Jul 22 2014

Iranian Volleyball Watchers Protest Censorship and Political Prisoners

Iran’s volleyball team is good, becoming the fourth in the World League. Women were recently banned from watching the game in the stadium, which justifiably caused the volleyball world federation is banning Iran from taking part in future tournaments for its sexist policies. And when TV broadcasts the games taking place in other countries, it heavily censors the games, omitting all footage of female audience.

Some Iranians in Italy used this opportunity to protest by holding signs while watching the games.


The sign says: “Great job, censor!”


The sign says: “Thank you censor”.


It says “Our censor brother, support us, support us” (A culturally loaded slogan going back to Islamic Revolution and used later by reformists as well for multiple people, usually addressed to oppressors) and the other sign says “Mousavi and Karroubi must be freed”.

These photos made me feel very good and I shared them with you too. Cheers.

Jul 21 2014

Check Out Avicenna’s Very Important Post on a Rape Case in Afghanistan

This is really important. I wanted to put it in my link round ups, But Avicenna brought up some major concerns in Facebook so I decided to do the best I can. Please share this as it needs to be read. This is the post: No Honour – The men have to wash their shame with blood. It deals with this piece of news:

The story goes as follows. A 10 year old girl was raped by Mullah Mohammed Amin in a mosque. The mullah claims it was consensual which is puzzling. Since this is rape and in Afghanistan? The spectre of honour crime raises it’s head. Family members openly planned to kill the girls. In order to protect her, the rapist agreed to marry his victim.

The girl was moved from the local shelter where she was staying and returned to her family. The legal ruling in Afghanistan is that no shelter can keep a woman if her family demands her back. The workers at the shelter believe that she is at risk.

Dr. Hassina Sarwari runs Women for Afghan Women. Remember how A Voice for Men guffawed about the lack of feminists in Afghanistan? Hassina Sawari is such a feminist.

Hassina has been recieving death threats from… pretty much everyone. She is one of the people who ran the shelter. In order to play down the rape, both sides have gotten involved as such a case brings great shame to the family and the Mullahs (for reasons only understandable to Pashtun honour culture). Sarwari was forced into hiding by threats from the girl’s family and mullahs. The Mullah defence is that the girl is actually older than 10. She has recieved threatening text messages.

Dr. Sarwari wishes to flee Afghanistan, her life in peril.

But Avicenna’s excellent post covers much more than that, providing context, nuance, everything. Should be considered one of the greatest posts I’ve read.

Why it is so important and why I thought it’s urgent to post it? These are what Avicenna said in a Facebook discussion:

I actually regularly point out that my REAL blog posts are thoroughly ignored. Everyone likes the drama, no one likes the stuff. So for every accusation of “drama blogging” I have like ten different posts of stuff I think is rather cool or rather important that never gets read by all the naysayers who keep telling everyone that I drama blog only.

Yesterday I wrote about an aquaintance getting turfed out of Afghanistan for trying to ssave a 10 year old girl from her rapists who is a Mullah. Afghan Government Officials sent her death threats, Taliban sent her death threats, The Mullah send her death threats and the Child’s Family sent her death threats.

WE don’t know if the child is alive anymore. Just that her family was planning to kill her and the child was given back to them.

Nope. People wanted to discuss Jaclyn… The things that hit and miss and go viral are so weird that I have no ideaa what is and what isn’t good blogging anymore.

Yeah considering I had to read the medical examination of a 10 year old rape victim…. That was fun….

But such is the issue with blogs. You never know what will go viral. Some of the stuff that goes viral has me going “Seriously? I wrote that on a train because I was bored”.

So, read it, share it, let everyone know about it.

Jul 21 2014

As an Ex-Muslim I Cannot Stop Caring About Islam Because It Still Defines My Life

As I have mentioned I recently submitted to Hiba Krisht’s project Ex-Hijabi Photo Journal a guest post entitled 101 Sins I Commit During the World Cup and Ramadan Just in One Day. Now my post in particular and her project in general has received a reply, which I think capsulizes many problems ex-Muslims have with the attitudes they face, and I write this in hoped that people try to see things from our perspective as well. Hiba shared that and I use it with her permission. This is the quote in its full:

Good news!
Dear Ladies,

I am happy to know, that there are ex muslims! and ex female muslims!I hope your campaign is very successful and much much more join you.

Of the 101 sins, while I was reading them, I had to smile.

I have only one comment: Some day in the future, after much labour over having been a muslim, when you think about sins it will be just one single sentence: “I care a shit about sin!”.

I do not have much in common with you. I am male (some generation older, and sorrily with no daughter , former fundamentalist christian.

We also had a dress code to go to church (tie obbligatory, no jeans), and women had to dress modestly and not sexy. I was excommunicated because of atheism, and my former communty doesn’t greet me (even after 20 years of having left them. Guess I am radioactive

As I said, when you become ‘healthy”, you stop to care about garbage.

If you still haven’t, I suggest you to read Sam Harris “The end of faith”.

A big hug

Orazio di Bella

And now I want to enumerate the problems I have with this quote.

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Jul 20 2014

Yes, Khomeini Has Really Endorsed Pedophilia

Content note: pedophilia, very very VERY disgusting pedophilia imagery.

Richard Dawkins tweeted this today:

Which has led people to search google and find this post by Dan Fincke, in which he quotes Maryam Namazie quoting Khomeini endorsing pedophilia.

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Jul 20 2014

My Problem with Chris Hall’s “Dawkins and Hitchens Are Over” Article

I don’t know if it’s this one article that people keep digging up and sharing on my Facebook feed or really it seems there’s a ton of them, but from time to time I stumble upon this Chris Hall article with a title like Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris Are Old News: A Totally Different Atheism Is on the Rise, or Forget Christopher Hitchens: Atheism in America is undergoing a radical change (both are the same article published in two different venues).

And every time I see this article, I cringe and feel there is something distasteful about it. And I want to explain why.

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Jul 19 2014

Check out my guest post at Ex-Hijabi Photo Journal about Ramadan

The great Hiba Krisht, aka Marwa Berro who has recently come out, and will soon grace FTB, and whom I very proud to call a friend, honored me and ran a post of my mine on her fantastic project Ex-Hijabi Photo Journal few days ago. I had no Internet access recently and my VPN was not completely in order and I was posting from my phone. Well, she asked for these submissions:

In this holy month for Muslims, many of us who have chosen to not practice and/or not believe are still enmeshed within communities and situations where we cannot live by our choices. Many of us are compelled to fast, pray, read Qur’an, and more. Many of us are subjected to greater scrutiny regarding our actions, and our “sinfulness” is treated with greater denigration. It can be exhausting, depressing, and very difficult.

Let us celebrate the choice to ‘sin’. Let us celebrate Haramadan! Did you sneak off to grab a bite to eat or some water? Snap a photo an send it in! Have you gone out with your friends while your family thinks you’re at Taraweeh? Snap a photo and send it in? Reading some philosophy or erotica tucked into the pages of your prayer book? Snap a photo and send it in! Send in photos of kisses in corners, cocktails you quaff on the side, stolen moments and opportunities for self-expression and respite. These are just examples. Send in whatever you like. Send in photos and/or your stories. Hold hands. Let the wind into your hair. Be happy.

This is a place where you can air your grievances and celebrate the small moments of pleasure and joy you’re barred from. No matter who you are. Submissions welcome regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, age, size, etc.

Send your submission to [email protected] OR use the submit page: http://exhijabifashion.tumblr.com/submit

Haramadan Kareem!

I submitted my own version. So check out my blog post there and I will be back in full capacity soon.

101 Sins I Commit During the World Cup and Ramadan Just in One Day

Jul 12 2014

Link Round-Up 7/12/2014

Headline Story of the week: Mubarak Bala is a Nigerian openly atheist who has run into problem for leaving Islam. Read the report here and here.

Story of the Week: Eduard Shevardnadze (1928-2014), the former Georgian president and the foreign minister of USSR during Gorbachev passed away last week. Read New Yorker obituary written by a Georgian, BBC obituary, and New York Times obituary, all give great views of this man’s life. History may judge his impact positive or negative, but it will never judge it small.

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Jul 11 2014

Marco Rubio’s Incredibly Asinine Iran Sanction Proposal

Well, guys, it’s clear, Marco Rubio and this other senator better never talk about Iran ever because it’s apparent that their knowledge about it is worthless. Take a look (Via The Hill):

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bill Thursday that would impose sanctions against Iranian leaders who violate human rights.

“The U.S. should strongly support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people, and stand against ongoing systemic human rights violations by the Iranian regime,” Rubio said. “This legislation would take significant steps to require President Obama to hold Iranian leaders and individuals accountable for all human rights violations they have directed.”

S. 2585, the Iran Human Rights Accountability Act, would designate Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and other top Iranian leaders as human rights violators. It also freezes their assets and bans them from using travel visas.

So why this proposal is incredibly stupid?

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Jul 10 2014

Culture is the Problem

Part of this post has been copy pasted from a Facebook discussion but not the majority of it.

A strange thing that I have noticed in many western liberals, and I find it perplexing, is a respect for culture as a concept. Personally not only I think culture is not a good thing, I think it’s the real source of all our problems, at least here in Middle East.

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Jul 08 2014

Afghanistan: We Celebrated A Bit Too Early

In the Afghan election, the first round seemed to have gone without a hitch, with no widespread claim of fraud and the defeat of Islamists and candidates who were deemed too close to Karzai. I celebrated that on this blog. But the celebration was premature. It seems that the elections were not as democratic as I thought, and that I was wrong. The preliminary results are announced, naming Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner, but Abdullah Abdullah hasn’t accepted the results, and while he has stopped short of announcing a government, he seems very close to it, and his spokesperson has not ruled out the possibility of armed action, so it seems Afghanistan is dangerously close to the brink of yet another civil war again. It seems Abdullah’s claims do carry some credibility, as he has provided audio and video evidence, but it’s unclear if the scale is as wide as 2 million votes as he claims.

I am a bit confused though.

We were always said that both Ahmadzai and Abdullah were opposition figures, so why would Karzai try to cheat for Ahmadzai?

Zalmai Rassoul, the candidate known to be close to Karzai, supported Abdullah.

So, were all information given to us inaccurate? Was Ahmadzai never an opposition and was Rassoul never close to Karzai?

Do you know the answer?

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