'Going on offense' against Islamist tyranny in Salzburg, Austria

What do Muslims, ex-Muslims, Atheists, Imams, authors, global activists and the LGBTQ community have in common? They face a common enemy: Islamism.

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You have heard me speak adnauseum about the threat of Islamism, or political Islam – but you should know it's not just me – there are many who have now understood this global threat and for once I want to share with you a positive step undertaken to address this challenge.

Author, activist and founder of The AHA Foundation, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, came up with the idea of founding a global coalition of people who are in the battle against Islamism, and to strategize and coordinate our efforts. Thus was born the Clarity Coalition (Champions for Liberty Against the Reality of Islamist Tyranny).

Clarity Coalition organized the first-ever conference of its kind, Going on Offense, in Salzburg, Austria on the last weekend in October.I was especially thrilled to be on the steering committee for this event and also because Salzburg is so special.

Salzburg is known for its creativity as it’s the home of Mozart and also where the award-winning film “The Sound of Music,” starring our own Canadian star the late Christopher Plummer, was filmed. I have to confess I’ve seen the film at least four times and loved it each time.

The conference was hosted in the Schloss Leopoldskron, an absolutely stunning location on the shores of lake Leopoldskroner Weiher and welcomed 50 initial members of the Clarity Coalition. You can only imagine the security that had to be arranged for this event.

The objectives of Clarity are to toughen and unify the opposition against political Islam in favor of peace, human rights, and secular governance. The deliverables were to agree on one or two policy mechanisms to coordinate participants in promoting an anti-Islamist approach in media and to arm us with practical and executable actions to counter Islamists in government and media and to introduce us to new allies.

The three-day conference addressed urgent issues we are all faced with and gave us an opportunity to hear from activists from USA, Europe, UK, Israel and Canada.

The list of attendees who were there is long and will be seen in detail on the Clarity Coalition website.

Soraya Deen, International activist, lawyer, and founder of the Muslim Women Speakers Movement said, “This conference has opened an opportunity for us to call out the abuse of Islamism and the stifling of debate and discussion on some medieval Islamic laws that have undermined human rights and dignity, particularly of Muslim women the world over”.

Asra Nomani, Author, journalist, activist, and former professor at Georgetown University commented, “I wrote a book years ago called 'Standing Alone in Mecca,' a manifesto into realizing women’s rights, human rights and tolerance in our Muslim communities. It was so heartwarming and emboldening to stand together in Salzburg, Austria with so many Muslims, ex-Muslims and allies facing a threat to their own lives and challenging extremism…what a glorious moment.”

All the way from Israel came Elie Pieprz, Director of International Relations at The Israel Defense and Security Forum, and he says he felt humbled to be in the presence of such courageous leaders who have risked so much to create a better reality for so many. “The potential impact that a coalition with the type of life and political experiences of this group is immense.”

The conference ended on a high note with all participants agreeing to coordinate our efforts. All of us agreed that this is a hard fight and it's about time we strengthened our numbers to defeat Islamism by going on the offensive and inviting like-minded people to join our movement.

What can you do? You can visit the website of Clarity Coalition and sign up to become a member IF you agree with their aims and objectives.

Remember as I have always said, this global fight against Islamism involves all of us who are champions of freedom, gender equality, peace, human rights, and secular governance.

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  • By Raheel Raza

The ABC's of Islamism

Everything you wanted to know about radical Islam, but were afraid to ask.

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