HOLD THIS DATE – 11 February: A Day to Defend Free Expression

HOLD THIS DATE – 11 February 2012
A Day to Defend Free Expression

One Law for All is calling for a rally in defence of free expression and the right to criticise religion on Saturday 11 February 2012 at Old Palace Yard, opposite the House of Lords from 2-4pm.

We are also calling for simultaneous events and acts in defence of free expression on 11 February in countries world-wide.

The call follows an increased number of attacks on free expression in the UK, including a 17 year old being forced to remove a Jesus and Mo cartoon or face expulsion from his Sixth Form College and demands by the UCL Union that the Atheist society remove a Jesus and Mo cartoon from its Facebook page. It also follows threats of violence, police being called, and the cancellation of a meeting at Queen Mary College where One Law for All co-spokesperson was to deliver a speech on Sharia. Saying ‘Who gave these kuffar the right to speak?’, an Islamist website called for the disruption of the meeting. Two days later at the same college, though, the Islamic Society held a meeting on traditional Islam with a speaker who has called for the death of apostates, those who mock Islam, and secularist Muslims.

Whilst none of this is new, recent events reveal an increased confidence of Islamists to censor free expression publicly, particularly given the support received from universities and other bodies in the name of false tolerance, cultural sensitivity and respect.

The right to criticise religion, however, is a fundamental right that is crucial to many, including Muslims.

Clearly, the time has come to take a firm and uncompromising stand for free expression and against all forms of threats and censorship.

11 February is our chance to take that stand.

You need to be there.

Enough is enough.

NOTES:

Contact us for more information or with details of actions or events being organised outside of London:

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
onelawforall@gmail.com
www.onelawforall.org.uk

To help with the costs of the rally and 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.

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.

By | 2016-06-23T14:10:27+00:00 February 11th, 2012|Press Releases|8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Geoff Ryan January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I have seen about this incident on the web and have put a complaint in with
    the Metropolitan police.I have also asked them to look at the web site of the people who carried out this criminal act.

    They call themselves Islamic awakening.The attack they carried out was
    premeditated as you will see on their site,it is also full of hate speech
    for non Muslim’s.I would ask all people to contact the police in regards
    to this matter regardless of whether you were there or not.

    Here is the link to the Islamic awakening site.
    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/urgent-calling-all-muslims-east-london-today-55211/

  2. Pedram Kazemi-Esfarjani January 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you Geoff for reminding us that we still live in a liberal democratic state, where the sate has an obligation to protect citizens from being threatened to death for debating a anti-democratic, dehumanising doctrine that Islamic Sharia and Islamic Imperialism promoting it in fact is. And thank you for, like myself, counting on that most of our democratically steered Metropolitan Police force as well as our Militray and Intelligence Servide officeres are – still – on the side of liberal democracy and national interest instead of Global Islamism – the mono-cultural scham called multi-culturalism!

  3. Paul Crofts January 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I believe we should be careful on this issue. Free expression is not, nor should it ever be, an absolute right. We do not have a right to be abusive and insulting or threatening to people whose views we disagree with. It is possible to disagree with others opinions and views whilst being sensitive and respectful. I am an atheist, but I know many people with religious views that, whilst I disagree with them, we debate and discuss issues respectfully in a spirit of listening and learning from one another as human beings with fears and doubts. I am very worried by the growth of intolerance by some religious people who are assertive and disrespectful to non-religious people, but also increasingly concerned about the intolerance shown by fellow atheists/humanists – particularly in a climate of growing Xenophobia and Islamaphobia. We need to break out of this circle of intolerance and mutual disrespect.

    • Thomas February 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Weve taken 100’s of years to break from blasphemy laws, if we want to have rules and laws saying not to critize iron age mythology then we will destroy all the progress made. We are not intimidating, media has told everyone to condemn the cartoons, the books? But they NEVER condemn the voilence and the death threats. This is disgusting . I dont want to live in a society tip toeing round a ticking bomb ( no pun intended). Religion should not be taken seriously and we should be weary of those who do take it seriously as they all want the end to happen. I do not want to see this society to commit intellectual suicide. Who decides what we can read ? write ? draw. I do not want to live under a dictatorship and nor should you. If people want to live in a society which doesnt mock prophets they should leave this democractic nation.

    • Guest February 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      “It is possible to disagree with others opinions and views whilst being sensitive and respectful.”

      Which Islamic fundamentalists almost never are.

      “We need to break out of this circle of intolerance and mutual disrespect.”

      Try telling that to them.

    • Hugo Schmidt February 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Oh, bite me. How’s that for “disrespect”? I reserve the right to be as disrepsectful as I may choose and I don’t grant you the right to censor me. If you care to try, bring it on.

  4. Stefan Ronnquist February 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @Paul Crofts,

    You are right; we should be very careful about free expression. It’s a young, rare and fragile stance that has taken hundreds of thousands of years and lives to reach, and it’s still, today, possible in civil societies only. Over 70% of the world’s population still don’t enjoy it. Most of them don’t even have a clue about what it means.

    You are also right in that freedom of expression isn’t an absolute right. Even in civil societies, it’s under attack and in combat every day. Which makes it even more important to defend sternly against any form limitation, whether proposed by well-meaning, tolerant people like yourself, or demanded from other, much scarier directions. Which is why this rally seems very important.

    Now, freedom of expression is indeed an absolute in one sense; you either have it or you don’t. You can’t have 50% right of free expression. And eventually, the only thing that will help breaking out of intolerance and disrespect is the full and unlimited right to anybody to express their thoughts.

  5. Terri Murray February 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Western “liberals” have naively capitulated to the false dilemma between respect for diversity (their sacred shibboleth) and freedom of expression. First, there is no dilemma between these two values, nor are they opposed. Only when said “diversity” involves the use of violence or coercion to suppress dissent do the two conflict, and in this case we are dealing with ideologies with unwilling followers who have been coerced into conformity to the ideology anyway. Such ideologies, even when they wear the mantle of “religion” to protect their ‘liberty’, are not worthy of respect. We cannot assume that their adherents VALUE the ideological beliefs of the group, since coercive violence is used to secure it. Therefore to speak of their ‘values’ is a contradiction in terms. Holding values is something that is done voluntarily. As for women who claim to voluntarily subscribe to sexist practices, these claims cannot and should not be believed until the stigmatizing and brutalizing violence, threats and economic sanctions against them are completely removed. When they THEN claim to be acting “voluntarily” we can believe their claims.
    Second, Western liberals are so desperate not to offend the cultural sensibilities of the “other” that they rush to judgement and demonize as “racist” anyone who genuinely acts in solidarity with oppressed members of the intolerant ideology by expressing dissenting viewpoints. This puts these so-called liberals in contradiction with their own liberal values – as the ideologies they defend against “racism” do not themselves respect the value of tolerance, and trample the human rights of members of their own communities – who are also minorities! Western liberals have been ignorant in allowing right wing ideologues to use these claims of “cultural imperialism” and “racism” to divide and rule minorities from diverse communities who ALL SHARE THE VALUE OF TOLERANCE and who would otherwise unite against the TRUE oppressors – those intolerant religions and ideologies that reject the value of free expression, freedom of conscience, and self-determination.

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