One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain’s International Women’s Day

One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain’s International Women’s Day was a resounding success March 10, 2009 Printable version PDF

Nearly 600 people joined the One Law for All anti-racist rally against Sharia and religious-based laws in Britain and elsewhere and in defence of citizenship and universal rights in Trafalgar Square and marched towards Red Lion Square in London. Hundreds then joined our public meeting to discuss and debate Sharia, Sexual Apartheid and Women’s Rights. Our protest was met with widespread support and left many feeling inspired and invigorated. It was also covered by the mainstream media, including BBC Radio 4, BBC 5Live, BBC Wales, and the Times.

The rally of several hundred heard a number of speakers denouncing the policy of accommodation and appeasement of the political Islamic movement. A C Grayling in his speech said: ‘Once you start fragmenting society, once you start allowing different groups in society to apply different standards, you get very profound injustices and it is almost always women who suffer these injustices. We have to fight hard to keep one law for everybody.’

Parisa who was refused a divorce from a violent husband said: ‘Ten years of my life is gone because of Sharia law. I want to stop it. Please help to stop it. It is not fair. I had a good uncle who helped me to escape but what about others who don’t have a chance to run away. I saw that many, many times.’

Terry Sanderson, the president of the National Secular Society, said: ‘We do not need another legal system running in parallel… Sharia is creeping into our legal system and society and we must stop it in its tracks and now!’

Fariborz Pooya, head of the Iranian Secular Society, said ‘the introduction of Sharia is a betrayal of thousands of women and children and leaves them at the mercy of Islamist groups.’

After listening to a number of speeches, including from Sargul Ahmad, Jalil Jalili, Shiva Mahbobi, Reza Moradi, Maryam Namazie, Saeed Parto, Sohaila Sharifi and Bahram Soroush the crowd then marched through Strand and Kings Way to Red Lion Square with demands to end Sharia law in the UK and elsewhere. At Conway Hall, they heard live music from the group, Raised Voices, then joined a public meeting and heard a panel of distinguished speakers discuss Sharia Law, Sexual Apartheid and Women’s Rights. The meeting was chaired by Sohaila Sharifi (Central Council of Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran). Speakers included Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Journalist and British Muslims for Secular Democracy Chair), Naser Khader (Democratic Muslims Founder), Kenan Malik (Writer and Broadcaster); Yasaman Molazadeh (One Law for All Legal Coordinator); Maryam Namazie (Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Spokesperson), Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism founding member), Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Chair), and Carla Revere (Lawyers’ Secular Society Chair). Sargul Ahmad (International Campaign against Civil Law in Kurdistan Iraq head) also spoke about the situation in Iraq under Sharia and the need for international solidarity.

March 7 was One Law for All’s first warning to the British government and the political Islamic movement. As Maryam Namazie said on the day: “We won’t stand idly by whilst the British government relegates a huge segment of our society to sham courts and regressive rules and appeases the Islamists here or elsewhere. And we will bring the political Islamic movement to its knees in Britain in much the same way that people are doing in Iran and elsewhere.” She added: “We will keep growing in numbers and strength until we get rid of Sharia councils and religious tribunal’s altogether.”

Videos of the conference

Footage of the March 7, 2009 public meeting on Sharia law, Sexual Apartheid and Women’s Rights. Speakers were Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Journalist and British Muslims for Secular Democracy Chair), Naser Khader (Democratic Muslims Founder), Kenan Malik (Writer and Broadcaster), Yasaman Molazadeh (One Law for All Legal Coordinator):Maryam Namazie (Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All Spokesperson), Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism founding member), Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Chair), Carla Revere (Lawyers’ Secular Society Chair) and Sargul Ahmad (International Campaign against Civil Law in Kurdistan Iraq head). The meeting was chaired by Sohaila Sharifi (Equal Rights Now Central Council).

Video of the rally

Maryam Namazie’s opening speech at the March 7 rally with footage of the march:

Speeches by AC Grayling, Sohaila Sharifi and Bahram Soroush at the March 7 rally:

Speeches by Terry Sanderson, Fariborz Pooya and Sargul Ahmad at the March 7 rally:

Maryam Namazie’s closing speech at the March 7 rally along with speeches from Reza Moradi, Parisa and Shiva Mahbobi:

By | 2009-09-13T18:58:14+00:00 March 10th, 2009|Links|19 Comments

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19 Comments

  1. Laurence Parker September 24, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Great to find your website and see these brave people speaking out.

    Why is it that the “Liberal Left” are not 100% behind this campaign and giving it their full publicity? I thought The Guardian was the voice of free thought and upholder of democracy.

    I hear little or nothing from them and (shamefully) the feminist movement in regard to the repression of Asian women in this country. Forced marriages, Honour Killings/beatings and female circumcision are clearly taboo subjects with them and, it seems, the Police and Government.

    Can someone please tell me why?

    • Earnest Bergholt October 20, 2009 at 2:49 am

      Because they are racists and don’t care about what happens to non-white women and children. They don’t realise that the Islamists will one day seek to impose sharia law on all people in the UK unless stopped.

  2. Georgia Hopper October 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I have only just heard about your organisation and was very heartened listening to the speeches made at your rally. It’s good to hear the opinions of rationally minded muslims and to know that you are taking a stand against sharia law in Britain. I think the rest of Britain will be 100 per cent behind you when they get to learn about your cause. What would you like people to do on your behalf?

    • sarah comaskey October 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

      yeah woman of UK are 1000 per cent behind muslim woman and will fight along side of them agaisnst this scum in our country

  3. Jacky October 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Good luck with the great job you are doing. I hope you get many supporters and financial backers.

  4. Jacky October 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Very good work, we hope all the country will be able to hear about your organisation.

  5. sarah comaskey October 17, 2009 at 9:05 am

    everyone has the right ti live how they want without imposing thier views on others this the UK with our laws that has been here for hundreds of years it was not a muslim country and will never will be a muslim country the muslims that are here were decendants of people from abord yes some muslims were born here but most of them stand side by side with their fellow countryman to live in peace with every race and and every belif

    • Mioara November 10, 2009 at 4:24 am

      No they don’t. Some would like that but out of sheer fear would keep quiet. Very few do it in secret also due to the “peaceful” islamic community. Muslims live separate lives. Non-muslims are considered unclean. Don’t say things based on a few impressions. Looks like youdon’t want to do harm… so please don’t.

  6. sarah comaskey October 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

    woman children men black yellow red and white people in this country have equel rights to live how they chose with out imposing on others this country has had its cutures for hunderds of years and we will not let any one take that away from us we are the west this is a westen country and its free for everyone to live how they chose we dont want murder for the sake of a holy book or stoneings of woman who have the right to live how they see fit they are human beings who derseve repect no one has the right to imposee any relion holy book of and extesmist views on anyone YOU ARE EVIL MURDERS WHO WANT POWER AND YOU WONT GET IT THE PEACE RALLYS ARE COMING AND WE WILL DRIVE YOU OUT OF OUR PEACEFUL COUNTRY

  7. Tony Mowbray October 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    This group should join forces with the English Defence League and help them in their fight against Islamic extremism and Shariah law in the UK.

    • sikram October 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      First of all one should read & understanding one’s topic,before going against some issue. I hope all commentators will look into the subject before criticizing any thing. In India, women get nothing in inheritance,a girl child is killed every few minutes. In the western world look at the data of women being raped every few minutes. Why then people just because they have misinformation, do they start campaigning against something they do not know fully well. Search for the truth, you will get it.

    • Maryam Namazie October 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      We will have nothing to do with the English Defence League
      October 26, 2009

      Tony writes on our website: This group should join forces with the English Defence League and help them in their fight against Islamic extremism and Shariah law in the UK.

      Maryam Namazie responds: One Law for All will never ever join forces with the English Defence League. As I have said before, the far-right’s version of Britain is not very different from the Islamists’ one and we won’t stand for either.

      I know the EDL tries to hide its true intentions – sort of like the BNP claiming not to be racist in order to join the mainstream. But even without a mission statement on its website and with a disclaimer on its forum, it isn’t hard to see that the EDL is a racist organisation.

      First off, just their name makes me shudder. English Defence League reveals nationalism, exclusivity, segregation… I think it is very clear who they are – and are not – including in their version of ‘English.’

      And it is also clear who they are from the hooligans and thugs who join their rallies. The EDL says it can’t be blamed for those it attracts but of course it can and it must. Send out right-wing messages of nationalism and ‘England for the English’ and you will get the racists and fascists doing Nazi salutes and demonising those perceived to be different.

      And it is also clear who they are from their tactics, one of which is organising demonstrations in front of mosques and terrorising people passing by or entering. Look, if you are concerned about the political Islamic movement and mosques being funded by Islamic states to promotes Islamism, then by all means demonstrate but why not do it at the Qatar embassy (if you are concerned about the Burnley mosque for example) or for that matter Jack Straw’s office (who is thought to be responsible for the Emir of Qatar’s £1.5 million gift to the mosque). Yes I am opposed to faith schools but I wouldn’t stand with a group that brings out thugs in front of an Islamic school and threatens children going in who are sent their by their parents…

      How you show your opposition is just as important as what you oppose – if not more.

      Clearly, being opposed to Sharia is not nearly enough if it isn’t done within a framework of defending the rights of all and not just the ‘English.’

      • Antony November 25, 2009 at 11:46 am

        You claim that organising a demo in front of a mosque or in a muslim area is “terrorising”, well, one of you’re speakers – Peter Tatchell –
        has actually demonstrated inside churches ( good on you Peter – these bigots deserve it !), is he “terrorising” people ?, Mosques, churches etc are symbols of and propagators for a totalitarian ideology in the same manner that a nazi party hq is, and are therefore valid targets for protest.
        Also, most areas of Britain now unfortunately have muslims in them – so logically this would rule out protest over most of the UK.
        I was at the demo – well done for organising it – but there were only about 150 people there rather than several hundred, the anti islamist movement needs far more people, on the other side of the demo I saw there was some sort of disagreement with a few people holding an England flag, I don’t know what, if any, group they belonged to, but I don’t think people who are patriotic should be lumped together with “racial nationalists” such as the BNP, or you will just alienate potential support.

  8. Mioara November 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Sikram,

    Do you have data from muslim societies on rape, domestic abuse, incest, assault on women, on children, etc? No such non-sense data, isn’t it ?? I wonder why… What woman in her right mind would look for justice when the “divine” law tells her to bring 4 MALE witnesses? Moreover they must be of good character, credible, and they must see the sexual act taking place- the actual coitus !!!
    Do you also know that in UK 40% of women in shelters ARE Muslims ? Now, you wonder why !

    • Teresa Espinosa May 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      You gave a very good answer to the remark, I knew the data might be correct, but still self serving in the way it was being presented.

  9. Maryam Namazie November 23, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Several hundred people joined a successful rally organised by One Law for All on November 21, 2009 in London’s Hyde Park. Acts of solidarity also took place in nearly 20 countries around the globe.

    To hear coverage of the rally on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme, click here (from 2400-3100 minutes).

    See also an article by Peter Tatchell in Guardian’s Comment is Free on the Rally published Nov 20.

    A more detailed report to follow shortly.

  10. ana November 24, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Muslims rape non muslim girls in Sweden.:

  11. […] the wearing of a simple headscarf?  I hear much public discussion and fear of the extremism of Islamic sharia, but where’s the discussion of “secular sharia?”  Secularism can chain women too; just ask […]

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