Mukhtar Mai to Be Honored
DC The Muslim Public Affairs Council, KARAMAH: Muslim Women
Lawyers for Human Rights, and the All Dulles Area Muslim
Society (ADAMS) announced that they will host "An Evening
with Mukhtar Mai" at the ADAMS Center in Falls Church,
VA, on Friday, April 28, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.
Mai, who gained international recognition last year when
she was profiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff,
is a symbol of courage to Muslim women around the world.
In 2002, Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped in public on the orders
of a village tribunal in retribution for a crime her younger
brother allegedly committed. Defying social stigma, Mai
refused to be silent and took the rapists to court. The
perpetrators were initially convicted, but then acquitted
by a second court. In June 2005, the Pakistani Supreme Court
agreed to rehear the case and eventually convicted her attackers.
Mai subsequently became a symbol for advocates for the health
and security of women in her region, attracting both national
and international attention to these issues. President Pervez
Musharraf awarded Mai a financial settlement of about $8,000,
which she used to build two local schools, one for girls
and another for boys. There were no schools for girls in
Mai's village before this and she never had the opportunity
to get an education.
"I have a message to the women of the world and all
the women who have been raped or any of the kind of violation:
that, no matter what, they must talk about it and they must
fight for justice," Mai told CNN in a recent interview.
"I do feel that if I stop now or step back it will
harm a lot of women. So, I have to keep going and keep helping
SEE: "The Pakistani Who Fought Back and Won" (CNN,
With the international attention she has received has come
further financial support for her campaign to provide education
to impoverished populations. Mai continues to stand up for
justice and emphasizes that her treatment sharply contradicted
the principles of Islam.
WHAT: An Evening with Mukhtar Mai
WHEN: Friday, April 28, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: All Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS)
46903 Sugarland Rd., Sterling, VA 20164
CO-SPONSORS: Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC),
KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights,
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
"It is our hope that this event can help raise awareness
about the reality of sexual violence and encourage Muslim
Americans to speak out against it," said MPAC Executive
Director Salam Al-Marayati. "We applaud Mukhtar Mai
for speaking out, insisting on justice, and providing opportunities
for education that can improve the lives of future generations."
"Mukhtar Mai has identified the root problem of feudalism
and tribal customs in Pakistan, which takes away the dignity
of women, men and children. She has taken steps to return
to a more Islamic system of conflict resolution, forgiveness
and spreading education" said Irfana Anwer, Executive
Director of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.
"We are honored that Mukhtar Mai will meet the Muslim
community at a mosque which is known to be inclusive and
respectful of women, and meet with Imam Muhammad Magid who
supports her like her local Imam in Meerwala does."
ADAMS is one of the largest Muslim communities/mosques in
the DC Metro Area and in the United States, serving over
5,000 families in seven branches throughout Northern Virginia.
ADAMS engages in regular interfaith, government relations,
social services, and community service.
[CONTACT: Irfana Anwer, 202-234-7302; Zuleqa Husain, 202-547-7701;
Edina Lekovic, 213-383-3443, email@example.com]