News update from the AHA Foundation

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Hemantha Wijesooriya

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Dec 7, 2011, 1:48:19 PM12/7/11
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FYI - some interesting links from AHA Foundation...

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News
AHA Foundation receives Certificate of Appreciation from U.S. State Department
Watch Highlights from the AHA Foundation's Honor Violence Symposium
AHA Foundation launches Honour Fund
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looks to strengthen genital-mutilation ban
New Jersey dad eyed in 'honor' killing in Pakistan
The Canadian honor killing trial of the Shafia women highlights the inadequacy of the system
Father accused of "honour" killings in Shafia case expressed no remorse
Teen told social worker of abuse, Canadian honour killing trial hears
Boyfriend in Shafia case describes a forbidden love suppressed by fear
Cellphone footprints reveal compelling details in Shafia "honor" killing case in Canada
First 'Honor Killing' Trial in Belgium's History Places Entire Family on Dock
Debate rages about forced marriages in Europe
More than 2,800 so-called honour attacks in UK last year
Victims of forced marriage in Scotland will benefit from greater protection with new legislation
Estimated 3,500 girls at risk of FGM in London, UK
Classrooms in London schools tackle genital mutilation
Nasheima Sheikh on efforts to fight FGM in UK
New study reveals "thousands" of girls in forced marriages seek help in Germany each year
Sydney Man Convicted of Killing Mother's Lover in "honor" crime
The European Union has blocked the release of a documentary on Afghan women
A devout Muslim fears violent retribution for getting drunk and bashing his wife
Sanghera: Why the Battle against Forced Marriages needs to go Global
Toronto Sun on Ayaan's analysis of Charlie Hebdo bombing in France
Sanghera: Why the Battle against Forced Marriages needs to go Global
Cigdem Akyol on "honor" crimes in Germany
Hassan: We shouldn't hesitate to call honour killings barbaric
Albright on Arab Spring: An 'iron hand' is no substitute for democracy
Hardline Islamists interrupt Tunisian university
Tunisia's women fret over rise of Islamism
Libyan women demand support for war rape victims
Muslim Brotherhood top winner in Egyptian election
In Iran, woman blinded by acid now denied compensation for showing her attacker mercy
Pakistani school textbooks foster intolerance of religious minorities
Law protecting Afghan women has 'long way to go
Afghan woman's choice: 12 years in jail or marry her rapist and risk death
Afghan gunmen poured acid on faces of three sisters for refusal of marriage
Get involved!
Reclaiming Honor for Women
AHA Foundation receives Certificate of Appreciation from U.S.  Department of State

On November 17, 2011, the U.S. Department of State presented the AHA Foundation with a Certificate of Appreciation for our assistance and research in combating the forced marriage of U.S. citizens.   

 

The certificate was presented following a roundtable on forced marriage held by the State Department.   

 

In attendance from the AHA Foundation were the Executive Director, the Research Director and the Legislative Counsel.

 

Read more here .

 

Highlights from the AHA Foundation's Honor Violence Symposium

Watch highlights from the AHA Foundation Honor Violence Symposium in 2011, the first ever US conference on honor violence and forced marriage in the United States.

This video shows why our work is so necessary
.

 

AHA Foundation launches Honour Fund

  

The AHA Foundation has launched the Honour Fund. Around the world, people have created strict constructions of what defines a woman's honor.  These definitions often suggest that by making her own decisions, educating herself and creating her own destiny, a woman or girl has dishonored herself and her family.   We want to ensure that women are the ones who define their OWN honor.

  

The HONOUR Fund of the AHA Foundation will raise money and awareness for The AHA Foundation as well as other key non-profits who defend and protect women's rights, promote women's education, and are defining honor for women around the world.

 
For more information, please visit http://theahafoundation.org/get-involved/honour.

To purchase products in support of the Honor Fund, please visit
or see the details at the end of this newsletter.

 


 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has introduced legislation that would make it a crime under U.S. law to take young girls out of the U.S. for the purpose of genital mutilation.

 

The AHA Foundation strongly supports efforts to combat FGM. 

 

Read more here.

 

Find more information on the Girls Protection Act at the AHA Foundation's Legislative Outreach section here: http://theahafoundation.org/get-involved/legislative-outreach/ 


A twisted, sick sense of "honor" compelled a Jersey City man to have his daughter and son-in-law brutally murdered alongside a Pakistani roadway, authorities there say.

 

Read more here.

 


The Canadian honor killing trial of the Shafia women highlights the inadequacy of the system that failed to protect the victims.

 

Read more here.

 

Father accused of "honour" killings in Shafia case expressed no remorse

 

A father accused of the "honour killings" of four family members - including his three teenage daughters - in Canada was recorded on police wiretaps saying he was "happy" they were dead and that he would "do the same again a hundred times", a court has heard.

 

Read more here .

 


In the year before their deaths, two teenage Montreal sisters told teachers and a youth protection worker that they were physically and psychologically abused at home and feared their father and older brother, a Canadian murder trial heard in the "honor" killing case of Zainab, Saharia and Geeti Shafia.


Read more here.

Boyfriend in Shafia case describes a forbidden love suppressed by fear

It has become evident at this trial that sad Sahar, so frequently banished to her room, with other family members instructed not to speak with her, was aching to be cherished by someone. She was the girl who'd essentially been given away by Yahya shortly after birth - presented as surrogate baby to her husband's barren first spouse, a custom not unusual in polygamous Afghan marriages.

 

Read more here

Cellphone footprints reveal compelling details in Shafia "honor" killing case in Canada

In the Canadian "honor" killing case of Zainab, Saharia and Geeti Shafia, investigators have methodically tracked the family's movements in the crucial days and hours both before and after the "accident," by analyzing data retrieved from cellphones. 

 

Read more here.

 


In what is believed to be the first 'honor killing' trial in Belgium's history, an entire family has been charged with the death of a 20-year-old law student of Pakistani origin.

 

Read more here.

 


There is growing debate in Europe about forced marriages. It has been the focus of a conference at the European Parliament this week, just months after Germany introduced laws that criminalise the practice.

 

Read more here .

 

 

More than 2,800 so-called honour attacks - punishments for bringing shame on the family - were recorded by Britain's police last year, according to figures released on Saturday.

 

Read more here.

Victims of forced marriage in Scotland will benefit from greater protection with new legislation being introduced: the legislation is the first in the UK to make it a criminal offence to breach an Order, leading to a two year prison sentence, a fine, or both.

 

Read more here


More than three thousand London girls are at risk of genital mutilation every year, experts warned today.

 

The report by black and ethnic minority women's organisation Imkaan found that in the city 3,500 baby girls are born every year to mothers who have suffered female genital mutilation, and therefore are at risk themselves. This is an increase of 65 per cent in 10 years.

 

Read more here.

 


Each year, thousands of girls in London are at risk of being forced to undergo female genital mutilation. Now the city hopes to curb the practice by raising awareness through the integration of FGM education in secondary school curriculum.

 

Read more here.

 

Nasheima Sheikh on efforts to fight FGM in UK

"It is only now we realise that female genital mutilation is child abuse, many people in our home country don't realise that". Nasheima Sheikh reports on working with women at grassroots in Birmingham to end this illegal practice

 

Read more here.

 


A new study has revealed that thousands of young women and girls in forced marriages seek help every year in Germany. The vast majority of victims come from Muslim families, and many have been threatened with violence or even death. The numbers involved are much higher than previously suspected.

 

Read more here.

A Sydney man accused of killing his mother's lover in a bid to protect his family's honor has been convicted of murder.

 

A New South Wales state Supreme Court jury found Andrew Iskandar guilty on Monday of the 2010 slaying of Mohd Shah Saemin.

 

Read more here

 


The European Union has blocked the release of a documentary on Afghan women who are in jail for so-called "moral crimes".

 

The EU says it decided to withdraw the film - which it commissioned and paid for - because of "very real concerns for the safety of the women portrayed".

 

However, human rights workers say the injustice in the Afghan judicial system should be exposed.


 

Read more here.

 


A devout Muslim fears violent retribution for getting drunk and bashing his wife, a court in Australia heard.

 

Read more here. 

 

Opinion


Ayaan analyzes the firebombing of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebbo for releasing an issue caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad. 

 

Read more here .

 


In the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington writes: "According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the reaction to the Paris firebombing of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is another example of how fearful Western society is of offending Islamic extremists."

 

Read more here.

 


British campaigner against forced marriages Jasvinder Sanghera writes: "My decision to leave home was a tough choice that ultimately led to my mother and father disowning me. It was also a monumental one that utterly transformed my life and shaped my future as a campaigner....Every month my charity Karma Nirvana receives hundreds of calls, from victims of forced marriage, the majority from girls and women who are at risk of being pressured to marry against their will."

 

Read more here.

 


Cigdem Akyol writes that although thousands of forced marriages take place in Germany each year, German society continues to look the other way.

 

Read more here.

 

Hassan: We shouldn't hesitate to call honour killings barbaric 

In the Calgary Herald, Farzana Hassan writes that calling honor killings what they are is necessary to fight them.

 

Read more here.

 

Albright on Arab Spring: An 'iron hand' is no substitute for democracy

Madeleine Albright writes: "Even at its best, democracy can be frustrating, and slow, but it remains the superior means for uniting disparate populations, resolving disputes, and generating prosperity. We can but hope Arab populations will learn - not repeat - the Russian experience."  

 

Read more here . 

 

Non-Western news


Tunisia's Ministry of Higher Education says some 50 ultraconservative Muslims have disrupted exams at a university with calls for greater religiosity.

 

Read more here.

 

Tunisia's women fret over rise of Islamism

In Tunisia, women worry over the rise of Islamism.

 

Read more here.
Libyan women demand support for war rape victims

About 100 Libyan women took to Tripoli's streets on Saturday in a silent march to demand more support from the country's new government for victims of rape during the eight-month war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.


To read more, click here.

 

 

In Egypt, Parties that want an expansion of Islamic law captured a clear majority of the votes in thefirst election since the uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak, according to results released Sunday.  

 

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won 37% of the vote. Also winning big was the Nour Party, which took 24% of the vote. The party, dominated by the ultraconservative Salafis, did not exist until a few months ago. It seeks to impose strict Islamic law similar to Saudi Arabia in which women must be veiled and alcohol banned.

 
Read more here.

 


A woman blinded and horrifically disfigured in an acid attack by a spurned admirer is suing Iran's judiciary after accusing senior officials of cheating her out of compensation when she agreed to spare her attacker from a similar fate.

 

Read more here.

 

Pakistani school textbooks foster intolerance of religious minorities

Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and other religious minorities, while most teachers view non-Muslims as "enemies of Islam," according to a study by a U.S. government commission released Wednesday.

 

Read more here


Afghan authorities are failing to enforce the law to protect women from murder, beating, rape and other violence and being sold into marriage and prostitution, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

 

Read more here.

 


Gulnaz's plight has found international attention because of a dispute between the European Union and a team of documentary makers hired to report on women's rights in Afghanistan.


Read more here.

 


Afghan gunmen burst into a family home - where they poured acid over the father, his wife and their three daughters - because they stopped their eldest from marrying an ageing warlord.

 

Read more here .

 

Get involved!  


Dear Friends,

 

Each day, crimes justified in the name of honor are committed against women and girls in the West.  At the AHA Foundation, we work to stem these violations, but we can't do it alone. 

 

Please visit our enhanced website today to learn about ways you can get involved!  Every voice, every click and every dollar makes a difference.  See below to get an idea of ways YOU can make a change for the better.

 

 

Legislative Outreach

 

One of the most important jobs we do at the AHA Foundation is our legislative effort to expand and strengthen United States federal and state legislation on issues such as female genital mutilation and domestic violence. You can help us in this effort by lending your voice to our campaign.

 

Raise Awareness

 

A crucial obstacle the AHA Foundation faces each day is the lack of awareness that violations such as forced marriage, honor violence and female genital mutilation affect women and girls in the United States. Help us to combat this problem by telling your friends about the AHA Foundation and our important work.

 

Start a Local Chapter on Your College Campus

 

Are you interested in starting a chapter of the AHA Foundation on your college campus?

We need students who are passionate about protecting the rights of women and girls from oppression in the name of religion and culture in the United States to take a stand and help us raise awareness, do research and raise funds to further our work!

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

 

Want to stay up-to-date on all our issues and be the first to hear AHA Foundation news?  Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Make a Donation

Please consider making a donation to the AHA Foundation in support of our work. You may send your donations by mail or use our online donations system.

 

Your donations help protect the rights of women and girls in the United States from abuses such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honor violence.  Each gift goes directly towards important initiatives such as:

  • Strengthening laws to better protect girls and women
  • Creating training materials used by law enforcement and service providers
  • Hosting conferences to raise awareness
  • Compiling hard data on these crimes, which are not currently tracked by any law enforcement or government agency in the United States
  • Helping girls who contact us to avoid a forced marriage or escape honor violence

Raise Funds

The AHA Foundation encourages you to hold your own fundraising activity or to name the AHA Foundation as the beneficiary of an event in which you are already participating, such as a fun run or a triathlon.  Feel free to get creative!  

 

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our videos on YouTube

Sincerely,

 

The AHA Foundation

 

 


Please DONATE to the HONOUR Fund today by buying one of the limited-edition products below. Click on the below images to purchase



Dear AHA Supporters,    

You can take a stand against violence against women by purchasing HONOUR products, with profits going to organizations that support women's rights around the world.  

WHY HONOUR?

Around the world, people have created strict constructions of what defines a woman's honor. These definitions often suggest that by making her own decisions, educating herself and creating her own destiny, a woman or girl has dishonored herself and her family. We want to ensure that women are the ones who define their OWN honor.

WHAT IS HONOUR?

The HONOUR Fund of the AHA Foundation will raise money and awareness for The AHA Foundation as well as other key non-profits who defend and protect women's rights, promote women's education, and are defining honor for women around the world.

When you make a donation to the HONOUR Fund, we will send you products that carry the HONOUR Fund logo which indicates that all profits from your merchandise go towards organizations around the world that support women's rights.

HONOUR TOTE BAGS


With your $115 donation to the HONOUR Fund of the AHA Foundation, we will send you a li mited-edition, Vineyard Vines HONOUR tote bag in the color of your choice (pink or navy).

HONOUR TIE



With your $95 donation to the HONOUR Fund of the AHA Foundation, we will send you an elegant, limited-edition tie that gives men a chance to show that they honor the women in their lives! The tie comes in your color of choice (pink or navy).

HONOUR CANDLE  


With donations of $40 to the HONOUR Fund of the AHA Foundation, we will send you a limited-edition, white, lavender-scented, 11 ounce, soy votive candle and coordinated gift box, all made in the U.S.A.

 



___________________________________________________________



The AHA Foundation works to protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture. For more information, please visit www.theAHAfoundation.org
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