Tenth Anniversary of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here
August 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the initial release of “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.” It is a good time to again thank all who contributed to it, to remember those in it who have died since it came out - whether from assassination like Sabeen Mahmud, or from illness like Madeeha Gauhar and Faizan Peerzada- and to once more pay tribute to those continuing to risk their lives to defy extremism. There have been moments of great hope for those in the book since 2013, including the end of so-called Islamic State's caliphate of doom in Iraq and Syria, and the ongoing Women, Life, Freedom uprising in Iran. And there have been terrible setbacks, such as the movement of IS into the Sahel, threatening the West African women I met, and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, forcing nearly all the Afghan women I interviewed into exile. The international community has continued to fail those peacefully fighting fundamentalism, as the surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban shows. And yet, as demonstrated by the women continuing to take to the streets of Afghanistan to protest decree after decree stripping them of their rights, and as I learned firsthand, people of Muslim heritage will never stop resisting fundamentalism. Please continue to listen to their voices and share their stories. And let's hope that when another ten years have passed, this book can serve merely as part of the historical record, rather than as evidence of an ongoing, sometimes existential fight for human rights.