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One Law for All needs your support

One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain was established on December 10, 2008 – International Human Rights Day – in order to mobilise opposition to Sharia and all religious based tribunals and defend universal and citizenship rights.

12,000 signatures and a successful March rally and meeting

In the short time it has been established, we’ve gathered over 12,000 signatories to our petition calling for a ban on religious tribunals and organised a successful demonstration and public meeting to mark International Women’s Day in March in London.

A free legal and informational helpline

We have also set up a free legal and informational helpline for those who have been denied their rights by Sharia councils and all religious tribunals. Trained volunteers will provide callers with information and referrals to pro bono lawyers. The helpline is being managed by our Legal Coordinator, Yassi Molazadeh. You can contact her at ymolazadeh@hotmail.com if you would like to volunteer to staff our helpline or provide pro bono legal advice. The number of the Advice Helpline is 0800 228 9897; lines will be open daily from 9am to 10pm.

A speaking tour in Canada and elsewhere

Moreover, we have spoken at an international conference on secularism in Paris, France and completed a speaking tour across Canada.

During the last two weeks of March, Spokesperson Maryam Namazie and Outreach Coordinator Goranka Gudelj travelled to Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria and spoke with hundreds of people to network and broaden support for the One Law for All Campaign. The visit was significant because of the success of a similar campaign against Sharia law in Ontario province in Canada, which Maryam was also involved in. Her visit was covered by Canadian media, including: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1379415

Whilst in Toronto, Maryam participated in a panel discussion with Tarek Fatah (Founder of Muslim Canadian Congress and Author of “Chasing a Mirage”: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State”, Justin Trottier (Executive Director of Center for Inquiry, Ontario) and Issam Shukri (Head of the Organization for the Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq), and spoke at an event sponsored by the Centre for Inquiry. She also spoke at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the University of Victoria and at a fundraising dinner with Victoria’s atheist, secularist and humanist group. To see footage of the panel discussion and speeches in Canada, see: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/video.html

Maryam and Goranka also met with a number of personalities involved in the Campaign against Sharia Courts in Canada, including Farzana Hassan and Hassan Mahmoud of the Muslim Canadian Congress. Farzana Hassan has agreed to act as a Canadian spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain.

Mobilising support for November 20 mass rally

In the coming months we plan to go across the country to raise opposition to Sharia and religious tribunals and mobilise support for our next big mass rally in London on November 20, Universal Children’s Day. To find out where we will be next, see: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/events.html. And if you want to organise a public meeting in your area, please feel free to contact Outreach Coordinator Goranka Gudelj at olfa_enquiries@yahoo.co.uk to arrange it.

Raising funds

We urgently need money to do all that still needs to be done to get rid of Sharia and religious tribunals in Britain. Every bit helps so please do take the time to send us a cheque made payable to One Law for All or by donating via our paypal account. You can find out more here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate.html

Thanks again for your support.

It can and will make a difference!

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and over 200 other organisations from 46 countries endorse the Joint Statement on Defamation of Religions

207 organizations from 46 Countries (and European and International organizations) have indicated their support for the Joint Statement on Defamation of Religions

Algerian Centre for the Defence and Promotion of Press Freedom (CALP) [Algeria]
Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (CADAL) [Argentina]
Sociedad Humanista-etica, Deodoro Roca [Argentina]
Atheist Foundation of Australia [Australia]
Australia NZ Secular Association [Australia]
Brisbane Atheists [Australia]
Council of Australian Humanist Societies [Australia]
Humanist Society of Queensland [Australia]
Humanist Society of Victoria [Australia]
Melbourne Atheist Group [Australia]
Rationalist Association of NSW [Australia]
Rationalist Society of Australia [Australia]
Secular Party of Australia [Australia]
Skeptics Australia [Australia]
Sydney Atheists [Australia]
Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) [Azerbaijan]
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) [Bahrain]
Hotline Human Rights [Bangladesh]
Media Watch [Bangladesh]
Centre d;Action Laique [Belgium]
Human Rights Without Frontiers In’tl [Belgium]
Humanistiche Vrijzinnige Vereniging [Belgium]
Unie Vrijzinnige Verenigingen [Belgium]
Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) [Brazil]
Fondation Genereuse Developpement [Cameroon]
Canadian Humanist Publications [Canada]
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) [Canada]
Cultural Bridges [Canada]
Humanist Association of Ottawa [Canada]
Humanist Canada [Canada]
International Committee to Protect Freethinkers [Canada]
Muslim Canadian Congress [Canada]
The DiaHumanism Institute [Canada]
Centre for Political Studies [Denmark]
Danish Atheist Society [Denmark]
The Free Press Society [Denmark]
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) [Egypt]
European Humanist Federation [European]
European Network Church on the Move [European]
European Union of Jewish Students [European]
European Union of Public Relations [European]
Finnish Humanist Union [Finland]
Union of Freethinkers [Finland]
Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme (LICRA) [France]
Mouvement Pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme [France]
Coordination française pour le Lobby Européen des Femes (C.L.E.F.) [France]
Burgerbewegung Pax Europa [Germany]
German Forum Human Rights [Germany]
Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands [Germany]
World Citizens Foundation [Germany]
Greek Helsinki Monitor [Greece]
Minority Rights Group [Greece]
Sidmennt Ethical Humanist Association [Iceland]
Adhra Pradesh Rationalist Association [India]
Atheist Centre Andhra Pradesh [India]
Centre for Study of Society and Secularism [India]
Centre for the Study of Social Change [India]
Disha Dalit Humanist organisation [India]
Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations [India]
Gujerat Mumbai Rationalist Assoc [India]
Indian Humanist Union [India]
Indian Radical Humanist Association [India]
International Jurist Organization [India]
Jana Vignana Vedika [India]
Manava Vikasa Vedika [India]
Netradana Protsahaka Sangam [India]
Rationalist Forum of Hyderabad [India]
Satya Shodhak Sabha, Gujerat [India]
Social Development Foundation [India]
Society for Humanism and Social Change [India]
Socio-political Analysis and Research Org [India]
Spurthi Dalit Humanist organisation [India]
Viveka Vidyalayam [India]
Association for World Education [International]
Atheist Alliance International [International]
B’nai-B’rith International [International]
Center for Inquiry International [International]
Coalition for Defence of HR in Muslim World [International]
International Council of Jewish Women [International]
International Free Press Society [International]
International Humanist and Ethical Union [International]
International Press Institute (IPI) [International]
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) [International]
Open Doors International [International]
The International Association of Prosecutors [International]
The International Federation of Liberal Youth [International]
Women’s International Zionist Organization [International]
World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission [International]
World Jewish Congress [International]
World Jewish Congress [International]
World Maronite Union [International]
World Union for Progressive Judaism [International]
World Union of Jewish Students [International]
World Union of Progressive Judaism [International]
Cartoonists Rights Network [International ]
Organisation against Women’s Discrimination [Iran]
Humanist Association of Ireland [Ireland]
Nonviolent Radical Party [Italy]
The Fire Rescue Development Program [Italy]
Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti [Italy]
Arab Archives Institute [Jordan]
Adil Soz, International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech [Kazakhstan]
Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya [Kenya]
Media Institute [Kenya]
Frontiers Association [Lebanon]
Maharat Foundation [Lebanon]
Middle East Christian Committee masreq [Lebanon]
Center for Media Studies and Peace Building [Liberia]
Liberté de Conscience [Luxembourg]
NGO Forum [Mauritius]
United Nations Association of Mauritius [Mauritius]
Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES) [Nepal]
Center for Inquiry, Low Countries [Netherlands]
Humanistisch Verbond [Netherlands]
Humanistische Alliantie [Netherlands]
India Committee of the Netherlands [Netherlands]
Humanist Society of New Zealand [New Zealand]
NZ Assoc of Rationalists and Humanists [New Zealand]
Media Rights Agenda [Nigeria]
Nigerian Humanist Movement [Nigeria]
Human Rights Service [Norway]
Norwegian Humanist Association [Norway]
Norwegian PEN [Norway]
Doha Centre for Media Freedom [Qatar]
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) [Serbia]
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) [Somalia]
Media Institute of South Africa [South Africa]
Free Media Movement (FMM) [Sri Lanka]
South Sudan Movement in Disapora [Sudan]
Swedish Humanist Association [Sweden]
Swedish Youth Humanist Association [Sweden]
Association Suisse des Libres Penseurs [Switzerland]
CWA [Switzerland]
Darfur Peace And Development Centre [Switzerland]
International Publishers Association [Switzerland]
Intl. Foundation for Population and Development [Switzerland]
UN Watch [Switzerland]
Syria Reform Party [Syria]
Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association [Trinidad & Tobago]
International PEN Writers in Prison Committee [U.K]
Belfast Humanist Group [UK]
British Humanist Association [UK]
Consultative Board of Jewish Organisations [UK]
Council of ex-Muslims of Britain [UK]
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association [UK]
Humanist Academy of Scotland [UK]
Humanist Assoc of Northern Ireland [UK]
Index on Censorship [UK]
Jewish Human Rights Coalition [UK]
National Secular Society [UK]
North East Humanists [UK]
North London Humanist Group [UK]
One Law for All Campaign [UK]
Pink Triangle Trust [UK]
Rationalist Association [UK]
The Evangelical Alliance [UK]
The Institute For African Alternatives [UK]
Act for America [USA]
Advocates International [USA]
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community [USA]
American Atheists [USA]
American Coptic Associations [USA]
American Ethical Union [USA]
American Humanist Association [USA]
American Islamic Congress [USA]
American Islamic Forum for Democracy [USA]
American Jewish Congress [USA]
American Maronite Union [USA]
American Textbook Council [USA]
Association of World Citizens [USA]
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty [USA]
Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute [USA]
Center for Security Policy [USA]
Endeavour Forum Inc [USA]
Ethics & Religious Liberty Comm, Southern Baptists [USA]
Foundation for Democracy in Iran [USA]
Freedom House [USA]
Hudson Institute, Center for Religious Freedom [USA]
International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty [USA]
International Multiracial Shared Cultural Organization [USA]
Jihad Watch [USA]
Jubilee Campaign USA [USA]
Military Assoc of Atheists and Freethinkers [USA]
Minnesota Atheists [USA]
National American Coptic Assembly [USA]
Open Doors USA [USA]
Pray in Jesus Name Project [USA]
Quadlibet Strategic Ventures NFP [USA]
Redeem the Vote [USA]
Religious Freedom Coalition [USA]
Secular Student Alliance [USA]
Simon Wiesenthal Centre [USA]
Society for Humanistic Judaism [USA]
Society of Catholic Social Scientists [USA]
Southern California Ecumenical Council [USA]
Summit Ministries [USA]
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention [USA]
The International Quranic Cente [USA]
The International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) [USA]
The Tandem Project [USA]
Traditional Values Coalition [USA]
United American Committee [USA]
Unity Coalition for Israel [USA]
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS) [Venezuela]
Institute for African Alternatives
International Association of Prosecutors
International Quranic Center
Muslims Against Sharia

Join March 7 events against Sharia and Religious-based Tribunals in Britain and elsewhere

This is your chance to voice your opposition to Sharia law and all religious-based tribunals in Britain and elsewhere, demand one secular law and full citizenship rights, demand an end to cultural relativism and racism, and defend universal rights.

On the 7th, meet at North Terrace, Trafalgar Square, 3:30-4:30pm for a symbolic demonstration followed by a march towards Conway Hall from 4:30-5:30pm.

Then join a public meeting entitled Sharia Law, Sexual Apartheid and Women’s Rights from 6:00-8:00pm at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. Speakers include: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Journalist and British Muslims for Secular Democracy Chair), Naser Khader (Democratic Muslims Founder), Gina Khan (One Law for All Spokesperson), Kenan Malik (Writer and Broadcaster), Maryam Namazie (One Law for All Spokesperson), Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Chair), and Carla Revere (Lawyers’ Secular Society Chair).

Prizes for our Art Competition will be awarded at the March 7 public meeting. You can participate in the competition by submitting a painting, drawing, photograph, animation or short video in digital format no later than February 27, 2009. The goal of the art competition is to expose the discriminatory nature of Sharia and religious-based tribunals and/or promote equal rights for all citizens, as embodied by the campaign’s emblematic phrase: One Law for All. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of prominent judges, namely, AC Grayling (Philosopher), Deeyah (Singer), Johann Hari (Journalist and Playwright) and Polly Toynbee (Writer and Columnist).

Also, don’t forget to donate to our organisation if you can. Any amount will help. The March 7 event, and our future plans for a legal and informational campaign, a speaking tour across the country, a mass rally in November and more all cost money. If everyone who supports our work and/or who has signed our petition (6,800 so far since December 10) gave even a £1, we would have the money needed to move this campaign forward.

We know we have a huge fight ahead and can only win if we do this together. We must mobilise a mass anti-racist movement that defends people’s rights and lives and gives them precedence over culture and religion.

To donate, for more information, to download a leaflet or a booking form, or to sign the petition, visit our website: www.onelawforall.org.uk. You can also contact us via:
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
onelawforall@gmail.com

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain joins One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain

The One Law for All campaign, which is seeking legislation to curb the influence of sharia law in Britain , will be launched at the House of Lords on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2008.

Gina Khan (activist), Maryam Namazie (campaign organiser), Carla Revere (Lawyers’ Secular Society), Joan Smith (writer), Ibn Warraq (writer), and Keith Porteous Wood (National Secular Society) will be speaking at the event, which will be chaired by Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society).

The campaign has already received widespread support including from Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Mina Ahadi, Sargul Ahmad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mahin Alipour, Homa Arjomand, Susan Blackmore, Nazanin Borumand, Caroline Cox, Austin Dacey, Richard Dawkins , Deeyah, Nick Doody, Sonja Eggerickx, Afshin Ellian, Tarek Fatah, Caroline Fourest, Tahir Aslam Gora, AC Grayling, Maria Hagberg, Johann Hari , Khayal Ibrahim, Shakeb Isaar, Maryam Jamel, Alan Johnson, Mehul Kamdar, Asqar Karimi, Naser Khader, Hope Knutsson, Hartmut Krauss, Stephen Law, Shiva Mahbobi, Houzan Mahmoud, Anthony McIntyre , Caspar Melville, Navid Minay, Tauriq Moosa, Reza Moradi, Douglas Murray, Taslima Nasrin, Samir Noory, Carla Revere, Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Udo Schuklenk, Sohaila Sharifi, Issam Shukri, Bahram Soroush, Peter Tatchell, Hamid Taqvaee, and Afsaneh Vahdat.

It has also received the support of organisations such as Center for Inquiry; Children First Now; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women ‘ s Discrimination in Iran; European Humanist Federation; International Committee against Stoning; International Humanist and Ethical Union; Iranian Secular Society; Lawyers’ Secular Society; the National Secular Society; Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

According to campaign organiser, Maryam Namazie, ‘Even in civil matters, Sharia law is discriminatory, unfair and unjust, particularly against women and children. Moreover, its voluntary nature is a sham; many women will be pressured into going to these courts and abiding by their decisions. These courts are a quick and cheap route to injustice and do nothing to promote minority rights and social cohesion. Public interest, particularly with regard to women and children, requires an end to Sharia and all other faith-based courts and tribunals. ‘

The campaign calls on the UK government to recognise that Sharia law is arbitrary and discriminatory and for an end to Sharia courts and all religious tribunals on the basis that they work against and not for equality and human rights.

The campaign also calls for the law to be amended so that all religious tribunals are banned from operating within and outside of the legal system.

In the words of the Campaign Declaration: ‘ Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not beliefs. In a civil society, people must have full citizenship rights and equality under the law. Clearly, Sharia law contravenes fundamental human rights. In order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain , there must be one secular law for all and no Sharia. ‘

Roy Brown, immediate past president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union said, “IHEU is lending its full support to this campaign. It is intolerable that the very values on which UK society is based – human rights, equality and the rule of law – are being undermined by the quiet and insidious application of systems of law that have no basis in equality or justice.”

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, which is also supporting the One Law for All campaign, said: “It is a grave error for the authorities in this country to give credence to Sharia in any form – whether legally or in terms of informal arbitration. When women are being subjected to violence in their marriages, it is not acceptable for religious authorities – which are, by definition, misogynistic – to arbitrate. A two-tier legal system, with women ‘ s rights being always secondary to religious demands, is unnecessary, undesirable and ultimately unjust.”

Ends

For more information, please contact Maryam Namazie, email: onelawforall@gmail.com, telephone: 07719166731; website: onelawforall.org.uk.

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