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Underground Railroad For Muslim Women?

I need your help, readers. Well, it’s not me, but it’s a young woman from a Muslim country who is here in the US on a visa. Her family has decided that she must return and enter into an arranged marriage. She doesn’t want to do this. The family’s relatives in the US are threatening to kill her if she doesn’t do the will of her family. She is terrified, and doesn’t know what to do.

I don’t know this woman. I was contacted by a friend and reader of this blog whom I trust absolutely, and who is trying to save this young woman’s life, and her future. I was able to put the reader in touch with some folks I know who work in this area, and who might be able to help. But the situation is extremely dire, and life-threatening. I know more about the situation than I’m letting on here, but trust me, this is real, and it’s happening right now.

The Muslim woman is afraid to talk to anybody, out of fear that her US relations will kill any American who helps her.

Can you help? Write me privately if you prefer — I’m at rod (at) amconmag — dot — com. I will pass on any useful information you give me to the reader. Don’t wait. Both the Muslim woman and the reader, who is trained in dealing with domestic violence cases, believe that her life is in danger right now. It is hard to believe this is happening in America, but, well, here we are. I’m trying to crowdsource a solution out of desperation, frankly.

It is hard to overstate the degree of terror this Muslim woman has internalized. And again, the reader, who knows the world of domestic violence trauma, believes it is real. There is evidence. That’s all I can say here. Understand that if the woman defies her family and escapes without harm, she will never be able to see them again. They have told her she will be dead to them. She is facing the prospect of being all alone, in a strange land, with no family, no friends, and nothing but her freedom. That is a very frightening prospect. Could you leave every single person you have ever known behind, forever?

Said my reader/friend:

She asked me, “If I stay and walk away from my home, my family, and my friends, what then? Can the strong woman I know I am make enough difference in this world to make up for everything I give up? And is my purpose to be the woman who starts on the path so other women have the courage to take it and go farther? Maybe I don’t become great, but some woman after me chooses this road and does something great. Was what I gave up to be the first one worth it? Am I sure I am supposed to be the first one? If so, it is worth it. If not, I give up everything in believing a lie.”

Did I mention she is an amazing young woman?

From what I understand, the woman does not want to leave her faith, but may have to for the sake of her own life, if she bolts from the arranged marriage plan. At this point, she is at the point of surrendering and returning to her home country. It breaks my reader friend’s heart. The reader and I are trying to find solutions … which is why the reader gave me permission to reach out to the rest of you.

If you can help, or have any ideas, please let me know, either privately or in the comments section. If you pray, please pray for this desperate woman.

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58 Comments To "Underground Railroad For Muslim Women?"

#1 Comment By prairie boy On March 31, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

We have seen this ugly scenario play out in Canada too many times to count in the muslim, Sikh, and Indian communities. I have yet to see any of these situations come to a happy ending.
You have her family that believes it has been dishonoured, including extended family members (uncles, cousins, etc). You have his family that believes it has been dishonoured, including extended family members. You have in-laws not directly related to the woman in question willing to kill for money or prestige within the family.
In Canada, we have seen families hire unrelated hit men to the deed. We have seen cold-blooded murder in public where the killer has no chance to escape, making it very difficult to defend against.
This woman needs money fast to get out of North America and to go somewhere where her family has no connections (South America, maybe?)
When you are ready, start a funding page.
The legal system can not save her.

#2 Comment By al On March 31, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

Darth’s recommendations sound reasonable. I hope she realizes that this country is full of good people and stepping out of her comfort zone will likely give her a life that must seem beyond her reach just now.

#3 Comment By Jeremy Hickerson On March 31, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

praying for her.

#4 Comment By Lee On March 31, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

I am a strong believer in the prime directive, being the concept is rooted in thousands of years of tradition. Yes as another individual stated…it’s here. It’s also culturally incompatible.

Non interference is the way to go.

Last summer I had to deal with an open carry Somalian headed for a playground. I wasn’t upset with the refugee. But am still mad as hell at the US State department for importing the refugee at tax payer expense. Along with the liberal college that hosted them. I raised hell and all the incompatible refugees disappeared from the local community thus far.

These types of issues squarely rest at the feet of the do gooder enablers that place their neighbors at risk. With their misguided intentions…

It’seems like watching a dog owner do good in scooping the poop. Placing it in a baggie. Then dropping it on the ground which is worse than just letting the dog go ahead and just freaking poop without the baggie.

#5 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 31, 2016 @ 5:50 pm

After all, all cultures are equal, the Muslims seeking the forced marriage might also be US citizens — Americans just like Rod Dreher or Siarlys or me — and arranged marriages are conceivably part of their religion. After all, didn’t the Prophet (PBUH) marry Aisha when she was 7 or something?

Surely, M_Young, you have read the Reynolds decision? We don’t even have a history of catering to white Anglos who want to indulge in forced plural marriages, much less more disfavored groups.

I don’t suppose Hamtramck will be any more favorable to this woman than the Cuban majority on the Hialeah City Council was to the Santeria. But as far as I know, forced marriage on ANY cultural foundation is illegal in the U.S. You surely recall that IF the Hialeah city council had comprehensively banned ALL killing of animals for ANY reason, the Santeria would have had no case?

The loophole is, if parents who have legal jurisdiction choose to send a minor child back to the homeland, and THEN the forced marriage is sprung on them in a country where such things are legal, it becomes more difficult for authorities here to interfere with the travel arrangements. It sounds like this lady is 18 or older.

Its unseemly to squabble and make brownie points while a live situation is still to be resolved, but I did want to clear up these points. (Aside from advice, any real offers of help will no doubt be made privately, and reponded to even more privately).

#6 Comment By ARM On March 31, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

“A friend has suggested that she might be able to receive asylum in Canada for her situation.”

Yes, she might get asylum, but as Prairie Boy points out, Canada has been having problems preventing honour killings among Muslim immigrants lately.

#7 Comment By Alexander Valenzuela On April 1, 2016 @ 12:43 am

“From what I understand, the woman does not want to leave her faith, but may have to for the sake of her own life, if she bolts from the arranged marriage plan.”

Rod, what does this mean? No one, Muslim or otherwise, ‘has to’ leave their faith. An Orthodox Christian is surely aware that whatever outward pressures they experience, they can – if they believe and desire to do so – maintain and remain within their faith.

A very odd post, all told. Personally, I would love to help in any way I could, though my first thought is to say that connecting this woman in any way with Hirsi Ali or an ‘underground railroad’ is not only disappointing but definitely counterproductive and lamentable in the extreme.

Beyond this very public advice, I will write to you privately.

#8 Comment By Darth Thulhu On April 1, 2016 @ 10:05 pm

JonF wrote:

Re: Every single trackable and trace-able thing disabled and unused, and new trackable items never connected to your old identity.

Without committing identity theft how do you do that?

The accounts and payment methods of new friends and organizations, if names are required. Anonymous accounts and in-cash payment methods, otherwise.

Most phones have GPS-location, for example, and are highly trackable to a skilled investigator. Therefore:

1) Ditch the current phone.

2) Buy a new phone outright, in cash, anonymously.

3) Get a pay-as-you-go account that does not require a credit card on file. Use a friend’s name as account owner if needed, or use no name or an anonymous name if such is permitted. Only ever pay with the account balance with cash or anonymous debit-gift card, or a named credit card of someone else.

4) Never ever ever use the new phone to make any contact with old family or friends.

Same with computers and net connections. The device and the activity can be tracked, so get a new device and never ever ever link it to your name nor your prior accounts nor your long-term life contacts. If this requires a new friend’s name or a shelter’s name or a Church’s name to be on the credit card, do that.

It’s not identity theft, but it is identity masking. Doing it thoroughly and legally requires other people/institutions willing to have the officially-registered things in their names.

All of this has to continue until a new legal name can be acquired. Yes, it is ridiculously constraining, but then again credible death threats