‘Just say no to Sharia law’ urges Tatchell

Tatchell No Islamic StatePeter Tatchell is given space at Comment is Free to promote the “Universal Children’s Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” demonstration on Saturday – which, despite its grandiose title, is just another stupid stunt by One Law for All, a front organisation for Mariam Namazie and the Worker Communist Party of Iran.

Tatchell writes plaintively that “the turn out in Hyde Park will probably be quite small” – which, based on previous experience, is a realistic prediction. The explanation is that anyone with a shred of political judgement baulks at stirring up Islamophobia in co-operation with a bunch of sectarian cranks like the WPI. For Tatchell, however, the problem is that leftists and liberals “get squeamish when it comes to challenging human rights abuses committed in the name of Islam”.

The WPI appeals to its supporters to “Show your opposition to Sharia law and all religious-based tribunals in Britain, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere” (emphasis added), and Tatchell himself claims that he and other supporters of Saturday’s demonstration “reject all religious laws and courts, including those inspired by Judaist and Christian fundamentalism”. Why, then, do Tatchell and the WPI concentrate exclusively on attacking Islamic religious tribunals? We never hear a peep from them about the Beth Din courts that operate within the Orthodox Jewish community, even though their rules on divorce are considerably more discriminatory against women than those of Sharia tribunals.

The reason of course is that Tatchell is less interested in women’s rights than in generating some publicity for himself by stoking the fires of anti-Muslim bigotry.