When Will the U.S. Honor Real Mideast ‘Women of Courage’?

Reprinted from Gatestone Institute.

If the U.S. government is truly serious about honoring those who want reform in the Muslim world, why is it not honoring those people who are sticking their necks out in stating their love for America and peace for Israel?

America has been pursuing a policy ever since 9/11 to honor what it perceives as moderate Muslims.

This policy, at present failed, would make sense if such moderate Muslims were pro-Western freedoms, pro-peace with Israel, anti-Sharia, or would stand up to Islamic jihad. Regrettably, Muslims and former Muslims who do stand up to Islamism have been ignored; those embraced by the West are almost always anti-American and anti-Jew, and even make excuses for jihad and terrorism.

The most recent instance is Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian national, nominated — and then withdrawn — by the U.S. State Department for its prestigious “International Women of Courage Award.” In its pursuit to appease Muslims, regardless of ideology, the US ignored Ibrahim’s extreme hatred of the U.S. and Israel, and her celebration of 9/11 and terrorism. Yes, Ibrahim was courageous for filing a lawsuit against the Egyptian military for undergoing a virginity test, but that so-called courage should be viewed in the right context.

After the revolution, Egypt was extremely embarrassed by an international uproar over the virginity test of about 21 young women who were demonstrating in Tahrir Square. That came in the wake of the brutal sexual assault there of the CBS reporter Lara Logan. Egyptian government officials, many of whom are consumed with appearing democratic and civilized before the West, initially denied the story but then admitted it. That embarrassment was what encouraged some female victims to file a lawsuit, which the government allowed them to win in order to save face and prove to the West it had achieved a democracy after the revolution. Ms. Ibrahim was somewhat courageous for winning a lawsuit against the Egyptian military; however, that lawsuit should never have risen to the level of becoming an icon to be honored by the U.S. State Department. Officials in the State Department, thinking no one was looking into her background, perhaps including them, ignored who Ms. Ibrahim really was.

Ms. Ibrahim’s views are no breakthroughs of courage against the real problems of the Muslim world: her head covering remains a symbol of her defense of Sharia. She has never demonstrated against the forced virginity checks that occur daily in Egypt at almost all weddings to make sure the bride is a virgin. As a child in Egypt, I attended weddings where the bride’s virginity blood was on display on a white handkerchief while guns were shot to celebrate the blessed event proving the family’s pride in their daughter’s virginity. Neither did Ibrahim lead a movement in Egypt against female genital mutilation or the Egyptian marriage contract, which asks the bride to sign a paper before the marriage stating she is a virgin.

There is also no feminist movement in Egypt lead by Ibrahim, against the barbaric honor killings of girls found not to be virgins; that is perhaps because all are either dead or have undergone reconstructive virginity surgery, a popular procedure for girls who must save their necks.

While many Muslims today are starting to speak against the brutality of Sharia laws which cause “virginity tests” in the first place, Ibrahim never speaks ill of Sharia, or condemns its laws against women and non-Muslims. Ibrahim is, however, a very vocal anti-American, who celebrated the anniversary of 9/11 as well as violence and terror against Israelis. What courage is it if the majority of Egyptians shares her feelings? What courage did our State Department think it was celebrating?

After failing to receive the Award, Ibrahim blamed the Zionist lobby in America; her “logic” is popular in Egypt, where people blame all ills on Jews. It is a sad fact that Ibrahim’s views actually do represent the majority of the so-called moderate Muslims everywhere. Such moderate Muslims, who are demonstrating today against the Mursi government, are no less anti-American than the radicals. As a matter of fact many of them wish to resume hostilities against Israel and believe that Mursi caved to the American pressure; they are now accusing him of being a puppet of the U.S. just like his predecessor. The sad truth is that most so-called “moderate” Muslims could be as anti-American and anti-Semitic as Al Qaeda. That is why the US should be vastly more cautious and realistic in taking sides at all in the Middle East.

Before we rush into giving awards of courage, the U.S. should develop its own courage and give its awards to those Egyptian women who fled the oppression of Sharia and are living in the West under a death warrant because they have openly spoken against terrorism, jihad, Al-Qaeda, and discrimination against Jews and Christians under Islam.

It is also hypocritical for the U.S. to honor those who are demonstrating against the Mursi government; the U.S. was instrumental in bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power. In doing that, the U.S. is simply participating in a game with the Egyptian government to make it look good.

If the U.S. government is truly serious about honoring those who want reform in the Muslim world, why is it not honoring those people who are sticking their necks out in stating their love for America and peace with Israel? Why is it not honoring someone like Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali — or Dr. Zuhdi Jasser or Tawfiq Hamid, who still call themselves Muslims and are trying to reform Islam?

I do not think the US State Department will nominate any of these truly courageous in the near future: that would require courage.

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  • lindascharff

    People you all must be so aware of what is happening in the USA and around the world for that matter.
    Islam is making its slow, but sure takeover!
    Please remember that islam is NOT a religion! NOPE! It's a very militant political system which encompasses all areas of life…and ruled over by shariah!
    When are you all going to wake up?

    • burkasrugly

      That's the same thing I have been thinking. The liberals just don't know what they are asking for. I wish it was just them…not us…having to live with the horror of Islam and sharia. If it does end up bad for us, it will be bad for ALL of us. We who told the truth will not be spared. Blame the liberals for this and their damn multicultural idealism. They have orgasms over it. Well, when their heads are on the chopping blocks, they won't be so chipper.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    In a very real sense, the State Dept is the epicenter of anti-American ethos, as its officials roam the world apologizing for America, as well as housing its enemies within.

    IF any recent exhibit is necessary to shore up the above, look no further than Huma Abedin & her treachery – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/11/07/spotlight-on-

    It goes without saying, State would NEVER honor those who truly embrace the ideals of freedom and liberty. The overhaul of State itself is more than mandatory. It will help save western civilization.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Ghostwriter

    I'll be honest. It was a mistake to give Ms. Ibrahim the award anyway.

    • nina

      But she didn't get it. She was on the list, but then all her "courageous" deeds came crowling out.

  • Diann

    This article points out again how the present administration favors Islam to the detriment of the USA, freedom and democracy. Ms. Darwish is also a woman of courage who risks her life every day speaking out FOR America and against it's enemies. I would like to see her given an award, as well as the other people she mentioned above. Thank you for continuing to stand for the West and it's original values, and against the erosion of same.

  • Puc

    It is not only the State De. That is complicit here. Western institutions and the general populace everywhere in the West are living in a bubble of complacency made possible by their prosperity relative to the rest of the world. No great insight there of course, but I like to believe that there is a giant that will awaken however late in the day. Witness the struggle both within and and without the Catholic Church a reflection of the fact that we have lost our moral centre but the struggle is still on. Nonie Darwish,thank you for your courage. We must strive to spread your message.
    Puc canada

  • Jaladhi

    Regardless of what Jessar and some others claim trying to reform Islam it is a stubborn fact that Islam can never be and will never be reformed. Only Jessar knows what kind of Islam he is promoting – which is not islam at all. These people should just leave Islam and become whatever they want to be but the Islam they are presenting to us is not Islam. It is simply throwing dust in the eyes of infidels and fool them into thinking that real Islam is peaceful which it is not. Just read the Islamic history of last 1400 years which the present day Nuslims are still continuing!!

  • JacksonPearson

    "When Will the U.S. Honor Real Mideast ‘Women of Courage’?"
    Never..or as long as there's a closet Muslim in the white house, and his ilk from the Muslim Brotherhood surrounding and advising him.

  • Yoshi11

    Neither Jasser not Hamid are reformers. Both of them have made their careers speaking to non-Moslems, not to Moslems, and pretending to be for reform while never criticizing the Koran or Muhammad. Both of them pretend that their non-Islamic version of Islam is viable when it is condemned by the entire Islamic religious community. Only the Islamic religious community, not publicity-seekers like Jasser and Hamid, can agitate for reform, and they are not doing it. Indeed, any reform of Islam must involve rejecting (NOT "reinterpreting"!) many passages in the Koran and the Sunna. And, that can never happen because the fundamental proposition of Islam is that the Koran is Allah's literal words, valid for all of eternity.

    • davarino

      ak. islam must be contained, like communism was during the cold war. Unfortunately communism isnt dead. Hopefully it is dying and not reviving.

      Like all crazy idiologies from the past, islam will enjoy a period of ascendance till the world wakes up and then the world wide struggle will begin, and defeat islam.

  • Permreader

    US honor casual people: there is the Russian famous organization "Soldiers` mothers" with it`s active and courageous women-leaders,who made much for the young people.I was astonished to know some unknown "mothers" awarded by the Administration.The same with the journalists and dissidents in Russia and East Europe.US broadcasting supports srange dissidents of the extreme left or nationalist kind.

  • Parenthetical Phrase

    Nonie, you have once again hit the nail on the head. Thank you for your wisdom and courage to express it. When Muslim women become as outraged by the hatred and cruelty of Sharia (and Islam) and stop blaming Israel, the Jews, the Christians and the US for its numerous failings, then I recognize the courage of Muslim women.Until then, it's hollow and merely window dressing. If Muslim women want equal rights, if they want respect, they need to be willing to give it to others.


    Need to inform Samira Ibrahims family that she dishonored them.

    They'll take care of her.