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The Islamophobia of CAIR vs. The Honor Diaries

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“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”Voltaire

Support those who engage in the dialectic between benevolent Islam and misanthropic fundamentalism. These include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sushmita Banerjee (assassinated), Firoozeh Bazrafkan, Marwa Berro (Between a Veil and a Dark Place), Mona Eltahawy, Tarek Fatah, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Rana Husseini, Kenan Malik, Irshad Manji, Hamid Mir, Azar Nafisi, Maryam Namazie, Asif Mohiuddin, Taslima Nasrin, Maajid Nawaz , Ali A. Rizvi, Raza Rumi, Nawal El Saadawi, Zaiuddin Sardar (Critical Muslim), Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, Amina Wadud, Malala Yousafzai and many others. Unfortunately, CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations) too often refuses to engage.

Honor Diaries:  The film Honor Diaries, “a movement meant to inspire viewers to learn more about issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies, and to act for change,” focuses on nine women, Zainab Khan, Raheel Raza, Juliana Taimoorazy,  Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Raquel Saraswati, Fahima Hashim, Nazie Eftekhari, Jasvinder Sanghera, and Manda Zand Ervin. CAIR should want you to hear their stories:

“CAIR supports free enterprise, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.”CAIR’s principle #1

Courage:  “The ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”For examples, see Pakistani journalists battle imbeciles who cannot argue with words and thus use violence.*

CAIR protests Honor Diaries:

“The screenings were not canceled by CAIR. They were canceled by the screening sponsors after they were informed (by CAIR) of the hate agenda and Islamophobic history of the film’s producers.” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper

The Islamophobia of CAIR:  You would think CAIR would be against Women Doused in Acid for Turning Down Marriage Proposals (Honor Diaries posted on their Facebook Page). Either CAIR fears those whom Honor Diaries might offend or they disagree with the message and want to suppress it. In the former they are cowards, in the latter they are fascists.

CAIR Principle #10:CAIR supports equal and complementary rights and responsibilities for men and women.

CAIR, on principle, should protest unequivocally honor killing, FGM, acid baths for refusing marriage proposals, not to mention laws that mandate women needing spousal permission to travel, drive, or work. According to the UN, over 90% of honor killings are within Islamic countries, this persecution extends to homosexuals, apostates, and blasphemers. Therefore, CAIR should look at Islam with a focus on changing the culture.

Criticism:  Criticizing religion has helped the evolution of universal rights, and today the West knows more peace now than ever (See The Better Angels of our Nature:  Why Violence Has Declined). The Western media supports the rights of minorities, women, and homosexuals, especially in the West, and protests loudly against discrimination in non-Muslim majority countries like Uganda. However, the same media is not as loud when it comes to rights in Islam. The Western media allows CAIR to instill fear that “deflects from a chosen course of action.” This defines cowardice, and includes Brandeis University‘s President Fred “Urine Pants” Lawrence, who changed plans to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree. (For two takes on Brandeis, see Sudanese journalist Nesrine Malik at the New York Times (Freedom to Offend) and Roger Scruton at Forbes (A Triumph for the Boston Bombers).

Philomena vs. the Catholic Church:  Philomena, a film about an unmarried young woman whose infant was taken from her by Catholic nuns, showed the crocodile’s belly of Catholicism. But did the Catholic Church protest? No. Why? Because the Catholic Church is more secure than CAIR.

Does CAIR condemn Anwar Al Awliki or Nidal Hasan? No. When the FBI searched Nidal Hasan’s mosque CAIR and Ibrahim Hooper protested: ABC News

“Nidal Hasan is a hero…The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly, they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation.”  - Anwar Al Awlaki, NYTimes

It’s not censorship, but…The Honor Diaries, so far, have not been literally censored. They have been quieted. CAIR has a right to protest, but CAIR must protest ALL hate speech or none. CAIR should support the Muslim women in Honor Diaries, yet within they see a “hate agenda.” This is perplexing.

Conclusion:  CAIR spreads Islamophobia and religious chauvinism, propagating a culture that fears fundamental terror; and a society where citizens fear speaking.

Related: 

7 Ways Westerners Can Help Ex-Muslims – Patheos

64% of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan Support Death Penalty for Leaving Islam – Washington Post (Hirsi Ali may be anti-Islam, but as an ex-Muslim, how should she feel? Who carries the greater hate?)

1,600 Pakistani women murdered, 370 raped in 2013 – The Nation

*Al Jazeera:  Journalism in Pakistan, a threatened existence

*A failed assassination attempt on noted Pakistani journalist

*Pakistan not safe but producing Brave Journalists

The Phobia of Being Called Islamophobic – Ali A. Rizvi @HuffPo

*Run for Your Life“Equipped with just enough religion to hate those with another faith — but not enough to love their coreligionists — Pakistanis have mostly turned their backs on religious atrocities. ” - Pervez Hoodbhoy

*The Hamid Mir Cased:  ‘In Pakistan, they used to censor journalists, now they shoot us’ – The Guardian UK

*When Words Can Kill

On Facebook:  Between a Veil and a Dark Place, Honor Diaries, Muslims Facing Tomorrow

HuffPo:  (Interview with Producer Paula Kweskin and subject Zainab Khan) ‘Honor Diaries’ Film Shows Islamic Honor Code Forces ‘Systemic, Institutionalized Misogyny’ On Women 

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Written by Caleb Powell

April 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Thank you for citing my blog, and for this wonderful post. I was wondering why you didn’t link to Taslima Nasreen’s work when you mentioned her? In case you don’t know, here is her blog, a member of the Freethought Blogs network. Her work is great:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/

    If you already knew about it and had your own reasons for not including it, my apologies.

    Also, I am unacquainted with the work of most of the women in The Honor Diaries, but here is my friend Raquel Saraswati’s blog. She does *fantastic* activism:

    http://raquelevita.wordpress.com/

    All the best.

    -Marwa Berro

    nietzschesbreeches

    April 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

  2. […] must dissent, to paraphrase a friend of mine who is now suffering severe backlash for her role in The Honor Diaries. Unless we agree with and pander to the opinions of all popular liberal critique of Islam, […]

  3. […] untouchable over listening to the plights and problems of Muslim women, eg the recent debacle with CAIR and the Honor Diaries, where CAIR prioritizes protesting and shutting down the screenings of a film where 9 Muslim women […]


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