Honor Diaries is a brilliant award-winning documentary which deals with the plight of women in Muslim Majority societies who face honor based violence in the form of honor killings, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriages. The documentary features nine women who speak from the heart and address the problems head-on focusing on the rise of these issues across North America and discussing solutions.
Honor Diaries was recently screened at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and received great feedback.
I attended the Ottawa screening organized by my friend Fred Litwin, on March 24 where there was an audience of over 200 people including Mrs. Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister The Honorable Stephen Harper.
The Toronto premiere of Honor Diaries was held at the Colossus Theatre in Vaughan on Sunday March 30, 2014.
We had a turnout far better than we expected. Over 120 people from various faiths and cultures, both men and women turned out and about 40% were of Muslim origin which was wonderful.
Conservative MP John Carmichael and his wife came to attend and spoke about violence against women. Special guests were Mr. Akhilesh Mishra Council General of India and Aruna Papp, Expert in Family and Honor Based Violence, Social Injustice and Public Policy.
The film left everyone breathless and inspired to do more as per some of the feedback below. We took Q & A after the event and mostly the questions dealt with what people can do to help.
Here is some of the feedback.
• Thank you ,Raheel, for so strongly and diligently raising awareness world-wide of these horrendous violations of women in the name of culture or religion. There is no culture or religion that can and should condone this treatment of women. I came to the screening of “Honor Diaries’ yesterday and it has raised my hope that there are women like all of you in that documentary that are fighting for all of us. That’s not enough…we ALL need to join together and stand up TOGETHER and demand our rights. Where do I sign up to join this movement? Shahnaz
• Saw such a powerful documentary! this has to get out to the world. Sheena
• Heartiest congratulations, Honour Diaries is a flawless presentation of facts that have been swept under the carpet for as long as generations before me and I can remember. Bravo! Raheel and your associates for this bold and fearless step in the right direction. Totally Oscar material. Najma
• The film was very moving, and perhaps even more importantly, it was thought-provoking. You all should be commended for advancing a difficult and important discussion, especially when some tides of sentiment discourage open civic discourse. Still more commendable maybe is that you and your on-screen “panel” allowed differences of view and philosophy to emerge. Any alliance-building effort a contretemps requires the capacity to identify and tackle its contradictions and divergences. Miles
• WHAT A FABULOUS documentary! We could feel the love and passion u and the others have put into this beautiful film. By the end of the film, there was not a single person who was not moved emotionally. I am sure the ball you have set rolling will gather the momentum you need to move the project forward. Gita
However here’s the conundrum. At every event there is one plant who asks the same question posed in different ways totally unrelated to the topic of the film for example. why did we not talk about teenage pregnancies or the plight of aboriginal women or domestic violence? All valid and very good points. But are they related to what we are trying to shine a light upon?
Both the questioners are ladies belonging to Muslim organizations and if they really and sincerely are interested in these issues that they bring up, they should google the cause and take it up – I’m sure many of us will jump in to support them.
South of the border, an Islamist organization who was designated by the United States Justice Department an unindicted co-conspirators for the purposes of the largest terror-funding trial in US history, the Holy Land Foundation criminal prosecution where the prosecution was considered very successful, and achieved numerous convictions is beyond itself and having a hissy fit just by seeing the trailer.
They have as their front a blogger who has also only seen the trailer which he confesses on his blog.
I’m puzzled by the fact that this blogger claims that if Jews had any part in the making of this film in any way or form, then it is Islam-o-phobia – a favorite term of those Islamists who prefer deflection over free speech.
My personal statement to the Islamic organization who seems to CARE for Muslims is: “If you don’t like the light under which the affected women are shown in this documentary, then change the light bulb and treat your women better.”