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16 September 2011, Islam in a Secular Europe Panel Discussion, London

Maryam Namazie will be speaking on a panel discussion on Islam in a secular Europe at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL from 7:00pm – 9:30pm, on Friday 16 September 2011. Other speakers are Yahya Birt, the Commissioning Editor at Kube Publishing and co-editor of British Secularism and Religion: Islam, Society and the State; David Blatherwick, diplomat, writer, distinguished supporter of Humanism, and current Trustee for the British University in Egypt; Humeira Iqtida, lecturer at King’s College London and author of Secularising Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan;and Maleiha Malik, Professor in Law at King’s College London teacher of courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Discrimination Law and European Law.

Tickets: £10 general (£8 concession)

For more information and to register for the discussion, click here.

1 Comment

  • Jim Trimmer
    Posted 23rd September 2011 11:07 am 0Likes

    It seems to me that the underlying question was: to what extent must Europe accommodate the cultural values of Muslims/to what extent must Muslims who have chosen to settle in Europe modify those values?

    For example, the burqa: do we believe that Muslim women are brainwashed or coerced into conforming with a convention that is a cultural norm within some branches of Islam, and even claiming the right to do so? (After all, some people claim to enjoy smoking, without the slightest awareness of the compulsion involved.) Is it just “a piece of cloth” or do we regard the burqa as symbolic? If we do, then numbers are irrelevant: how many swastika banners would we be comfortable with on the streets of London?

    The other, related, topic was sharia “law” – as Malik pointed out, more of a folk concept that anything to do with jurisprudence in the conventional sense. At one end of the spectrum of informal arbitration is the extended family, where senior members might call younger ones to account if they feel family values are being abused: at the other the kangaroo courts of the Belfast ghettoes.

    Two other subjects where family and cultural pressures are presumably central are arranged/forced marriage and “honour” murders, but these weren’t touched on.

    But, apart from the chairman’s occasional audibility problems, it was a fascinating and revealing 150 minutes. Maryam certainly scored highest on the clap-o-meter!

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