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Saeed Abedini

By Faith J. H. McDonnell (@Cuchulain09)

Yesterday, we planned a twitter campaign protesting the State Department’s honoring Samira Ibrahim, an anti-Semitic Egyptian woman who is also a 9/11 fan as an “International Women of Courage.” We would denounce this action and highlight those whom we believe are real women of courage, such as Nagmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini. Today, our plans for the twitter campaign have changed. The State Department withdrew the award from Ibrahim. But our second goal — highlighting real women of courage — remains. Tweeting begins at 2:30 PM E.T. today.

An article in The Weekly Standard by Hudson Institute scholar Samuel Tadros revealed the truth about Ibrahim. She was one of ten women from around the world to be honored by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Tadros wrote that the State Department’s profile (now removed) of Ibrahim describes her as being, “among seven women subjected by the Egyptian military to forced virginity tests in March 2011.” The press release adds that Samira “was arrested while in high school for writing a paper that criticized Arab leaders’ insincere support to the Palestinian cause.”

Tadros says that “Apparently, the State Department is unaware of her other convictions.” But not for long, thanks to the controversy raised by his article. Ibrahim’s other convictions are expressed through her Twitter account, explains Tadros. On July 18, 2012, when five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed in a suicide bombing attack, “Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: ‘An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news'” Tadros reveals. He lists of other anti-Semitic tweets by Ibrahim, as well.

Then Tadros shows Ibrahim to be a fan of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as well. Says Tadros: “As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: ‘Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.'” Tadros says that Ibrahim may have feared “the consequences of her tweet” so “she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.”

In response to the accusation of her virulent tweets, Ibrahim claimed that her Twitter account had been hijacked and she was not responsible for them. But then the translation by Egyptian democracy activist Mina Rezkalla of Ibrahim’s latest tweet was printed in a follow-up article in The Weekly Standard today “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.” Writer Lee Smith concludes, “This would seem to settle the question as to whether or not her page had been ‘stolen.'”

At 3:00 PM, the U.S. State Department will be celebrating International Women’s Day by honoring 9 women from around the world, instead of 10, as “Women of Courage.” We want to highlight our own women of courage, such as Nagmeh, Ayaan Hirsi AliNonie Darwish, Lila Rose, Jill Stanek, Betty Ann Ong, and others while the State Department and viewers of the event are on Twitter. The State Department has encouraged “attendees and those watching the livestream to use the Twitter hashtag #IWOC and #IWD when discussing the events.” So we are accepting the State Department’s invitation, and tweeting about #RealWomenofCourage. One of our goals is to help Nagmeh Abedini #SaveSaeed. Will you join us?