New Activist Promoting social justice issues and encouraging action to make a difference

   Maryam Namazie in Australia Maryam
   Maryam Namazie is the spokesperson for One Law for All, a group of ex-Muslims and dissident Muslims who believe Islamic sharia law should not be accepted as a de facto parallel legal system in the west.
   Maryam was born in Iran and brought up as a Muslim. Her family fled Iran after the Islamic revolution and became refugees, first in India, then inthe UK and the US. After graduating from university, Maryam worked with Ethiopian refugees in the Sudan, where she established a clandestine human rights network. Later she was elected executive director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, which has successfully lobbied the governments of a number of western countries on refugee and human rights issues. In 1994, she produced a documentary on the situation of Iranian refugees in Turkey.
   Maryam’s personal journey has led her to the conclusion that the concern for political correctness in liberal democracies is causing them to respect minority and religious rights above human rights.
   A study of the practice of sharia in Britain by One Law For All found Sharia Councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals to be in violation of UK law, public policy and human rights.
   Together with Salman Rushdie and Irshad Manji, Maryam is one of 12 signatories to the “Manifesto: Together facing the new totalitarianism”, a declaration of the need to fight for secular values and personal freedom in the face of Islamic totalitarianism.
   Maryam is also very involved in the international campaign against execution by stoning and has been active in campaigning against honour killings and forced marriages.
   She has received many awards including National Secular Society 2005 Secularist of the Year; Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association; Honorary Associate of Rationalist International; and Emeritus member of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil. She was selected one of the top 45 women of the year 2007 by Elle magazine Quebec.
   More information about Maryam and One Law For All can be found at http://www.onelawforall.org.uk

Media Interviews

• Maryam's op-ed piece, "Australia must fight calls for sharia law", was published in The Australian on Friday 12 August 2011. http://bit.ly/n8o6fh

Interviews were held with:

• ABC News 24's One Plus One program, screened 2nd and 3rd September:

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• ABC Radio National's Late Night Live, with Phillip Adams:
Islam, multiculturalism, and contemporary dance theatre

• ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things, with Rachael Kohn: Women Against the Law

• ABC Radio 774's Conversation Hour, with Jon Faine (Melbourne) Faith and survival, from 9-11 to Iran

• Elizabeth Farrelly, contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald
Keeping quiet allows intolerance to thrive

• Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor, The Australian
British campaigner battles media's cone of silence on sharia law
'British experiment a warning on sharia' law

• SBS Radio's Persian Program 24 August (no link available)

• Ida Lichter, author of Muslim Women Reformers, Huffington Post September 17, 2011: A Critic of Political Islam Warns of 'Misguided' West

• Chanel 7 TV Today Tonight: Strength in Numbers, screened 23rd August 2011.

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• Australia Network (ABC TV International) Newsline, with Jim Middleton, screened 7th September 2011

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Dinner and Talk: Should Australia follow Britain in accommodating Islamic sharia law?
Date: 6.30 pm Monday 22 August 2011
Description: Talk by Maryam Namazie and fundraising dinner for One Law For All.
Maryam will speak about the implications of legal pluralism for Australia, with insights from the UK experience to date in accommodating Islamic sharia law through the Arbitration Act 1996, and the current effort to limit the power of sharia courts and religious tribunals through the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.
Venue: Finola's Restaurant (Balmain Bowling Club), 156 Darling St, Balmain, Sydney.

Sharia law and human rights
Organisers: Melbourne PEN and WISA
Date: 6.30 pm, Tuesday 23 August 2011
Venue: The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

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Religious Courts in the Secular State
Date: Wednesday 24 August
Description: Maryam will talk at Melbourne Free University's open discussion space.
Venue: Dexter Bar/Cafe, 123 Queens Pde, Clifton Hill, Melbourne.

Sharia law and human rights
Date: 6.00 pm Thursday 25 August 2011
Description: UWS Open forum.
Venue: University of Western Sydney Parramatta South Campus (main campus),
cnr Victoria Rd and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere, Building EE room G.03.

Challenging sharia law
Organisers: NSW Humanists
Date: 2.00 pm, Saturday 27 August 2011
Venue: Humanist House, 10 Shepherd St, Chippendale