Anni Cyrus is an Iranian-born women and human rights activist who speaks out against Sharia Law and the suffering it inflicts upon women, not only in Iran but all countries governed by Islamic law.

Her father was one step above an Imam, so Anni was raised in an extremely religious household where she was expected to memorize the Koran at a young age and was declared a grown woman at the age of nine, as it is in the sharia. Sold into marriage at the young age of fourteen, she was abused by her much older husband and denied a divorce by Islamic courts.

Thankfully, she was able to flee Iran several years later and now lives in the United States where she has become an important and powerful voice for the women around the world who have none. She works for Glasov Productions and appears in many videos which can be found on their website, and also sites such as YouTube.

She is among very few public figures in this country courageous enough to take on such topics as sharia law, female genital mutilation, child marriage, and even hijab protests, all of which are things the media has largely ignored. The feminist movement here in the United States has been similarly mute, so Anni says it for them.

She has founded her own organization with a web site that lists all of the people in Iran who have been killed in the streets during protests and all of those known to be arrested or currently imprisoned. In doing this, she fights for men and women alike who are victimized under Iran’s oppressive regime.

While there are so many women to be celebrated, recognized and applauded on International Women’s Day, and it is hard to choose only one, I wanted to feature Anni Cyrus because she focuses on Iran’s women without excluding women elsewhere in the Middle East who are suffering violence, persecution, poverty and human rights abuses. She is a true champion for human rights, not only women’s, and it’s clear she is on her way to becoming one of our most prominent advocates for human rights on the level of someone like Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, who also speaks against sharia law.

You can find her own website at http://liveuptofreedom.com/

If you hold an interest in the topics of women’s rights, the middle east or sharia law, she is definitely an excellent person to follow and a valuable source of firsthand experience and information on all of these topics and more. This sets her far above those such as Linda Sarsour, who has never actually lived under the very ideologies she promotes.

Where the mainstream media often fails to cover issues that are perhaps ‘too controversial’ or in some misguided fear that bringing attention to the abuse of women around the world might be insulting to a religion, voices like hers are absolutely crucial.

Those of us who closely follow the White Wednesday movement and watch with worry as so many brave women take to Iran’s streets to protest compulsory hijab are happy to know that someone like Anni is in their corner and fearless enough to tell her own story to the world while exposing the injustices that these courageous women are risking freedom and life to rise up against.

-Rachel

 

 

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