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30th April
2014

  Sharia Watch...

UK campaign for greater recognition of the threat posed by Islamic Sharia law
Link Here  full story: Sharia Law in the UK...Shariah tribunals operating in Britain
sharia watch logo A new group has been launched at the House of Lords to campaign for greater recognition of the threat posed by Islamic Sharia law. Sharia Watch says it wants to highlight the impact of Islamism in Britain and campaign against the prevalence of Sharia tribunals, particularly where it relates to women's rights.

VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Anne Marie Waters, spokesperson for Sharia Watch.

Waters : Our aim is quite simply to tell the truth. There is a large lack of knowledge of what Sharia Law actually stands for, what it does to women, how it treats women. And our aim is simply to tell the public -- warts and all -- what Sharia is: its views of women, its views of free speech, its threat to democracy, how it is operating in Britain, the organisations behind it and what their agendas are, and, indeed, the public support that such organisations receive from public figures.

Where do you see the threat coming from?

It's acceptance of it by the mainstream, that is a huge issue. If you look at what Sharia says about women, for example, it essentially advocates the slavery of women. If you strip it away and bear it down, that's what it is, it's the slavery of women, it's the ownership of women. It degrades and humiliates women and yet it is accepted by the mainstream and supported by mainstream figures.

You say it's accepted; Britain still applies the rule of British Law, where do you see Sharia law coming in or being accepted in a way that makes you fearful?

We have a network of Sharia councils and tribunals which are dealing increasingly with matters of family law, such as divorce, child custody, but also with domestic violence, which is a criminal matter. No private tribunal or council has any right, any legal right, to adjudicate on criminal matters and yet they are doing it without a murmur of protest from the Establishment.

We're consistently told that the English law is there for everyone who needs it. This is a non-answer, a non-response. It's cowardly.

What they're essentially saying is that women who are brutalised often don't speak English, often are newcomers to this country. The government's response is that those women should somehow find the confidence and courage to stand up and demand rights they don't even know they have.

...Read the full interview

 

30th April
2014

 Update: Campaign Against Church Chancel Repair Liability...

A church extortion racket
Link Here  full story: Chancel Repair Liability...Church extortionists terrorise Bristish home owners
campaign against church chancel repair liability logo  

Chancel Repair Liability is an unfair archaic law that forces ordinary people to pay for massive amounts for repairs to local Church of England ancient churches.

...Read further details at chancelrepairliability Facebook Page

 

3rd March
2014

 Petition: Abolish Chancel Repair Liability...

A disgraceful church extortion racket
Link Here

National Secular Society logo Thousands of homeowners around the country have been notified by the Land Registry that they are liable to pay for repairs to their local Church of England church.

Chancel Repair Liability (CRL), dates back to the time of Henry VIII and gives some churches the right to demand financial contributions towards repairs from local property owners.

The liability is due whether or not the landowners are Anglicans, or even Christians.

In some cases, payment could be for the full cost of repairs, sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of pounds, but normally the cost will be shared with others locally.

Registration notices have been served on the owners of around 12,000 properties but many more properties are subject to CRL despite those properties not been registered.

Some people have been traumatised by the realisation that their property is subject to CRL, but many have not yet realised just how damaging CRL could be.

Few potential buyers will contemplate taking on the burden of a property subject to CRL, particularly where it is registered, so its value will be reduced and, in some cases, may become unsellable.

The Law Commission described the impact of CRL as wholly capricious , and described CLR as a relic of the past . They said it was hard today to see any justification for this imposition and concluded that it was no longer acceptable .

Both the Law Commission and, more recently, the Law Society have recommended that the only equitable solution is for CRL to be phased out.

Despite this, abolition has not taken place; the Church is not willing to forgo any revenue to repair its many ancient churches, despite the hardship and distress caused to many.

Nor is the Government prepared to phase out CRL.

After a protracted legal battle in 2003, Andrew and Gail Wallbank lost their appeal against a demand for CRL and were forced to sell their Warwickshire farm to pay a ?350,000 bill including legal costs.

Until this case, CRL had largely been forgotten for centuries and many purchasers of land were simply not aware of it as it was not generally mentioned in deeds. In the last decade, however, parochial church councils (PCCs) have been able to register CRL claims against properties at the Land Registry.

Insurance can provide a partial solution, but is expensive. It may be possible to buy out the liability from the local diocese, but this is uncharted territory and also likely to be expensive.

Most people will acknowledge the contribution to our heritage that ancient churches make, but it is completely unfair that money for repairing them can be demanded from property owners simply because what the Law Commission describes as anomalous, uncertain and obscure law. Arbitrarily destroying the values of people's principal asset is not the way to preserve our architectural heritage.

That's why it's time this ancient law was consigned to the annals of history where it belongs and a fairer way is found to preserve our common heritage.

...Sign the  petition

 

27th November
2013

 Petition End Moroccan Laws Requiring Women To Marry Their Rapists...

Link Here

Morocco flagIn Morrocco, laws force women and young girls to marry their rapists. Despite promises from the Morroccan government to overturn this law, it still remains on the books and rape victims continue to be terrorized by their rapists. A number of survivors of sexual violence have committed suicide in recent months when facing the prospect of marrying their attackers. In March 2012 for example, a sixteen-year-old girl named Amina Filali swallowed rat poison rather than marry the man that had allegedly raped her. These laws must be immediately removed from the Moroccan code of law.

Three teenagers are set to appear in court for kissing and posting photos of themselves on the social media website, Facebook. Two teenage boys and one girl were charged with public indecency for their actions. One of the boys was accused of indecent assault on a minor for the kiss that was posted to Facebook. The indecent assault charge carries a possible sentence of 2-5 years and a possible fine.

While the Moroccan government has been drafting laws to protect women from violence, the going has been slow. Laws that protect women's rights often take years to pass through the legislature. Delays in legal reform leave women and young girls open to exploitation and abuse. More lives will be in danger as long as things remain the way they are. Sign this petition and demand that these draconian laws be removed from Moroccan law.

Petition Letter

Dear King Mohammed VI,

Laws that require women and young girls to marry their sexual abusers are not in line with international regulations. These laws cause these women extreme distress and in some cases cause them to take their own lives. I ask that your government immediately suspend these laws until they can be taken out of the Moroccan code of law.

The international community is watching and waiting for your governments reaction. Too many women have been affected by these draconian laws to stand by and let any more lives be destroyed. Your government must adhere to international law and allow the freedom of choice to be practiced by all in your country. I ask that justice be given to the victims of sexual abuse in your country.

Sincerely,

Sign the petition

 

7th July
2013

 Petition: Horror in Paradise...

Petition against sharia injustice in the Maldives hits 2 million
Link Here

avaaz - horror in paradise2 British couples are being asked to avoid the Maldives as a honeymoon destination to force the country's government to overturn the conviction of the girl, who was given a draconian flogging sentence after being raped by her stepfather.

Many of the 500,000 tourists who holiday on the paradise islands every year are unaware of the country's appalling record on women's rights, with not one single conviction for rape in the past three years.

A new poll of Maldivians for the global campaign group Avaaz reveals that 92% of people think laws to protect girls and women from sexual assault should be reformed, while 79% think current systems are not adequate or fair.

Eva Abdulla, a Maldivian MP in the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, said:

Britain is an emerging tourist market for the Maldivian tourism industry. We need the British and all other tourists to be aware of just where they are going to when they book that ticket to the Maldives. Following the coup of 7 February 2012, everyone, including all the women, have been disenfranchised, robbed of their vote.

The British Prime Minister should highlight the issue. The increasing religious fundamentalism followed by the attempts to subjugate women, both politically and otherwise, should be cause for alarm. This is a country of traditionally very strong women. However, increasingly, the Adhaalath Party, a self-claimed religious party which is in alliance with the current government, uses the religious card to scare off women. We women MPs are often threatened whenever we speak against the party.

The girl's sentence is due to be carried out when she turns 18. She is currently living in a state-run 'care' home.

More than two million people worldwide have signed an online petition on Avaaz.org calling for the country's President, Mohammed Waheed Hassan to do more to protect women and children in the country. The Avaaz.org petition reads:

To President Mohammed Waheed Hassan:

As concerned global citizens, we call on you to do more to protect vulnerable women and children. We welcome your government's initial intervention in the case of the 15-year-old rape victim, but real justice will only be delivered when you end the practice of flogging in the Maldives, and change the law so that it better protects the victims of rape and sexual abuse.

See petition from avaaz.org

 

28th May
2013

 Campaign Stop FGM in the Middle East...

A new campaign
Link Here  full story: Stop FGM...The nasty world of female genital mutilation

stop fgm middle east logo In December 2012 the UN general assembly passed a resolution which bans female genital mutilation (FGM). According to UN estimates up to 140 million girls and women worldwide are effected by FGM. Yet, it could be many more. It has long been believed that the practice was solely an African phenomenon. Great progress has been achieved in eliminating the harmful procedure on the African continent.

However, in the past decade evidence has surfaced that FGM exists in many countries in Asia as well. In Iraq, Oman, the Emirates, Malaysia and Indonesia FGM is common among some parts of society. In many of these countries research is sketchy and health officials are thus reluctant to tackle the subject.

Change is possible. Only a few years ago no one in Iraq recognized the problem. Today, the practice has been outlawed in Northern Iraq, an awareness campaign is supported by the government.

The campaign Stop FGM in the Middle East aims to spread this message in the whole Middle East. Stop FGM Middle East collects existing research, conducts new studies, supports local women's and human rights groups working on FGM, organizes trainings and consults officials.

 

21st April
2013

  Fitnah: Movement for Women's Liberation...

New international organisation forms
Link Here

fitnah logo Today, we establish Fitnah - Movement for Women's Liberation.

Fitnah is a protest movement demanding freedom, equality, and secularism and calling for an end to misogynist cultural, religious and moral laws and customs, compulsory veiling, sex apartheid, sex trafficking, and violence against women.

We remind the Islamic regime of Iran and Islamists everywhere that the women's liberation movement is a source of fitnah for their rule alone.

We are Islamism's worst fitnah!

 

10th April
2013

 Petition: Demand an end to brutal 'sorcery' killings in Papua New Guinea...

Woman beheaded by lynch mob on a witch hunt
Link Here

Papua New Guinea Flag Last week Helen Rumbali, a women's rights advocate and former school teacher, was beheaded in front of her community in Papua New Guinea after three days of unspeakable torture. Police stood by and watched, reporting that they were unable to intervene to stop the angry mob.

Why was she murdered? Helen was accused of sorcery , and brutal attacks like this one are not uncommon. The law and police inaction effectively condone such violence. The Sorcery Act in PNG law offers a reduced sentence if a perpetrator of violent crime uses allegations of sorcery as an excuse -- even for murder.

Right now another woman and her two daughters have been captured at Lopele, Bana District Southern Bougainville. She has been accused of sorcery. We are extremely concerned for the safety of these three women.

Demand the Bougainville Police Command need to use all available resources to save this woman's life; and also that PNG authorities bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and fast-track the reform of laws that condone this violence.

Sign our petition and we'll fax it every day to PNG's Commissioner of Police Tom Kulunga, Justice Minister and Attorney General Hon. Kerenga Kua and Bougainville Police Superintendent Kum uai.

Petition text:

We, the undersigned, are horrified at the recently reported murders and attacks on women accused of sorcery in Mt Hagen, Bougainville, and the Southern Highlands.

A report from Bougainville that two women were accused of sorcery held and tortured for three days and then publicly beheaded is made more disturbing by the fact the PNG Police were aware of the situation and failed to intervene.

We have also heard reports that a woman is in captivity at Lopele, Bana District Southern Bougainville. She has been accused of sorcery and sustained an severe cut to her neck that requires urgent medical care. We call on the Bougainville Police Command use all available resources to save this woman's life.

We respect the rights of people from Papua New Guinea to hold and practice their own cultural beliefs. However, this can never justify murder or other brutal attacks on women.

We call on you to:

  • Vigorously pursue investigations of all sorcery-related killings to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, in line with recommendation made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms Discrimination against Women.

  • Protect any survivors and their families from further attacks and ensure they are given access to appropriate medical care and counselling services,

  • To develop strategies to prevent further acts of sorcery-related killings including by the repeal of the Sorcery Act 1971, consistent with the March 2013 recommendation of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission of PNG,

  • Support the passage of the Family Protection Bill 2013 through PNG Parliament as a matter of urgency.

I also ask that you make resources available to ensure that local police are fully supported to carry out their law enforcement role.

I look forward to receiving news of the PNG Government and Police taking action to end this horrible violence against women.

...Sign the petition

Update: Acquitted

4th May 2013. From Amnesty International

amnesty international logo Last month we asked you to help a woman and her two daughters whose lives were at risk. Accused of sorcery , they had been taken captive by an angry mob in Southern Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The woman had already sustained serious injuries, and all three were facing possible execution.

Those women and their families are now free, safe and receiving appropriate medical care. Your quick response helped put a spotlight on these women and get authorities to swing into action:

Local Bouganville police did all they could to resolve the tense standoff, and senior officers were involved in negotiating the women's release.

But that's not all; the PNG Prime Minister also answered our call to repeal the notorious Sorcery Act (which offers a reduced sentence if a perpetrator of violent crime uses allegations of sorcery as an excuse -- even for murder).

This is a HUGE victory for the brave people in PNG who have been calling for change for a long time -- and an enormous testament to the power of our collective action.

Thank you for being part of this.

Michael Hayworth Crisis Campaigner

Update: Sorcery Act repealed

28th May 2013. See  article from  amnesty.org

The Papua New Guinea parliament has now repealed the country's controversial Sorcery Act which provided a defence for violent crime if the accused was acting to stop witchcraft .

 

23rd March
2013

 Updated: Double Victim...

15 year raped and now set to flogged by the state
Link Here

Maldives flagA 15-year-old girl sentenced to 100 lashes for fornication on a remote part of the Maldives is at the centre of a new row between moderates and religious extremists in the Indian Ocean luxury tourist destination.

A court in the tiny island of Feydhoo last week sentenced the girl to a public flogging after she admitted to having sex out of wedlock, court officials have said. The reportedly consensual sexual relations only came to light during an investigation into the murder of a baby which revealed that the girl had also been repeatedly raped by her stepfather and another man.

Though they appear to have initially backed the decision to prosecute the girl, Maldivian authorities are now working with the country's ministry of Islamic affairs and judiciary to cancel or suspend the punishment, a government official said.

Masood Imad, a spokesman for the current president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, told the Guardian that the government considered her a victim who should not now become a victim of the law as well .

Religious extremists, however, are inevitably calling for the sentence to be carried out.

The case is an embarassment for a government which has struggled to establish its legitimacy internationally and which is currently pushing for re-election to the UN human rights council. Recent statistics show more than 100 people were sentenced to lashes, administered with a type of flat bat rather than a cord whip, for fornication in 2011, including 11 minors. The vast majority were women.

Update: Petition

3rd March 2013. See petition from amnesty.org.au

amnesty international logo Demand the Maldivian government overturn this disgraceful sentence

With this story provoking outrage across the world, help us send a clear message that flogging is unacceptable -- regardless of the circumstances.

Add your name to our petition and we'll send a list of names via fax to the President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed each day.

Dear President,

I am outraged on hearing that a 15 year old girl, who has survived rape by her stepfather and a resultant pregnancy, has now been found guilty of fornication and sentenced to flogging and house arrest.

I call on you to release the girl immediately and unconditionally, and ensure that she is not flogged or otherwise punished. Survivors of rape or other forms of sexual abuse need counselling and support - not prosecution. The 15 year old girl must be provided with adequate and appropriate protective and support services.

While I welcome your statement 28 February that the Government will facilitate and supervise her appeal of the case, via the girl's lawyer, to ensure that justice is done and her rights are protected , I want to be assured that the offence of fornication will be removed and that flogging will no longer be used as a form of punishment in this case and all cases in the Maldives.

The Maldives must end the practice of flogging as a form of punishment and act to amend laws to remove the provisions that allow flogging, as well as those that criminalise fornication .

Sign the petition

Update: Petition reaches 650,000

23rd March 2013. See article from heraldsun.com.au

More than half a million people have signed an online petition condemning the Maldives over the sentencing of a 15-year-old rape victim to 100 lashes.

The petition, started two days ago by New York-based campaign group avaarz.org, calls on Maldives President Mohamed Waheed to intervene and had been signed by 650,000 users on Friday afternoon. Avaaz said on its website:

Let's build a million-strong petition ... then threaten the islands' reputation through hard-hitting ads in travel magazines and online until he steps in to save her and abolish this outrageous law.



16th August 2011  Petition:  A Call for Mercy...
 

Help save Asia Bibi

asia bibiAsia Bibi, a wife and mother, used these words to defend her faith against mocking co-workers who tried to make her convert to Islam. She was later convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death.

In Pakistan, more than 150,000 Christians have signed a petition demanding justice for persecution victims, including Asia Bibi. Now you can join with The Voice of the Martyrs and our Pakistani brothers and sisters in a call for mercy. We hope to gather 1 million signatures on behalf of our sister Asia, who now sits in prison awaiting the Lahore High Court's ruling on her appeal.

Invite your friends to visit www.CallForMercy.com and add their names to the petition as well. VOM will deliver the petition, along with the list of signers, to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC.

...Sign the petition at callformercy.com

 

11th August 2010  Campaign:  Stop FGM...
Join Us  
Stop female genital mutilation in Kudistan
Stop FGM logoFemale genital mutilation is recognized in international conventions as a human rights violation and a severe form of violence against women and children. For several decades, international and local agencies and organizations have been campaigning against it in various countries of Africa, and more recently in Europe as well.

But in Iraq, as in other countries of the Middle East, official documents of governments and United Nations agencies alike, still neglect this abuse.

Women in Iraqi-Kurdistan have broken the silence. In 2005, reports indicated that in several areas, nearly 60 % of the women had been mutilated. Activists and physicians reported similar rates from other parts of the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq.

As a consequence, Women’s groups and human rights organizations, supported by the German NGO Wadi initiated a campaign to stop FGM in the region.

Update: Shelter

See article from kurdishherald.com

As the first organization in Iraqi Kurdistan to open a women’s shelter, WADI is an authority on women’s issues in the region, an area of great concern to any activist or observer concerned with true democratization and respect for human rights. When the organization’s “Nawa center” opened in 1999, the social acceptance for such an institution was scarce, and the group’s volunteers faced daily challenges of various types. In some people’s eyes, women's shelters are seen as institutions that break up homes, and the female beneficiary is believed by those people to be bringing shame upon her family.

Update: Blog

9th October 2009.

We have launched a blog in English and Kurdish with news and updates.

Update: Facebook Group

11th August 2010

Just recently a new Facebook group was established:

NO for Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan

 

12th September 2009  Petition:  Dream On...
Sign the petition  
Safety and respect for Christians in Pakistan

Pakistan flagThe Rt Rev Michael Jackson, Chair of the Network for Inter Faith Concerns of the Anglican Communion, and Dr Musharraf Hussain, Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum initiated the online petition Safety and respect for Christians in Pakistan on behalf of the Anglican Communion.

The petition states: The attacks on Christians, and on occasions also on Muslims, facilitated as they are by the law on blasphemy, are very damaging to the reputation of Pakistan and indeed to the reputation of Muslims which we wish to see restored.

It has been signed by over 2,000 people, among them Christians and Muslims, from 20 countries around the world including Pakistan. Twenty bishops have also added their names in support of the petition.

Sign the petition

Pakistan's leaders have been hinting at changes to this lynch mob fuelling monstrosity of a law ever since it was enacted. But there is no way that the religious leaders will ever let it go. It is so integral to subjugation of the people of Pakistan that it will stay on the books for as long as islam is the dominant religion.

 

28th February 2009  Campaign:  Blasphemy Day International...
Join Us  

Mock and insult religion on September 30th

YMCABlasphemy Day International is an international campaign seeking to establish September 30th as a national day to promote free speech and stand up in a show of solidarity for the freedom to mock and insult religion without fear of murder, violence, and reprisal.

It is the obligation of the world's nations to safeguard dissent and the dissenters, not to side with the brutal interests of thugs who demand respect for their beliefs (i.e., immunity to being criticized or mocked or they threaten violence).

So if you support free speech, and the rights of those who disagree with religious views to voice their opinions peacefully, support our group and join the cause!

 

23rd January 2009  Petition:  In Defence of Geert Wilders...
Sign the petition  

A petition pledging a boycott of Dutch products should they prosecute critic of islam

FitnaTo: The Dutch Government

WHEREAS Geert Wilders has exercised his fundamental human right of freedom of expression and spoken out, with facts and evidence, of the threat posed by radical Islam;

WHEREAS certain elements within Islamic communities have threatened a boycott of Dutch goods if Geert Wilders is not punished by the Dutch government for exercising his freedom of expression; and

WHEREAS certain elements in Dutch industry and the Dutch government are suggesting that Geert Wilders be prosecuted civilly or criminally, in order to prevent such a boycott;

IT IS RESOLVED that, in the event that the Dutch government attempts, in any way, to punish or prosecute Geert Wilders, civilly or criminally, for exercising his freedom of expression, the undersigned will initiate a boycott of any and all Dutch goods.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

...Sign the petition

 

19th December 2008  Campaign:  One Law for All...
Join Us  
Calling for new legislative curbs on sharia courts

One Law for All logoNew legislation may be needed to curb the activities of informal sharia courts that are operating in Britain, said the organisers of the One Law For All campaign, which was launched at the House of Lords this week.

Campaign organiser, Maryam Namazie, commented that sharia law was undesirable in any form as it sets up conflicts between both human rights and civil law in Britain. Even in civil matters, Sharia law is discriminatory, unfair and unjust, particularly against women and children, she said.

Of particular concern was whether women were being coerced into using these courts and tribunals against their best interests.

You can also join the International Coalition for Women's Rights by signing here:
www.petitiononline.com/ICFWR/petition.html

 

19th May  Update:  Solidarity with Gregorius Nekschot...

Show your Solidarity
 
Dutch cartoonist arrested for tasteless islamic funnies

Solidarity with Gregorius NekschotOn the 14th of May the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot was arrested. Gregorius Nekschot is a pseudonym. Gregorius stands for the name of a pope, Nekschot for "shot through the neck", a method used by socialists of various breeds to get rid of unwanted dissidents.

Gregorius Nekschot creates highly controversial cartoons. He himself calls them ‘tasteless cartoons’, and most people agree. By comparison, the Danish cartoons are pure propaganda for Mohammed. Strangely enough, those rather innocent Danish cartoons drew worldwide attention, while Nekschot’s cartoons didn’t.

That is over. On the 14th of this month Gregorius was arrested by a team of no fewer than ten police officers. He was taken into custody, and since the District Attorney deemed his works both highly offensive and commercial, he was kept locked up for two days. After release, he was told: You can forget about anonymity now. They know who you are.

This arrest creates a serious political row. The parliament, to their credit, from left to right, wants an explanation from the minister for Justice, Hirsh Balin. And it better be a good one, for more and more information comes to earth that this is pure political intimidation, if not outright state terrorism.

 

24th June   Speaking for Ourselves...

Join Us

CEMB logo

 
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Join us at www.ex-muslim.org.uk

We, non-believers, atheists, and ex-Muslims, are establishing or joining the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain to insist that no one be pigeonholed as Muslims with culturally relative rights nor deemed to be represented by regressive Islamic organisations and 'Muslim community leaders'.

Those of us who have come forward with our names and photographs represent countless others who are unable or unwilling to do so because of the threats faced by those considered 'apostates' - punishable by death in countries under Islamic law.

By doing so, we are breaking the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam but also taking a stand for reason, universal rights and values, and secularism.

 

24th February   No Honour in Syria...

Sign the petition

Stop Honour Killings


Just family murderers

From Stop Honour Killings

In Syria, recently, two sixteen year-old-girls were murdered in so-called 'honour' killings in the space of two days. On the 21st January Sheren was murdered by her brother; she was six months pregnant. Zahra was murdered on the 22nd by her brother; a newlywed, she had been kidnapped by a family friend in the first month of her marriage. Her kidnapper was convicted and jailed; however her 'honour' was percieved as being permanently tarnished, a stain that could only be removed by her blood.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, some experts estimate that 200-300 murders are committed in the name of 'honour' every year.

Syrian law allows for reduced sentences in the case of a murder committed in the name of so-called 'honour': according to Article 548 of the Syrian Legal Code:

  1. He who catches his wife, or one of his ascendants, descendents or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sex acts with another and he kills or injures one of both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty.
  2. He who catches his wife, or one of his ascendants, descendents or sister in a suspicious state (attitude equivoce) with another and he kills or injures one of both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty.

This and other articles create an environment where so-called 'honour' crimes are effectively decrimninalised.

According to NESASY, the organisation for Syrian women, these murderers rarely serve more than a few months in jail, even when they are tried and convicted. After the shocking murders of Sheren and Zahra, many Syrian voices are united in calling for reforms the Syrian Legal Code, including the grand mufti of Syria; to send a clear signal that the brutality of so-called 'honour' killing can no longer be tolerated, that tolerating such crimes brings shame to the country.

We ask you to join with NESASY and other progressive Syrian organisations in calling for legal reform.

To support NESASY's campaign (which has over 10,000 signatories already from within Syria) please send an email with your name, address [and organisation if relevent] to nesasy@gmail.com with the subject line "I agree for Stop women killing. Stop honor crimes!"

 

Closed Petitions

 

29th March 2009  Petition:  Reject Defamation of Religion...
Sign the petition

closed

 
Petition to the Prime Minister

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK Government uses all of its powers to reject and, if possible, veto any attempt at the United Nations to limit free speech in relation to religion and any associated attempt to criminalise the criticism of religion and encourage other governments to similarly reject/veto any such attempt.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, a voting block within the United Nations, is currently attempting to use its power within that organisation to seek to have a binding resolution made attempting to force governments to criminalise freedom of expression. In pursuing this course of action it seeks to promote the idea that religion can be defamed and that criticism of religion should be outlawed.

This is a gross violation of the most basic and fundamental of Human Rights, that of freedom of speech. It must be countered by all governments wherever possible and properly identified for what it is, a blatant attempt to stifle debate and criticism of religion. Religions do not have rights, people do. Whilst this is being introduced by Islamic countries it is not specific to the religion of Islam.

The original non-binding resolution can be found on the UN web site

Result: UK to Continue Opposing Defamation of Religion

Closed with 888 signatures

Government Reply:

The British Government is committed to protecting the human rights of all, including the rights to freedom of expression, and to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These rights are guaranteed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The resolution on defamation of religions was first introduced at the Commission of Human Rights in 1999 and again during the 10th session of the Human Rights Council held in March 2009 in Geneva. The United Kingdom, as with all other members of the European Union, has consistently opposed this resolution on the grounds that it limits the right to freedom of expression. The UK does not accept that defamation of religion is a human rights concept. International human rights law protects individuals in the exercise of their freedom of religion or belief: it does not protect beliefs, faiths or philosophies. However, we strongly support the right to freedom of religion or belief, and believe that it is complementary to the right to freedom of expression.

The right to freedom of expression is not absolute and can be subject to certain restrictions that are provided by law and are necessary for respecting the rights or reputations of others, or for the protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals. In line with our domestic legislation, we have argued that that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law, in accordance with the international obligations of States and that these prohibitions are consistent with freedom of opinion and expression.

The United Kingdom will continue to protect and promote freedom of expression internationally, including by opposing attempts to curtail it by deploying the concept of defamation of religions.

 

3rd July 2009  Petition:  Support Roxanne Hiller ...
Sign the petition

Closed
 

Petition and Facebook to free Roxanne from UAE jail

UAE flagOur daughter / sister, Roxanne Hillier has been in prison in the UAE since 16th May. She and her boss were found guilty and convicted to 3 months and 6 months, respectively for having sex out of wedlock, this is despite the fact that the medical tests were negative. They were also found guilty of being alone in a room, despite the fact that the police broke into the locked bedroom and found Roxanne alone there. Her boss was caught elsewhere with tools in his hands.

Roxanne lost her appeal and was sent back to prison to complete her full sentence, while her boss was acquitted on the charge of having sex with her and was released immediately.

How can she be guilty of having sex with him, yet he is innocent and did not have sex with her?

We ask that you please log into her petition site Free Roxanne Hillier from prison in the UAE Please sign the petition and send it on to everyone in your address book. Also please put the word out to everyone you can. We desperately need all the signatures that we can get to make a difference.

We also ask that you please log into Roxanne's support wall, where you can leave her a note of support. These messages are printed and given to Roxanne and help to keep her spirits up and keep her sane. The Facebook Support wall is called Friend support for Roxanne Hillier

We (her family) thank you for reading this and would also like to thank all those that have already done so, from the bottoms of our hearts. Roxanne is innocent and has been unfairly imprisoned.

Kind regards,

Freddie, Ina and Maxine Hillier.

Update: Roxanne Freed

24th July 2009.

Our prayers were answered this morning and Roxanne was suddenly released (we believe) by an order from His Highness, Sheik Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Quasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

We, the Hillier family would like to thank you all for your support in signing this petition. Words cannot express our gratitude to each and every one of you.

This petition is now officially closed. Please visit Facebook Friend support for Roxanne Hillier where we will keep an update for the time being.

 

5th October 2008  Petition:  Welcome to Saudi Britain...
Sign the petition

Closed

 
Pat Condell restored to YouTube

Welcome to Saudi Britain by Pat CondellThe latest Pat Condell video, Welcome to Saudi Britain, has been restored to YouTube.

Pat Condell said:

Enormous thanks to everyone who uploaded the video and to everyone who contacted YouTube. And my thanks to YouTube for reinstating the video. I'm very much obliged.

The original petition has closed, but it rose from nowhere to the 24th most signed in just a few days once people knew it was there.

Now there's a new petition that runs until the new year, and if everyone signs this one and publicises it there's no reason why we can't get many thousands of signatures and make the British government take notice.

Sign the petition: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop Sharia Law from being binding in law under arbitration tribunals rules.

Further Details: Sharia law can be enforced in this country by the county and high courts. This is allowed under rules of arbitration when both parties in the dispute agree to give the tribunal (in this case a sharia court) the power to rule on the case. We state that this should be stopped, as sharia law is totally contrary to western values of fair and equal justice for all.

Result: Closed

Received 6572 signatures

Statement from No 10 Downing Street:

Shari’a law is the code of personal religious law governing the conduct of Muslims. It can extend into all aspects of people’s lives – personal, religious, family, civil and criminal.

Shari’a law is not part of the law of England and Wales. The Government does not intend to change this position in relation to the whole or part of the United Kingdom. However, provided an activity prescribed by Shari’a law does not contravene the law of England and Wales, there is nothing to prohibit it. Muslims can, for example, wear traditional dress and follow dietary rules. They are completely free to worship in the way that they want.

There can never be reliance on the fact that an act is permitted under Shari’a law as a justification for committing what is, under the law of England and Wales, a criminal act. Nor, for example, could someone expect a civil court, in reaching a decision on a contractual case under English or Scottish law, to apply the principles of Shari’a law.

Criminal matters, both small and serious, will always be heard in a Crown or Magistrate’s Court in England and Wales, and in Sheriff’s Courts in Scotland. The decisions made in an alternative court will not be recognised.