My Blog has Moved to since 1 November 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I have moved to Freethought Blogs - please visit me there

Hello everyone

Just to tell you that my blog has moved to freethoughtblogs as of today.  I'll be blogging there from now on - and will be amongst greats.
Hope to see you there.

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