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IBB Update: Funding Schools and Fighting Back
We need your help building a new underground school for Afghan girls. Also, we're publishing The Satanic Verses in the Middle East.
An Ideas Beyond Borders Newsletter
Welcome back to our newsletter. This week marks the first anniversary of the Fall of Kabul. One year since an entire country fell to theocratic terror. One year that, if not for our underground schools, the women and girls of Afghanistan would have had their futures put on hold. We are expanding our network, but we can't do it without your help.
In other slightly more controversial news, we will be publishing 5000 translated copies of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses across the Middle East. This was not a decision we came to lightly. There is a genuine threat of retaliation that we must accept will arrive with this action. Still, we will never allow intimidation and violence to stifle free thought and expression.
All of our programs are made possible by the generosity of our donors. Please consider joining us to support our mission to fight for education and against intolerance.
We can build a school for Afghan Girls, together.
One of our most generous donors has agreed to triple match all donations we receive over the next week. This means 800 Afghan girls can receive an education for only $12,000. We've raised $1000 since yesterday, but we still have a long way to go. These girls are willing to put their lives at risk every day to receive an education because they know that by becoming educated women, they will be the biggest threat the Taliban could ever face.
Please, click here to help us give these girls their future back.
By funding this program, you are stepping up to a challenge that so many governments have failed. Your donation will do incalculable good in the region, because girls with books change everything. By helping us build this school, you can...
Fight extremism: As Nicholas Kristof said, “The greatest threat to extremism isn’t drones firing missiles, but girls reading books.” Your gift counters the Taliban’s regime by opening minds and sparking curiosity.
Protect against child marriage: a dire economy in Afghanistan is forcing families to make desperate choices. That includes selling their daughters to be married. We know that keeping girls in school reduces their risk of child marriage.
Build financial freedom: education provides girls opportunities to work and earn a living. For example, right now, Ideas Beyond Borders is paying women in Afghanistan to translate articles about human rights and pluralism.
Defend women’s rights: We're not only protecting a girl's right to an education. We're upholding her rights as an equal participant in society. A person who has the same right to think critically and speak openly.
It's been a year since the Fall.
These girls still need your help.
With it, they can change everything.
We stand with Salman Rushdie.
"We have no other choice but to fight with every last breath that we have for whatever is left of free speech principles." - Faisal Saeed Al Mutar
Has there ever been a book like The Satanic Verses? Bookstores bombed, translators all over the world were shot, stabbed, and killed, and deadly riots across the Middle East. The Islamic Republic of Iran offered up a multi-million dollar bounty for the head of the author, Salman Rushdie. A man who has spent half his life under protection, often under different names, as he constantly moves to protect his anonymity. A man who is now fighting for his life after being stabbed over a dozen times.
We stand, unequivocally, behind Salman Rushdie and the ideals he has spent his life fighting for. We also unequivocally condemn all of those who would seek to silence free speech and thought through intimidation and violence, as well as against all those who make excuses for such actions.
Because of this, we will publish and distribute copies of The Satanic Verses across the Middle East. We understand the potential consequences of such an action, but in response to the attack on Rushdie, it is the only action we could ever possibly take. Ideas Beyond Borders will always fight for free expression. We will never be terrorized into submission.
To learn more about this decision, please read our founder Faisal's newest substack by clicking here.
We will continue to update you as this newest project develops. In our fight to End Banned Books, we are willing to go as far as we have to in order to protect free speech. We want to extend our deepest thanks and respect to the publishers who have agreed to work with us on this task. They exemplify every ideal that Ideas Beyond Borders was founded to promote.
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