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Interview met Maryam Namazie

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Maryam Namazie is an Iranian exile, an outspoken opponent of militant Islam and a campaigner against Sharia law. Maryam Namazie, welcome to the program. Thanks very much. It's good to be here. To what extent does the existence of Sharia law in places like Pakistan provide protection, moral or otherwise, to the perpetrators of terrorists acts? Well, I mean I think because actually when you look at Sharia law it is itself really in my opinion an act of terrorism, terrorism against citizens, against women, against gays, against men and children. And so in a sense I think it helps to feed and encourage terrorism. And excuse it in many instances. Before bringing up the broader subject several countries including Australia customary law applies in a number of cases, in a range of cases involving indigenous people. What's the difference between that and the application of Sharia law in societies where Muslims are not dominant? Well, I mean I'm opposed to the application of Sharia law anywhere whether the Muslims are dominant or not because the reality is that just because someone is a Muslim doesn't actually make them a Muslim that wants Sharia law to begin with, plus there are so many different types of belief in any given society like there is in Australia. The difference is that for my understanding is that the aborigines are judged according to the same law as everybody else in Australia whereas with Sharia law it's a different set of laws and standards for people who are deemed to be different, wich I find quite racist actually when you look at it because it seems that just because people are Muslims or born into Muslim families they shouldn't have the same rights and freedoms as other people is Australia or elsewhere. Just how insidious so you think is the introduction, the gradual introduction of elements of Sharia law into even the British legal system? Well I mean it's very insidious because the reality is that even though as they say it's got nothing to do with the criminal aspects of the Sharia law like the amputations and stoning and so on and so forth the family aspects of Sharia law are just as scandalous really when you look at them because they are pillars of discrimination against women and you know, violence against women really in countries under Islam influence, for example even in the areas of civil matters, family matters you find that in a Sharia court a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man. That means there are two women needed to give equal evidence to that of a man. Women don't have the right to child custody after a pre-set age and must be given to their father irrespective of the will of the child. And again that violates human rights law and public policy where welfare of the child should come first. Women have very limited rights to divorce. I mean men have unilateral rights to divorce, women don't. And you find that often times in these courts violence to women has been excused. A Sharia judge recently said in Britain that there is no just thing as marital rape. To call it rape is actually the act of violence and aggression, not the actual act that takes place against the woman. Even what you're just been saying about women and Islam, where do you stand on the banning of the burka as has happened in a number of countries most notably in France, a country which has quite solid links to Arab countries? The reality is that the veil is very much a symbol of the woman oppression really because why do woman need to be veiled to begin with. It's because if they're not veiled they create fitna and chaos in a given society. And obviously adult women even though they've little choice involved have the right to wear the veil and I put that in quotes because take away all the pressure and intimidations of the Islamic movement and it becomes very clear how many would actually like the veil because it does come with a lot of threats and intimidations. But with the burka in particular I mean I think it's really nothing more than a body bag or a mobile prison and it should be banned not because of security reasons, not because it makes people uncomfortable and they can't see the face of the woman, but from a woman's rights perspective it needs to be banned. Let's go to another European country. Denmark has had a particular tasty relationship with its Muslim community, which has grown quite rapidly. Can that be traced back to those newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed or is it a difficulty that Denmark actually had in assimilating its Muslim citizens? I mean from my perspective really I think the rise of Sharia law isn't related to the rise of so called Muslim immigration. As I mentioned before no community is homogeneous and neither is the Muslim community. It is not one community. There are freethinkers and activists and campaigners and secularists and dissidents within that so called community and actually calling it a community limits the space that people have to be able to dissent and breath easily and freely. I think actually if you look at the history of Sharia law and contemporary society we see that it is linked to the rise of the Islamic movement. So even in Britain for example there were no Sharia courts until the early eighties right after the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the rise of the Islamic movement internationally. And so I think actually that in a sense it is wrong to blame the numbers of Muslim immigrants. I think what happening is politics is a play. This is a political movement and in a sense you have Western governments, the Danish government, the British government appeasing sections of this movement. Because in a sense it is trying to push back the terrorist wing of this movement. I think the political and the terrorist wing are quite interlinked with each other So the rise in Sharia law will bring a rise in terrorism and violence in a given society. So I think we need to focus on pushing back the Islamic movement. A lot of these from the Danish government to many other European governments [unclear] who have close relations with Islamic states that are pillars of Islamic terrorism and political Islam globally. So I think we need to focus on that rather than, you know, trying to limit Muslim immigration. A lot of immigrants have actually fled Islamism and Sharia law and many of them like myself are at the forefront of battling it including in Europe and the West we end up seeking refuge. One final question: you have been quite critical of Islam for its failure to recognize what Christianity has countered (?) that is the separation between the powers of church and state. Can Islam make that leap of faith? Is it redeemable? What about countries like Indonesia and Turkey where there appears to be coexistence of democracy and Islam? I think increasingly we're going to see that coexistence not being able to happen and more and more applications of Sharia law now. Sharia law is actually the most implemented law worldwide. I think the only way we are going succeed in seeing, you know, a situation in which Islam is a private matter and not in the state and political power, is pushing back the political movement. I think that's crucial really. In a sense I believe we're living under an Islamic inquisition today and so you know, it's not just a question of people's religion, it's a question of battling a political movement that is actually hanging people in city's squares for apostasy, stoning people to death still in the 21th century. So we need to fight this movement politically. We need to make sure that religion becomes a private matter. And the reality is the only time it will become a private matter is if it's pushed out of the public space, out of the state, out of the educational system and out of the judicial system. Maryam Namazie, thank you very much. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 250
Posted by: ridelo on Sep 8, 2011

Maryam Namazie is een Iraanse ballinge, een uitgesproken tegenstandster van de militante islam en een strijdster tegen de sharia-wetgeving. Ze praat met Jim Middleton.

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