Lantos Human Rights Awards Ceremony

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Lantos Human Rights Awards
Ceremony |

Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 10, 2015 – The Tom Lantos Humans rights prize goes to; Rebiya Kadeer, an Uyghur Muslim fighting for the rights of Uyghur Muslims against the oppressive regime of China, Irshad
Manji’s  mission is to help inspire individuals to exhibit the moral courage
required to do the right thing in the face of fear, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim from Somalia waging her battle against violence towards women. 
The ceremony was held at the congressional Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 
We appreciate the Lantos Foundation for honoring these distinct women, even though some of us may not agree with some of their stances, we have to acknowledge their bold contributions to the society – stand up and speak up and make the way for a better society of equality and human rights. 
Katrina Lantos 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Irshad Manji
Rabiya Kadeer
 The organization was
founded by the Congressman Late Tom Lantos, co-founder of the Congressional
Human Rights Caucus and Chairman of the House committee on Foreign affairs. He
will be remembered for his deep commitment to human rights. During his life,
tom helped and inspired individuals around the world. Many more will feel the
impact of his work for years to come.
Every religious community has ultra conservatives to ultra
liberals and a whole range of moderates in between, and the conservative in
Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism or any faith stand opposed to
accepting any thing they consider liberal. 
Don’t know much about Rebiya Kadeer, but Ayaan Hirsi Ali and
Irshad Manji were not treated with dignity by the uncouth men, just because they differed and had a
unique life experience to share. It has happened with many others, instead of engaging, listening and searching for answers in creating effectively functioning societies by working with
them, the conservatives among Muslims lost a treasure of knowledge and skills these reformers had to offer. It is still not late to engage with them. 

I spoke briefly with both Manji and Ali, and hope to invite them to a symposium to hear them out. They have advocated Human rights in Islam which must be admired. 

Its reflection time, we have to come together
and solve the problems instead of rejecting each other. Problems are too big
for us to be petty.
In the conclusion, Katrina Lantos Swett made a profound
statement, “Well-behaved women seldom make history. Heretic, Rabble-rouser
and Criminal are the words used and abused to describe many remarkable figures throughout
She continued, “Each of the 2015 Lantos Human Rights Prize
Laureates has a brutally beautiful story, one that has caused her pain and
struggle, and, figuratively and literally, put a target on her back. These
three women of Muslim heritage have overcome crushing cultural obstacles to
achieve greatness in their own distinct ways, and deserve much more than our
recognition – they deserve awe.”
Even though the huge majority of Muslims follow and honor
human rights, particularly treating women with dignity and honor, a streak is
out there among us, indeed, among all communities that is utterly disgusting and misogynistic. It
is a shame if we do not stop the abuse and mistreatment of women in our societies.
What does it take?  It takes courage on the part of moderate majority to speak out
passionately against abuses of human rights within the Muslim community. We
have a treasure of wisdom given to us in the Quran, and by the Prophet to create
cohesive societies sans-oppression, and sans apprehension. These values have
been grossly violated by Muslims, and equally misrepresented by those who have a gain to be had. Thus far,
they have set the narrative; it is time for us to fix the problem as well as the narrative.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him summarized about women –
he named three women as the model women to follow; Mother Mary, Aasia (who
raised Moses) and Fatima (his daughter). What do they represent? To borrow
Katrina Lantos thoughts, they were unconventional, non-conformists, and active
women who withstood the tides against them.
Today’s event inspired me to push myself to get my book
about human rights published.

# # #
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist,
thinker, writer, newsmaker and a professional speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslam,  politicshuman rights, and
foreign policy.  Mike is committed to building cohesive
 and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about
him in 63 links at and his
writings are at 

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