Wednesday, October 13, 2010

News update from the AHA Foundation


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News from the AHA Foundation


News
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: It's time to fight back against death threats by Islamic extremists
Muhammad Cartoon architect releases the Tyranny of Silence
Genuinely Moderate Muslims speak out on Capitol Hill
Hamas-linked cleric took part in FBI outreach effort
Washington's Schizophrenic Approach Toward the Muslim Brotherhood
Ayaan Hirsi Ali draws Veiled Protesters in Seattle
Scottish police plea to victims of 'honour' crimes
Suspects 'fled to Iraq' after Banaz Mahmod honor killing
4 missionaries in Dearborn, Michigan acquitted of inciting crowd
Call in Scotland to prosecute the husbands who knowingly wed forced-marriage girls
Police: Newspaper was target of Danish hotel bomber
Bare skin ban for Muslim pool event in Melbourne
Discotheque in Spain to change its name after Muslim protests
Child bride rescued in Australia
German insurer apologizes for citing Koran to refuse claim on grounds of gender inequality
British news anchor Konnie Huq: My family wanted me to marry a Muslim
Hirsi Ali: implications of Wilders trial are enormous, even if he wins
Debate on whether Islam is a religion of peace or not
Blair: West is being "outmanoeuvred" by violent Islamist extremists
UN seeks to combat female genital mutilation
I'd do it again, says honour killer in West Bank
Gambia detains head of anti-FGM campaigners
Stoning video could hit support for Pakistani militants
How you can support the AHA Foundation
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: It's time to fight back against death threats by Islamic extremists

September 27, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that as Islamic extremists are increasingly using intimidation to stifle free expression, a federal law is needed to cover threats against free-speech rights.

Read more here.
Editors pass on Comic Strip with "Where's Muhammad" Reference

October 4, 2010

A number of American newspaper editors opted not to run Sunday's "Non Sequitur" comic strip, which included a "Where's Muhammad?" reference, according to The Washington Post's "Comic Riffs" blog.


Some 20 papers, including the Portland Press Herald and the Boston Globe, both of which "Non Sequitur" Wiley Miller reads, opted to run a Sunday replacement strip featuring the recurring character Obvious-Man.


Read more here.
Genuinely moderate Muslims speak out on Capitol Hill

October 1, 2010

A group of genuinely moderate, non-Islamist Muslims have testified on Capitol Hill.


They emphasized the importance of educating members of Congress about the link between nonviolent political Islam and a totalitarian, violent strain.


Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former radical Islamist, describes Political Islam as a system of governance in which Muslims are "given superiority over non-Muslims in society" where "that superiority is codified in the laws and its presided over by a ruler with arbitrary and unchecked powers, with a class of clergy who interpret the law and impose that law." Muhammad also emphasized the importance of the U.S. government moving to "stop legitimizing groups" like CAIR, MPAC, and ISNA, which he described as a "fifth column" in the United States. "It's got to get to the point where these groups are seen as pariahs on Capitol Hill," Muhammad said.


Dr. Zuhdi Jasser said  Islam needs to have its own Reformation similar to the one in Catholicism which began centuries ago and separated church and state.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government and its agencies tend to not speak with or listen to these genuine moderates.



Read more here.
Hamas-linked cleric took part in FBI outreach effort

September 30, 2010

The FBI on Thursday defended its inclusion of a Chicago Muslim cleric tied in the past to the terrorist groups Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood in a group that recently visited the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and FBI headquarters.

Ross Rice, FBI spokesman in Chicago, acknowledged in an interview that Kifah Mustapha, imam of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Ill, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator during a Hamas funding trial six years ago, but says Mustapha "has never been convicted of a crime and never charged with a crime".

Mustapha took part in the six-week program at the FBI's Quantico, Va., facility, which included a three-day visit to Washington, where a group of 30 people, including the cleric, visited the NCTC and FBI headquarters, Mr. Rice said.

The incident raises new questions about how the US government chooses its Islamic outreach partners.

Many allegedly "moderate" Islamic groups and spiritual leaders the US government has interacted with have turned out to be supportive of political Islam and extremist groups.

Read more here.
Washington's Schizophrenic Approach Toward the Muslim Brotherhood

September 15, 2010

Raising questions about which Islamic groups the US government interacts with, both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations have worked with Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in the United States.

"They're bullet-proof. It's horrible," veteran journalist Douglas Farah said regarding the political strength of Brotherhood-affiliated groups like CAIR and ISNA.

U.S. policy "empower[s] groups whose ultimate goal is the creation of an Islamic nation in the United States."

Farah, a former reporter for the Washington Post, is sharply critical of the Obama Administration's courtship of MB affiliates. Obama's approach closely resembles that of the Bush Administration, which all too often consisted of using Brotherhood organizations like CAIR, ISNA and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as vehicles for outreach to American Muslims, he said.

Government officials should have a clear policy to avoid doing anything that grants groups like, CAIR, NAIT, ISNA, MAS and the International Institute for Islamic Thought legitimacy, Farah said.

Read more here.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali draws Veiled Protesters in Seattle

September 30, 2010

It was a scene you don't see everyday in Seattle: Some three dozen Islamic women in cloaks and veils descended on Town Hall last night to wave pickets and pass out fliers. They were there to protest the appearance of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the controversial Somali émigré who's been speaking out against Islamic fundamentalism and oppression of women.

Protesters called Hirsi Ali all sorts of invectives, but when asked how exactly Hirsi Ali was what the fliers accused Hirsi Ali of being, protesters could not say.

During the event, when asked about the protesters outside, Hirsi Ali said, "I welcome them in the room." She said she'd like to directly ask them about a passage in Islamic doctrine that counsels husbands to beat their wives.

Read more here.
Scottish police plea to victims of 'honour' crimes

September 27, 2010

Scottish police are launching a campaign to tackle honour-based violence in Muslim communities by encouraging more victims to come forward: the number of cases in Scotland is growing, and although there have been only 31 reported in Lothian and Borders since the start of 2009, this is believed to be the tip of the iceberg as few victims are willing or able to come forward.

When they do contact either the police or support agencies, the extent of the violence has often become so severe that it is unbearable.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland's lead for public protection, said: "The intention is to encourage people to come forward and have confidence that they will be properly dealt with.

All 31 recorded incidents in Lothian and Borders have been against women, the majority aged 21 to 30.

Most of the perpetrators were aged 31 to 50 and male, and motivated by a feeling of loss of honour or disrespect.

Read more here.
Suspects 'fled to Iraq' after Banaz Mahmod honor killing

October 11, 2010

Two cousins of honour killing victim Banaz Mahmod fled to Iraq after taking part in the "cold-blooded and callously executed" murder, the Old Bailey heard today.


Mohammed Ali, 29, and Omar Hussain, 32, were recruited to kill 20 year-old Ms Mahmod by her father and uncle, it is claimed.


Read more here.
Dearborn schools settle suit with coach who claimed he lost his job over Christian beliefs

October 5, 2010

A wrestling coach who claimed he lost his job at a suburban Detroit high school because of his Christian beliefs settled the lawsuit for $24,500.


Coach Gerald Marszalek said his troubles with the devout Muslim principal began in 2005 when a volunteer assistant, the Reverend Trey Hancock, introduced some wrestlers to Christianity during a camp away from school.


The school's Principal, Imam Fadlallah, recently left as Fordson principal under Michigan's enhanced retirement program for school employees. In August, two award-winning teachers filed a lawsuit accusing him of harassment because they're not Muslim.


Read more here.
Call to prosecute the husbands who knowingly wed forced-marriage girls

September 18, 2010

Men who marry women forced into wedlock by her parents should be criminalised, a prominent Scottish lawyer has said: although Scotland has smaller populations from countries where arranged marriages are common, it is a growing issue.

Read more here.
Police: Newspaper was target of Danish hotel bomber

September 17, 2010

A Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was the target of a man arrested after a blast in a Copenhagen hotel, police said.

Lead investigator Svend Foldager told reporters that a 24-year-old suspect from Chechnya held in connection with the blast had been trying to make a parcel bomb that was to be sent to the Jyllands- Posten newspaper in the city of Arhus.

Read more here.
Bare skin ban for Muslim pool event in Melbourne

September 16, 2010

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has banned people exposing their shoulders and thighs at an event at a public swimming pool in Dandenong, in Melbourne's south-east.

The Dandenong City Council and the YMCA applied for the ban to be implemented during swimming lessons for Muslim women scheduled for next August; it will apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims attending the event.

Read more here.
Discotheque in Spain to change its name after Muslim protests

September 16, 2010

A Spanish discotheque called Mecca which has angered Muslims will change its name, a Muslim representative said on Thursday in the southern city of Murcia.

The discotheque in Aguilas near Murcia will also modify controversial features of its architecture, said Mohammed Reda el-Qady, secretary of the Union of Islamic Communities in Murcia.

Features that were deemed offensive by Muslims included a minaret-like tower, a blue dome with a half-moon on top which made the building look like a mosque, and verses of the Quran inside.

The discotheque owners reached an agreement with local Muslims after its name and style sparked a wave of protests on the internet.

A hacker even broke into the website of the establishment, threatening with "a war between Spain and the people of Islam".

Read more here.
Child bride rescued in Australia

September 15, 2010

A 14-year-old Melbourne girl has been saved from an arranged marriage by a court's ban on her leaving Australia: just days before the girl's father planned to whisk her overseas to marry a man she has never met, the Family Court ordered she must stay put.

Read more here.
German insurer apologizes for citing Koran to refuse claim on grounds of gender inequality

September 28, 2010

A Muslim immigrant in Germany who asked his insurance firm to cover the costs of a maid while he recovered from a serious accident had his claim rejected by his insurance company, Gothaer Insurance in Cologne, on the grounds that according to his religion, husbands don't do the housework anyway.

The 79-year-old Algerian man had been seriously injured after being hit by a car and had already received a six-figure sum in damages from the Gothaer insurance company. When he filed an additional claim to cover the costs of running his household because he wasn't healthy enough to do so himself, an insurance clerk responded by interpreting the Koran as placing the man above the woman.

In her letter, the insurance clerk wrote of Muslim marriage: "It can't be assumed to resemble a German marriage. According to the patriarchical and traditional view of the man in the Muslim marriage, the husband doesn't run the household."

Following public controversy, the insurer has said the clerk's letter does not reflect company policy.

Read more here.
British news anchor Konnie Huq: My family wanted me to marry a Muslim

October 10, 2010

Konnie Huq, the British former Blue Peter presenter, has admitted that her father hoped she would marry a Muslim rather than fellow broadcaster Charlie Brooker.


Huq is the only one of her three sisters not to have had an arranged marriage, and said that it took her family time to accept her choice of husband.


Read more here.
Opinion

Hirsi Ali: implications of Wilders trial are enormous, even if he wins

September 29, 2010

About Geert Wilders' trial in the Netherlands, Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes:


"The implications of this trial are enormous. This trial-even if Mr. Wilders wins-could silence the brave critics of radical Islam. The West is in a war of ideas against political Islam. If free speech is not protected in Europe, we're already losing."


Read more here.
Debate on whether Islam is a religion of peace or not

September 29, 2010

At a debate organized by Intelligence Squared, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Douglas Murray debated Zeba Khan and Maajid Nawaz.

Watch the full debate here.
Blair: West is being "outmanoeuvred" by violent Islamist extremists

September 29, 2010

In a speech in New York, the former prime minister said that warnings over the past week of new terrorist plots against Europe should remind people that they remain under threat.


Mr Blair said a "narrative" that Muslims were under attack from the US and its allies, who act out of support for Israel, had been allowed to take hold, aided by "websites and blogs".


"Measure, over the years, the paucity of our counter-attack in the name of peaceful coexistence," he said. "We have been outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised."


Mr Blair said a tendency to "sympathise" with extremism was not only dangerous but also disempowering for moderate Muslims, because it made people resent them as much as extremists.


He said he was "intrigued" by the fact that western leaders, including Barack Obama, the US President, felt the need to condemn Terry Jones, a pastor who threatened to burn a Koran.


"Suppose an Imam, with thirty followers, in Karachi was to burn a bible," he said. "I can barely imagine a murmur of protest. It wouldn't be necessary for the President of Pakistan to condemn it because no one here would remotely consider he supported it."


Read more here.
Non-Western news of interest

UN seeks to combat female genital mutilation

September 29, 2010

Gender justice was a focus at the UNSummit on the progress of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) last week in New York. A promise was made to address the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) by newly appointed Secretary General to UN Women Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile.


Read more here.
I'd do it again, says honour killer in West Bank

September 20, 2010

There is a growing push in the Arab world to have men responsible for so-called honour killings treated as murderers by the courts.

Every year hundreds of women are killed by their husbands or brothers or another male family member for supposedly bringing shame on their families.

In many countries the honour killers are given leniency. Many men are not charged, or they spend only a few days or weeks in custody.

But Palestinian human rights groups have recently drafted their own amendments to have them treated as murderers.

Khaled Mahmoud, 21, admits beating his sister to death last year in the West Bank. "I am really sorry for what happened, but I think even if I'm in the same situation now after this experience and she does the same thing, I would kill her again," Mahmoud says.

Read more here.
Gambia detains head of anti-FGM campaigners

October 11, 2010

Authorities in The Gambia have begun cracking down on women rights campaigners against Female Genital Mutilation. The Executive Director of The Gambia Committee Against Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP) Dr. Isatou Touray, and her Assistant Amie Bojang Sissoho were arrested on Monday by police for unexplained reasons, the Freedom Newspaper can report.


GAMCOTRAP'S efforts to discourage FGM in The Gambia has been greeted with strong opposition by some religious leaders-who openly advocate for female circumcision.  One of them is the controversial  State House Imam Alhagie Abdoulie Fatty, who told Freedom Radio in a recent interview that FGM is not being practiced in The Gambia as painted by local activists.  Imam Fatty accuses FGM activists of blowing things out of proportion.  He said Islam supports  female circumcision.


" There is nothing wrong to circumcise our kids. Islam supports Female circumcision.  Don't mind the so called FGM activists. They are spreading wrong information about female circumcision.  It is a cultural practice recognized by Islam," Imam Fatty said.


Read more here.
Stoning video could hit support for Pakistani militants

September 20, 2010

Turbaned men in Pakistan gather around a woman with a black hood over her head. She sits on the ground while they pick up large stones and repeatedly throw them at her until she lies motionless, stretched in the dirt.
The stoning, in the north-west of the country, was apparently carried out by Pakistani Taliban militants, incensed because she was seen out with a man.

The footage is a stark reminder that militants still control areas of north-west Pakistan and impose their harsh version of Islam at will.

Last year, Pakistanis were outraged after footage widely aired on television showed militants in the Swat Valley publicly flogging a teenage girl who had been accused of having an affair.

That video greatly undermined any public support the Taliban had in Pakistan, and this one could further sour public opinion against the al-Qa'ida-linked Taliban fighters.

Read more here.
How you can support the AHA Foundation

The AHA Foundation is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of women in the West against militant Islam.

The three main activities of the Foundation are to:

1) Investigate
2) Inform
3) Influence

Through research, the dissemination of knowledge and outreach, the Foundation aims to combat several types of crimes against women, including the abridgement of the education of girls, female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor violence, and honor killings.

As part of its mission, the AHA Foundation aims to persuade politicians and policy-makers to make it a priority to enforce existing laws that protect women's rights and, where necessary, to create special legislation to protect the rights and freedoms of women in the West against militant Islam.

The Foundation is opposed to the adoption of dual legal systems to adjudicate family disputes in religious families and supports the separation of all religions and the State.

The AHA Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

If you are interested in supporting the work and mission of the AHA Foundation, you may do so here. We thank you for your support.
AHA Foundation report on circumstances affecting Muslim girls and women in the United States

In December 2009, the AHA Foundation has released a report titled "What do we know? Facts and Figures on the circumstances affecting Muslim girls and women in the United States".

According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, founding member of the AHA Foundation, "This report shows that honor-based violence in the name of fundamentalist Islam is a phenomenon not limited to Western European countries, but also occurs in the United States. We must take a very strong stand against it."

Following almost a year of information collection and analysis, the AHA Foundation has found that forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and acts of honor violence and honor killings take place in the United States more often and with a greater degree of severity than is commonly assumed.

Acts of violence are often dismissed as isolated, unfortunate events even when they fit into a broader pattern of abuses of women's rights in the name of fundamentalist Islam and tribal customs.

You may view the report (PDF format) by clicking on this link:

http://www.theahafoundation.org/system/include/resources/files/AHA2009WhatDoWeKnow.pdf


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The AHA Foundation is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of women in the West against militant Islam. For more information, please visit www.theAHAfoundation.org
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