sharia's advancement is to the detriment of Muslims

See today's article in the Australian 'Local Islamists draw on British success in bid for sharia law' here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Danish police arrest 14 at a demonstration in front of Iranian embassy!

Today, October 5, 2011 a group of opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran were arrested in Copenhagen, Denmark. Peaceful protesters were only displaying placard in objection to recent arrest of labour activists in Iran when they themselves were arrested.

The police have refused information regarding the whereabouts and charges against the Iranian activists, three of whom are female.

Names of detainees:
1. Kuhestan Mazhari
2. Mehran Majidi
3. Salam Sheykhi
4. Asrin Vaseli
5. Tala Chalambari
6. Saman Rostami
7. Hiva
8. Shayan
9. Soleyman
10. Amir

So far there is no information on the other four.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) condemns the outrageously unjust arrest of Iranian protestors; it is a clear violation of the right to protest. The WPI demands the immediate release of all detainees as they have not committed any crime! They were merely objecting to the crimes of the Islamic regime of Iran in a peaceful action.

Please send protest letters to the Danish police at demanding the immediate release of the detainees.

Worker-communist Party of Iran – Organization Abroad
October 5, 2011

For more information about the detainees, and to help, please contact Hasan Salehi on: 0046703171102; We welcome legal advice and are determined to organize protests in case there is a delay in their release!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Sharia law, universal rights and secularism

See my speech and the ensuing discussion at a meeting organised by the Danish Atheist Association in Copenhagen, Denmark on 27 September 2011. There was a heated debate on the scapegoating of immigrants and 'Muslims' in the question and answer period.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sharia law is antithetical to human rights

Here is my speech at Melbourne's Wheeler Centre organised by Melbourne PEN and WISA on 23 August 2011 in Australia:

Part 1:

Part 2:

The full talk, including the introduction, speech and questions and answers, is included in a video here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mohammad and Abdullah Fathi's birthday party on their graves

The two brothers Mohammad and Abdullah Fathi's birthday was celebrated at their graves recently. The two brothers were executed by the Islamic regime of Iran on 17 May 2011 charged with 'enmity against god'. You can see it here:

Here is video footage of their funeral:

Here's a letter from their brave mother issued soon after the execution.

Urgent Action: Saudi woman faced flogging for driving

Update from Equality Now!

27 September 2011: According to reports, a Saudi woman has been sentenced to flogging for driving a car in Jeddah. The woman, who does not want to be identified out of fear for her safety, was sentenced to ten lashes by a Jeddah court on 27 September 2011 and has appealed the sentence. Reportedly, two other Saudi women are also facing charges for driving. Please write to the Saudi government to repeal the sentence and release this woman and any others in a similar situation. Please continue to express support for the women involved in the Women2Drive campaign and call on the government to lift the ban on women driving.

Take action here.

You can now easily share this action with all of your friends on Facebook & Twitter! Look for the sharing links at the top of the action page!

Please click on the following link for further information as well as full contact information for officials if you wish to fax or send your own personalized letter.

We hope that you will support this and our other Women's Action campaigns.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A United Strike by Thousands of Workers of Mahshahr Petrochemical Complex

We have previously reported that the workers of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex in Mahshahr have been on strike, and have been gathered in protest in front of the headquarters of the petrochemical complex since Sunday morning, 3rd of Mehr (25 Sept 2011).

According to another report published by the Iranian Workers' Free Union, workers from Arvand, Amirkabir, and Tondguyan Petrochemicals started their own strike simultaneously with Bandar Imam workers in the early hours of Sunday 25 September.

According to this report, 6000 workers from different shifts participated in the Bandar Imam protest, gathering in front of the headquarters of the complex, marching and chanting their demands.

The main demand of the petrochemical workers in Mahshahr's Special Economic Zone is to eliminate the role of contractors as intermediaries between the workers and the employers. Recall that during the great workers' strike in Farvardin (April) this year, it was officially agreed that within three months, this demand would be fulfilled. But the workers have been continually put off.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran unequivocally supports the united strikes of Mahshahr's petrochemical workers and their just demand, and calls workers in all other work centers to join this struggle for eliminating the role of contractors throughout the entire country, and for other just demands.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
27 September 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maryam speaking in Copenhagen 27 September 2011 at 7pm

I will be speaking at a meeting organised by the Danish Atheist Society on 27 September 2011 at 7pm at Designmuseum. Address: Bredgade 68
1260 København.

I will be speaking about the discriminatory nature of Sharia law courts in Europe, the need to oppose Sharia law within the context of a fight against the far-Right and multi-culturalism, and the historical task and duty to defend universal rights, citizenship and secularism.

More information available in the Atheist Society's press release.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mina Ahadi in Brazil; Iran Solidarity Tour

Mina Ahadi, spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning (ICAS) will be speaking at the TEDxESPM conference on 29 September in São Paulo, Brazil. The day-long conference will see a host of Brazilian and international achievers talk on the theme of Communication Lighting up Minds.

Mina Ahadi’s speech at the conference coincides with the ‘Iran Solidarity Tour’ which has been organised by ICAS and Iran Solidarity. The Tour aims at building and expanding a solid and influential international network of support and solidarity with the people in Iran in their fight against the Islamic regime of Iran. In a series of events, meetings and campaigns, the Solidarity Tour will keep the struggle of the Iranian people in the world’s mind. Several meetings with organisations and government representatives in Europe and South America have been organised to lobby for the continued and outspoken support of people in Iran.

Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning
Patty Debonitas, Iran Solidarity
20 September 2011

Iran Solidarity, Patty Debonitas, spokesperson,, +44 (0) 7435156444
International Committee against Stoning, Mina Ahadi, spokesperson,, +49 (0) 1775692413

The TEDxESPM conference will be broadcast live at the following link:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We must keep up the fight against Sharia and for secularism and rights

Dear friend

Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill

We recently wrote to you about the Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill which has been introduced to the House of Lords by Baroness Caroline Cox. Baroness Cox has welcomed us on to her team and we will work together – with various other groups – to promote the passage of the Bill and to persuade members of Parliament to back it. Unfortunately, whilst the Government acknowledged our recent debate and having received numerous letters on this issue, it has already confirmed that it will not support the Bill. We are currently working on a response to this and will share it with you when we can. Baroness Cox has highly praised the work of One Law for All and regularly states that she was ‘inspired’ by us. Here is more information on the Bill.

New Resources

We have recently completed a detailed guide of the family law rights of women living in Britain with regard to divorce, domestic violence, child custody and other issues. In it, we make comparisons with sharia law and inform women that they are not obliged to attend or accept the rulings of any sharia tribunal or council. The book is accompanied by two guidance videos where the law is outlined both for women and lawyers advising them. You can see them here.

Upcoming Events

To see our upcoming events, including talks in Denmark and Lymington, UK, click here.

Children Act

Under sharia law, child custody is awarded to fathers regardless of the circumstances. Under the Children Act, judges and courts of British law are legally obliged to act only in the best interests of the child or children when making decisions on custody, contact etc. One Law for All will soon release our research on the effect that sharia councils and tribunals are having on the well being of children in Britain. On November 22nd, we will hold a seminar which will include legal experts and personal testimony.

Art Festival

Don’t forget our annual art festival, Passion for Freedom , which will run from October 29th to November 5th. More details here.

Previous events

To listen to Anne Marie’s speech at the National Secular Society conference on secularism, visit here. To see Maryam’s speech at the 17 September rally for a secular Europe, click here.

Support us!

Thanks to each and every one of you who has donated to our campaign. If you’d like to and can donate or become a 100Club member, please visit here. Every little does go a long way in the fight against Sharia and for secularism and rights.

Also a reminder that if you shop online, please do so via the Easy Fundraising website. It won’t cost you anything extra but can help raise much needed funds for One Law for All.

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up to the One Law for All campaign, please join the over 28,000 people and groups that have.

Thanks again
Warmest wishes
Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All Spokesperson


To donate to the crucial work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal here.

We need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100 Club here.

The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable. To join the campaign, sign our petition here.

For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

With Indifference

Listen to the wonderful new up-and-coming band from Liverpool called The Great Divide. They have penned a song as a charity single for the East Africa crisis, titled With Indifference. Listen to them here.

They do what is best about music and art – giving pleasure whilst also bringing attention to religion’s harmful role and helping to change the world one song at a time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

For a secular Europe and World...

Here is my speech at the 17 September 2011 march and rally for a secular Europe in London:

You can see some of the photos of the event here.

Tonight at LibDem Conference fringe meeting on Liberal response to Sharia law

Maryam Namazie will be speaking at a fringe meeting at the LibDem Federal Conference in Birmingham at 7pm. The discussion entitled the 'Liberal response to Sharia' is organised by the LibDem Humanist and Secularist group. Other speakers include LibDem Peer Baroness Kishwer Falkner. Venue of conference.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Give me an Islamist any day...

The British Humanist Association’s debate on Islam in a Secular Europe reminded me of yet another BBC* sponsored programme.

Every ‘Muslim’ on the panel claimed to represent ‘Muslims’ worldwide as if there are no differences of opinion amongst Muslims or those labelled as such. They had no trouble excusing and trivialising Sharia law, the burka, child veiling, sex apartheid [Maleiha Malik even spoke of fatwa shopping as if women’s desperation to secure justice is a joke].

They deemed universal rights and secularism western concepts and asked for people to mind their own business quoting Shirin Ebadi no less.

And no matter how many times you said your opposition was with Islamism and a defence in fact of Muslims, they still branded you a racist and took on a form of victim status in order to help pave the way for reaction.

Humeira Iqtida (author of Secularising Islamists) and Maleiha Malik (professor of law) are textbook cases of this sort of strategy; Aina Khan (Sharia lawyer) is another example.

Frankly, give me an Islamist any day. At least they are honest.

Algerian sociologist and founder of Women Living Under Muslims Laws Marieme Hélie-Lucas rightly says Islamists always start with women, which is part of their broader agenda, because many (including the likes of Humeira, Malieha and Aina) are always prepared to trade women’s rights. Malieha says no one is being stoned as if denial of women's rights in the family is any less scandalous.

Sadly for them, though, there are still many of us – Muslims and non - who are unwilling to make such a trade and who continue to give precedence to real live human beings rather than religion and medievalism.

* Known as Ayatollah BBC in Iran for its support of some form or other of Islamism.

Women against the Law

Women Against the Law, The Spirit of Things, ABC Radio, 18 September 2011 [external link]

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

17 September march and rally for a secular Europe

One Law for All Spokesperson Maryam Namazie will be speaking at the Secular Europe Campaign rally on 17 September 2011. The march will assemble from 10.30am at Temple Place. It will then proceed through central London. At the arrival point at 12.30pm there will be the final rally with speeches.

Spokesperson Anne Marie Waters sends out a call to join the 17 September rally:

Assembly (10.30 am): Temple Place (Victoria Embankment)
March (11.30-12.30 am) : Victoria Embankment, Bridge Street, Whitehall
Rally (12.30-2.30pm): Richmond Terrace (opposite Downing Street)
The Rally opposite Downing Street has already been authorised by the Metropolitan Police Service.

For more information, click here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tonight: Panel Discussion on Islam in a secular Europe

Maryam Namazie will be speaking on a panel discussion on Islam in a secular Europe at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL from 7:00pm – 9:30pm, on Friday 16 September 2011. Other speakers are Yahya Birt, the Commissioning Editor at Kube Publishing and co-editor of British Secularism and Religion: Islam, Society and the State; David Blatherwick, diplomat, writer, distinguished supporter of Humanism, and current Trustee for the British University in Egypt; Humeira Iqtida, lecturer at King’s College London and author of Secularising Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan;and Maleiha Malik, Professor in Law at King’s College London teacher of courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Discrimination Law and European Law.

Tickets: £10 general (£8 concession)

For more information and to register for the discussion, click here.

Romanian Youtube Sensation

Read about Christiana Rad here, the atheist Youtube sensation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The people of Libya did not revolt for a Karzai-type government

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Ghadafi's former Justice Minister and current head of the “National Transitional Council” of Libya, has rejected both “fundamentalist Islam” and “secularism,” and declared in his first speech that the government of Libya will be a “modern and democratic” one based on “moderate Islam and sharia law.” In other words, he promises the people of Libya a government like Karzai's in Afghanistan.

This is not what the people of Libya have risen up for. The Ghadafi regime was also a form of “moderate Islamic government.” The promised government of Mr. Abdul Jalil can only be as “modern and democratic” as Ghadafi's regime. Ghadafi's ex-Justice Minister may not have a problem with this but those masses of people who, for more than 6 months, fought heroically and forced the dictator to flee, are not going to be satisfied with another version of the same government.

Clearly, this is the prescribed desirable alternative for Western governments too. One objective of NATO’s military involvement was to put in place a Karzai-type government as the “fruits” of the Libyan revolution, and now, the task of assembling such a government has been delegated to Ghadafi's former minister, in the same way that this role has been given in Egypt to Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, an ex-Mubarak general.

Facing the remnants of the overthrown regimes and their Western government cohorts are the people who have risen up and demanded prosperity, freedom, equality and a humane life. Islam, of any kind, is fundamentally antithetical to these demands and wishes of the people. No one understands this better than the people of Iran who have lived under the yoke of Islamic rule and Sharia law for more than 30 years.

Our message to the people of Libya and other countries who have risen up is this: Do not allow Islam - be it “moderate,” “fundamentalist,” or with any other label - in the government, educational system and judiciary. Secularism is a basic prerequisite for securing freedom, welfare, and respect for human beings and humanity in any society. Particularly in the current revolutions in Islam-ridden societies - from the 2009 revolution in Iran through to the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian revolutions - a commitment to secularism is a fundamental precondition to any form of freedom-seeking, and is an important indicator for differentiating revolutionary forces from reactionary ones.

We must be hopeful and resolutely support the continued struggle of the people of Libya, like of Egypt, in standing up against the reactionary front of the transitional government put together by Western governments, Islamists, and the remnants of toppled regimes until the achievement of “bread, freedom, and human dignity.”

Worker-communist Party of Iran
13 September 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We don't want Sharia in Libya

The head of the Transitional National Council of Libya has said that Sharia law will be the main source of legislation in Libya.

Listen to a debate on BBC's Have Your Say programme today where I speak against Sharia and others in favour. As usual, I am the only secularist on the panel (well at least this time the BBC didn't leave me out!)

Surprise, surprise, Aina Khan who feigns to be a women's rights defender but only seems to defend Sharia and sweep its realities under the carpet, was there to promote its use and lie through her teeth about it; I suppose she does need to make sure sharia stays around so she can carry on making money from the misogyny! She is a 'Sharia lawyer' after all.

Here is the debate.

Secularists need to come forward now. We must stand vigilant against Islamism, but rather than dooming the revolutionary movements to failure, we must recognise and unequivocally defend them, help them expand and gain depth, and instead emphasise their modern and human dimensions which are diametrically opposed to Islamism. We must help mobilise support and solidarity for a secular, modern and human Libya, Middle East and North Africa.

Stop the execution of Troy Davis, an innocent man in Georgia. Sign his sister’s petition.

Radical Women sent me this urgent action. I've signed the petition; please take a few minutes to do the same. Troy must not be executed. How utterly disgusting that a state dares to execute a citizen in broad daylight on behalf of society. This is, according to Mansoor Hekmat, the most deplorable form of deliberate murder.

Troy Davis has 10 days to live before he is executed by the State of Georgia. But 7 witnesses say Troy is innocent, and that another man committed the crime for which he will be killed.

With just days left to save Troy’s life, his sister Kim Davis started a petition on asking the Georgia Parole Board to stop his execution. Please add your name to Kim’s petition now and save her brother’s life.

Evidence presented at Troy’s trial was considered shaky at the time. Since then, seven witnesses have recanted their testimony, many saying they were pressured by police into false testimony.

There’s no physical evidence Troy committed the crime. And, according to Amnesty International, nine people have signed affidavits implicating another man.

Please click here to add your name to Kim Davis' petition asking the Georgia Parole Board to stop her brother’s execution.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Maryam Namazie's interview with Mersedeh Ghaedi on Australia visit in Persian

To see Maryam's interview with Mersedeh Ghaedi on New Channel TV on her recent visit to Australia, click here or see the below:

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani - One Year On

It has been one year to the day that the spokesperson of the Islamic regime’s foreign ministry announced that Sakineh Ashtiani’s ‘…verdict regarding the extra-marital affair has stopped and it is being reviewed.’

This announcement came in the midst of a massive, international campaign to save Sakineh Ashtiani from death by stoning. No doubt, under the immense attention and appeals from across the world, the Iranian regime tried to buy time. Since that time last year, Sakineh has been forbidden to receive visitors; she has no access to her family or a lawyer. By isolating her and intimidating and harassing her relatives and supporters, the Iranian regime wishes that the utter disgrace of trying to kill yet another innocent woman might vanish from the face of the international arena. But it won’t.

Sakineh has come to represent the suffering of a nation under the Islamic regime of Iran’s rule - with all its injustice, barbarity, misogyny and violence.

They tried to discredit Sakineh and those that support her in Iran and internationally - all to make their barbarity more acceptable to the international community. In vain. The world has stopped buying the lies of the regime and the world is waiting for the safe release of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian who is also still in prison. The world is waiting for the release of all those other, as yet faceless, women and men who linger in the regime’s dungeons.

We are waiting for real justice to be handed out in an international criminal court to those who have been crushing life and dignity with their rulebooks, batons, fists and guns.

Sakineh Ashtiani’s stoning sentence has not been revoked.

We will not give up pushing for the safe release of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian.

Patty Debonitas
Iran Solidarity
Sakineh Ashtiani - one year on

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Visual report of September 3 protests

Here are the images from the 3 September protests in various cities in Germany, Cyprus, Canada, Sweden and the USA.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

TODAY: Demonstrations in defence of people of Iraqi Kurdistan

Condemn the Governments of Iran and Turkey’s invasive policies!

The people of Kurdistan in the frontier region of Iran, Turkey and Iraq have been under the Iranian artillery fire and the Turkish jet fighters’ attacks during the past month, on the pretext of fighting the armed forces of two organisations: PKK and Pejak.

These bombardments were accompanied by cannons and artillery from the two bordering countries of Iraqi Kurdistan and military attacks on villages, as a result of which many people were killed, wounded, displaced and a great deal of casualties was caused. In just one day, on August 21st, seven civilians from a family, including a child, lost their lives as a result of the Turkish air raid. Kurdistan Regional Government’s authorities and the Kurdish media in Iraq stated that the inhabitants of 35 villages have been forced from their homes due to these attacks.

This is just a part of the atrocities of the governments, armed forces, and terrorist gangs operating in Iraq and pursuing its own reactionary aims. Up until now, the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government have not reacted to these crimes against people. This silence is due to the reactionary nature of these governments, their etnic-religious composition, and their wheelings and dealings with the regimes of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. The people of Iraqi Kurdistan are in a tight corner of repression and crime caused by the governments of Iran, Turkey, Iraq and the U.S on one hand and nationalist, reactionary, and ethnic forces as Pejak or PKK on the other – whose aim is only to gain a share of power. The people are victims of power struggles among these reactionary forces. A vigorous defence of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan is an urgent task of freedom-loving people, a civilised world, and socialism.

Worker-communist Party of Iran expresses its deepest solidarity with the people of Iraq and the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, against the insecure situation caused by the involved forces, and strongly condemns the criminal aggressions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. We call on all freedom-loving people and political forces in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and the whole world to come to the forefront in condemnation of the governments of Turkey and Iran and against the military climate in the region.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
August 23, 2011

See also Issam Shukri on the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the actions by the Islamic regime of Iran and the Turkish government:


Global Demonstrations in Defense of People in Iraqi Kurdistan,
against the Atrocities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Turkish Government!

Time: September 3, 2-4 pm
Place: Turkish Consulate General, 10 Lower Spadina Avenue, Suite 300 Toronto, M5V 2Z2
Organiser: WPI & LWPI
Contact: 416 858 6974, 647 298 0409

Time: September 3, 5-7pm
Place: In front of the Art Gallery, Robson & How

Time: Saturday 3 September 2011, 10-11am
Place: Islamic Republic Embassy
Contact: Amir Masoud Khaghani, tel: 99170803
Organized by: Cyprus Refugee Rights Movement

Time: September 3, 1-5pm
Place: Hauptwache
Organiser: LWPI & WPI

Time: September 3, 5pm
Place: Domplatte
Organiser: LWPI & WPI

Date: September 3
Time: 4pm
Place: Isarinselfest, in front of Lukaskirche
Organizer: Petra Plötz, 0176-50728972

Time: September 3, 2-4pm
Place: Stora torget.
Contact: Esmail Mardukh 0 737 59 85 66

Time: September 3, 1-3pm
Place: Brunnsparken
Contact: Abe Asadi 0737178819

Time: September 3, 1-3pm
Place: Davidshallsbron
Contact: Farideh Arman 0703638088

Time: September 3, 4-5pm
Place: Stortorget
Organiser: Mission Free Iran

Time: September 3, 4-5pm
Place: Sävsjö Centrum
Organiser: Mission Free Iran
Contact: 0736561595

Washington DC
Date: Saturday 3 September 2011
Time: 1-3pm
Place: Embassy of Turkey (2525 Massachusetts Ave NW) starting at 1pm, then at 2pm move to protest at the offices of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2209 Wisconsin Ave) and protest for an hour.
Organizer: Mission Free Iran
Contact:; +1-240-595-2633

Friday, September 02, 2011

In depth interview with Maryam Namazie on ABC News 24's One Plus One programme

To see Maryam Namazie's indepth interview with Virginia Hausegger on ABC News 24's One Plus One program broadcast on 2 September 2011, click here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maryam Namazie’s speaking tour in Australia a huge success

Maryam Namazie’s Australian tour in the last week of August 2011 was a huge success, attracting a high media profile and hundreds who attended her various speaking engagements, which included a fundraising dinner in Sydney, a talk at the Wheeler Centre organised by Melbourne PEN and WISA, a talk at Melbourne Free University's open discussion space, a talk at University of Western Sydney Open forum with award winning author Hanifa Deen providing commentary, and a talk organised by the NSW Humanists.

During her week-long speaking tour, Maryam highlighted the many parallels between Britain and Australia, drawing attention to the unholy alliance between the Islamists and the pro-Islamist Left that refuse to condemn sharia in the false belief that to do so would be “racist”. She insisted that in fact, sharia’s advancement restricts the rights and freedoms of Muslims first and foremost, and that relegating Muslims to a separate legal system that restricts the rights of women and children in particular is the real act of racism.

“Just because people were born into Muslim families, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms as everyone else,” Maryam said.

While battling the skewed perspectives of the Islamists and their apologists, Maryam also stressed the urgent need to oppose the far-Right, including the Australian Defence League and the Stop Islamisation movement, which feigned to oppose Sharia law in order to attack Muslims and immigrants. She called for an unequivocal defence of asylum seekers and refugees, many of whom have fled Islamism and Sharia law.

Maryam’s visit coincided with the publication of research by academics who found that legal pluralism “abounds” in Australia, creating a shadow legal system that endorses polygamous and underage marriages in which women have lesser entitlements to divorce and child custody.

During her visit, Maryam was interviewed by a number of media outlets. Some of the coverage can be found below:

Keeping quiet allows intolerance to thrive, Elizabeth Farrelly, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 2011.

British experiment a warning on Sharia law by Chris Merritt, The Australian, 26 August 2011.

ABC Radio 774's Conversation Hour with Jon Faine (Melbourne) interviewing Maryam Namazie along with artist Kavisha Mazzella and 9/11 survivor Genelle Guzman-McMillan, 24 August 2011.

Strength in Numbers, Channel 7;Today Tonight, 24 August 2011.

British campaigner battles media cone of silence on Sharia law by Chris Merritt, The Australian, 23 August 2011.

ABC Radio National's Late Night Live with Phillip Adams interviewing Maryam Namazie along with Director of DV8 physical theatre Lloyd Newson whose latest work, Can We Talk About This? deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. The production premiered in August 2011 at Sydney Opera House, and will be followed by an international tour. This documentary-style dance-theatre production is based on interviews, thoughts and speeches of individuals such as Maryam Namazie, the director of ‘One Law for All,’ which fights for the rights of women, and against Sharia courts and Sharia law being introduced in Britain, 22 August 2011.

Maryam was also interviewed in Persian on SBS Radio's Persian Program, 27 August 2011.

Links to interviews by Ida Lichter, author of Muslim Women Reformers, Rachael Kohn of ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things and with Virginia Hausegger, ABC News 24's One Plus One program will follow.

For more information on Maryam Namazie’s Australia tour, please contact tour organiser and One Law for All Australia contact person Gaby Grammeno, at

DV8 physical theatre: Can we talk about this?

Lloyd Newson’s latest work, Can We Talk About This? deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. The production premiered in August 2011 at Sydney Opera House, and will be followed by an international tour.

From the 1989 book burnings of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, to the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and the controversy of the ‘Muhammad cartoons’ in 2005, DV8’s production will examine how these events have reflected and influenced multicultural policies, press freedom and artistic censorship.

In the follow up to the critically acclaimed To Be Straight With You, this documentary-style dance-theatre production is based on interviews, thoughts and speeches of individuals such as Maryam Namazie, the director of ‘One Law for All,’ which fights for the rights of women, and against Sharia courts and Sharia law being introduced in Britain.

For more information, visit here.

For dates and tickets, visit here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Veil, on no condition!

Conflict and dispute on the question of the veil among the factions of the Islamic regime in Iran is escalating. The paper of Iran supporting president Ahmadinejad, has called the veil “the worst kind of clothing” and attacked its black colour. The paper has even damned King Nasser al-Din Qajar (1831 – 1896) as the initiator of the black veil!

The fact is that from the very outset the veil was the banner of the Islamic regime indicating its character. Quite a few weeks before the people’s uprising in February 1979, wherever Islamic thugs could, they attacked unveiled women. After the coming of the Islamic regime to power, these thugs continued their misogyny by shouting the slogan “either a veil or a box on the head”, hurling acid on unveiled women, whipping women breaking the Islamic rules, abominable propaganda against woman, kicking them out of job, etc. But the resistance and struggle of women did not stop even for a single day. For refusing to carry a “proper veil”, millions of women have been warned, charged, whipped, imprisoned, raped and been called prostitutes in the media during the Islamic rule. However, they didn’t give up! In the past 32 years, a widespread war has been going on between women and the Islamic regime. It could without any exaggeration, be said that the winner has been the women.

The fact that today the regime is divided into adherents and opponents of the black veil, that one is denouncing the other, and that the other one is emphasising the penalties of improper veiling and saying that “just as King Reza (1878 – 1944) unveiled women by force, we have to use force to put it back on women”, speaks for itself the shameful defeat of the regime. An official says that 22 organs that are responsible for controlling the veil have not performed their duties and that in Tehran just 37% of women consider the veil, and even these are only for fear of its consequence! Another official says that the plan of sexual separation has been laid dormant for 24 years. Statistics published by the regime indicates that about 80% of teenager students have a boyfriend – something that precisely contradicts the whole Islamic system. For 32 years, all the regime’s measures of repression and propaganda have been working to impose the veil and yet all the Islamic ruling gangs are today admitting that in one way or another, they have failed.

Veil in any form, size, and color is the heinous banner of the Islamic reaction. They need the women’s rightlessness to keep up the system of exploitation, poverty and subjugation. The war on veil, sexual separation and other Islamic misogynious policies are a class struggle and cosequently concern all freedom-loving people, anyone attempting to stop religious intervention in people’s lives, anyone that esteems humanity or fights against misery, and all those fighting for the overthrow of this regime. The split and weakened forces of the regime may once again try to impose veil and sexual separation, but the freedom-fighting people of Iran are not going to give up. As they have shown in the past 32 years, they’ll not accede to this yoke of oppression. On the contrary, they’ll emerge more determined and firm, now that they’ve stirred up divisions in the ranks of the regime.

From the very begining of its coming to power, the Islamic regime introduced the veil by force. Consequently, unveiling would be the end of its miserable existance! It’s time to take the field with all their might and abolish the Islamic regime’s veil and sexual separation.

Long live the women’s liberation movement!
Down with the Islamic regime in Iran!
Long live freedom, equality, workers’ rule!

Worker-communist Party of Iran
August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maryam Namazie in Australia for the next two weeks

I am leaving for Australia early tomorrow morning and will there for the next two weeks. Here are the events I will be speaking at:

Dinner and Talk: Should Australia follow Britain in accommodating Islamic sharia law?: 6.30 pm Monday 22 August 2011
Description: Talk by Maryam Namazie and fundraising dinner for One Law For All.
Maryam will speak about the implications of legal pluralism for Australia, with insights from the UK experience to date in accommodating Islamic sharia law through the Arbitration Act 1996, and the current effort to limit the power of sharia courts and religious tribunals through the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.
Venue: Finola's Restaurant (Balmain Bowling Club), 156 Darling St, Balmain, Sydney.
Cost $50 per person - SOLD OUT
RSVP: Gaby Grammeno at (02) 4754 3569.

Sharia law and human rights
Melbourne PEN and WISA
6.30 pm, Tuesday 23 August 2011
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Cost: $10
RSVP: Melbourne PEN at

Religious Courts in the Secular State
Date: Wednesday 24 August
Description: Maryam will talk at Melbourne Free University's open discussion space.
Venue: Dexter Bar/Cafe, 123 Queens Pde, Clifton Hill, Melbourne.
Cost: Free
RSVP: Gavin Vance at

Sharia law and human rights
Date: 6.00 pm Thursday 25 August 2011
Description: UWS Open forum
Venue: University of Western Sydney Parramatta South Campus (main campus), cnr Victoria Rd and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere, Building EE room G.03.
Cost: Free

Challenging sharia law
NSW Humanists
Date: 2.00 pm, Saturday 27 August 2011
Venue: Humanist House, 10 Shepherd St, Chippendale
Cost: Free for NSW Humanist members, gold coin donation for others.

She also has interviews arranged with the following:
ABC News 24's One Plus One program
ABC Radio National's Late Night Live, with Phillip Adams
ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things with Rachael Kohn
ABC Radio 774's Conversation Hour, with Jon Faine (Melbourne)
Elizabeth Farrelly, contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald
Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor, The Australian
SBS Radio's Persian Program, 24 August
Ida Lichter, author of Muslim Women Reformers

This trip could not have happened without the hard work of Gaby Grammeno so am especially looking forward to meeting up with her.

I will still be available on email (I don't think my phone will work there) if anyone needs to reach me urgently.

Also see Maryam Namazie's op-ed in the Australian entitled Australia must fight calls for Sharia law published on 12 August 2011.