There is no doubt that free speech, the bedrock of democracy and civilization, is under dangerous assault in many Western countries, by a variety of leading organizations and individuals who align themselves with Muslim institutions.
They all promote the fantasy of Muslim victimhood, and force the West to overprotect Muslims, to ignore their atrocities, and to surrender to their escalating demands.
Around the world, Muslims enforce non Muslims compliance and deliberate air-brushing of the extent and magnitude of the Islamic threat -- from holy war, or Jihad, to the treatment of women under Islam. As approved by Sharia dictates, Muslims also try to forbid non-Muslims from speaking critically about Islam.
How do they accomplish this? They name anyone who engages in an honest examination of Islamic texts as a bigot, or full of hate, or call him an "Islamophobe." Dissent brings trials for non-specific "hate-speech" crimes, as well as threats of riots, violence and boycotts. In many worst-case scenarios, Muslims kill non Muslims, as well as those brave Muslims who dare to defy mind-control and suppression.
Only a few days ago the courageous Lars Hedegaard was found guilty of so called "hate speech" for having made allegedly racist statements. Yet, Mr. Hedegaard has been telling the truth. He has been bringing to the public's attention the appalling widespread Islamic 'honor' violence, in which family members are directed kill female relatives, reportedly to "restore family honor," for "crimes" such as as being raped -- often by a family member; the woman is always declared guilty, never the rapist -- as well as for alleged adultery, even if there is no proof, but just "a feeling" the judges may have as in the recent case of Hena in Bangladesh. who was sentenced to 300 lashes, and during the lashings died.
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During my thirty-two years of living in Syria, I have witnessed first hand countless acts of vicious violence and cruelty. As a practicing physician in Syria, I have seen and treated countless abused women who were severely beaten and raped with the tacit approval of Sharia and family "honor."
Those victims I treated were of the same type of victims honor violence to which Mr. Hedegaard referred, and for which he is now being penalized by those who are supposed to be championing the same values we all hold dear in the West.
By suppressing the freedom to expose atrocities and cruelty against Muslim women, however, the West undermines their status as respected and valued citizens. Is this what government leaders seek to accomplish? Are Muslim women who suffer immensely under Sharia Law, including in the West, not worthy of government protection?
As a physician, I am alarmed at the coordinated effort by Islamists and their accomplices in the West to disrupt this basic right to freely express and expose what needs to be corrected.
The horrific attack on 9/11 has brought to light the recognition that no spot on Earth is immune to Islamism. My own personal stories -- my opthamology teacher in medical school in Syria, for example, was shot and killed in front of us because he was teaching female students -- apply to all of us.
As long as there are Muslims within our societies who promote Islamic Sharia Law and work tirelessly to apply it in our free societies, we need to be educated, vigilant and active in defending our liberties. It is one issue that all of us must be concerned about and strongly attentive to.
I am not here to incite anyone against Muslims. Please understand that Muslims are my people, and under any circumstances I wouldn't be able to peel off my own skin and be anything else but a woman from a Muslim country and the Islamic culture. But I am here to unearth the true face of Islam as a hateful and intolerant ideology, including its treatment of women.
Osama Bin Laden is now dead and gone. But the harsh and intolerable Sharia Law he so faithfully practiced is alive and thriving. Bin Laden's life and horrific actions are clear proof that Islamists are victims of an intolerable dogma that lures them away from their inherent common sense, and turns them into human beasts.
At a very early age, they are brainwashed to believe that Islam is bound to control the entire world, and that their mission on earth is to fight for the sake of this goal. For this, the end justifies the means -- therefore humiliating, torturing or killing others is a divine mission.
Lara Logan, the CBS journalist who covered the recent Egyptian revolution broke the wall of silence on a program called "60 minutes," by sharing the sexual violence that was inflicted on her as a female and a foreign journalist in the field. In her own words, she stated that the Egyptian mob who assaulted her "really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence."
For many Westerners this is a vivid view into the shocking treatment and continuous harassment of native women, as well as foreign women, in Egypt.
This practice persists due to Muslim inculcation of hostility to, and derision of, women. To add salt to wound, Muslims blame only the victim -- for supposedly falling short of Islamic restrictions on dress and behavior and thereby "enticing" the men.
Unfortunately, in her interview, Logan submitted to the persisting political correctness, and was careful not to use the words "Muslim" or "Islam" with connection to the terrible sexual ordeal against her.
Let me share with you only few personal stories. These are tales which only affirm Lara Logan's deplorable episode, and prove the pervasiveness of the abuse of women in the Muslim world.
My own niece was forced to marry her cousin when she was eleven and he was over forty. Her marriage was valid under Islamic Sharia because the prophet Muhammad married his second wife, Aisha when she was 6 years old and he was over fifty. My niece for many years was terribly abused and did not have the right to ask for a divorce.
She would escape from her husband's house to her father's, begging him; "Please let me stay here. I promise to be your maid to the last day of my life. He is so abusive; I can't take this torture any more." Her father would reply, "It's shame for a woman to leave her husband's home without his permission. Go back. I promise I will talk to him"
At the age of 28, my niece committed suicide by setting herself on fire; she left behind four children.
While working as a physician in Syria, I witnessed many crimes committed in my society in the name of Islam. Once, when I worked in a small village, a woman in her late thirties came to my office complaining of nausea, vomiting and back pain. An examination revealed that she was three months pregnant. As soon as I told her the news, she collapsed on the chair and began to scream, smacking her face, "I beg you doctor, I beg you to rescue me from the mess I'm in. My son will kill me. I don't care about my life. I deserve to die, but I don't want my son to dirty his hands with my blood."
"What is wrong, Fatima?" I asked.
"My husband died five years ago and left me with four children. His brother rapes me every day in exchange for feeding my children. If he knew I was pregnant he would provoke my son, who is 15, into killing me rather than be exposed to public disgrace."
I sent her to see a gynecologist. When she came back to see me about two weeks later, she looked gaunt, haggard and ill. "I came to thank you." she said. "But they performed the operation to remove the fetus without an anesthetic. I didn't have enough money to pay for the drugs to sedate me, so the doctor had to operate without them. The pain was unbearable. I nearly died"
As for my own story, my husband left for America a year ahead of me. When I submitted a request for passports for my children, the officer in charge refused to grant me one on the grounds that under the Islamic Sharia law I was not considered mentally fit to be the legal guardian of my children. He therefore asked me to bring a male from my husband's family who would allow us to get my children's passports.
No member of my husband's family lived in our town except one of his cousins. He was an alcoholic, and because of his ill nature, my husband had never wanted to introduce him to me. To make a long story short, I went to his house and bribed him with fifty Syrian pounds which is equal to one dollar. As I left the immigration building, I couldn't help thinking of the absurdity that we, women of the Muslim world are faced with: as a medical doctor, I wasn't fit to be the legal guardian of my children, but a drunken man could control my entire destiny.
It is obvious that the teaching of my faith did not coincide with my basic rights, and for sure did not respect me as a professional woman. Under Islamic Sharia Law, for example, male Muslims are granted full control over their female relatives. A father can marry his daughter off at any age to any man of his choice without her consent.
Tragically, these accounts that I share with you, are not isolated stories by any means. They signify tragic stories of millions of other Muslim women all over the world, including here in Europe and in North America. On a daily bases, there are countless domestic abuses of Muslim women: rapes and honor killings which are frequently ignored by the so called "progressives," who claim to be such big supporters of human rights..
Many in the establishment legally prosecute those brave people who dare to speak up and expose the dismal reality of violence against Muslim women, and the harsh reality of Sharia Law in general. Many people forbid our society from labeling the Islamic discrimination and maltreatment of women. Obviously, as we are presently witnessing, especially in Europe, the consequences for those who dare, are grave.
Accordingly, let me challenge those who are on the wrong side of history; how can a Muslim woman raise a fair-minded child when she is oppressed herself? Certainly, a male child who grows up watching his mother being treated with no respected, marginalized and abused, will almost inevitably have a distorted view that such behavior against women id permissible and normal; and be capable of the type of cruelty that was inflicted by the mob against Lara Logan. Is that not a dilemma which affects the West's relationship with the Muslim world?
Sadly, Muslims and their enablers will keep defying those of us who dissent. We have a choice to make. We can continue to give in, or we can win people over by making it clear that our freedoms and our culture and our heritage will be protected -- no matter what it takes.
In his show "Real Time" Bill Maher, an American comedian, stated last month: "Islam is the only religion that 'kills you when you disagree with it. They claim: 'Look, we are a religion of peace…and if you disagree we shall cut off your head.'" Maher predicts that "there are very few people who will call them on it."
We are some of the very few who will call them on it. We are here with clarity and conviction to identify, to expose and, we hope, to marginalize the enemies of the free world. We are here to deter the destruction of our values by those who aspire to enslave us under the harsh and intolerable shackles of Sharia Law.
When a woman living under Islamic Sharia Law immigrates to a free Western country, it can become a complete transformative path, as happened to me. Now that I am free, I do not have to allow my rights to be abused by any religious or political authority. In the United States I am a person -- equal to all others.
But how can we expect all other Muslim women in all parts of the free world to become emancipated when there are judicial institutions that help suppress their urge for freedom by punishing those who try to protect them, as happens to individuals like Lars Hedegaard, Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Kurt Westergaard, Jesper Langballe, Ezra Levant, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Joe Kaufman and Mark Steyn among others? Too often, the West seems indifferent to its denigration by Islam. Times are difficult nowadays.
I, for one, do not take my rights for granted, and therefore I will continue to fight to protect these rights, not only for me but for all other Muslim women.
As citizens of the free world, we must have the moral aptitude to fight and protect our liberty by exposing the totalitarian abuse of Islam against women.
The enemy has both unwitting and malevolent allies. We are obliged to call on those who surrender to Islam's oppressive doctrine, those who weaken all of us and unintentionally --- or some deliberately -- cause our decline.
We must realize that we are in a war. We must continue our unwavering resolve to serve as a buffer against the forces of evil. We cannot appease. We cannot compromise. We must recognize the enemies, and deter them at every pass.
We will not stifle our language. We will use the appropriate vocabulary to call things by their rightful name. We will continue to press for moral clarity, for open intellectual discourse with the precise definitions of our goals against their goals.
From now on, let us invoke the new terminology, "Truthphobes," against those who call us "Islamophobes. "This is because their irrational fear of the truth is a detrimental factor for our survival as free people.
The bitter reality of Islam's Sharia doctrine should not be ignored. Real victory can take place only in the spirit of genuine inquiry, transparency, and the fearless pursuit of truth. A culture that does not respect half of its population will never thrive and prosper.
Consequently, any attempt to make criticism of Islam forbidden and punishable by law is intolerable and will be strongly resisted by all people who love freedom.
When I was living in Syria, I cried often because I suffered. Now that I am free, I still cry, but for all other Muslim women over the world. I dream of a future when all Muslim women can savor a taste of my freedom. This is a dream that should be granted for all humanity and our job is to be unrelenting in pursuing that objective.
I challenge anyone responsible for the trial against Lars Hedegaard to reconsider the horrendous consequences of such preposterous allegations against him. Let us not revert to the Europe of the Middle Ages.
Let freedom of speech prevail.