Speech of Homa Arjomand in Paris October 24, 2005
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
Speech of Homa Arjomand in Paris October 24, 2005
Sharia Law and globalization of political Islam
I would like to begin my speech by thanking the organizers of this tour. My tour started in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris and will be in Lyon, Marseille, and Stockholm. I would also like to congratulate you all for this victory. We, under the banner of “One Law for All”, worked together internationally and managed to gain separation of religion from justice system. Now, thanks to you all, family disputes will be resolved under one law and regulation; irrespective of their origin, colour, language by which they speak, culture or religion. Yes, we accomplished this together. This is a victory of women, children, gays and lesbians. This is a victory of humans’ rights, not only in Canada but also across the world.
In today’s speech, I will talk about two movements, the movement of secularism and the movement of political Islam. I will also talk about the history of these two movements and their characteristics. I will emphasize on problems we are facing and the possible solution. At the end I would like to announce the further activities of our campaign for achievement of one law for all and total separation of religion from state and education. I am quite sure that we, the activists of the camp of secularism, will join force internationally for the next step.
The movement of secularism is for separation of religion from state and education. On the peak of this movement are the defenders of women and children’s rights, the defender of humans’ rights. This movement is for the universal rights of women and children. Under the banner of “One Law for All, we act for one system of education, one system of court, one recognition of citizenship and by this act we aim to bring about the civil rights and equality of all. Only then we can guarantee the well-being of our children and equality of women and men in every aspect. The movement of secularism has over 100 years of history that started here in France. Because of this history we managed to gain this progressive norm and standard. But we still need to work hard for the integration. We need to have measures to push aside discriminatory beliefs, customs and traditions. We need to promote progressive social values and relations. The movement of secularism is constantly struggling for the widest individual and civil rights in the present societies.
The second movement which attempts to push back the movement of secularism is the movement of political Islam.
Movement of Political Islam is the most right-wing movement, which is only after its own stats and power. This movement is well known for its anti-women and anti-secularism. It is anti-modernism and all the progressive social values. It is very backward. It came in power in Middle East simply because there were uprising movements in that region for better life. No one would ever forget the labours, women, and students’ uprising in Iran or the movement of “barefooted” in Palestine. The presence of Russia at that time next to this region was another reason for the Western power to fully support the Islamic movement. As the result Khomeini was highlighted for Iran, Hamass in Palestine, Taleban in Afghanistan. The leaders of this movement executed anyone who talks about a “Better Life”, anyone who stood for universal human and civil rights. Islam and the God’s Party (Hezbollah) became tools of domination. Over 100,000 activists in Iran were arrested, tortured, and executed and if it were not for secularist’s movement, Iran would have become another Afghanistan. But since the collapse of Soviet Union, following the end of cold war, the support of the Western power to the leaders of political Islam was declined. The job of political Islam reduced to control any uprising situation in this region. The reality is the leaders of this move want the same type of support they used to get and are not pleased with this policy of the West. They do anything to regain their recognition and validation.
In the meantime, the situation in the West was shifted to the right both economically and politically. This shift made it possible for the Islamists to expand their activities in the West. Because of this shift, the labour unions are declining dramatically. The funds for education system, health care system and social welfare are decreasing, and religion and notion of cultural relativism are promoted widely by the right-wings. The people coming from so-called Islamic countries got the most hit. Unemployment rate increased among this population. People with degrees end up with no jobs or a job with minimum pay, the youth dropped out of schools as result of poverty and discrimination. With anti-policy of immigration and refugees the atmosphere of dissatisfaction grew in the west. The Western governments tried hard to segregate this frustrated subdivision from mainstream society and isolate them more due to their cultural beliefs and with the notion of cultural relativism they temporary managed to do so.
The Islamists movement used this segregation for its own recurrence. With money pouring in from Saudi Arabia and the import of mass productions of Imams with all the same shape and education from Iran, Community centres and Mosque were built. Madrasah private Islamic schools started to work. Veil became the flag of political Islam. Unpaid bills of poor in these communities were paid by these Imams to gain popularities. Students' dream came through. They were given scholarship to study as foreign students at universities all over the world. No wonder why the suicide-bombers have two degrees from well-known universities.
The notion of Sharia court in Canada did not come to life from nowhere. As I said before the leaders of political Islam do anything to penetrate justice system. It is enough to find a hole. The Ontario Arbitration Act 1991 provided this opportunity for Islamists to penetrate justice system. According to this act an arbitrator could resolve family disputes outside of court. The arbitrators have no regulation. They could be anyone, the butcher next door or newspaper salesman. In France the arbitrators are lawyers and working with judges. They resolve the family disputes according to French law and regulation. Arbitrators put forward the negotiation of disputes to judges and it is the court that finalizes the decision. The arbitrators only make the procedures faster. According to Ontario arbitration Act, the arbitrators could be the Imams, rabies or priests. The Law could be the law of Canada or the law of Sharia, or Christianity. This bad piece of legislation provided Islamists movement to call for parallel court system, “Sharia Court”. Bear in mind in Ontario Jewish and Catholic had already had their courts but because there was not a political movement behind them and because women’s rights, children right’s activists were not aware of potential danger of religious interference with justice system. Their opposition got them nowhere. Their voice did not get further than some progressive organizations in Ontario. With announcement of Sharia court in Ontario, the International Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada” was formed. As the move of political Islam is global so the fight against it must be global too. The initiator of Sharia court did not even have to ask for permission. The law of Ontario had already provided them a legal right to repress women and children. The only thing they did was to announce “Sharia Court” in public for more validation and acceptation. In their statement the initiators claimed that the people who call themselves Muslims ought to use these courts. We defeated this move in this area. We managed to push this move back only one step. Now this move is concentrating on our education system. Private Islamic schools are growing everywhere in every country. In France because of prohibition of religious symbols at school and that no students are identified by their nationalities or their religions. The Islamists are focusing on different avenues to uphold the flag of political Islam. They pushed for no pork meat at school; the ministry of education validated this demand. The next demand was to push for halal meet. The more we give in, the more the Islamists will demand. This year in France more children aged 6-16 years were sent to school hungry in month of Ramzan. The parents even asked the board to provide these children with special forms to identify those who fast, so that the board of education can provide them with pray rooms.
One thing I need to make clear in here is that children have no religions. No parents own the children. It is the society that decides what is good for children. Public health at school should decide what food children should eat. I understand that in France children are provided with four course meals, starters, and hot meal with meat, desert, and cheese. This is how it should be. All children should be treated equally. All children should participate in sport and music. No one has the right to impose religion on children under the age of 16. No one has the right to prevent the child from all norms and standard of the main- stream society and it is the state’s duty to protect the universal rights of the children. Sending children to school fasting for the month of Ramadan, putting cover on their head, prohibiting them to participate in dancing, singing, playing an instrument is not acceptable and should be opposed by all the defender of children’s rights. If it becomes acceptable in France, the next shift will be the segregation of girls and boys right from elementary schools and early child marriages. Law must be enforced and anyone who blocks or puts barrier for the normal social life of a child with any notion whether it is cultural or religion should face consequences. The rights of parents regarding the child are limited and must be safeguarded by the state.
I would like to emphasize on this fact that the Islamists are concentrating on the children of this vulnerable communities.
What can we do? Under the banner of “One Law for All” we need to push for integration. Do not forget in France the system is melting pot but with the notion of cultural relativism the culture has become above civil rights. Under the same notion all these inhuman acts against women and children are happening. With this notion the communities are left under the mercy of Imams. Gang rapes are happening. The veil is put on little girls, the g
irls are raped under the name of marriage, polygamy is happening, and women are becoming the second-class citizen even in France. Canada, of course, is the worst of them all as the policy of multiculturalism makes all these inhuman acts legal and validates them. We need to free ourselves from multiculturalism and all concept of cultural relativism simply because it is a civil apartheid. This is a huge barrier for equal and universal rights of women and children as it creates a headman (Mullah) with his own rule and regulation that contradicts the state’s law and regulation.
Every resident of this country needs to know about his/her civil rights. The rights of individuals must be taught at schools from elementary stage. Every child must know what violation of her, or his rights is called. Under the flag of “One Law for All” we need to push the governments to adopt a better policy for immigration and refugees. Under the banner of “One Law for All” we need to demand for total separation of religion from education. We need to demand for state intervention for the growth of the child in every aspect.