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Rally Against Sharia Law, For Human Rights

Published: Thu 19 Nov 2009 12:14 PM
Rally Against Sharia Law, For Universal Human Rights
One law for all - No religious laws or courts
Saturday, 21 November 2009
12 noon to 2pm
Hyde Park, on North Carriage Drive, between Stanhope Place Gate and Albion Gate, Hyde Park (closest underground Marble Arch).
Speakers include philosopher AC Grayling, columnist Johann Hari, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin, Southall Black Sisters' Pragna Patel and Women Against Fundamentalism's Rahila Gupta. A full list of speakers, including Iranian and Iraqi activists, follows below.
"Organised by the One Law for All campaign, Saturday's rally is in opposition to all religious laws in Britain and worldwide," said campaign spokesperson, Maryam Namazie
"In particular, we are showing solidarity with people who are resisting Sharia law and defending universal human rights and secularism," she said.
Expressing his support for the One Law For All campaign, human rights defender Peter Tatchell of the LGBT group OutRage! said:
"This protest is in solidarity with Muslims worldwide who are campaigning against the inequalities and inhumanities of Sharia law. We reject all religious laws and courts, including those inspired by Judaist and Christian fundamentalism.
"Sharia law is one of the most extreme manifestations of fundamentalist religion, which is why we need to highlight it.
"We oppose interpretations of Sharia law that stipulate the execution of women who have sex outside of marriage, of Muslims who renounce their faith (apostates), and of Muslims who have same-sex relationships.
"OutRage! defends and supports Muslim women who are campaigning for equality. We cannot accept the way some Islamic states, including western allies like Saudi Arabia, restrict women's freedom of movement, impose compulsory dress codes on women, make women subject to the control of male guardians, and deny women access to certain jobs and positions in government.
"We believe that Muslim women and LGBT Muslims worldwide should have rights, freedoms and choices, in accordance with the principles of equality and non-discrimination that are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights," he said.
Maryan Namazie added:
"Our rally is being held to mark Universal Children's Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
"Simultaneous acts of solidarity will take place in countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark , France , Germany , Nigeria , Serbia, Montenegro and Sweden.
"Sharia law is becoming a key battleground, particularly because it is an extension and representation of the rising threat of Islamism. Sharia matters to people everywhere because it adversely affects the rights, lives and freedoms of countless human beings across the world.
"Opposing Sharia law is a crucial step in defending universal and equal rights, and secularism, and showing real solidarity with people living under and resisting it everywhere. November 21 is yet another important day for further strengthening the mass movement needed that can and will put a stop to Sharia once and for all," she said.
Speakers at the rally include: Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain's Asad Abbas; Poet 'AK47;' One Law for All's Yasmin Atasheen; Musician Fari B; International Humanist and Ethical Union's Roy Brown; Secularist Ismail Einashe; Singer/Songwriter David Fisher; Philosopher AC Grayling; Women Against Fundamentalism's Rahila Gupta; Journalist Johann Hari; Poet 'Lilith;' Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq's Houzan Mahmoud, Lawyer Cris Mccurley; Lawyer Rony Miah; Campaigner Maryam Namazie; Writer Taslima Nasrin; Southall Black Sisters' Pragna Patel; British Humanist Association's Naomi Phillips; European Humanist Federation's David Pollock; Iranian Secular Society's Fariborz Pooya; National Secular Society's Terry Sanderson; Poet Selina aka 'Jus1Jam;' Activist Muriel Seltman; Equal Rights Now's Sohaila Sharifi; Organisation for the Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq's Issam Shukri; Iran Solidarity's Bahram Soroush; Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell and National Secular Society's Keith Porteous Wood.
For further information, please contact Maryam Namazie on 07719166731 or onelawforall@gmail.com or visit www.onelawforall.org.uk
Notes:
One Law for All campaign was launched on 10 December 2008 - International Human Rights Day. It has since received the support of over 20,000 groups and individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about the One Law For All campaign, and about why opposition to Sharia law is necessary and justified, can be viewed here:
http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/about/faq/
The issues answered include: The affinity between the far right and the Islamists who support Sharia law; Islam matters because political Islam seeks to impose the Muslim faith on others by law; Secularism is an important vehicle to protect all faiths and beliefs; The battle against Sharia is against both the Islamists and the far-right; One Law for All is also against the Beth Din and other religious courts; This protest has nothing to do with the English Defence League - we repudiate them; It is not racist to criticise Islam because Islam is not a race; It is dangerous to incorporate religious laws and to give religious people special rights; Laws should safeguard rights and not violate them in the name of faith; There is no place for Sharia in Britain or the world; and the right to asylum on religious discrimination grounds or the grounds of persecution by religionists is a human right.
ENDS

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