December 30, 2010
As 2010 draws to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the great work the AHA Foundation has done this past year and offer a preview of what we are working on for 2011.
2010 was quite a busy year for the Foundation. We strengthened our presence in Washington D.C. with meetings with various members of Congress. In particular, we met with Congressman Crowley about The Girls Protection Act
, a bill he has sponsored that would amend the current female genital mutilation law to penalize those who take a young girl to another country to suffer this procedure.
We also met with the House Judiciary Committee to discuss possible legislative changes to offer more protection to women and girls who suffer violence in the name of radical Islam. In the area of advocacy on the national level, we helped persuade the American Academy of Pediatrics to reverse its position on an alternative to female genital mutilation - often referred to as a "nick" - and to condemn all forms of female genital cutting.
The Foundation increased its public presence this year in a number of ways. We published numerous research documents in 2010, including a compilation of laws
in the U.S. and the U.K. criminalizing female genital mutilation, and a report detailing how political Islam's threat to freedom of expression
We published an overview of European best practices
in fighting female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and honor violence. Additionally, Ayaan Hirsi Ali published her much-anticipated second memoir, Nomad
. We also increased our presence on social networking websites, for example by increasing members of the AHA Foundation Facebook community to more than 20,000.
Finally, the Foundation took steps to provide information and support to victims of violence. We published a resource directory
of organizations that provide services to Muslim women in crisis and helped refer women and girls seeking help to appropriate agencies.
Going forward, we plan to build upon this important work in 2011 and already have a number of projects in progress. To continue our legislative advocacy in Washington, we have hired a consultant attorney to serve as our Legislative Counsel. She will continue to work to support Representative Crowley's bill and is also developing a proposal to amend the federal domestic violence crime to provide protection to young women abused by their families.
In 2011, we hope to engage directly with the law enforcement community to educate them about the unique issues involved in handling cases of violence against women committed in the name of Islam. We will be hosting a conference in New York City this Spring to bring together experts in the fields of law enforcement and social services to discuss these issues.
We are also developing a training curriculum for law enforcement detailing best practices for investigating and prosecuting cases of violence against Muslim women. Finally, we are working on a plan to begin measuring the number of women in New York City who suffer violence in the name of Islam. We hope to expand this data collection work to other localities in the coming years.
As always, we could not do any of this important work without your support. Thank you for being a part of the AHA Foundation!
We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!
THE AHA FOUNDATIONinfo@theahafoundation.org
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