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International - Event Notice
Sunday March 09 2008
11:00 PM

Sexual apartheid, political Islam and women's rights

category international | gender and sexuality | event notice author Thursday February 28, 2008 17:27author by Maryam Namazie - Equal Rights Now Report this post to the editors

Sexual apartheid, political Islam and women's rights

A seminar in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day
Monday, March 10, from 6:30-9:30pm
Conway Hall, London

poster7englisi8marz.jpg

Speakers:

Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany and Equal Rights Now; 2007 NSS Secularist of the Year

Louise Couling, Chair of Unison's Regional Women's Committee and member of the National Executive Council

Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson, Organisation for Women's Freedom in Iraq

Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Equal Rights Now, National Secular Society Honorary Associate

Joan Smith, Novelist, columnist and human rights activist

Chair: Hanne Stinson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association

The event is free of charge; donations are welcome.

The seminar is organised by Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Equal Rights Now, Organisation against women's discrimination in Iran, and endorsed by the National Secular Society, the British Humanist Association, the LGBT Humanist Association and the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq.

For more information, please contact Maryam Namazie maryamnamazie@googlemail.com or call 07719166731.


The Council of Ex-Muslims will be launching its No to Sharia Campaign at a March 10 evening seminar commemorating International Women’s Day at Conway Hall in London.

Also, support us by signing a declaration proclaiming this IWD a day of protest against sexual apartheid:
http://maryamnamazie.blogspot.com/2008/02/iwd-day-of-pr....html

Related Link: http://maryamnamazie.blogspot.com/
author by Maryam Namaziepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 17:07Report this post to the editors

Extract from speech by Maryam Namazie at this meeting.

In Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and countries ruled by Islamic laws, women and girls are segregated, degraded and relegated to second class citizenship. Keeping women and girls separate and unequal are important pillars of Islamic rule, affecting every aspect of people’s lives. Sharia law itself specifies that a woman is worth half that of a man and that she is the property of her male guardian, needing his permission even to travel and work.

They say a society’s treatment of women is a measure of its freedom. If so, the mistreatment of and discrimination against women is a measure of the degree of influence and power of Islamic and religious laws - whether in Iran or Britain.

But stop, I am told. Saying so ‘just supports Western propaganda’ - something by the way that the Islamic regime of Iran often tells women and men it is hauling off to prison and execution.How absurd. It is like Iranian women’s rights activists telling one to stop opposing US-led militarism because it supports the ‘Islamic regime of Iran’s propaganda!’

The anti-imperialist left always ready to act as prefect when women’s rights under Islamic laws are concerned has an affinity towards Islam, which it views as an ‘oppressed religion’ bullied by the USA. It is an anti-colonial movement whose perspectives coincide with that of the ruling classes in the so-called Third World. Their understanding of the ‘colonies’ is Eurocentric, patronising and even racist. According to them, the people in these countries are one and the same with the regimes they are struggling against.

They ignore how the political Islamic movement was promoted by Western governments as against the former USSR and how in Iran, it was supported in an effort to crush the left and working class movement. This type of politics denies universalism, sees rights as ‘western,’ justifies the suppression of women's rights, freedoms and equality, under the guise of respect for other ‘cultures’ implying that people want to live the way they are forced to. In this type of politics, the oppressor is victim and any criticism racist.

On the other hand, the right-wing defend US militarism and the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine. They include organisations like Jihad Watch and the Horowitz Freedom Center which has an ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week’ and rattles off facts about women under Islam so that it can help promote the neocon agenda of bombing people into ‘liberated’ swamps like Iraq. These groups have ‘difficulty with the concept of moderate Muslim’ and believe the ‘onus is on Muslims to ensure the safety of non-Muslims.’

They are ‘concerned’ about the ‘rights’ of women and apostates so they can ban the Koran and ‘Muslim immigration.’ They are quite happy to defend Christian religious morality, restrict the benefits to single mothers, bar funds for AIDS- related and contraception-related health services abroad if they provide abortions.

Clearly, sexual apartheid must enrage civilised humanity into an international movement that is about changing and improving people’s lives. This movement must reject both US-led militarism and political Islam. It must be secular and humanist, must support universal rights, must defend the right and historical duty to criticise religion, and defend the freedoms and equality of people everywhere.

In 1973, as a result of international attention and widespread opposition to the apartheid system in South Africa apartheid was recognised as a crime against humanity. On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, let’s together proclaim that sexual apartheid is a crime against humanity.


Full text at:

Related Link: http://maryamnamazie.blogspot.com/2008/03/challenges-fa....html
author by saoirsepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 17:19Report this post to the editors

Funny how all this is directed at Iran, as if it is the only islamic country in the world.

There is a perverse bias at work here. Change the thread title to reflect that your attack is on Iran and not just political islam.

All this recent burst of concern on Indymedia wouldn't have anything to do with the fact there is an election in Iran on Friday now would it?

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 18:11Report this post to the editors

If you had bothered to read the article you would have noted the opening sentence:

In Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and countries ruled by Islamic laws, women and girls are segregated, degraded and relegated to second class citizenship.

Its not about Iran, its about the oppression of women. And its not just about Islam either:

On the other hand, the right-wing defend US militarism and the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine. They include organisations like Jihad Watch and the Horowitz Freedom Center which has an ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week’ and rattles off facts about women under Islam so that it can help promote the neocon agenda of bombing people into ‘liberated’ swamps like Iraq. These groups have ‘difficulty with the concept of moderate Muslim’ and believe the ‘onus is on Muslims to ensure the safety of non-Muslims.’

They are ‘concerned’ about the ‘rights’ of women and apostates so they can ban the Koran and ‘Muslim immigration.’ They are quite happy to defend Christian religious morality, restrict the benefits to single mothers, bar funds for AIDS- related and contraception-related health services abroad if they provide abortions.


Maryam also attacks the Christian /Zionist Right. You are a very clumsy apologist for the Iranian Regime

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 19:10Report this post to the editors

Your reference to pseudonyms is hilarious given your own refusal to use your own name. You dont have the courage of your "convictions". I am posting here only under my own. Over 100 people in Finglas heard the truth from Dali and no amount of trolling by you can change that. You and the other trolls who support the Iranian Dictatorship are now striking out like wounded animals as more and more progressive organisations support the Iranian women, students and trade unionists who are fighting against the dictatorship.

The banner is that of one of the organisations speaking at the meeting. The article clearly refers to several Islamic countries. No amount of lies by you can change that. The article condemns Christian/Zionist attacks on Islam. No amount of lies by you can change that. The article is about womens rights. No amount of lies by you can change that.

All people have to do is scroll back up and read the article.

author by C Murraypublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 19:20Report this post to the editors

This article was posted by a woman who would be in the know regarding her political
and feminist situation, to suggest, as some commentators have done that what is
being achieved through the article and statement (first comment) that its a US/CIA
plot coming up to iranian elections does a huge dissservice to the movement for
equality by muslim women (the world over)and not just in iran.

would the person who attacks PC suggest that we 'turn a blind eye' to the problems
cos it's on a US hitlist?

Thats silly thinking- there are many active feminist groups in the Middle East and they
must put up with a lot of shit to get their message to other women and to us.
Put Iranian Feminst blogs through a few search engines.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 19:25Report this post to the editors

Heres another article about Maryam Namazie. She deals further with the oppression of girls and women under islam and the sharia "law".

Picture this, says Maryam Namazie: “A child is swathed in cloth from head to toe every day. Everything but her face and hands are covered for fear that a man might find her attractive. At school she learns that she is worth less than a boy. She is not allowed to dance or swim or feel the sun on her skin or the wind in her hair. This is clearly unacceptable, yet it is accepted when it is done in the name of religion.”

Namazie is the founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain (CEMB) which started life in the middle of last year. On Monday - in celebration of the centenary of International Women's Day - she spoke at a conference on Political Islam and Women's Rights, and launched a campaign against Sharia.

She was 12 when the Iranian revolution “was hijacked by the Ayatollahs” and her country became the Islamic Republic of Iran. “I had never worn the veil and was at a mixed school. Suddenly a strange man appeared in the playground. He was bearded and had been sent to separate the sexes - but we ran circles round him.” She can still picture, too, the face of “the Hezbollah” who stopped her in the street because her head was uncovered. “I was 12 or 13. It was really scary.” Worse happened to others: “There were beatings and acid was thrown in women's faces, and there were executions on television every day,” she says. Then her school was closed “for Islamicisation”.


Full article:
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women...6.ece

Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain http://www.ex-muslim.org.uk exmuslimcouncil@googlemail.com; 07719-166731; http://www.maryamnamazie.com

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 24, 2008 17:20Report this post to the editors




Louise Couling's speech entitled: Experiences as a woman trade unionist

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 24, 2008 17:23Report this post to the editors




Maryam Namazie's speech entitled: Challenges facing the women’s liberation movement

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 24, 2008 17:26Report this post to the editors




Mina Ahadi's speech entitled: Significance of hejab and stoning for political Islam and the resistance against it

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 24, 2008 17:32Report this post to the editors

Houzan Mahmoud's speech entitled: Women pioneering the struggle for secularism and ending gender apartheid in the Middle East

Related Link: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-729834538696...36136
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