This is about politics not religion


Below is my speech at the 22 September National Secular Society conference in London: 

Sometimes I really don’t know what more to say.

What else can be said about Sharia law that– at least in your gut – you don’t already know?

It is based on the Koran, the Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence. Its criminal code includes stoning to death for adultery and execution for apostasy and homosexuality. In Iran, for example, there are over 130 offences punishable by death.

Its civil code – which is imposed by Sharia courts in Britain – is discriminatory and unfair particularly against women. Basically it is a code of death and despair.

Not breaking news, is it? After all it is religious law. And that’s what – in my opinion – religion does best. A court based on the Bible and Torah would be similarly discriminatory and barbaric.

Yet the numbers of people who continue to defend Sharia courts in Britain as people’s ‘right to religion’ is staggering.

And of course – any excuse – will do. The best I have heard recently has to be ‘I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not as you say it is’. End of. Their skepticism seems to apply to everything but Islam.

But the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain itself explains for example why a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s.

It says:

‘If one forgets, the other can remind her.’ It’s the difference between a man and a woman’s brains.’ ‘A woman’s character is not so good for a case where testimony requires attention and concentration.’

And this also applies to divorce as men have unilateral right to divorce and only need to say talaq thrice whereas a woman have limited recourse to divorce.

The website says: ‘Women are governed by emotion; men by their minds so he will think twice before uttering talaq [divorce].’ It goes on to say it is not ‘derogatory’ but ‘the secret of women’s nature.’

In a Sharia court in Britain, a woman can’t even sign her own marriage contract; a male guardian must do it on her behalf. Child custody goes to the father at a pre-set age irrespective of the welfare of the child. Marital rape is seen to be the prerogative of the husband – a sharia judge recently said calling it rape is the act of aggression. The rules here in Britain are the same as the ones women in Iran face in family courts.

Written By: Maryam Namazie
continue to source article at


  1.  I’ve come to much the same conclusions. Religion (all religions) has more to do with politics than anything else. They certainly aren’t about truth or morality. In the distant past they may have served some useful purpose in terms of providing comfort to people and providing rules for maintaining social order but in the 21st century we have evolved beyond that (or at least some of us have). These days religion is not much more than a way to exercise power and control over society. Endlessly debating whether god exists or not is just the “diversion” that keeps the average person from really knowing what is going on in the world.

  2. It’s sad that we have to look to the likes of the Mail and the Sun for criticisms of Islam. If a golf club excludes women the left-wing “quality” media are all over it like a rash, but when a religion excludes women from everything there is deafening silence.  

  3. Maryam seems to overlook the principle of deception (taqiyya) Islamists use and their universal policy in response to truth; ignore it. In my many challenges not one has been at all interested in debating, only in denial, abuse and repeating ad nauseam mindless mantras about the RoP. 
    No good reminding them of ANY of the multitude of contradictions, lies or nonsensical ‘science’ in the holy books. 
    They have the answer- Allah hu’Akbar!

  4. Something the western world should realize is that these is an “OUTRAGE INDUSTRY” in much of the muslim world run by clerics and their hangers on who would have nothing else to do or have a means to sustain themselves if it were not for stirring up and feeding this industry.
    The term has been used by Salman Rushdie and others recently. The link is to an editorial published on Saturday in an english language newspaper in Pakistan.

    Reading between the lines there seems to be a lot of support for the concept developing a thicker skin and not taking offence at the slightest provocation and putting an end to this Outrage Industry. jcw

  5. The best article on the subject I have read for a long time! Every time people call us (people who are against sharia law and religious discrimination in general) islamophobic or racist we should firmly disclose that they are the racist or the contemptuous ones. Tolerance of discrimination is not a virtue. It is at best a sign of deep lack of character but more often indifference or even contempt for human beings who have an other cultural background.

    Really you just have to ask  people who defend sharia law in the name of religious or cultural tolerance five simple questions to expose the utter hypocrisy or ignorance they hold.

    1) Do you think all citizens are equal before the law?
    2) Do you think human rights are crucial?
    3) Do you think human rights are universal?
    4) Are the beliefs of your parents more important than universal human rights?
    5) Would you accept that your 12 year old daughter to be married to an adult imam?

    If the answer to the first four questions are YES and the fifth NO, then you can’t possibly defend the right of sharia law to exist in our countries. Whether we are talking about a formal justice system or informal customs. You also have to acknowledge that sharia law is not compatible with the idea of universal human rights and as such should be considered unacceptable in a civilized country.

  6. I was there, and it was wonderful to hear Maryam deliver her speech with such passion.

    I hope Richard’s contribution will be posted here; it was very funny.

  7. This is not semantics Wokkie; read “Sharia Law in Britain” – a threat to one law for all and equal rights –  co-written by Maryam Namazie, Yassie Atasheen and Anna Waters.

    Of course, as you’ll doubtless be aware, that principle was laid down and enshrined in a certain seminal document in Britain in the year 1215.

    This is not semantics; indeed, the Muslim religion itself poses a threat to our hard won freedoms, but the Islamists who are peddling this Sharia Law tripe are the political wing of Islam, and as such, are making inroads within The House of Commons.

    They know how weak and opportunistic our politicians are, and are taking advantage of the fact.

    And you’ll recall that they were given a green light a few years back by our own dear Arch’ Bish’ of Canterbury.

    You can take it from me that Maryam Namazie know of what she speaks; these guys mean business!

    Semantics this ain’t.

  8. I thought the purpose of religion was to keep the lower classes from killing the upper classes!

  9. The other main thing that gets forgotten when critics of Islam get accused of racism is this:

    Islam is not selective to skin colour or country of birth. Islamic countries have people from other religions and people of all races join Islam. In fact talk to Islamists and they will probabably tell you they hope for the day when everyone is converted. Now, if they said only some people were worthy of being Muslims you’d have case.

    In other words, the only way it could be considered racist to attack Islam would be if Islam itself were a racist organisation!

  10.  ‘I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not as you say it is’

    Well, what would you expect- “Of course, you’re right sharia is inhumanly revolting”?
    They are forced to lie about it, as is true of the entire Islamic philosophy. The holy books order them to lie.


    Well, the sun, and the concentric circles meaning “sacred”, as far as human rights should considered to be more “sacred” than sharia law.
    Congratulations for the article, should we all  read it and consider about it.

  12. Sharia law is invariably instructive in proving how such religious laws are created by men in the name of their religion so as to allow them to subjugate women.  Perhaps that is the way that men only institutions such as golf clubs can insist that their ban on women is fair, but seriously when religion is this dictatorial then it is no more than a means to keeping the status quo and bullying those who do not agree with them.

  13. I was fortunate enough to be at the conference to hear Maryam give this address.Her passion,conviction and call for action were inspirational and provoked an instant standing ovation, the only one of the day.We also heard from an MP whose theme was basically apologetic and an admission of the spinelessness of herself and colleagues when dealing with religious privilege,so nothing we did not already know. Richard was last on and was funny and whimsical,it was a good day.

  14.  Yes that too.
    In particular, stopping the lower classes from killing the king/pharaoh/emporor etc… by legitimizing his rule.

    He is a “god” or at least has a divine right to rule.
    If you look at history you’ll usually find a mutually supportive relationship between the ruling classes and the priests (Ancient Egypt is a very good example).

    In fact we still have it in many countries.

    Just look at who is head of state of England and head of the Church of England (not that I have any serious gripes against the Queen by the way –  I  think that to be fair she earns her keep and I don’t consider her to be extreme in the religious sense).

    Look at the tax breaks and special treatment American politicians give their religious leaders. The religious leaders keep the lower classes passive and ignorant in return. The tax breaks and special treatment make it easy for a pastor to “demonstrate” just how well you would be if only you believe what he tells you to as much as he tells you to (of course you can never get the tax breaks he gets no matter how much you believe).

    Look at Japan. Until 1945, the emperor of Japan was literally considered a living god (I kid you not). At the end of World War 2, he was forced to tell the Japanese that he wasn’t actually a “god” any longer.

    I could talk about Saudi Arabia or Iran but I think you get the point.

  15. Horrible! If I understood well women are property of a man. Women do not possess. So female children are being sold like merchandise? Sold perhaps not for money but for other services that person who possess them need (for prestige, favors, etc.) ? I am so angry. 

Leave a Reply