Sharia courts must be stopped!
Our fight must go on!
30-Sep-2005
Azar Majedi
Speech made at 8th September protest meeting against Sharia courts in Paris

Azar Majedi

I am pleased to witness this vibrant global movement against establishment of Islamic courts and laws. We are gathered here today to voice our deep concerns against the interference of religion in social and political life, in state and judicial system. Religion poses a great danger to the important principles of freedom and equality, to civil rights and human rights and to the rights of women.

The introduction of Sharia courts is being justified as respect for different cultures and ethnic minorities. It is said by leaving every ethnic group to settle their disputes according to “their culture and religion” we have a better, more egalitarian society, and less racist society. This is totally false. By creating different laws and judicial systems for each ethnic group we are not fighting racism, in fact we are institutionalising racism. We are creating different class of citizens, putting them in different ethnic boxes.

By allowing sharia courts to rule, we are allowing some antiquated laws to govern our modern society, and thereby disregarding all those laws and principles humankind has fought for in the past 2 centuries, principles of equality; women’s rights, rights of children, freedom, and the principle of citizenship and secularism.

This is going back to the middle ages, to the dark ages under the fancy façade of multiculturalism, cultural relativism, and respect for rights of minorities. We should expose this reactionary practice as it really is. Establishment of sharia courts is nothing but to leave the members of these so-called Moslem communities to the mercy of the Imams and so-called leaders of the communities. By doing this, we allow a great injustice to take place, total disregard for women’s rights, children’s rights, the interference of religion in people’s lives, and we create an insurmountable gap between these communities and the larger society. This act must be stopped.

The fact that we are gathered here today in Paris to oppose the establishment of Islamic courts or the so-called Sharia courts, in Canada, is historically significant. It shows that the threat of political Islam has been felt deeply across the globe, and therefore this international movement and solidarity, which is very exciting. I am very pleased to be part of this movement.

It is a pity that we needed 3 decades of brutality, killing, maiming, torture and reduction of women to less than 2nd class citizens by Islamic states such as Islamic Republic of Iran, Taleban and Islamic state in Afghanistan, and now Iraq and the reign of Islamic terrorism in order to awaken to the threats of political Islam and its inroads into society. Whatever the circumstances, it is important that a strong secular movement is taking shape internationally.
September 11th brought a terrible reality home to many who had chosen to see political Islam as something belonging to those strange so-called Islamic countries. With the aid of a self-serving theory of cultural relativism minds could be set at ease while brutality, torture, stoning and terrorism were taking place in those “exotic” places. By saying that, it is “their culture” and “their religion”, heads could be turned the other way. As though some masochists inhabited those countries, who like to practice “their culture” and “their religion” by being stoned, flogged, maimed, executed and terrorized. “It is not our business,” was the response to all these horrendous acts. However, I am happy to see that our 27 years of struggle is paying off. We are now able to mobilize a great force against political Islam, we are able to organise a great force to defend secularism and universal laws for all citizens.

Here I like to thank anyone who is adding their voice to this movement, to stop Islamic courts, to defend secularism, freedom and equality. I like to thank my old friend and comrade Homa Arjmand for her untiring efforts to stop the formation of these courts. We are only 3 days away from September 11th, I like to remember all those who fell in the face of terrorism and send my sympathies to all who lost a loved one.

I like to take this opportunity to remind you all that our fight is not going to end by stopping the Sharia courts in Canada. This is an important achievement, but we, as the conscious humanity have the duty to stop all religious states and political Islam all together. I like to remind you of the plot of Iraqi people, an Islamic state is being established in Iraq, much worse than the establishment of Islamic courts in Canada. People of Iran are fighting to rid themselves of the horrendous Islamic Republic, they need your support and solidarity. I call upon you to come to the aid of people of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan to free themselves from the Islamic states and laws governing their lives and depriving them of a humane existence.

We should all call for a no to Sharia courts, No to political Islam, Long live freedom and equality; long live secularism