Women are the Key to the Future.
WOMEN in the Islamic world have the future in their hands. There are no alternatives. As things continue to deterioriate in the Arab world, women unfortunately have the most to lose. The women's movement in America paved the way for the civil rights movement and this is why I feel that women in the Islamic world are the sleeping giant in the fight against global jihad.
Dutch member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been threatened with death for writing the film "Submission" -- which is heavily critical of Islam and for which filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in November. She spoke with SPIEGEL about her life as a fugitive, how to fight radical Islam, and the need for legitimate intolerance.
Syrian-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan, who's now world-famous interview on Al Jazeera where she says, "There is no clash of civilizations but a clash between the mentality of the middle ages and that of the 21st century." has been viewed more than 10 million times on MEMRI.ORG. She was named by TIME as one of a list of 100 influential people in the world "whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world". Sultan is working on a book to be called The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster, and says she was shocked into secularism by the 1979 atrocities committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against innocent Syrian people, including the machine-gun assassination of her professor in her classroom in front of her eyes at the University of Aleppo where she was a medical student. "They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, 'God is great!' " she said. "At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god."
Nonie Darwish, another brave Arab Muslim woman ask's unapologetically, "Why are so many Muslims embracing jihad and cheering for al-Qaeda and Hamas? Why are even the modern, secularized Arab states such as Egypt producing a generation of angry young extremists? When she was eight, Noni Darwish's father died while leading Fedayeen raids into Israel. Her family moved back to Cairo from Gaza, where they were honored as survivors of a “shahid” – a martyr for jihad. She grew up learning the same lessons as millions of Muslim children: to hate Jews, destroy Israel, oppose America, and submit to dictatorship. Darwish became increasingly appalled, however, by the anger and hatred in her culture, and in 1978 she emigrated to America. Since 9/11 she has been lecturing and writing on behalf of moderate Arabs and Arab-Americans. Extremists now denounce her as an infidel. Darwish speaks out against the dark side of her native culture – women abused by Islamic traditions; the poor and uneducated mistreated by the elites; bribery and corruption as a way of life. She rejects a culture of bigotry and argues that the only hope for the future is for America to continue waging the War on Terror, seeding the Middle East with the values of democracy, respect for women, and tolerance for all religions.
Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the American Congress For Truth is an outspoken surivor of the Lebanese Civil war where thousand of Lebanese Christians were murdered. She is never afraid to speak the truth.
UPDATE: See video of Brigitte Gabriel's recent talk on C-Span's BOOKTV here.