Edited by Algerian sociologist and WLUML founder, Marieme Hélie-Lucas, this bumper dossier brings you papers by over 15 contributors, including Karima Bennoune: The Law of the Republic Versus the ‘Law of the Brothers': A story of France’s law banning religious symbols in public; Pragna Patel: Cohesion, Multi-Faithism and the Erosion of Secular Spaces in the UK: Implications for the human rights of minority women; and Gita Sahgal: ‘The Question Asked by Satan’: Doubt, dissent and discrimination in 21st-century Britain

We are facing a political threat, a totalitarian Islamist threat that manifests in terrorism. Journalists are defending something which is elementary to our democracy: our freedom to breathe and to laugh.

Militant group Boko Haram killed between 150 and 2,000 civilians in Baga on 3rd January but Nigerian politicians appear more focused on their election campaigns than on security issues, according to the BBC.

C'est un véritable arrêt de mort qui était émis, en juin dernier, à l'encontre de Madame Aminettou Mint El Moctar, présidente de l'Association Femmes chefs de famille (AFCF), à Nouakchott. Il ne s'agissait pas d'un acte de la justice mauritanienne, mais d'une fatwa prononcée par Yadhih Ould Dahi, le chef d'un courant islamiste radical, Ahbab Errassoul. Cette fatwa était relayée dans plusieurs mosquées du pays et dans les media, ce qui lui valut de violentes menaces de personnes très ordinaires.

Pen against kalashnikov: courage against atrocity. People of Muslim heritage call for combatting Islamist ideology by political means and mass mobilisation.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws, December 31, 2014

A death sentence was issued in June 2014, against Ms. Aminettou Mint El Moctar, president of the Association of Women-Headed Households (AFCF) in Nouakchott. This was not an act of the Mauritanian justice system, but a fatwa from Yadhih Ould Dahi, the leader of a radical Islamist movement, Ahbab Errassoul. This fatwa was relayed in many mosques in the country and in the media, which resulted in violent threats against Ms. Mint El Moctar. The judicial authorities refused to accept the complaint she tried to file against the religious leader.  The pressure on Ms. Mint El Moctar remains very strong.

Dearest friends at Shirkat Gah and other sister organisations in Pakistan,

I am writing on behalf of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network to express our deep condolences in the wake of yesterday’s attack in Peshawar.  When the news broke, our hearts broke too. 

By Karima Bennoune, 16 December 2014 - After the deaths of two hostages in a Sydney chocolate shop standoff orchestrated by a man who forced his captives to raise black Islamist flags, it is time to recommit to the struggle against the extremist ideology that twists men like him. We need to be intolerant of intolerance.

Via SecularConference.com

Watch videos from the conference here

The two-day International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights held in London during 11-12 October 2014 was a rousing success. A broad coalition of secularists, including believers, free-thinkers, agnostics and atheists assembled from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora at the unprecedented and historic gathering to discuss resistance against the repression and violence of ISIS and other manifestations of the religious-Right, including in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia and Yemen. 

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