Help Secure the Release of a Canadian Resident Jailed in Iran

"The kind people treat you shows you what kind of people they are!"
Anita Kanitz

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“It takes great courage to open one's heart and mind to the tremendous injustice and suffering in our world.”
― Vincent A. Gallagher, The True Cost of Low Prices: The Violence of Globalization

“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”
― Elie Wiesel

While Jihad is not the traditional "terrorist" vision commonly propogated in the United States post 9/11, there is a violent past associated with it within the Muslim community. The term "Jihad" translated as "struggle" or "resisting" and is meant to refer to the defense of the religion against oppressors. Much like the common "defending the American way of life" adage however, Jihadists have been active in armed military actions for 12 centuries and have claimed millions of lives in the name of Islam.

Christians have undoubtedly killed millions in the name of God, but the sadistic and barbaristic methods with which these acts were undertaken has long since given way to an array of pacifistic and peaceful methods. It is simply fact that the Muslim faith has changed very little over the last 700+ years and the sadistic and barbaristic methods employed then are still widely used today. Not to mention the unabashed chauvinism and racism. Yes Christianity is rife with that as well, but no one can say that these are not some of the most steadfast and widely held beliefs of all Muslims.

To say Hitler was a Christian and then pin all the deaths caused by the Nazis on Christianity is laughable. Christianity as a creed does not set out to kill non believers. Islam on the other hand? Well, the evidence e speak for itself.

Heinous crimes in the name of Sharia and Islam worldwide:

2014 Syria:
A Croatian Catholic website reported the brutal deaths of two Christian teenagers who were crucified for refusing to convert to Islam along with countless other deaths by many Jihadists/extremist Muslim groups in Syria.

Sister Raghida, former head of a Christian school in Damascus explained the horrific event. "Islam or death" was the choice given to many Christians in Syria on Tuesday during the height of the conflict in Syria. She said many Syrian Christians have been affected by the atrocities taking place in the Christian population of the Middle Eastern country, an area once known for the harmonious coexistence of Muslims and Christians.

According to Sister Raghida, the Muslims came to the two youths and said, "So you want to die as a teacher in whom you trust? Please choose: either to renounce (faith) or you will be crucified!"

The boys both refused to renounce faith in Jesus Christ and were martyred because of it. One of them was crucified in front of his father, who was then killed. The nun went on to tell the radio station that the Jihadists entered the city of Maaloula and started killing men, women, and children. According to her report, they killed and played football with the heads of those murdered. Sister Raghida also said the killers took pregnant women and pulled out the babies from their wombs and hung them from a tree by their umbilical cords.

The sister explained that the nearly two-thirds of Christians remaining in Syria are those who generally do not have the money to leave or were denied visas, as is the case with her family.

Nevertheless, the sister, as well as the remaining Syrian Christians, are staying strong throughout all of the hopelessness and despair.

She said after the massacre, "We celebrated Mass for the dead, and our prayer was even stronger... The Lord will not abandon us ... Our country will recover and our commitment to Christ will be even stronger!" has partnered up with Sister Hatune Dogan, an Eastern Orthodox nun who has rescued thousands to help save Christians in Syria.

2015: Woman, 20, burned alive by sadistic ISIS after she refuses to perform 'extreme sex act'
A YOUNG woman was burned alive by Islamic State (ISIS) militants after she refused to perform an ‘extreme sex act’, a senior diplomat has revealed.
The 20-year-old victim is one of thousands of girls subjected to a campaign of sexual violence waged by the fanatical group.

Zainab Bangura, the United Nation’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said ISIS was responsible for “rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality”.

She described how the jihadi group would rampage through a village, executing the men and boys aged 14 or over.

At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive

The women and mothers would be separated from the younger girls, who are then stripped naked and tested to check if they are a virgin.

The vulnerable youngsters would then be examined to check their breast size and ranked on how pretty they are.

The unlucky ones would then be sent to Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in the north of Syria.

The sickening brutalisation of Iraq and Syria's women – many from the persecuted Yazidi community – is "central" to the group's ideology, Ms Bangura argued.

The youngest, and those considered the ‘prettiest virgins’, fetch the highest prices, she said.

Displaced civilians from RamadiAP:
Displaced civilians from Ramadi wait to receive humanitarian aid from the United Nations
Ms Bangura made the remarks after a visit to the region, during which she recorded first-hand accounts of the abuse from survivors in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

She said: “There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters.

“They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market.

“At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive.”
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According to the high-ranking diplomat, one girl was swapped between ISIS commanders 22 times.

Another girl who escaped said her hostage-taker said he had written his name on the back of her hand to show that she was his ‘property’.

Ms Bangura said: “We learned of many other sadistic sexual acts.”

The latest depraved behaviour comes as it was revealed ISIS chiefs were paying out up to £1,000 to encourage young fighters to marry jihadi brides and start families.

As fighting in the region continues, the US military has said it will provide around 2,000 anti-tank rockets to Iraq "within the next week" to help it fight the group.

In Syria, 15 people were killed during government raids on the ancient city of Palmyra, days after ISIS fighters killed more than 400 soldiers and pro-government gunmen.

Mohammed, the prophet of the Islamic world, married his last bride Aisha when she was just six years old, and the consummated the marriage with her when she was just nine years old. In Islamic states, partly because of this precedent, this practice still happens in fundamentalist countries like Afghanistan. Muslims will say that a child of six or seven is almost certain to be a virgin. Mohammed was at least 50 when he married Aisha.

The practice of forced marriages (as opposed to arranged marriages) in some Muslim states such as Afghanistan is very common. Some reports claim that somewhere between 60-80 percent of marriages in Afghanistan are forced upon the girls involved or without the consent of the girls. These marriages are seen as a way to resolve conflicts between families, or as a way to absolve someone of a wrongdoing. The girls are treated as they would treat cattle, and are given to these men as offerings.

Some reports also estimate that 57 percent of Afghani girls are married before the age of 16, and it is unusual to find an unmarried girl older than 18 years of age. The practice is justified twofold; that the girls are helping to keep the peace between families, and that the Islamic prophet Mohammed had set this precedent.

In Afghanistan the legal age to be married is 16, but many people ignore this law or claim they were unaware of it. The children in this situation are robbed of childhood, and as you will see, many are robbed of their life. This practice is abhorrent, and any civilised culture will see it as such.

In Nigeria, a 49-year-old Muslim Senator has reportedly married a 13-year-old girl, and has allegedly previously married a 15-year-old in 2006, citing that he paid a dowry of $100,000 to the parents for her. Although looked down upon by other ministers in Nigeria it is still happening.

Women in Islam have no rights, especially if they are non-Muslim, and these men get away with their evils because people are too afraid to stand up against the barbarity of the culture which the religion they follow has instilled in them. Threats of death are imposed upon those who would stand up against this. In Lahore, a man and his entourage of Muslim lawyers has threatened to “burn alive” anyone who will come to the defence of a 12-year-old servant of his, whom he raped and murdered.

Many girls will find themselves in a marriage with a man much older than they are, and will be given the sole duties of looking after the household and giving offspring to the man. Some men have multiple wives, and the women become a harem for that man. The men are often abusive to these girls, sometimes to the point where the girl should be hospitalised, but often is not. The beating of wives is seen as the “honourable thing to do”, for the wife must be kept in line with the wishings of the man and of Allah.

Often these girls will find themselves in these abusive relationships, and will seek a way out. But the way out is a problem in itself; if the girl were to leave she would bring shame upon her own family and her husband’s, and would be hunted down and possibly stoned to death or just beaten withing an inch of her life; if she stays, she may be beaten thus anyhow. Sometimes out of pure desperation, a girl seeking to be free from the bonds of this abusive relationship will choose self-harm rather than bringing shame upon her people.

In Afghanistan, it is believe that more than 10 women and girls choose self-immolation (warning very graphic content) as the escape from their bondage. Around the web there are numerous stories of women who, feeling there was no better way, have chosen to set themselves on fire rather than continue living in such conditions. Some girls die from their injuries. Some do not but are so badly scarred so as to lose their legs, or are severely disfigured by these burns. Those that live may wind up on the streets, homeless.

The culture in Afghanistan is such that women are treated as slaves, and in some cases, worse than dogs. Not only do they wear the burqa in public at all times, they are not allowed to leave the home alone, not allowed to speak to anyone they don’t know, and not allowed to make their identity known nor engage with any of their husband’s friends they may meet in the street. They are not treated as second-class citizens, rather as livestock that can produce more sons for the family.

People blame Islam for these practices. And yet, there are many more Islamic people who don’t practice this than do. Islam itself is not to blame wholly for these atrocities, rather the culture that bases itself upon Islam, then justifies these stone-aged practices based on the words of the Koran or the Hadeeth, saying it is God’s will that this be done. When a culture is poor and has little or no access to education, these kinds of barbaric practices continue to happen.

The culture in Afghanistan is sick. The barbarism and sheer disrespect for human rights that occurs there is all so often backed up by the perverse and outmoded words of their holy books. This illness in the Afghan culture continues, even after the ousting of the Taliban, who were ultra conservative and would set upon women with batons for showing ANY skin, but it is not much better now.

While this culture is deeply ingrained in their societies, these practices in the name of Islam shows it toi be, in its extreme, nothing more than an ultra-conservative ultra-violent “boy’s club” where it members all look after each other. And as sickening as all this is, nothing seems to be getting better.

These girls stories are the same story we have heard in the media again and again of extreme desperation, of girls who see their only escape from forced marriage as being self harm. It is gut-wrenchingly sad to see such lives destroyed by the greed and stupidity of men. Many girls has faced at the brutal hands of an extreme Islamic patriarchy.

Stoning to death, Iraq 2015:

Stoning of 17 Iraqi Women
The Takfiris and ISIS terrorists stoned more than 17 Iraqi women for not accepting Nekah Jihad as they say. The Daesh terrorist group stoned these women in Mosul city in Iraq, it is said these women didn’t accept the “Nekah Jihad” as so called by Daesh. Saeed Mamozini, the public relations responsible of Democrat Party of Kurdistan in Iraq, said: “Unfortunately, the terrorist group Daesh, have stoned more than 17 Iraqi women because they didn’t accept to so called by ISIS “Nekah Jihad”.
It is notable this is not the first time Daesh have done such devil murders. A few months ago, the Human Rights Ministry in Iraq announced: “Abo Ans Alibi, one of the members of terrorist group, has murdered more than 150 Iraqi women, some of them were pregnant.” In this announcement it is also mentioned, the terrorist group have done several crimes and murders in Fallujah region in Iraq.

Stoning to Death in Iran 2015:
A Crime Against Humanity
Carried Out By the Mullahs' Regime
Stoning women to death in Iran:

The stoning of women is one of the more savage, and revealing aspects of the mullahs' rule in Iran. This vicious punishment of women is without precedent in Iran's recent history. Since the inception of the mullahs' rule, hundreds of women of various ages have been and continue to be stoned to death throughout Iran.

What makes this hideous crime even more abhorrent is that it is carried out under the name of Islam. The Quran and the Prophet of Islam despised such behavior. On the contrary, in the Quran and the Prophet's traditions, such barbarism is denounced. The Prophet did his utmost to eradicate backward traditions, including stoning, which victimized women.

The authorities of the Islamic Republic have attempted to explain away stoning in Iran, as noted in the report by the U.N. Special Representative on Iran, as something that takes place only in remote and culturally backward areas. Actually, stoning and other cruel punishments are used by the regime to extend their reign of terror, while internationally Tehran tries to deny responsibility. It must be noted that:

1- The responsibility for any inhuman punishment, regardless of where it takes place, lies with the judiciary and the state,

2- Stoning and other cruel punishments taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran are not a matter of individual discretion; rather, they are defined by the law of the land, and such sentences are issued based on these laws.

The penalty for adultery under Article 83 of the penal code, called the Law of Hodoud is flogging (100 lashes of the whip) for unmarried male and female offenders. Married offenders may be punished by stoning regardless of their gender, but the method laid down for a man involves his burial up to his waist, and for a woman up to her neck (article 102). The law provides that if a person who is to be stoned manages to escape, he or she will be allowed to go free. Since it is easier for a man to escape, this discrimination literally becomes a matter of life and death.

Interestingly, Article 6 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has ratified, states: "Sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime." Offenses for which the Law of Hodoud provides the death penalty do not involve murder or serious bodily harm, constituting the "most serious crimes".

Article 104 of the Law of Hodoud provides that the stones should not be so large that a person dies after being hit with two of them, nor so small as to be defined as pebbles, but must cause severe injury. This makes it clear that the purpose of stoning is to inflict grievous pain on the victim, in a process leading to his or her slow death.

3- All execution orders and verdicts of stoning must be upheld by the supreme court in Tehran irrespective of where they were issued. Therefore, the regime's justification is absurd.

- The video is a documentary recording of four individuals being stoned in one of the security centers in Tehran in the presence of high ranking officials of the regime's judiciary. The video tape, smuggled out of the country by the Mojahedin, shows the representative of the prosecutor reading out the verdicts. He declares that the verdicts were issued by Ali Razini, the head of Judicial Organization of the Military Forces. Razini can be seen in the video tape, and throws the first stone. The prosecutor of military forces, Niazi, is also present. Razini is currently the head of Tehran's Justice Department and also heads the "Special Clerical Court."

Anecdotes of this brutal process reveal ever more of cruelty. The regime's authorities usually force the victim's family members, including children, to watch the stoning to death of their loved one, and in some instances, when the woman miraculously managed to escape, contrary to the regime's own law, she was recaptured and either stoned again or killed on the spot.

On August 10, 1994, in the city of Arak, a woman was sentenced to death by stoning. According to the ruling of the religious judge, her husband and two children were forced to attend the execution. The woman urged her husband to take the children away, but to no avail. A truck full of stones was brought in to be used during the stoning. In the middle of the stoning, although her eyes had been gouged out, the victim was able to escape from the ditch and started running away, but the regime's guards recaptured her and shot her to death.

In October 1989 in the city of Qom, a woman who was being stoned managed to pull herself out of the hole, only to be forced back into it and stoned to death. In justifying the murder, Qom's Chief Religious Judge, Mullah Karimi, elaborated to Ressalat newspaper on October 30, 1989: "Generally speaking, legal and religious decrees on someone condemned to stoning call for her stoning if her guilt was proven on the basis of witnesses' testimonies. Even if she were to escape in the middle of the administration of the sentence, she must be returned and stoned to death."

On July 13, 1997, Kayhan reported that Changiz Rahimi was sentenced to death, stoning and payment of fine for committing murder and adultery.

On October 26, 1997, six individuals were stoned in Sari, the provincial capital of Mazandaran. This was reported by Salaam daily and international news agencies. The names of the victims were given as Fatemeh Danesh, Masoumeh Eini, Marzieh Fallah, Ali Mokhtarpour, Parviz Hasanzadeh and Kheirollah Javanmard.

AFP, December 7, 1994:

Hamshahri reported that a woman and a man were recently stoned to death in Ramhormouz on murder and adultery charges.

AFP, November 16, 1994

Abrar reported on Wednesday that three Iranians including a woman were stoned in the city of Sari (northern Iran), after being found guilty of adultery and rape by the Islamic court.

AFP, 11 November 1995, quoting Jomhouri Islami reported that a man was stoned in the city of Hamedan.

AFP, June 8, 1996

Hamshahri reported on Saturday that a man and a women were stoned in the city of Oroumieh on murder and adultery charges. Shahin Soltan-Moradi had murdered her husband with the help of her lover, Mohammad Ali Hemmati in November 1994.

On July 14, 1995, Amnesty International reported that two women by the names of Saba Abdali, 30, and Zeinab Heidary, 38, were faced with stoning in the city of Ilam Gharb.

On December 7, 1994, Reuters quoted a state-controlled newspaper report by Hamshahri, on a married woman who was stoned to death in the city of Ramhormouz, southwestern Iran.

Ressalat, March 1, 1994, read: "A woman was stoned to death in the city of Qom."

Kayhan of February 1, 1994, reported that a woman named Mina Kolvat was stoned to death in Tehran for having immoral relations with her cousin.

The U.N. Special Representative on the human rights situation in Iran reported to the U.N. General Assembly in 1993: "On November 1, 1992, a woman named Fatima Bani was stoned to death in Isfahan."

Abrar reported on November 5, 1991 that a woman charged with immoral relations was stoned in the city of Qom.

According to Kayhan, August 21, 1991, a woman charged with adultery by the name of Kobra was sentenced to 70 lashes and stoning. The verdict was carried out in the presence of local people and district officials.

Jomhouri Islami wrote on March 11, 1991, that in Rasht (northern Iran), "Bamani Fekri, child of Mohammad-Issa, guilty of complicity in first-degree murder, adultery and incineration of the victim's body; was sentenced to stoning, retribution, blinding of both eyes and payment of 100 gold dinars. After the announcement of the verdict, she committed suicide in prison."

Ressalat reported on January 16, 1990, that a woman was stoned to death in the city of Bandar Anzali (northern Iran).

Ettela'at reported on January 5, 1990: "Two women were stoned publicly on Wednesday in the northern city of Lahijan."

Jomhouri Islami, January 2, 1990: "Two women were stoned in the city of Langrood (northern Iran)."

Kayhan wrote on July 31, 1989: "Six women were stoned to death publicly in Kermanshah on charges of adultery and moral corruption."

Kayhan, April 17, 1989, quoted the Religious judge and head of the Fars and Bushehr Justice Department as sentencing 10 women to stoning to death on prostitution charges which were immediately carried out.

Tehran radio, reported on March 6, 1989 that a women was stoned in Karaj for committing adultery."

Kayhan, October 4, 1986, reported that a 25-year-old woman named Nosrat was stoned to death in the city of Qom. She died after an hour of continuos stoning.

On April 17, 1986 a woman was stoned to death in the city of Qom. Prior to being stoned, she was whipped in public.

In July 1980, four women were simultaneously stoned to death in the city of Kerman.

It must be noted that the cases of stoning in small towns and cities were not included here.

The brutality is not limited to stoning. For example, in late May 1990, in the city of Neyshabour (northeastern Iran), a woman charged with adultery was thrown off a 10-story building. The execution was carried out in public, and the victim died on impact.

The regime's duplicity when it comes to publicizing the news of such Byzantine atrocities, is very telling. Inside Iran, they are trumpeted with great fanfare, but when it comes to the international arena, officials brazenly deny their methods. In an interview with Le Figaro on September 10, 1994, Rafsanjani was asked, "Are women accused of adultery stoned in Iran?" He replied: "No, no such thing exists in Iran. This has been fabricated to damage us."

In his April 1998 trip to France and Sweden, Ata’ollah Mohajerani, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Khatami's government spokesman, who is regarded to be a moderate figure, discussed several matters. His positions openly contradicted what he says in Iran and the actions of the government. When asked about his views about stoning, Mohajerani refrained from making an unequivocal statement of support for this inhuman practice. Upon returning to Iran, however, he said explicitly that he does not oppose stoning but believes that efforts should be made to stop the dissemination of the news of stoning and filming the scenes.
It is therefore clear that the question is not whether stoning should be carried out or not, but it about where and how stoning should be implemented.

In her first interview with a foreign publication, Massoumeh Ebtekar, who was appointed as vice-president by Khatami, tried to avoid stating her views on stoning. Only later in the interview did she admit to its occurrence in general terms, but qualified her remark by saying it occurs only in remote places.

Indeed, stoning is indispensable to the clerics efforts to intimidate and terrorize the Iranian public. During Friday prayers, in May of 1998, in the provincial capital of Kermanshah (the largest city in western Iran), Mullah Zarandi had the following to say about the need to carry out stoning: “The security forces have to show more presence in the society. In order to set an example for others, the judiciary should also bring some of those eligible to one of the city squares and amputate their hands. They should also have a series of stoning. I promise that the society will be rectified.”

Anita Kanitz, Stuttgart, Germany
5 years ago
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