WCPI @ Trafalgar Square: it was tiny after all

Maryam NamazieI managed to get to the WCPI “One Law for All” rally in Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon, and as others had advised me it would be, it was tiny after all. I took some pictures and posted them to Flickr, and they clearly show that the demo was poorly attended: about 100 under the entrance to the National Gallery. There was an awful lot of “No Shari’ah” sloganeering - a lot of clichés about Shari’ah and comparisons of it to what is practised in Iran, and they concentrated overwhelmingly on Muslim arbitration panels rather than the Jewish panels which have been established for a lot longer.

Most of the speakers were members of the WCPI “Central Committee”, including Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, Bahram Soroush and Shiva Mahbobi. The latter was actually introduced as a member of said committee, but actually all four were; it begs the question of why the views of a small Iranian Marxist sect should be important in the debate over religion and state in the UK. I also wonder if any state they managed to establish in Iran would be much less repressive than the present régime, given that police states tend to recycle their old enemies’ secret police forces (this happened in both Iran and Russia); I had coined the slogan “Shari’ah, yes, Stasi, no” in case we managed to mount a counter-demo. AC Grayling, a popular philosopher, and Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society, spoke as well. I wonder if they knew who their friends were.

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