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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
• 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:
• ABC Radio National's Late Night Live, with Phillip Adams:
• 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
• Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs Editor, The Australian
• 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.
• Australia Network (ABC TV International) Newsline, with Jim Middleton, screened 7th September 2011
Dinner and Talk: Should Australia follow Britain in accommodating Islamic sharia law?
Sharia law and human rights
Challenging sharia law