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About Gita Sahgal

Gita Sahgal is a founder of the Centre for Secular Space, which opposes fundamentalism, amplifies secular voices and promotes universality in human rights. She was formerly Head of the Gender Unit at Amnesty International. Gita has served on the board of Southall Black Sisters and was a founder of Women Against Fundamentalism and Awaaz: South Asia Watch.

Articles by Gita Sahgal

This week's editor

“Mehmet

Mehmet Kurt is this week’s guest editor, introducing the theme, ‘New Turkey and Old Troubles’.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office Inquiry

Does the UK’s Sharia Review resemble the sharia ‘courts’: secretive procedures and discriminatory advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and evidence of discrimination?

Whitewashing Sharia councils in the UK?

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, hundreds of women’s human rights organisations and campaigners warn against a further slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems.

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Opposing religious fundamentalism is a dangerous political activity. It is not a distraction from ‘real’ politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them.

Who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ?

Many of the assumptions about who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are wrong. The less known story of the men and women who wrote this foundational, emancipatory and anti-colonial document must be told in today's world.

Conquering fear with hope: Secularism 2014

The Secularism Conference taking place in London this weekend is a chance to hear activists who are transforming human rights. As western academics teach that secularism has had its day, many activists from the global south consider that it is vital to oppose the religious right.

Secular space: bridging the religious-secular divide?

One of the goals in a new report on women and Arab Spring by CARE International is to build bridges between religious and secular women.  Gita Sahgal says this fails to address the real problem: the rise of fundamentalism and the lack of clarity on the need for a secular state.

Backlash against Bangladeshi bloggers

The bloggers of Shahbagh are facing a backlash – hunted by fundamentalists, denounced in mosques as atheists, arrested by the government. Those abroad are under threat. Meanwhile activists are still demanding justice and cyber movements are using their mobilising power to deal with disasters.

Bangladesh: the forgotten template of 20th century war

In 1971 the Jamaat e Islami supported the Pakistani army against the nationalist Awami League: now their leaders are being indicted by an international crimes tribunal and secularism is back on the agenda. It's time to discuss the forgotten role of the fundamentalist militias in the war of liberation of Bangladesh

Bangladesh : the forgotten template of 20th century war

In 1971 the Jamaat e Islami supported the Pakistani army against the nationalist Awami League: now their leaders are being indicted by an international crimes tribunal and secularism is back on the agenda. It's time to discuss the forgotten role of the fundamentalist militias in the war of liberation of Bangladesh

'Soft law' and hard choices: a conversation with Gita Sahgal

A conversation exploring the challenges posed by the international conjuncture following the “war on terror” for gender justice and women’s rights. Part one

Amnesty: working against oblivion?

Human rights groups cannot tell the story of the times in which we live. There is a void, where there should be analysis of the organizational forms and ideological links of western Islamists
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