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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lantos Human Rights Awards Ceremony

Lantos Human Rights Awards Ceremony | www.TheGhouseDiary.com

Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 10, 2015 – The Tom Lantos Humans rights prize goes to; Rebiya Kadeer, an Uyghur Muslim fighting for the rights of Uyghur Muslims against the oppressive regime of China, Irshad Manji’s  mission is to help inspire individuals to exhibit the moral courage required to do the right thing in the face of fear, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim from Somalia waging her battle against violence towards women. 

The ceremony was held at the congressional Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 

We appreciate the Lantos Foundation for honoring these distinct women, even though some of us may not agree with some of their stances, we have to acknowledge their bold contributions to the society - stand up and speak up and make the way for a better society of equality and human rights

Katrina Lantos 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Irshad Manji
Rabiya Kadeer
 The organization was founded by the Congressman Late Tom Lantos, co-founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and Chairman of the House committee on Foreign affairs. He will be remembered for his deep commitment to human rights. During his life, tom helped and inspired individuals around the world. Many more will feel the impact of his work for years to come.

Every religious community has ultra conservatives to ultra liberals and a whole range of moderates in between, and the conservative in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism or any faith stand opposed to accepting any thing they consider liberal. 

Don’t know much about Rebiya Kadeer, but Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji were not treated with dignity by the uncouth men, just because they differed and had a unique life experience to share. It has happened with many others, instead of engaging, listening and searching for answers in creating effectively functioning societies by working with them, the conservatives among Muslims lost a treasure of knowledge and skills these reformers had to offer. It is still not late to engage with them. 

I spoke briefly with both Manji and Ali, and hope to invite them to a symposium to hear them out. They have advocated Human rights in Islam which must be admired. 

Its reflection time, we have to come together and solve the problems instead of rejecting each other. Problems are too big for us to be petty.

In the conclusion, Katrina Lantos Swett made a profound statement, "Well-behaved women seldom make history. Heretic, Rabble-rouser and Criminal are the words used and abused to describe many remarkable figures throughout history." 

She continued, “Each of the 2015 Lantos Human Rights Prize Laureates has a brutally beautiful story, one that has caused her pain and struggle, and, figuratively and literally, put a target on her back. These three women of Muslim heritage have overcome crushing cultural obstacles to achieve greatness in their own distinct ways, and deserve much more than our recognition - they deserve awe."

Even though the huge majority of Muslims follow and honor human rights, particularly treating women with dignity and honor, a streak is out there among us, indeed, among all communities that is utterly disgusting and misogynistic. It is a shame if we do not stop the abuse and mistreatment of women in our societies.

What does it take?  It takes courage on the part of moderate majority to speak out passionately against abuses of human rights within the Muslim community. We have a treasure of wisdom given to us in the Quran, and by the Prophet to create cohesive societies sans-oppression, and sans apprehension. These values have been grossly violated by Muslims, and equally misrepresented by those who have a gain to be had. Thus far, they have set the narrative; it is time for us to fix the problem as well as the narrative.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him summarized about women - he named three women as the model women to follow; Mother Mary, Aasia (who raised Moses) and Fatima (his daughter). What do they represent? To borrow Katrina Lantos thoughts, they were unconventional, non-conformists, and active women who withstood the tides against them.

Today's event inspired me to push myself to get my book about human rights published.

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Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, newsmaker and a professional speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslam,  politicshuman rights, and foreign policy.  Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at TheGhousediary.com 

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