NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Popular television host and bestselling author Michael Coren has been added to the speakers list of the first-ever human rights conference dedicated to exposing the plight of women under Islamic law in Dearborn, Michigan on the anniversary of the honor murder of Jessica Mokdad: the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference. Hosted by the prominent human rights organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), its Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) program and the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force (VAST), the conference will be held in the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn on April 29.
Michael Coren hosts The Arena with Michael Coren on Canada's Sun News TV every week night at 7 p.m. ET, repeated at midnight ET. The best of the week's shows is also repeated 7 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Coren's last TV show won numerous awards, both in Canada and the U.S. The Arena features some of the most exciting, original, and provocative guests from all over the world, with interviews in studio, and in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.
Michael Coren is also a weekly columnist, published every Saturday, with the Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg Sun and The London Free Press and in more than a dozen other daily and weekly newspapers across Canada. He is also a columnist for Women's Post, The Catholic Register, The Landowner and The Interim. He is the best-selling author of thirteen books, including biographies of GK Chesterton, HG Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. He has contributed to the Dictionary of National Biography and several other anthologies. He is published in many countries and in more than a dozen languages. He has received several honorary doctorates and awards for his writing and broadcasting. In 2005, he won The Ed Murrow Award for Radio Broadcasting, in 2006 The RTNDA Radio Broadcasting Award, in 2007 the Communicator Award in Hollywood and in 2008 the Omni Award for his television show.
The Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference will be held at the Hyatt Hotel in Dearborn. After bowing to Islamic supremacist pressure and canceling a speech by Pamela Geller that had been scheduled for a Hyatt in Nashville, Tennessee, the Hyatt reversed its stance, recovered its understanding of the American principle of free speech, apologized and offered AFDI space in a Hyatt for a future Conference to make it up to the human rights organization. Geller chose the Hyatt in Dearborn to stand in solidarity there with girls who are in danger of being victimized like Jessica Mokdad.
Along with Michael Coren, the confirmed list of speakers includes ex-Muslim human rights activist Nonie Darwish; Sudanese ex-slave and freedom fighter Simon Deng; and James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Taskforce (VAST), co-host of the Conference. Also speaking will be David Wood of Acts 17 Apologetics, a Christian group that is suing the city of Dearborn for covering up Islamic honor killings performed in the area – that cover-up, and the resulting suit, will also be a focus of the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference. View a video about the conference here.
Hosting the Conference and also speaking are AFDI/SIOA executive director Pamela Geller, publisher of the acclaimed AtlasShrugs.com blog, executive director of AFDI and SIOA, and author of Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance (WND Books); and AFDI/SIOA associate director Robert Spencer, the bestselling author and director of Jihad Watch.
Jessica Mokdad was a 20-year-old Muslim woman in Warren, Michigan, who was brutally murdered in May 2011. Fox News Detroit reported: "Authorities say a Minnesota man killed his 20-year-old stepdaughter in Michigan because she left home and wasn't following Islam." Jessica's stepfather, a devout Muslim, tracked his stepdaughter over four states to murder her for bringing dishonor on her family.
Geller said in a statement: "Despite pressure from the media and members of Jessica's family who want to cover up the honor killing aspect of her murder, we are not going to change the name of the conference. Unlike those closest to her, we are going to honor Jessica's memory and stand up against the brutal practice that took her life." Several Mokdad family members have alleged that Jessica's murder was not an honor killing, despite the overwhelming evidence that it was. However, multiple news reports on the murder were quite clear that her stepfather killed Jessica because she "wasn't following Islam" (report from TwinCities.com) and was "not adhering to Muslim customs" (Star Tribune).
Arab American News reported that the last recorded dispute between Jessica Mokdad and her stepfather was over the wearing of the hijab (head scarf), which he originally forced her to wear (just as in the honor murder of Canadian teen Aqsa Parvez). Jessica didn't want to wear it, thereby bringing shame on him and the family. Her stepfather, Rahim Alfetlawi, who murdered her, was pathologically controlling, after the pattern of honor killers. At one point she called her father and told him: "Dad, I can't live here anymore, he's too strict, I can't even go to the store to buy a pop if I want."
Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Contaldo said: "He thought she was becoming too Westernized. I think this was a very nice young lady wanting to experiment with Western culture without control and without abuse." The Detroit Free Press reported: "Mokdad's mother told police that Alfetlawi felt so shamed by her daughter's Western ways, he killed her in an honor killing," Warren Police Sgt. Stephen Mills said. Alfetlawi was so concerned about her behavior that he even forced her to go to a mosque and marry her boyfriend.
The Daily Mail reported this from London: "Devout Muslim stalks his step-daughter over four states 'before killing her for being too Western." The Daily Tribune reported: Stepfather charged with murder in Warren, upset victim didn't adhere to Muslim customs.
And Alexis Wiley of Fox Detroit reported, "He forced her to wear a traditional head scarf instead of allowing her to make that decision on her own, and when she stopped wearing a scarf, friends say he became furious."
Geller said in a statement: "We've named the Conference after her as part of our ongoing campaign to raise awareness and bring a stop to the phenomenon of Islamic honor killing. These girls have rights, too, they're human beings, and yet they're completely forgotten in our politically correct culture, in which speech that is offensive to Islam is increasingly forbidden. We're standing for the human rights of girls like Jessica Mokdad."
AFDI/SIOA is one of America's foremost organizations defending human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the United States.
Join the SIOA Facebook group here.
For more information, contact Pamela Geller at [email protected].