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Just say no to sharia law
Peter Tatchell in theGuardian on the subject of sharia law and the One Law for All rally on Saturday. HT Apostate Islam
Let us support the courageous Muslims who, often at great personal risk, are campaigning against religious extremism.
This Saturday's London rally against sharia law and all religious tyrannies should be huge. Millions of people are suffering at the hands of clerical regimes, especially our Muslim brothers and sisters in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Sadly, the turn out in Hyde Park will probably be quite small. This is odd. Most liberals and leftwingers would protest loud and strong if these persecutions were perpetrated by a western regime or by Christian fundamentalists. But they get squeamish when it comes to challenging human rights abuses committed in the name of Islam. They fear being denouned as Islamophobic. They confuse protests against fundamentalist, political Islam, which seeks to establish a religious dictatorship, with an attack on Muslim people and the Muslim faith. These are two very different things. Saturday's protest is in defence of Muslim people – and all people everywhere – who are victims of any form of religious tyranny.
Speakers at Saturday's One Law For All rally include philosopher AC Grayling, columnist Johann Hari, Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin, Rahila Gupta of Women Against Fundamentalism, Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters, Houzan Mahmoud of the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq and Muslim refugees from sharia law in Iran. The organisers have made it clear that supporters of the English Defence League and the British National party are not welcome. We reject their racist and anti-Muslim agenda.
Contrary to the way our critics are trying to misrepresent our campaign, this is not an attack on Muslims or Islam. Nor are we uniquely condemning sharia law. We reject all religious laws and courts, including those inspired by Judaist and Christian fundamentalism.
And so on.
He is a brave man but he condemns those who won't assist, while repelling those who will. Despite being classed as Islamophobic himself he still has to tar the EDL with the self same brush and cannot resist the pop at Christianity and Judaism.
Despite those reservations I wish them well. I am a practical cat who knows well the old saying, United we stand, Divided we fall.