Clarion’s 2017 Awards: The Bad and the Brave

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OK, so maybe they’re not “the worst.” In the business of exposing Islamist extremism, competition is tough. However, the following are certainly in the running for “the worst of 2017.”

Worst Mother:  Philadelphia mother Keonna Thomas, 33, planned to abandon her two young children and travel to Syria to join her ISIS husband (whom she married via Skype) and become a “martyr” for Islamic State. At her sentencing (she got eight years in prison), Thomas said, “I was, I guess at one point, impressionable.” That’s an understatement.

Worst Example Set by a Teacher:  A Tennessee teacher was suspended without pay after a video surfaced on social media of a girl in the teacher’s classroom having her hijab removed against her will, exposing her hair to the class.

Worst Example Set by a Lawyer: Speaking on TV about a proposed bill to tighten the anti-prostitution laws in Egypt, lawyer Nabih Wahsh stated,  “Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?…I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her.”

Worst Advice by a Saudi Preacher: A famous preacher from the city of Medina, Imam Majed el-Fahd, urged young men to change wives once their “expiration date passes.”


Worst Magazine Award:  Glamour magazine named Linda Sarsour as a recipient of one of its annual “Women of the Year Awards.” In addition to her support for sharia law, her call for the “patriotic” act of waging jihad on President Trump and posing for a photo op with a Hamas operative, Sarsour was recently accused of “supervising” the sexual assault of another Muslim woman.

Worst Ivy League University Award:  The largest student organization at Harvard University gave Nihad Awad, the founder and executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) the prestigious “Call of Service” award. Awad was a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a secret body set up to advance Hamas and the overall Islamist agenda. He was recorded at a 1993 meeting discussing how to support Hamas and the “goals, strategies and American perceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood” in the U.S. The U.S. Justice Department labeled his organization, CAIR, an “unindicted co-conspirator” in an enormous  Hamas terror-financing trial and listed CAIR as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity.

Worst Way to Fight Terror #1: Former President Barack Obama reportedly squelched the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigations and arrests of Hezbollah agents to pave the way for his legacy nuclear deal with Iran.to fund Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world.

Worst Way to Fight Terror #2: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party for promising to reinstate citizenship of convicted terrorists. The previous ruling party, the Conservatives, passed legislation that stripped Canadian citizenship from naturalized citizens who were convicted of treason, terrorism or espionage.

Worst Government Response: The UK government arrested a young Brit who joined the Kurdish forces to fight against ISIS. When Aiden Aslin, 23, returned to the UK, he was charged under the UK Terrorism Act for suspicion of engaging “in the preparation to fight against Daesch [ISIS].” (You can’t make this stuff up.)

Worst Political Party: Brian Murphy of the ruling party Fina Gael (Family of Ireland) party was for censured by his party for a comment against sharia law. Murphy tweeted: “Sharia law is operating in Ireland and most of the political class either do not know or do not care. It is a subversion of our legal system.” The prime minister (from the same party) “disassociated” himself from Murphy’s sentiments, saying they don’t represent the party’s policies.


Clarion’s 2017 bravery awards go to:

Sound Strategy Award: Nabila Albargouthy is divorcing her husband after he began making demands Nabila could not live with. In the first case of its kind, she is suing for sole custody of her children so that her husband does not radicalize the children.

Speaking Out Award: A top official at the National Security Council (NSC), Rich Higgins, was fired for a memo he wrote warning about the dangers of radical Islam and its documented alliance with the radical left.

Standing Up for Principles Award: Chess champion Anna Muzychuk, 27, of Ukraine decided to give up her two world titles rather than play in Saudi Arabia as a protest against the kingdom’s treatment of women. Muzychuk said she didn’t want “to play by some’s rules,” including being made to wear an abaya (a long, loose-fitting cloak required to be worn by women in public). Muzychuk is the world champion of rapid and blitz chess.

Refusing to Be Intimidated Award: After taking a picture with Miss Israel, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, refused to take down the picture from her social media account after being threatened that her title would be removed and that she and her family would be killed.

Guts Award: Well-known Egyptian journalist Rabab Azzam told her personal account of being a victim of FGM (female genital mutilation) at age 13 on Egyptian TV. She related the physical pain, the humiliation and her rebellion and desire for revenge against her family afterwards, saying her family “denied me the right to be a full woman.”

Political Sacrifice Award:  Sarah Champion, a Labour MP and tireless campaigner for the young victims of Britain’s sex grooming gangs, was forced to resign from her position as shadow secretary for women and equalities for stating the following fact: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

Speaking Truth Award: A leading Arab film director Said Ben Said spoke out against the institutionalized and widespread anti-Semitism pervasive in the Arab world after he was pulled from the jury of the 28th Carthage Film Festival over his previous work with Israelis. Writing in Le Monde, he said, “This hatred of Jews has redoubled in intensity and depth not because of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but with the rise of a certain vision of Islam.”

Saudi Hero Award: For the “crime” of moderating an internet forum that encouraged participants to voice their opinion about religion in the kingdom, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 1 million rials ($266,000). He survived the first excruciating 50 lashes (a feat he described as “miraculous”) which he endured in public with crowds chanting “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest).” Badawi has been the subject of an international effort (let by his wife who escaped with their children to Canada) to secure his release.

Standing Ground Award: A Palestinian woman refused to back down in the face of a fatwa declaring her film haram (forbidden). The death threats followed. Maysaloun Hamoud’s film In Between follows the lives of three young Palestinian women sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv away from the watchful eyes of their families.

Indefatigable Award: This award goes to Clarion’s own Raheel Raza, for her tireless and selfless fight against Islamism and injustice.



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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org