The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Update on Baroness Cox’s Equality Bill
 
One Law for All has been spending a lot of time recently working with Caroline Cox and her team in promoting the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equalities) Bill. The aim of the Bill, which was introduced to the House of Lords last year, is to make arbitration services in the UK subject to equality laws and to bar any arbitration where parties are of unequal standing; for example, it would disallow arbitration providers placing greater weight on the testimony of one party over another, as is the case with sharia law where a wife’s word is worth only half of her husband’s. The Bill will also create a criminal offence and make it illegal for arbitration bodies to pretend they have greater jurisdiction than they do – in other words, preventing them from misinforming people that they must obey their rulings. It will also place a duty on public bodies in the UK to inform women of their rights under British law. 
 
The Bill is due for a second reading in the House of Lords this October. Many Peers have already pledged support but we need your help in persuading them further. If you have time, please write to any members of the House of Lords and ask them to consider the seriousness of this Bill and its need in maintaining a society where all people are equal before a single secular and democratic law. In your letter, you could point out to Peers that the Islamic Sharia Council and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal both openly acknowledge that the testimony of women is given less value than that of men, that custody of children is awarded to fathers regardless of the circumstances, and that sharia family law permits, and therefore encourages, domestic violence and the abuse of women and children.  You can find out how to write to Peers here: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-a-lord/lord/. You can read the bill here:  http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/arbitrationandmediationservicesequality.html.  
 
‘Equal and Free?’, a book of evidence compiled in support of the Bill, can be found here:http://equalandfree.org/download-file/downloads/EqualandFree.pdf. It includes testimony from women who have been through the sharia family law system here in Britain, as well as charities and groups which work closely with these women. It also looks at other religious tribunals, such as the Beth Din, and the effect the Bill may have on arbitration more broadly. 
 
Debates and Conferences
 
One of the issues of concern to those deciding whether to support the Bill is that it may represent an infringement on religious liberty. One Law for All maintains that the right to freedom of religion ends at the point where other people’s rights begin. Sharia family and criminal law represent a serious infringement upon the rights of women to receive a fair hearing and to live without violence or the threat of violence. We will be holding a debate on this issue in the coming months and will invite members of both Houses of Parliament to attend – further details will follow. For more information on other speaking engagements and events, visit:http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/category/events/.
 
Child Protection
 
As has been mentioned, sharia family law awards custody of children to fathers from a pre-set age regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of whether the father is abusive or violent. Again, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal and the Islamic Sharia Council do not deny this fact.  It is also known that matters of child custody and contact are being increasingly heard by sharia bodies, increasing the isolation of Muslims in Britain and endangering the children of Muslim parents who may be excluded from the protections provided by British law – which places the wellbeing of the child as the paramount consideration in all questions of this kind. We have been pushing this message very strongly at the House of Lords; all Peers have now received a copy of ‘Equal and Free?’ which contains details of how sharia family law is flouting legal norms in matters of child protection, and the danger this represents – it is creating a parallel legal system, based on religion, in the UK. 
 
Support us!
 
December will mark four years since the establishment of the One Law for All campaign. A lot has changed in the public debate on Sharia law and equality as a result of our campaign. If you want to and can, please help us to continue our essential work. To donate to the work of One Law for All, you can either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal.  We also need regular support and for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to donate or join the 100 Club here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate/.
 
Also, if you shop online, please do so via the Easy Fundraising’s website:http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/register-supporter/?char=40474. It won’t cost you anything extra but can help raise much needed funds for One Law for All.
 
Finally, if you haven’t already signed up to the One Law for All campaign, please join the nearly 29,000 people and groups that have: http://onelawforallpetition.com/onelaw/onela300.php?nr=40155035.
 
Thanks again
Warmest wishes
Anne Marie Waters
One Law for All Spokesperson
 
NOTES
 
1. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.
 
2. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie
Anne Marie Waters
Spokespersons
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK

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Replies to This Discussion

Maryam Namazie ; "So You Want To Ban Hate Speech ? ; http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2012/05/29/you-want-to-ba...

I must say that I prefer Maryam's Miss November persona - nice bazoomies, shame about the communist party membership !

I don't agree with her position, but I respect her consistency.

And you are always left with the lingering doubt that, as a Marxist, she will employ "other methods" to deal with dissent, once the Communist party is in control.

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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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