Broadest Ever Human Rights Coalition
Marion D.S. Dreyfus
- Special to The Jewish Post
New York, NY -- Tawfik Hamid, a Muslim former terrorist once active in daily murder of innocents in Jemayah Islamiyyah, spoke out for human rights and against radical Islam at a mass rally in Manhattan's Times Square. Hamid was the most striking “celebrity get” in the substantial quilt of human rights groups coming together to refute radical Islamic terror.
Amid a profusion of colorful umbrellas virtually spanning the street against the steady rain, Hamid joined impassioned Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jewish and other Muslim leaders and organizations in a clarion call to defeat radical Islam and to heighten awareness about the danger radical Islam poses to human rights across the planet. Spearheading the rally was Beth Gilinsky, longtime activist in human rights, and head of the Alliance for Interfaith Resistance, and Narain Kataria, of the International Foundation of Bangladeshi Hindus.
Despite the inclement weather, rally congregants represented a unique coming-together of a vast patchwork quilt of peoples, religions and issues. Rally organizer Marvin Belsky estimated 400 to 500 attendees between the hours of noon and 2 pm, despite the steady downpour and chilly early May temperatures.
WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS FROM RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL UMBRELLA OF CONCERNS & TERROR VICTIMS - INDIA, SUDAN, US & ISRAEL
“Islamic supremacy is a form of persecution as wide as any as we've ever seen, and as brutal, ranging at times from the suppression of basic human rights to outright murder and genocide,” said Ms. Gilinsky as she addressed the enthusiastic crowd at ‘the world’s ‘busiest crossroads,’ Times Square. “It is a form of oppression over victims known as infidels that ranges from suppression of basic human rights -- such as suppression of freedom of speech, and assembly -- to outright genocide. It is a persecution with particular danger because it is given legitimacy, even sanctification, by a source its followers consider transcendent and beyond question. It is thus zealous and beyond negotiation. Unleashed, it quickly becoming as potent and prevalent in non-Islamic countries as in Islamic countries.”
Former terrorist, Muslim speaker Tawfik Hamid was perhaps the most impressive 'get' of the day, since former terrorists speaking at human rights rallies are few and far between.
A Hindu speaker, Arish Sahani, spoke on the plight of Hindus under radical Islam, which has murdered an estimated 100 million of his people during the course of the past century.
"We were forced to leave our ancestral land because we were Hindus, " said Sahani. "We fled to India in 1947, and in 1971, I immigrated to USA. There are millions like me in the US who have come from different countries. To quote the Hindu-American Foundation report, endorsed by several US congressmen and Senators, in 1947, during partition, Hindus in Pakistan were about 25% of population in Pakistan. Today, in about 60 years, that population has been reduced to less than 1.6%."
Other speakers included Sudanese leader Simon Deng, who is himself a freed former slave; Mohamed Yahya, leader of the Muslim Darfur group Damanga; noted author and women's rights advocate Dr. Phyllis Chesler; anti-slavery activist Pastor Gerald Bell; Dr. Charles Jacobs, of Americans for Peace and Tolerance; Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Bhupinder Singh Bhurji representing the often-targeted Sikh community; Hindu human rights leader Arish Sahani and numerous others.
TO HONOR US DEFENDERS vs. TERROR, 9/11 FAMILIES & FIRST RESPONDERS
The "Rally for Human Rights and Freedom," sponsored by the Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam (HRCARI) and a new ‘rainbow coalition’ of dozens of diverse partnering organizations, featured a special ceremony to honor the U.S. Military, the efforts of Homeland Security, local and national police, firefighters, emergency workers, first responders (9/11 attack) and others who have done so much in the recent past in defending the United States from further terror. A representative of the 9/11 Families spoke, Debra Burlingame, as well as a NYC police officer who lost a family member to the terror attack on 9/11.
The May 3rd event marks the kick-off event of a new global grassroots action network committed to taking on the fight against radical Islam. An HRCARI spokesperson said, “As part of this initiative, we intend to educate elected officials to help prevent the spread of shariah [Koranic-based] law. We will work to publicize the threat of radical Islamic terrorist groups and their allies, and endeavor to protect the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the face of those who seek to silence advocates of human rights.” TKK cautioned against the threat of radical Islam in its various guises, including financial shariah, educational jihad through textbooks, and the legalistic entanglements that seek to use broad-based U.S. laws against the U.S.
As Ms. Gilinsky stated, “Our new coalition, HRCARI, believes that radical Islam is a worldwide threat against commonly accepted human rights and is the most urgent topic of our generation.” The rally also highlighted the specific and continued dereliction of responsibility by the United Nations. In such instances as the recent Durban II conference, and during regular United Nations sessions, the UN has repeatedly failed to address these global human rights concerns.
The crowd collected to listen to the speeches, rallying chants and calls for justice and improved human rights by those Islamist nations and eadical sects now responsible for abuses of women, children, religious minorities and the sexually oppressed.
As an example of what freedom-loving Americans and world citizens must beware of, President Barack Hussein Obama’s latest top-level “faith-based” appointment to his advisory board is Dalia Mogahed, a hijab-clad Muslim female. On 30 April, in an interview on PipeLine-News.org (excerpted from IslamOnline) she said, among other provocative things: “Islamophobia in America is very real.” Sadly, but typically, Mogahed did not acknowledge any possible causes for negative perceptions of Muslims in the U.S., including worldwide terrorism for the past 50+ years, or the attacks of 9/11/2001, which killed over 3,000 Americans of all faiths in NYC, the Pennsylvania countryside and Washington, DC.
Though her interview said that “Islamic terrorists” have “legitimate complaints,” stating that such terrorists “have been allowed to take over […] Muslim grievances,” what 'grievances' are those? Muslims in the US have a higher per capita income than the norm, and are well-integrated in the American mainstream, one is repeatedly reminded by pollsters. Mogahed is the first Muslim woman, to be appointed to such an advisory council. Her appointment and unabashed statements work to whitewash the extensive record of human rights violations by radical Islamists worldwide and in the United States; she is a prime example of deliberate distortion and misperception to those who fear the extension of radical Muslim agendae in the world.
HRCARI COALITION: MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS; VAST SWASH OF HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS
Among the groups and religious represented were 911 Families for a Secure America; ACT for America, Long Island/Manhattan; AIR -- Alliance for Interfaith Resistance; the AISH Center; the American Coptic Union; Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI); the Alliance of Iranian Women; AMCHA-Coalition for Jewish Concerns; the American Center for Democracy; Americans for Peace & Tolerance; Arabs for Israel; Artists4Israel; Atlas Shrugs (website for human rights); Center for Security Policy, Washington, DC; the Chinese Community Relations Council; Coalition for Israel; Damanga (Darfur Muslim organization); The David Project; Fordham University School of Law's National Security and Law Society; Foundation Nepalese; Gathering of Eagles-NY; Global Movement Against Radical Islam; Hasbara Fellowships; Hindu Human Rights Watch; Indian American Intellectuals Forum; International Foundation of Bangladeshi Hindus; Iraq the Model; Israpundit; Jewish Action Alliance; Jihad Watch; Mothers Against Terrorism; Muslims Against Shariah; Namdhari Sikh Foundation; R.E.A.L. - Responsible for Equality and Liberty; Sikh Recognition Trust; Snapped Shot; StandWithUS; Sudan Freedom Walk; Women United: Code Red; The World Committee for the Land of Israel; and Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).
PRO-HUMAN RIGHTS & PEACE, NOT ‘ISLAMOPHOBIC’
Paradoxically, it is likely in some quarters that this diverse grouping might be mischaracterized by the press as “Islamophobic,” even as it seeks to promote the human rights of Muslims and others. In fact, the group spokespeople strive to emphasize that they will always present a tolerant message of true human rights. As one Sikh attendee stated, with conviction, “Any ‘Islamophobes’ are those who are incapable of addressing the myriad documented human rights violations by practitioners of radical Islam. Radical Islam as demonstrated throughout the world is a global threat, and affects both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.” The coalition expressed confidence that presenting the clear facts of the peril radical Islam thrusts upon the world will result in the recognition that the real “Islamophobes” are those who aid and abet Radical Islam. Further proof the coalition is hardly phobic of anything except radical support for terrorism by Islamists is the fact that moderate Muslim groups and individuals are a welcome part of the coalition.
Surveying the results of the rally, organizer Marvin Belsky noted: “It was a great success beyond what were our expectations from the vision we first had, just a few short months ago. Again, from all [our] political coalition and rally days, left to right, this rally has to be unique and historic, not only in the amazing diversity of the group, but in the cohesive esprit de corps, the commitment and the fervor, as well as our unity of purpose.”