IN WHAT turned out to be the biggest anti-sharia law demonstration ever staged in the UK, hundreds of Â people gathered in London on Sunday to support the One Law for All rally to show their opposition to Sharia and other religious-based laws in Britain and elsewhere, and to demand universal rights, equality and secularism.
A new report – “Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights” – was published to coincide with the rally.
Human rights activist Gita Sahgal said of the report:
I think it is highly significant that in Britain there has been silence where there should have been condemnation â€¦ This campaign stands at the heart of a debate over the future of Britain. It also stands at the heart of global attempts to destroy the most basic rights, to invade liberty and to crush equality.
Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign and an author of the Sharia Law in Britain report, said:
The existence of a parallel legal system that is denying a large section of the British population their fundamental human rights is scandalous. Our findings show that it is essential to abolish all religious courts in the UK. Their very existence and legitimisation puts pressure on vulnerable women not to assert their civil rights in a British court. As long as Sharia Councils and Tribunals are allowed to continue to make rulings on issues of family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial to them and their children.
And Women’s rights campaigner Yasmin Rehman pointed out :
We Muslims have been a part of the UK for many, many years but the generations before me did not feel the need for or call for segregation in the way that is being demanded now.
Anna Waters of One Law for All’s Legal Team said:
Any reasonable interpretation of the Human Rights Act shows us that there are certain things that it doesn’t allow – and one of the things it doesn’t allow is for a woman to have an inferior or second class status when she stands before a judge in a court of law. This is exactly what is happening [in Sharia courts] â€¦
And Gerard Phillips of the National Secular Society added that Sharia Law was:
Nothing less than an attack on human rights and on equality. It undermines our democracy. It must be opposed.
Protestors then joined a march organised by Iran Solidarity to the Iranian embassy.
Ironically, the strongest case for opposing Sharia was made by a noisy band of Islamist nutters who gatherered in opposition to the rally.
The foam-flecked, swivel-eyed Al-Muhajiroun clowns yelled, pointed and held aloft ridiculous banners bearing slogans like “Our way (Sharia) or the Highway”, “You attack Islam when you attack Sharia” and “Democracy is Cancer – Islam is the Answer”.
There are some excellent photographs of the event here.
Hat tip: Graham, who was present at the rally