@Anni_Cyrus - Live Up To Freedom

@Anni_Cyrus - Live Up To Freedom

Un-Reported, Named Deaths by Islamic Republic of Iran’s Regime
Friday, February 23, 2018 3:37 PM

By January 7, 2018, there were confirmed @TaheriKaveh/statistics-of-killed-and-detainees-during-2017-18-iranian-protests-1c8d919839d" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">reports of at least 21 protesters killed, and over 3,700 more arrested or kidnapped from their homes. Western media outlets did mention the deaths in passing, but only in articles which maintained the mainly economic concerns of the uprising. Protesters were arrested by morality police, but with no arrest report — meaning that their arrests were denied by police. By January 21, eight more deaths were @TaheriKaveh/what-happened-in-iran-in-the-past-month-13d50366622a" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">confirmed. As of now the death toll is 35, of whom only 33 have been named.

Full NameCity of Death
Shahab AbtahiArāk, Markazi Province
Mohsen AdeliDezfūl, Khūzestān Province
Shahab AmanallahiJūyābād, Esfahān Province
Mohammad ChoobakN/A
Masoud Dehkiani, 13-years-oldĪzeh, Khūzestān Province
Mohammad EbrahimiQahderījān, Esfahān Province
Hussein GhaderiSanandaj, Kordestān Province
Saroo GhahremaniSanandaj, Kordestān Province
Sina GhanbariTehrān, Tehrān Province
Alireza GomarTūyserkān, Hamedān Province
Asghar HaroonrashidiJūyābād, Esfahān Province
Vahid HeidariArāk, Markazi Province
Ahmad Heydari, 13-years-oldQahderījān, Esfahān Province
Maryam JafarpoorTehrān, Tehrān Province
Mehdi KahzadiN/A
Arash KhedriMasjed Soleymān, Khūzestān Province
Ehsan KheyriN/A
Hamzeh Lashani ZandDorūd, Lorestān Province
Gholamreza MuhammadiTehrān, Tehrān Province
Muhammad NasiriZanjān, Zanjān Province
Ali PouladiChālūs, Māzandarān Province
Amin RamezaniMasjed Soleymān, Khūzestān Province
Hussein ReshnoDorūd, Lorestān Province
Armin Sadeghi, 15-years-oldKhomeinī Shahr, Esfahān Province
Nematollah SalehiJūyābād, Esfahān Province
Nematollah ShafiQahderījān, Esfahān Province
Hussein ShafizadehQahderījān, Esfahān Province
Hussein ShahabQahderījān, Esfahān Province
Behzad ShasvariKermānshāh Province
Hassan TorkashvandKarāj, Alborz Province
Mohsen VirayeshiN/A
Kianoush ZandiSanandaj, Kordestān Province

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Un-Reported, Named Arrests by Islamic Republic of Iran’s Regime
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:12 AM

Between December 27, 2017 and January 3, 2018, there were 102 confirmed arrests which never made it into any mainstream media coverage. (Unknown dates are between December 27 and January 3, but were not reported the same day as arrest.) Given the popularity of the so-called “#MeToo” movement, putting names to individuals suffering in silence would seem to be a media priority.

Full NameCity of ArrestDate of Arrest
Soleyman AbdiĪlāmN/A
Faezeh AbdipoorTehrānN/A
Hafez AbdoulahiĪlāmN/A
Salman AbdoulahiĪlāmN/A
Laleh AghayiĪlāmN/A
Majid AkbariTehrānN/A
Muhammad AminsanlouTehrānN/A
Vali AmiriKermānshāh1/1/2018
Siavash AmjadiTehrān1/1/2018
Omid AjlalUmriaN/A
Negin ArameshTehrān1/2/2018
Abaas ArghandĪlāmN/A
Rouhllah ArghandĪlāmN/A
Saman ArghavaniĪlāmN/A
Ali AsaadiTehrānN/A
Ali Akbar AsakarehShādgānN/A
Majid AsakarehShādgānN/A
Arash AvariTehrānN/A
Ali BrataliTehrān1/2/2018
Mahmoud ChamangoalĪlāmN/A
Abaas Ali DadiN/A1/2/2018
Ghader DalanUrmia1/1/2018
Sama DerakhshaniTehrānN/A
Amir Hussein ElmtalabTehrānN/A
Yazdaan FarajzadehĪlāmN/A
Aref FathiTehrānN/A
Peyman GeravandTehrānN/A
Behnam GhaediDehdasht1/1/2018
Sina GhafariTehrānN/A
Mikael GholiradTehrān1/2/2018
Yaser HabibiKermānshāh1/1/2018
Ali HaghiKermānshāh1/3/2018
Mohsen HaghshenasTehrān1/1/2018
Muhsen HaghshenasTehrānN/A
Iraj HamidiUrmia1/1/2018
Mahmud HarizaviAhvāzN/A
Muhammad Ahmadeian HeraviTehrān12/31/2017
Hesam HousseinzadehTehrān1/1/2018
Leila HusseinzadehTehrān1/1/2018
Danial ImanTehrānN/A
Omid JamshidiKermānshāh12/29/2017
Sara JamshidiĪlāmN/A
Muhammad JavaheriSardasht1/2/2018
Shams Aldin KakeyiKermānshāh1/1/2018
Farhad KaramiĪlāmN/A
Hadi KaramiĪlāmN/A
Javad KaramiĪlāmN/A
Loghman KaramiĪlāmN/A
Abdoul Jabar KhalediKermānshāh1/1/2018
Muhammad KhaniTehrānN/A
Porya KhazayiTehrān1/2/2018
Javad KheibarKermānshāh1/3/2018
Jamshid KhoshavazSanandaj1/1/2018
Amin KhosraviTehrānN/A
Yasamin MahboubiTehrānN/A
Tarikh MalekiTehrānN/A
Muhammad MasoumiĪlāmN/A
Mahmud MasoumiĪlāmN/A
Vahid MazhariKermānshāhN/A
Falah MazraieAbū HomeizehN/A
Nabi MazraieAbū HomeizehN/A
Salah MazraieAbū HomeizehN/A
Touran MerabanUrmia12/31/2017
Yaseen MirzayiZāhedān12/29/2017
Alireza MoenianTehrān1/1/2018
Muhammad Sharifi MoghadamTehrān1/2/2018
Mohsen Mir MohseniTehrānN/A
Saha MortezaieTehrānN/A
Majid MosaferTehrānN/A
Gholam Ali MosavarKermānshāh1/1/2018
Soheil MovahedaanTehrānN/A
Ali MozafariTehrānN/A
Muhammad MuhammadianTehrānN/A
Emad NamaniAhvāzN/A
Bahman Tafasoli NasabDehdasht1/1/2018
Kasra NouriTehrānN/A
Faramarz OmidiKermānshāh1/1/2018
Sina OmranTehrān1/2/2018
Pedram PazirehTehrānN/A
Omid Arsalan PejmanZāhedān12/29/2017
Shahla Vahdat PoorUrmia1/1/2018
Sina RabeieTehrānN/A
Mozafar RahmaniĪlāmN/A
Hamzeh RahnamaKermānshāh1/1/2018
Amin RezayiZāhedān12/29/2017
Mahram SaberiSanandaj12/31/2017
Ahmad SafariNahāvand1/1/2018
Mahdi Vahabi SaniTehrānN/A
Muhsen ShahsounTehrānN/A
Ali SharafiAhvāzN/A
Meysam SharifTehrānN/A
Muhammad Reza SorooriSabzevar12/30/2017
Azad TaghizadehKermānshāh1/1/2018
Farshid TajmiriHamedān12/30/2017
Nabi TardastKermānshāh12/29/2017
Mohsen TorabiTehrānN/A
Mahdi TowichiTehrān1/3/2018
Loghman VeisiKermānshāh1/1/2018
Soheil Agha ZadehTehrān1/3/2018
Ali ZareiĪlāmN/A
Gabriel ZareiĪlāmN/A
Arjang ZargoushKermānshāhN/A

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“I am real and I am here”
Friday, October 27, 2017 6:42 PM

On Oct 25, 2017 World Citizens For Saudi Women posted a video of 22-year-old Amna AlJuaid pleading for us to help her make her story be known. “I thought a hundred times before I make this video, as proof of my existence. I believe that something very bad is going to happen to me very soon, from my father. I have no protection. The government is criminalizing me, because I left home. You get jailed and lashed for that, if a woman leaves her family home, even if they were abusers.”

On Amna’s YouTube account of the same day, she posted a video in Arabic, with English subtitles, in which she says, “I am recording this video today, because it might be the last video in my life. For you to know I’m real, and I’m here. My father Mohammed Aljauid is the one behind my suffering. My voice has to come out through you.” She requests us to ask her father on Twitter, @AbuAzooz511, “What did you do to Amna?”

The Facebook page reports, “Amna contacted our account on instagram a month ago with her story and we talked to her, but she didnt want it posted back then…. When this video went viral today on twitter we realized its her!”
Amna continues, “I tried to leave outside the country. But I was caught, and sent back to Saudi Arabia. My uncle threatened he was going to kill me as soon as I get back to Saudi Arabia. But I was lucky enough to leave the house before anything bad could happen to me from my father and uncle. My father took all my papers. I couldn’t apply for any of my documents because of the guardianship system. My father is hoping he can find me and kill me, and was actually chasing me when I left home.”

The latest news from Amna’s friends is that she has been arrested and placed in prison in Dar Al Reaya, Saudi Arabia. #dinaali and #saveamna are just two young women among many who suffer for merely wanting to keep their own human dignity and life. Find Amna’s story on Twitter @saveamnaaljuaid and Step Feed. #endmaleguardianship#FreeAmnah#Hope4Women#IslamisTheProblem

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Are Hollywood Terror Advocates Above the Law?
Friday, March 17, 2017 4:39 AM

Desperate Democrats are doing everything in their power to change the game in their favor because they just cannot accept their loss in the most recent presidential election.

Everyone, from politicians to Hollywood big names are playing huge parts in this “Revolution”. The most recent move — the new music video “Lavender” by Snoop Dogg where he pulls the trigger on a “clown” that resembles President Trump.

Not only did he not receive any backlash or legal consequences but he is being praised and hailed a hero by elitist celebrity types, and his ignorant sheeple fans who obviously care nothing for our country and don’t know the meaning of the word respect! Especially his nephew Bow Wow (Shad Moss), and ICE T, Treach, the worst tweet coming from (TI) Omar Ray Suge-Gotti:


No worries though! We true Americans are too busy exposing these ignorant shenanigans and even busier supporting our leader as he makes America great again!!

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NIKE: Islam’s Newest Player
Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:44 AM

Nike announced their new Spring 2018 Hijab collection. I’m just wondering if they are also including a user’s guide to include Suras 24:31 or 33:59 of the Quran?


And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head-covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.


O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

Islam has taken steps towards the Islamization of the west with threats that are frighteningly real, so unless we are willing to stand up and fight for our freedom and liberty, we will harm the next generation by our inaction.

In this video you will learn about Nike’s attempt to normalize and empower the oppression of women under Sharia.

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The First Islamic Beating I Saw in America
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:43 PM

I last told you about the first Islamic rage that I ever faced, on the day that I made a mistake by bringing home pepperoni pizza as a dinner treat for my Muslim boyfriend’s family. I had soon put that incident behind me, as just something scary and odd that had happened, which was now in the past.

But a tension remained, whenever I knew that my boyfriend’s father was going to be around. Although we managed to avoid him as much as possible, several troubling events followed, which I saw and heard. For now, I will skip over those. I want to bring my story more current, to how my ex-boyfriend went back to practicing his Muslim religion.

So, one day we returned to the apartment. We expected his three sisters, two teens and a preteen, to be at home after school, as usual. What we did not know was that on this day we would walk in on a terrible fight.  The two older girls were in a violent screaming match.  Often, the girls would argue in front of us. But this time it was brutal.

Before coming in, we heard unusual sounds coming from inside. We unlocked the door, and saw the 17-year-old sister pinning down the 15-year-old sister on the sofa. She was completely straddled on top of her, and was punching her with direct blows to the face. No exaggeration. That is how it was.  It was loud chaos. The 9-year-old was ten feet away, backed into the dining area, crying and screaming.

I rushed over to the 9-year-old to console her, and Tony immediately pushed his 17-year-old sister off the younger one. This only enraged his older teen sister against him. She grabbed a mug from the coffee table and threw it at him. With that, she ran through the hallway and into the bedroom, where he chased after her.

At this point, all I can say is that I heard what sounded like slapping, scuffling, pummeling, cursing, and screams of pure terror coming from the back room. I still remember it clearly. It was a distinct sound of heavy slaps, as solid contact on body parts, along with her terrified screams.

Then it stopped. I was standing there in shock, thinking to myself, “What just happened, and why?” What I saw next took me years to process, or even to understand. It was his expression and manner.  He came out of the room with a silent calm, and with a look on his face of stoic authority. He gave an impression that he had just taken care of business as usual.

There was no concern or worry for the well-being of the sister he had obviously just brutally beaten. His expression was stern, and hard, and very rough. But he also had an overall, calm, despite the chaos and violence that he had just been part of. For me, it was so unpredictable, and so quick.

He then scolded his younger teen sister in Arabic, and he also said something to the youngest one, as if to give her assurance of something.  All I know is that she nodded, “Yes”.

I stayed silent. He told me that we were leaving the apartment, and that his father was going to handle the situation. It was just that plain and simple to him.

Days later, I saw the extent of what he had done to his sister. The right side of her face was swollen and huge. She was deformed from the beating. The swelling was purple and black. In my experience, I could only compare it to Hollywood horror movie make-up I had seen, like it was a latex prosthetic. It was unreal to me.

And yet, how was he not in any legal trouble? I had no reference in my mind as to how to process this incredibly violent family incident. If none of them were going to call any public agencies to get involved, how could I know what I was supposed to do? And his sister didn’t want to talk to me about it.

Later, he explained to me that back home in his country, he was raised to be the male in authority if his father was not there. I thought I could accept that, as a cultural difference. But that beating was overkill. Is that what his father would have done?

He proceeded to tell me about his religion and how this beating is allowed.  I don’t know why I accepted that explanation. All that time, I had thought he was a non-practicing Muslim. I felt very confused.

He justified the beating by saying that he was breaking up a fight, and that his sister attacked him with the mug. I knew that what he had done was wrong, but I felt stuck.

I felt sure that I couldn’t interfere with another person’s culture. Americans don’t do that. We cannot tell people that their culture is ugly. We won’t tell people that what represents their culture is dangerous, backward and barbaric.  At least we don’t tell them to their faces.  To be continued…

(Pam is our LUTF contributor from Southern California. Her true-life experience reveals the conflict of values from Islam in America.)

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The Night I Survived a Refugee’s Attack
Monday, February 13, 2017 6:51 PM

In Denmark, back in the 1980s, I had my first encounters with refugees. I was young, liberal, and filled with hope for a better world, where we all would be free to live in bonds of friendship, from different cultures.

I was a healthy, young student, with a love for history, religion, acting and writing. So, I knew I had a lot to offer to the first refugees who entered here some 30 years ago.

I volunteered to help at a receiving center, and I loved my afternoons teaching my Danish culture and history. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen at the asylum center. I wanted to help these poor guys find hope for a new future in my home country. I wanted to make them feel welcome, because of what I thought was a “stupid capitalistic war” that they had fled.

I also wanted to learn about their homeland, which seemed so far away. All that I knew about the land of Persia came from my reading of the folklore tales of Scheherazade, One Thousand and One Nights. The main frame plot of the collection of tales’ centers around the king’s marriage to a succession of virgins. He executes each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonor him. To save herself on the night of their marriage, the king’s newest bride, Scheherazade, begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story will end, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. Then each night, she begins, but does not conclude, a new tale for the king. I understood this trick, by which Scheherazade kept herself alive, as a plot device. But I never felt the deeper meaning until later.

As I got to know the refugees at the center, by just casually hanging around with them, we became more relaxed with each other. Our only rule was to never be alone, to always be in teams. I thought it was to make sure we didn’t misbehave or somehow overstep our boundaries towards those guys who had fled for their lives. And that may have been the basic reason for the rule. Today, I would never advise anyone to go into such a project, as I did. But if you do want to go, then I would warn you to at least educate yourself first.

One Saturday afternoon, I was going home on my bike, after some study project. As I rode past the center, I saw one of the refugee guys who I knew, smoking outside. He called me over and we talked, while we had a cigarette together. I knew him as an atheist. At least, that is what he had told me. He knew that I was working with kids at the YMCA, so he knew that I followed some kind of faith. But it didn’t seem to bother him, and we had never discussed private matters in the kitchen. We had only talked about stuff that would be good for the guys to know if they were to stay here for a longer time.

He had some questions about some political stuff, and asked if I had time to come up and explain it over a cup of tea. I agreed. Why shouldn’t I? He said there were a few other people in the kitchen there.

So I felt OK. As we entered, a loud discussion was going on in the kitchen. I have forgotten what it was about, but what happened within the next 15 minutes will never leave my mind.

It was far too loud to talk separately in the kitchen. So I agreed to go to the room he shared with his roommate, to talk. I knew his roommate. He was a good guy. I had talked to him many times.

When we came into the room, he told me that his roommate was away for something with one of the male volunteers, and for me to have a seat. And then I heard the key click in the door. He looked at me, and then he drew out a pocketknife and came at me. He pushed me on to the bed, while holding the knife to my chest. He tried to force a kiss on me, but I wouldn’t let him. So he pushed the knife up under my chin. He tried ripping open my clothes with his other hand, while sneering at me in his own language. I thought right then, “This is it… I am going to die…”

I mastered all my strength, and looked him in the eyes. I told him to get off me, and that even as he didn’t believe in anything, I was sure that God would not let him do this without punishment. That just made him more aggressive. I had gotten myself in a position where I could move my leg. So I banged my knee into his private area, with all my might. He moaned, and in that moment, he weakened his grip on me.

I rolled to the floor, got up, and ran for the door. I got it opened, and ran out. I didn’t even think of running to the kitchen for help. I just ran out the door, and down the stairs. As I opened the glass door to the outside, I could see him standing on top of the stairs. He held his knife and showed me with a gesture how he would cut my throat. He hissed at me, “If I ever see you here again, then you are dead.” Needless to say, I never went back.

I made it home, went to my room and cried for hours. I never went to the police, as I had no proof. He never did rape me, I told myself, just left a small cut on my chin, nothing that the police would take in evidence. I felt violated, but powerless. I lost my freedom, by somehow trying to help these guys to understand their newfound freedom. What a price it was for me to pay.

That night, I tried to explain it to myself, to understand how this could be happening to me, what this was all about. And that is when my journey to study Islam began. It was when I found out that the problem is not keeping informed — it is not wanting to get informed.

(This article is from our new LUTF contributor in Denmark. She goes by the name of Gefion, the Viking goddess of truth and fertility.)

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Will Geert Wilders be the Next Dutch Prime Minister?
Monday, January 30, 2017 9:38 PM

This March, the Dutch people will vote for a new government. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) has been steadily leading in the polls for months. Many people worldwide hope for a continuation of the popular freedom movement that won in the UK and USA elections. The Dutch election will be the next test of that political force in Europe, followed by the French and Germans. What will be the consequence of these elections for the European Union if it does happen?

To clarify the answers, we need to understand how the Dutch political election system works.

The Dutch parliament is called the Tweede Kamer (States General Chamber) and has a total of 150 seats. There are many political parties in Dutch parliament; some are relatively new, such as the Freedom Party (Wilders), DENK (in English) and the Forum for Democracy.

Older parties are more traditional, such as the VVD (the party of the current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte). That one is a more conservative party on the right. The Dutch Labour Party is the PvdA. There is also the CDA, the Christian Democrats, who have been very successful in the past, but have now been in the opposition for the last four years.

The 150 seats in parliament are divided by the percentage of votes each political party receives. So in order to win one seat, a small party must have a large enough, but small, share of the total vote. Mathematically, that means that any party whose candidates collectively win 0.67% of the total vote will be guaranteed a seat. So then, many single seats might be held by many separate small parties and Independents. The result is a very divided parliament, as we have seen over the past decade.

Currently there are as many as seventeen political parties or groups in the Dutch parliament. This high division also happens because once elected, a member of parliament remains through the elected term, but may leave the political party he or she was elected to represent, and then start his or her own group, or become an independent in parliament. This last option is how Wilders – elected as a member of the VVD in order to win one seat – left that party and then started his own Group Wilders, and then formed the Freedom Party for the next election. The two members of DENK were both members of parliament for the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) before they left and formed their own party.

In the Dutch system, two or more leading parties will cooperate as a simple majority of seats to form a Government, and the rest become Opposition Parties. Mark Rutte’s first administration in October 2010 was formed with the Christian Democrats, but between them they still did not have enough seats in parliament for a 50% ruling majority. So Ruttte’s VVD and the CDA then sought an alliance with Wilders and his Freedom Party, to ensure passage of the Government’s bills, over the opposition.

But in 2012, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party left that failed coalition, and there were new elections held. Since then, the relationship between Prime Minister Rutte and Geert Wilders has been rather cold and unfriendly. Rutte has often declared that he does not trust them anymore, and he has called Wilders a runaway. Recently in the news programme ‘Buitenhof’ Rutte stated that he will never again work together with the Freedom Party.

Besides Rutte’s declaration, the other political parties have almost all said that they will never form a coalition with the Freedom Party, because of Wilders’ outspoken views on the problems of Islam’s failed integration in The Netherlands.

Another problem for Wilders is his criminal case. It began when Wilders asked his audience in the city of The Hague whether they wanted more or less people from Moroccan descent. After the crowd made it clear they wanted less Moroccans in their town, with the chant, “less, less, less,” Wilders was quoted as saying, “Well, then we shall arrange that.”

The resulting trial prosecution against Wilders led to the court of justice declaration that Wilders was guilty of inciting discrimination (although he will not be sentenced).

What does all this mean for the elections that will be held on March seventeenth in The Netherlands? Well, first, Wilders is steadily leading in the polls for months now. Many Dutch people say that if there is a terrorist attack in The Netherlands before March, Wilders’ numbers will go even higher.

But however big his victory might be, a simple ruling majority of 50% is mathematically improbable. And if there is no political party that wants to form a government with him, it is not likely that Wilders will be the next Dutch Prime Minister.

An open question might be whether Wilders has wider, but unspoken support, of many who will vote for him anyway. That is not a very likely scenario, because many on the Left in The Netherlands rebuke Wilders as a threat to Dutch society. He is compared in the press to Hitler, Goebbels, the Nazi’s, etc., at least weekly. The bigger his rise in the polls, the worse these allegations become.

It is still quite possible that Gilders and his Freedom Party will win the leading vote. But it would not be the first time in Dutch political history that the party which wins the election will not be able to form a coalition Government administration.

But in that result, many voters will feel that their votes are not respected, again. We have recently seen that already, when the Government ignored the clear Dutch voters’ “No” vote on the referendum on the EU-Ukraine trade agreement. (For which, by the way, the Forum for Democracy has put the Prime Minister on trial) The resentment of the alienated Dutch taxpayers against the establishment elite will only grow. This all might lead to the build-up of tensions in The Netherlands, with no clear way out at the moment. Indeed, these coming months will be very interesting to watch, to see if the voters will head this country toward freedom, or to a continuation of collectivism and Islamization.


(Sonja in The Netherlands is a new contributor on our LUTF team. She explains what Dutch voters can expect for freedom in her homeland, after the victories of Brexit in the UK, and Donald Trump in the USA.)


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The Clash of Pizza and Islam
Monday, January 16, 2017 7:00 PM

This is a true life experience from Pam, a new contributor on our LUTF team. Pam’s story reveals that the problem is Islam, and what Islam demands of Muslims. Even in America.

It was 1997, in Orange County California where I was introduced to a cute, charming guy who wanted to go out with me. He was persistent. It was nothing out of the ordinary as I imagine that most relationships start with a glimmer in the eyes of two young people falling for each other. I was smitten. He looked so Orange County. So, Californian. And, guess what? He even lived in the same city where Disneyland is. How much happier could I be with a guy as cute as a young Brad Pitt?

We spent an evening watching the fireworks in the night sky that were being fired off from the happiest place on earth. I’ll continue. He had wispy waves of light brown and blond hair, and honey hazel eyes. His voice was attractive with a deep romantic bass to it, and he had a smile that could make you melt. I had met an all-American guy!!! His name was Tony. His best friend was Franky, another friend was named Moe, and another was Sammy. (O.k., so I did think they sounded a bit like the Rat Pack, but that only added to the cuteness of the gang of friends.) I didn’t question the names. They sounded legitimate. They goofed off like a bunch of young regular American guys.

But then something began to change. It was after 6 months into the relationship that Tony started sharing his Muslim background with me. He said his father practiced Islam, and that one day he would get back to practicing. I didn’t know what that meant. I remember thinking I was the All Accepting American girl. I remember thinking… “So, what does being Muslim mean?” I knew nothing at the time. I remember thinking, “So what, we are Americans. Everyone has an immigrant background and ideologies coexist here.” Then one day… trying to be a nice, considerate person, I stupidly brought his family pizza for dinner.

I came into the apartment. I set the pizza boxes out and opened them. His three sisters didn’t hesitate and went to grab slices. It was then that his father came in to the dining area, and BAM! Like an explosion had gone off, he started yelling in Arabic, and grabbed their pizza slices out of their hands and flung them back into the boxes. I was startled. He looked at me and pointed his finger in my face and yelled at me. Mostly Arabic, so I didn’t understand.

My boyfriend didn’t protect me or ask him to calm down. His sisters and he just sat there in silence, also stunned, but I’m sure they knew what he was saying. I was still confused and scared stiff. Their dad grabbed the boxes and threw one on the other in anger. He stormed out of the room. It was then that I quietly asked… “What happened?”

My boyfriend looked at me and said…”You brought pepperoni pizza into the house.” Oh, my God!!! I was so sorry. I felt stupid. I was apologetic. I was so ashamed. I was embarrassed. I never meant to offend anyone. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know I had done anything wrong. I profusely apologized to them, and to their father. That was one of my first experiences of what being Muslim meant.

(Pam is our LUTF contributor from Southern California. Her true-life experience reveals the conflict of values from Islam in America.)

To be continued…

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Top 10 Innocent Women Who Were Executed in Iran.
Friday, September 2, 2016 6:48 PM

On this new special edition of Anni Cyrus’s “Top 10”, Anni focuses on The Top 10 Innocent Women Executed in Iran, asking us to never forget them — and to reflect on the true meaning of Sharia.

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