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‘Constantly Tracked, Constantly Sued’

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Spy glasses (Illustrative photo; Flickr/Alan Levine/CC 2.0)
Spy glasses (Illustrative photo; Flickr/Alan Levine/CC 2.0)

It’s no fun being sued, but I’m getting used to it.

I’ve been sued more than once by Islamist organizations who don’t like the fact that they are being exposed and called out – especially by a woman!

Islamists use the tactic of suing people because they want to shut them up, and lucky for them they live in a country where this is possible. Try suing someone in Saudi Arabia or Iran!

Yet in the West, this is how they threaten free speech, targeting – with their big purses — anyone who even speaks about radical jihad or Islam. Radio hosts, TV anchors, journalists and activists are being harassed on a constant basis – something fundamentally wrong in a liberal democracy.

While I can’t discuss the details of the case (due to legal considerations), suffice it to say that I exposed details about funds of an international Islamist organization being channelled towards terrorism, and they got all upset.

Everything I say, write or comment upon is under scrutiny. Ironically my husband has been sued for being married to me. That’s worthy of a sitcom.

There was a story in the aftermath of the Afghanistan war when a Western journalist went to Afghanistan and saw that Afghan women (although considered liberated) were still walking 10 feet behind the men. When asked why, they said “land mines.”

So it’s no surprise that my husband chooses to walk way behind of me. I noticed also that he is not taking the same flights as I am. I wondered why, but I suspect he’s trying to save his skin. I have friends who won’t pose for photos with me jokingly saying they don’t want a fatwa on their heads.

There is some seriousness to this. It’s not nice to have a folder on your computer that says “hate mail and death threats.” But it’s nice to keep a record and know that I have gotten under their skin. At least they’re listening.

I’m often asked by reporters if I’m scared for my life. I repeat what happened when I asked my husband one day if he thought “they” would ever harm me. He responded with a straight face, “It’s not about if they will harm you – it’s only a question of when!”

With that vote of confidence, I plod along with the single thought that if I let myself be scared, I allow the extremists the pleasure of thinking they have silenced me.

That’s something I will never do because my fear is a very small drop in the ocean of work that has to be done to expose the dangers of radical jihad which I will continue to do.

The sad part about all this is that the fatwa on my head was from a Muslim; the libel suits are from Muslims; the death threats and hate mail are from Muslims.

Who supports me? My friends who are Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and atheists.

I am blessed.

 

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Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza is ​an adviser to Clarion Project. ​She is an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity.