To set the scene for what comes below: religiously-motivated law-making in action – Hamas bans women from riding on motorcycles.
Why November 21 is an important day for you
The One Law for All campaign is organising a rally against Sharia and all religious-based laws in Britain and across the world and in defence of human rights and secularism on November 21 in London. Rally organisers are calling upon those who cannot get to London to organise rallies or acts of solidarity in various cities across the globe.
A public show of opposition is crucial at a time when Sharia law is on the rise in many places and is being touted as a ‘right’ and a ‘choice’ when it is anything but these things.
Contrary to the misinformation peddled by their proponents and the far Right, Sharia courts are the demand of the political Islamic movement. They are not the demand of ordinary Muslims or those labelled as Muslims (since there are just as many differences of opinion and belief in all so-called Muslim communities as among others). Do not forget that these very “Muslims” are the first victims of and dissenters against Sharia law.
If it were really the desire of “Muslims” to be stoned to death for sex outside of marriage, hanged for being gay, executed for being apostates, flogged for eating during Ramadan, forcibly veiled and segregated from childhood, Islamic states and the regressive Islamic movement would not need to resort to such indiscriminate violence and brutality.
Only recently, this ‘cuddly’ Sharia law convicted Lubna Hussein of ‘indecency’ for wearing trousers in the Sudan, sentenced a man to be flogged for drinking alcohol in Malaysia, and sentenced a 75 year-old woman, Khamisa Sawadi to four months in prison, 40 lashes and deportation in Saudi Arabia for meeting with two young men who were not relatives who brought her bread. Just today, on October 11, 2009 – a day after the International Day against the Death Penalty – the Islamic regime of Iran executed juvenile offender Behnoud Shojaee; there are at least 160 juveniles on death row in Iran, including for homosexuality, apostasy, sex outside of marriage and involvement in school or street fights that have resulted in murder.
In this year alone, MPs in the Indonesian province of Aceh unanimously passed a law which stones adulterers to death and Sharia was introduced across the country in Somalia and in Pakistan’s Swat region. And as if Sharia law were not enough for ‘liberated’ Afghanistan, its parliament recently passed a new “rape law” for ‘Shias’ which requires, among other things, that women submit to sex with their husbands at least every four days, with few exemptions.
And it is not just men, women and children who are targeted by Sharia; even mannequins (wax models) are. This week, again in Iran, the police warned shopkeepers that they should not display female mannequins without a hijab or showing bodily curves. The list goes on and on.
Of course, when it comes to Britain, Sharia councils and tribunals do not issue stoning sentences but that is not because they think it is wrong to do so – it is because this is the ‘duty’ of Islamic states. (Even here, though, Sharia judges have been known to advocate stoning.) And whilst there is a significant difference between letting Islamic courts and councils decide on civil matters and giving them jurisdiction in criminal cases, this difference is a matter of degree only; the fundamentals are the same. In fact, discriminatory family and personal status codes are important pillars in the oppression of women in Islamic states. Losing custody of your child at a pre-set age irrespective of the child’s welfare, being told to remain in an abusive relationship or having your forced marriage rubberstamped with the approval of these sham courts can be just as destructive.
Whether in Pakistan, Somalia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or Britain, Sharia law concerns us because we are concerned about human rights and peoples’ freedoms. Sharia and religious laws in general do not belong to the 21st century. We will not let the political Islamic movement drag us back to the Middle Ages.
So November 21 is an important day for all of us to oppose Sharia and all religious laws and defend human rights and secularism. Join us in London’s Hyde Park from 1200 until 1400 hours. If you can’t come to London, why not organise a rally or act of solidarity in the city centre where you live on the same day? If you coordinate it with us beforehand, we could upload photos and film footage of your acts on our website.
We will also respond every day beginning Monday 12 October to one question or comment emailed to us or posted on our website here: http://www.facebook.com/l/62551;www.onelawforall.org.uk/universal-childrens-day-and-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-violence-against-women/ until November 20 so that we can help to draw attention to this important campaign.
And please don’t forget to donate to One Law for All. We urgently need money to do all that still needs to be done to get rid of Sharia. 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 Paypal by visiting http://www.facebook.com/l/62551;www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate.html.
We look forward to a successful rally in London and elsewhere.
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731