AT TIMES SQUARE PRESS CONFERENCE
TURKISH JOURNALIST RABIA KAZAN
LAUNCHES “THIS IS NOT MY ALLAH” A CALL FOR A REFORM İN İSLAMİC WORLD & GLOBAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST EXTREMISM
October 20, 2014 (New York, NY) – A global campaign against religious extremism was launched last week in New York City by acclaimed Turkish journalist and women’s rights activist Rabia Kazan at a press conference at Hilton Times Square, which was attended by worldwide media and religious leaders.
Ms. Kazan, who has lived under the threat of death for speaking out against the dangers of radical Islam, announced her new initiative — This is Not My Allah (www.thisisnotmyallah.org) in the course of her stirring presentation, which is attached to this email.
This is Not My Allah is a campaign of resistance against violence and killing in the name of God. In addition to calling upon all people of conscience to oppose religious radicalism, Ms. Kazan boldly called upon Imams to promote a broad, tolerant, secularized interpretation and practice of Islam, Muslim educators to teach respect for all religions and Muslim mothers to educate their children that killing in the name of Allah is antithetical to Islam.
She strongly believes that fighting against radicalism through merely bombs and weapons can’t bring a definite end. Thats why moderate Islamic World should react loudly, in other words moderate muslims should break their silence so that the radicals lose power.
“Today, I stand before you all after I defeated the fear I had carried in my mind, and in my heart for a long time… I extend my hand to you to join me in this fight against this fear; which is the fear of terror that has been imposed on all of us. I have told you what I believe, and I call on you all to break your silence and to tell the truth with bravery. No matter what your religion, join me as I shout the words: This is Not My Allah,” she said.
Islamist terror is not only a problem for the USA anymore. It definitely is a global problem. Not only American journalists, but also Yazidis, Christian Arabs, Turkmans, Kurds, and Shia Muslims get brutally killed on the border of Syria and Iraq. People get beheaded, get executed by gunfire at the roadside. The Middle East is on fire, this savagery is not limited to execution only. Little girls are being sold in the cities on Syrian border. These 7 -8 year-old girls are being forced into sex work. The women whose husbands got killed are being sold in slave markets as spoils of war. Abu Usamah, an Isis militant, doesn’t hide that their aim is to kill Netanyahu, and to organize a huge attack on New York. Europe is on alert against Islamist terror too. They are trying to track the immigrants from Muslim countries who joined Isis.
The world is being drifted into an obvious chaos. Every passing day, the number of the people who are talking about a new World War is increasing.
That’s why, it is now inevitable to take urgent and firm measures against Islamist terror and Isis.
“This is not my Allah “campaign has been organized in order to protect civilian world from the Radicals whose actions have reached the top level of barbarism. The campaign defends the fact that Islamist terror can’t finish only through bombs and guns; a psychological war is also necessary. At this point Islamic world should take a firm stand against jihadist ideology and break its silence with a reformist approach. Now that this terror is conducted in relation to the religion, then the authorities should stress the fact that there is no concept of terror in the religion, on the contrary, it has concepts such as brotherhood, sisterhood, love, tolerance, and help.
In order to create a social reaction in moderate Islamic world, State leaders, academicians, writers and artists’ support is necessary. Conferences, articles, concerts will certainly be effective to establish consciousness.
The silence of Muslims feeds radical Islam. Terrorism gains power from this silence, and feels the co-religionist support of millions of Muslims. If this silence comes to an end, these terrorists will lose power. When they see the reaction of the masses, they will feel that they are defeated.
In fact, there is a majority factor. According to Zeha Khan, who is an advocate of American Muslims, 93% Muslims in the world do believe in Islam as the religion of peace. Those who supports jihadist ideology is only 7%. In this context, if this separation of extremism and moderate Islam happens, it will be possible to fight against Islamist terror.
Otherwise, islamophobia against Islamic world and its faith is going to grow more and rapidly. The peoples from other religions have some difficulty to understand the difference between Islam and Radical Islam. All of these barbaric actions can be put on the shoulders of these two opposite societies, and consequently, this will cause harm to moderate Muslim society in various areas, particularly social and economic areas.
It is the debt of Islamic world to display the same sensitivity and determination for the innocent people who got killed in Iraq and Syria as they did for the people in Gaza.
Though This is Not My Allah is intended as a global movement for all people, Ms. Kazan hopes to attract Muslim women to help her lead this campaign. “Women are the heart of the home, the heart of the community, the heart of the world. The uncomfortable truth – which is difficult to admit publicly – is that radical Islam’s first victims are its own women. When I took off my veil, I became like a hunted animal. The only solution to me was to flee my country and my religion. This is not acceptable. So, to my sisters in Islam I say: Join me in proclaiming: This is Not My Allah!” she said.
Rabia Kazan’s This is Not My Allah Call to Action includes the following actions:
• Implore Imams to preach tolerance, love and non-violence.
• Implore Muslim educators in madrassas and beyond to educate young Muslim students about the interlocking relationship of the three Abrahamic religions and respect for all faiths.
• Beseech Muslim mothers in particular to teach their children that the atrocities being perpetrated in the name of Allah as blasphemous and antithetical to their religion. Muslim children have now seen bloodshed and beheadings in the name of God; that is the beginning of mind poisoning. Muslim mothers must take an active role in re-educating their children.
• Encourage Muslims who have experienced the sting of the radical interpretation of their religion to share their stories on her website or Facebook page.
In the aftermath of last week’s press conference, Ms. Kazan’s work will include forging relationships with other individuals and organizations that are devoted to righting religious extremism.
For further information about Rabia Kazan and This Is Not My Allah, or to schedule an interview with her, please contact Shira Dicker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.thisisnotmyallah.com and follow Rabia Kazan on Facebook and on Twitter @thisisnotmyallah.
This is not My Allah
ABOUT RABIA KAZAN
The creator of This is Not My Allah (www.thisisnotmyallah.com), a global campaign of resistance against radical Islam, Rabia Kazan comes to her latest project following a career as an acclaimed Turkish journalist and women’s rights activist.
Spurred by recent and much-publicized atrocities committed by ISIS in the name of Islam, Ms. Kazan hopes to ignite a worldwide resistance movement of Muslims and all people of conscience to denounce violence committed in the name of religion by such groups as ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and others.
Having worked at the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Ms. Kazan’s career is marked by her commitment to expose extremism within her native religion. She is a writer and women’s rights advocate at ICLA, the International Civil Liberties Alliance, based in Switzerland.
ABOUT ALAIN WAGNER
Alain Wagner is the president of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA), a Switzerland-based NGO focused on the defense of civil rights and free speech against extremism. A French political analyst, he gives lectures all across Europe, raising awareness about philosophical, legal, institutional and social issues provoked by the recent introduction of radical regulations in western societies.
As a speaker and leader of several grassroots organizations, co-founder of Truth, Values and Democracy organization in 2007 and writer for several French Internet news sites, Mr. Wagner calls for “coherence in political thinking” and “acceptance of reality even if it’s disturbing” in our relations with Islam. Known for his aversion to political correctness (he is famous for his statement “Political Correctness is an insult to everyone’s intelligence”), Mr. Wagner is a robust advocate of truth and fact-based analysis, especially when dealing with matters related to contemporary Islam.