GoFundMe Finally Deletes Iranian Anti-Sharī‘ah Activist’s Account

Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus, producer of the fan-funded conservative YouTube show “The Glazov Gang,” featured in a 2015 fundraising appeal. (The Glazov Gang / WND)

The onslaught of the politically-correct Internet and tech establishment continues against the most courageous of America’s voices. This time GoFundMe is the company quickly destroying its reputation.

As Respvblica reported on September 11, 2017, in the wake of the fund-wiring industry’s attacks upon well-known anti-Sharī‘ah activists — specifically Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer — a less well-known decrier of Islamic misogyny and violence has also been targeted.

On the night of September 5, Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus — an Iranian-born graphics specialist and self-made freedom-fighter who escaped the Islamic Republic’s custom of forced marriage and lashes for offenses which normally would awaken sleeping “liberals” — broadcast to her Facebook followers that GoFundMe had effectively frozen one of her campaigns, citing violation of their terms of service.

Beginning September 9, Cyrus said, she had to be in Canada to speak at an event in Toronto the following day, and she had been invited to speak at a number of other events. None of the speaking engagements were paid, and therefore she was forced to crowd-fund for money to supplement her travel expenses. The YouTube show she produces with conservative writer Jamie Glazov, The Glazov Gang, is a fan-generated show and could not adequately compensate her itself.

GoFundMe did not provide a specific reason for why the campaign was frozen, but it is not difficult to suggest one, as Cyrus did: “…I’m guessing [this happened] because the name of my campaign is ‘Help Anni’s 2017 anti-Sharia Tour…’”

The eight events included in Cyrus’s “2017 Anti-Sharia Tour” — September 7, 2017, 8:36 P.M. (Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus / Facebook)

Fortunately for Cyrus, the loyalty of her small fan base and suggestions of other crowd-funding sites enabled her to collect enough money for her engagements in Canada and Nebraska. Still, early on there were problems: some fans had difficulty donating to both her PayPal account and a campaign on youcaring.com, though the problems seemed to be intermittent.

Cyrus, who lives under the constant threat of death, uses her media platform to educate her fellow Americans about the gruesome theocratic dictatorship which controls her native Iran, the barbarity of Sharī‘ah, but most vehemently the inherent, violent misogyny found not only in the practice, but the text of Islam.

In other words, she carries a message which corporate giants run by so-called liberals wish to suppress.

Cyrus broadcasts to her Facebook followers telling the story of how GoFundMe froze her campaign for assistance with travel expenses for his 2017 “Anti-Sharia Tour” — September 5, 2017, 10:46 P.M. (Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus / Facebook)

Therefore, in a September 20 Facebook post, Cyrus wrote, “Urgent!!! Please share and help me… Dear supporters, today, with no notice or explanation, GoFundMe has deleted my entire account, wiping out all of my donor history, and four open campaigns.”

The GoFundMe account involved served the The Glazov Gang’s fundraising purposes as well, therefore its deletion also endangered Cyrus’s main source of income.

In her Facebook post, Cyrus called on her fans to lobby the crowd-funding service on her behalf:

You can help me by writing a brief email note to GoFundMe Customer Service, to lobby them to restore my account history, at the very least.

As difficult as it is to be calm about it, I would ask you to please be courteous but firm in your letter. Any expression of rage or nastiness toward them, the Left, Islam, Muslims, etc., will just confirm in their drone minds that we are all a bunch of haters, and so they will then presume that they made the correct call to remove me. Sucks, but that is how it is.

The relatively small size of Cyrus’s following has made the publication of GoFundMe’s scandalous actions nearly nonexistent, even in the alternative and conservative media, with the exception of a cursory September 21 post by small-time blogger Paul Baumgartner, a short article on Glazov’s own site, and a piece in Breitbart.

Unlike Geller and Spencer, whose audiences dwarf those of Cyrus and Glazov and include powerful media pundits and commentators, an uproar over the deletion of the Cyrus-Glazov Gang account has to date, even when reported by Breitbart, been quite small. Therefore, GoFundMe has not yet been forced to publicly confront its decision to censor Cyrus and her employer’s account. Publicity caused PayPal to eventually restore the donation accounts of Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Spencer’s blog Jihad Watch, and it could reverse GoFundMe’s decision, but only time and more aggressive activism will tell.

Cyrus later shared her new campaign on Generosity.com with a goal of $2,000 which she created on September 8, though it cannot be certain if Generosity’s parent company Indiegogo will take the same action against this campaign as did GoFundMe. She also collects money through her Patreon account, a service which also received scrutiny when in July it banned the account belonging to libertarian journalist and YouTube personality Lauren Southern. Southern’s audience, however, was again large enough to cause a massive backlash which eventually caused Patreon’s CEO to vow publicly to change the company’s policies.

The lesson to be learned is that there is precious little political diversity within a tech industry, epitomized by Google and PayPal, which provides monopolistically leftist but vital services. So little that it appears to have daunted conservatives or others who believe in freedom of speech for all, not simply themselves, from launching their own crowd-funding services.

Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus
Cyrus poses for a selfie displaying her pride in her adopted country: “Looks like I’m offending some people here at the airport… Haha[,] just got labelled as Americanized wh***[.] Victory is mine 🎉❤🥇🍻 wear it proud[,]” she says in her post — March 20, 2017. (Aynaz “Anni” Cyrus / Facebook).
Still, the injustice of the censorship of a woman with Cyrus’s harrowing biography is clear. For if an anti-Sharī‘ah voice which speaks from the agony of experience, rather than simple scholarship, is silenced, then there are no surprises as to why.

The story of one truly unconquerable woman can be far more persuasive than a bespectacled academic’s lecture. It is not what Islamic apologists want the world to hear, for they will have a more difficult time competing with it.

Raped and beaten almost daily by a middle-aged husband, then lashed 109 times in prison for supposedly offending a religion which “hijabi feminist” Linda Sarsour says has supposedly “empowered” women all across the globe, the victim of such raw abuse touches the heart — and is therefore far more dangerous than any other voice.

The ultimate realization is: if other brave Americans are then to be as “dangerous” as Anni Cyrus — a battered, humble Third-World immigrant — and challenge the barely-obstructed menace which caused her to escape her homeland, they are wise to expect the same or worse censorship as time progresses.

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