WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15TH
THE HARVARD CLUB, NEW YORK CITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Shira Dicker
October 1, 2014 (New York, NY) – Acclaimed Turkish journalist and women’s rights activist Rabia Kazan, who has lived under the threat of death for speaking out against the dangers of radical Islam, will be holding a press conference in New York City to announce the launch of her new global campaign of resistance This is Not My Allah (www.thisisnotmyallah.com)
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 catapulted to worldwide prominence after interviewing Mehmet Ali Agca who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, she gained further notice after writing a bestselling book in 2007 called Angels of Tehran, an expose of the practice of a coercive legalized form of prostitution in Iran called “temporary marriage.” Having worked at the World Federation of United Nations Associations and currently serving as a writer and women’s rights advocate at the International Civil Liberties Association (ICLA), Ms. Kazan’s career is marked by her commitment to expose extremism within her native religion.
The press conference will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15th in the President Room at the Harvard Club at 35 West 44th Street. Attendance is by RSVP only to [email protected]. For security reasons, only those who have received clearance will be allowed into the press conference.
Joining Ms. Kazan at the press conference will be Alain Wagner, president of ICLA, an NGO based in Switzerland. ICLA is devoted to raising global awareness about the dangers of radical Islam.
Ms. Kazan intends to speak out about the specific dangers radical Islam poses for women. She also will boldly call upon Imams to promote a broad, tolerant, secularized interpretation and practice of Islam.
“As someone raised in Islam, I am horrified to my core to see killings and persecution in the name of Allah. Does Allah wish for child marriage, which is essentially rape? Does Allah want to make Muslim women into whores? Does Allah sanction the beheadings of innocents? Does Allah glory in the spilling of blood? Does Allah believe that non-Muslims are infidels? There is a dangerous perversion of an old and noble religion in our time and sadly, not enough resistance. I want to empower people to speak out against this perversion; I want to end the silence. That is where This is Not My Allah comes in,” she said.
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.
Though heartened by the concerted military response against ISIS in Syria, Ms. Kazan is calling for a campaign of words and actions. “The first step is to end the silence. Let’s raise our voices and drown out the hatred,” she says. “What kind of God would want the barbarism that is being committed in His name? We must unite and fight this obscenity. Evil happens because of the absence of resistance from people of conscience. It is not a supernatural force. We are at a critical moment in human history. Those who do not oppose the murderous mission of Muslim extremism are passively enabling it.”
In addition to journalists, the October 15th press conference will be attended by religious leaders from İslam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism along with representatives from human rights organizations, writers and scholars of the Middle East. RSVPs with information about one’s affiliation should be sent to Shira Dicker at [email protected].
Below, please find bios of Rabia Kazan and Alain Wagner.
For further information about Rabia Kazan or This Is Not My Allah, or to schedule an interview with Kazan ahead of the October 15th press conference at the Harvard Club in New York City, please contact Shira Dicker at [email protected]. Please visit www.thisisnotmyallah.com for more information.
ABOUT RABIA KAZAN
The creator of This is Not My Allah (www.thisisnotmyallah.com), a global campaign of 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. Catapulted to worldwide prominence after interviewing Mehmet Ali Agca who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, she gained further notice after writing a bestselling book in 2007 called Angels of Tehran, an expose of the practice of a coercive legalized form of prostitution in Iran called “temporary marriage.”
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.