International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism
25 November 2018, Central London, 9:30-21:00
On 25 November, International Day against Violence against Women, there will be an international conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism in central London with 38 notable speakers from 24 countries and the Diaspora who are leaders in the fight for equality, secularism and against the far-Right and religious fundamentalisms of all stripes.
Keynote speakers at the conference are Centre for Secular Space Director Gita Sahgal, Southall Black Sisters Director Pragna Patel and Asia Bibi’s Lawyer, Saif Ul Malook. Asia Bibi is a Christian woman accused of blasphemy who was on death row in Pakistan for eight years. Saif Ul Malook successfully defended Bibi and she was released on appeal in November 2018.
Other distinguished speakers at the one-day event include Bangladeshi Writer Bonya Ahmed who survived a brutal attack which resulted in the murder of her husband Avijit Roy; Moroccan Activist Ibtissame Betty Lachgar; FEMEN Leader Inna Shevchenko; Algerian Sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas; Tunisian Filmmaker Nadia El Fani; Polish Secularist Nina Sankari and Women in Black Belgrade Co-Founder Stasa Zajovic.
The leading secularists and veteran women’s rights campaigners will discuss Sharia, Religious Arbitration and Family Law, the Politics of Collusion, Gender Segregation, the Veil, Women’s Bodily Autonomy and Secularism as a Defence of Women’s and Minority Rights.
There will be a dance and public art protest in solidarity with the women’s movement against compulsory veiling in Iran and an evening awards ceremony to recognise women’s rights campaigners. For the first time in the UK, there will be a screening of 3 Second Divorce by Shazia Javed. The new film explores the impact of instant triple-talaq on Indian Muslim women through intimate stories as well as behind-the-scene glimpses at the struggle of activists fighting for a legal ban on this practice.
The conference aims to gather secular and egalitarian forces, highlight voices from the frontlines, and reaffirm the centrality of the universality of rights and the principle of secularism – the complete separation of religion from the state.
The conference, organised by Maryam Namazie, will mark the 10th anniversary of the One Law for All Campaign for equality irrespective of background, beliefs and religions.
The Conference is sponsored by Bread and Roses TV; Center for Inquiry; Centre for Secular Space; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Culture Project; European Network of Migrant Women; Equal Rights Now; Fitnah; Freedom from Religion Foundation; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Southall Black Sisters and Secularism is a Women’s Issue.
- The conference schedule and speaker biographies can be found on the conference website.
- Tickets to the conference are available here.
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