Free Femen

Caroline Fourest, the courageous French writer and journalist and I have joined a Tunisian secularists’ demonstration held in Paris day before yesterday.

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We showed our solidarity towards Tunisian secularists and Amina as well.

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We have been campaigning for Amina,the Tunisian Femen activist.

FREE FEMEN
Francois Hollande, the President of France is going to visit Tunisia in July. We ask him to remember four names, Amina, Pauline, Josephine and Marguerite. A Tunisian, a German and two French women. Four FEMEN. They are now in prison. Three of them, including two French activists, just scoop four months in prison for protesting topless in front of the courthouse. An act considered “indecent assault, indecent and disturbing public order”. It was a peaceful protest, demanding the release of Amina, the first Tunisian Femen, which is even arbitrarily detained for several weeks.
Her crime? She wrote a word on a wall. Femen. A word on the wall made 40,000 Salafists angry on May 19. Amina has been accused of “indecency”, “grave desecration” and “conspiracy.” Amina would be sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison. Amina, Pauline, Josephine and Marguerite are political prisoners. They are not the only ones to endure this kind of repression since the revolution. Ghazi Beji and Jabeur Mejri, two bloggers were sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for blasphemy. One in absentia. He had to take refuge in France. The other is serving his sentence in terrible condition. The Franco-Tunisian journalist, Hind Meddeb continued for denouncing the severity of the sentence of rapper Weld el 15: two years in prison for singing an irreverent song to the police.
The filmmaker Nadia El Fani can not return to the country of her childhood, where she faces up to six years in prison for having made a film about secularism ”Secularism Inshallah”! Her lawyer has also recently been persecuted for “sodomy”. Through these highly political judgments, the Tunisian justice shows a terrible face: nice with terrorists and hard with free spirits.
We are not asking the president not to go to Tunisia. Rather, he should go there for the release of these political prisoners. Undaunted by those who cry to interference or convene the past. Nothing, not the “stability” of Franco-Tunisian relationship or economic interests that justify overlook these unjust laws and how they are applied. François Mitterrand, at the time, was able to forget the diplomatic modesty to defend the cause of dissidents during his trip to Moscow.
Today, dissidents are in Tunis, Cairo, Algiers, Doha, Riyadh, wherever international theocratic attempts to gain ground on democracy and universal values.
On behalf of its voiceless dissidents, we ask the president to challenge his counterpart, the Tunisian president who claims to be a former activist of Human Rights, who had taken refuge in France when he was even persecuted under the former regime, but is silent about violations of the basic right to freedom of expression by its own government.
When President Hollande will be in Tunis, he should demand the release of Amina (18), Pauline (27), Josephine (age 19) and Marguerite (22 years), not because both of these political prisoners are French nationals, but because women’s rights and the right to freedom of expression are universal. This trip will be a challenge for the French president, whether these words have at all any meaning.

At Caroline’s house in the evening, Femen leader Inna Shevchenko came. Inna had to leave Ukraine because Christian fundamentalists were threatening her for cutting down the holy cross. Franco-Tunisian film maker Nadia El Fani also came. We all raised our voices to free Amina who is now in a prison in Tunisia.

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Freedom of expression is still a distant dream.

In the meantime..

June 15, 2013.
I have received an award. The Royal Academy of Science, Arts and Literature of Belgium awarded me the Academy Award for my struggle for women’s rights and secularism. image

After receiving the award I spoke at the Royal Academy about women’s rights and the importance of secularization of state, society and education system.

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Got standing ovation.

June 4, 2013.
Bilateral meeting with European Parliament Vice President Isabelle Durant. And with the members of DROI, FEMM and DEVE committees and the Delegation for Relations with South Asia at the European Parliament. Meeting with Human Rights Actions Unit on the Sakharov Prize Network. Planning to make the world a better place.

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Le Soir published an interview on the right to blaspheme.

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More discussion on atheism and secularism.

More here.

June 3, 2013.

I was welcomed, introduced and honored by Senators Marie Arena and Jean-François Istasse at the Belgium Senate. Members of UN WOMEN were present. I gave a speech on women’s education and independence, I also encouraged people in the Muslim countries to fight for a true democracy and a secular state – a state which affirms a strict separation between religion and state, and maintains a uniform civil code, a set of secular laws that are not based on religion, but instead, on equality, and an education system that is secular, scientific, and enlightened.

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Spoke as a guest speaker at the plenary session of the European Parliament.

What I tried to say was that the Islamists have gained unbelievable strength in Bangladesh over the years. They have been showing off their strength by harassing, abusing, stabbing and murdering anyone who protest against their atrocities. Atheists have the right to criticize religion, but no one has the right to kill them, just like no one has the right to kill religious people for being religious! EP must condemn the attacks and threats against atheists, secularists and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to guarantee their safety, respect free expression and prosecute Islamists who threaten, attack and harm critics. Freedom of expression, including to criticize Islam and Islamism as well as to blaspheme, is a basic right. The barbaric and brutal anti-blasphemy law must be abolished.

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Attended the debate on the role of media to change the society at the Millennium Film Festival in Belgium. I said, media is busy to entertain people rather than to enlighten people.
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Blame men for menopause!

Are men to blame for menopause? They might be, according to a new study. In our evolutionary past, men’s preference for younger mates made fertility pointless for older women. This, in turn, may have eventually led to menopause.

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Evolutionary geneticists say:

In our evolutionary past, men’s preference for younger mates made fertility pointless for older women. This, in turn, may have eventually led to menopause.

How do you evolve infertility? It is contrary to the whole notion of natural selection. Natural selection selects for fertility, for reproduction–not for stopping it.

Over time, competition among men of all ages for younger mates has left older females with much less chance of reproducing. The forces of natural selection are concerned only with the survival of the species through individual fitness, so they protect fertility in women while they are most likely to reproduce.

After this period where women are most likely to reproduce, natural selection ceases to quell the genetic mutations that ultimately bring on menopause. This leaves women not only infertile, but also vulnerable to health problems.

This theory says that natural selection doesn’t have to do anything. If women were reproducing all along, and there were no preference against older women, women would be reproducing like men are for their whole lives.

Essentially, the very fact that men selected younger women means that older women lost the ability to reproduce. If women had selected younger men for reproduction, the outcome would have been reversed. Men would have lost their fertility while women would have stayed productive

They make sense. But an evolutionary biologist challenged the ‘blaming men for menopause’ theory. He said :

The authors argue that the menopause exists in humans because males have a strong preference for younger females. However, this is probably the wrong way round – the human male preference for younger females is likely to be because older females are less fertile. It makes more sense to see the human male preference for younger females largely as an evolved response to the menopause, and to assume that ancestral males would have been wise to mate with any females that could produce offspring. Evolutionarily-speaking, older females faced an interesting ‘choice’: have a child that may not reach adulthood before your own death, or stop reproducing and instead focus on helping your younger relatives reproduce.”

I was never convinced by the grandmother theory anyway. The ‘older women are for taking care of younger women’s children’ theory always sounds strange to me. I would have convinced if there were a grandfather theory as well. Grandfathers also take care of their grandchildren. Don’t they? After having menopause an average woman goes on to live for another 30 years. It is more than enough time to raise children. This extended longevity – plus later childbirth – could potentially alter the timing of the menopause, over a significant ‘period of time, researchers believe. They say, ‘the social system is changing. There are women who are starting families later, because of education or a career.This trend would mean those women would have a later menopause, and those genes would be passed on to their daughters with the possibility of menopausal age being delayed.’ Yes, it would take unbelievably long time because our social structure is by all means patriarchal. Patriarchal system has been indoctrinating men to marry younger women and women to marry older men. As long as poverty and patriarchy exist, men would continue marrying much younger women, they might not even stop marrying female children. Child marriage is becoming illegal, raping children is so increasing in many societies.

Women experience a major, rapid change in fertility as they menopause. But men’s changes are not very significant. ‘Testicular tissue mass decreases and the level of the male sex hormone testosterone stays the same or decreases very slightly. There may be problems with erectile function. But it is still a general slowing, rather than a complete lack of function. The tubes that carry sperm may become less elastic. The testes continue to produce sperm, but the rate of sperm cell production slows. The epididymis, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland lose some of their surface cells but continue to produce the fluid that helps carry sperm.But in case of women, It is an end of fertility. The body no longer makes female hormones after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. It causes cancer.
Not necessarily nature, it is society dominated by men that has given men the privileges to mate with younger women which is the reason for them being fertile forever and suffer from different health problems much less than women of the same age. Because of menopause or lack of hormones, women suffer from Osteoporosis,Heart disease, Poor bladder and bowel function,Poor brain function (increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease), Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling), Poor muscle power and tone, Some deterioration in vision, such as from cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) etc. Women do not deserve to suffer from these diseases.

Don’t say this is not Islam

Syrian rebels executed a 14-year-old boy for insulting Islam.

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When a 14-year-old boy from the Syrian city of Aleppo named Mohammad Qatta was asked to bring one of his customers some coffee, he reportedly refused, saying, “Even if [Prophet] Mohammed comes back to life, I won’t.”

A group of Islamist rebels, driving by in a black car, reportedly heard the exchange. They stopped the car, grabbed the boy and took him away.

Qatta, in refusing to serve a customer coffee – it’s not clear why – had used a phrase that the Islamist rebels took as an insult toward the Prophet Mohammed, the most important figure in Islam. That offhand comment, made by a boy, was apparently enough for these rebels to warrant a grisly execution and public warning.

When they brought him back to where they’d taken him, his head was wrapped by a shirt.

The rebels waited for a crowd to gather; Qatta’s parents were among them. Speaking in classical Arabic, they announced that Qatta had committed blasphemy and that anyone else who dared insult the Prophet Mohammed would share his fate. Then, the shirt still wrapped around the boy’s head, the rebels shot him in the mouth and neck.

Why did the boy refuse to serve them coffee? Asia news says, they wanted coffee for free, so the boy protested.

Islam inspires Muslims to be barbaric, cruel and inhumane. But all Muslims are not cruel. The credit should not go to Islam. Islam has nothing to do with Muslims being kind, or not cruel enough to kill people. The credit should go to those Muslims who prevent themselves from being cruel because they are somehow influenced by the principles of democracy and the concept of human rights.

This is true Islam that kills people whoever criticizes Islam the religion, Allah the god and Muhammad the prophet. The prophet started killing infidels in the 7th century. His followers have been proudly continuing the killing in the 21st century. They wish to continue till the day of judgment.

Susan Sarandon questioned her religion.



Susan Sarandon questioned her religion

Susan Sarandon said that as a child, she had many questions about religion — questions that got her into trouble and ultimately made her rethink her relationship with religion as an adult. She said some of the Catholic teachings she never understood and she shared what happened when she asked innocent questions to better understand her religion.

She said, “I was a very quiet kid, a very wanting-to-please kid.But certain things didn’t make sense to me and when I questioned them, there was a problem.”

The religious teachings Sarandon questioned was the rule that marriage must take place in the Catholic Church. She wanted to know how Joseph and Mary were married, since Jesus didn’t make it up until later. She got punishment for questioning religion. She had to go stand in the hallway. She was in third grade.

Sarandon was looking for answers that made sense to her. She said “I was not trying to be a wise-ass, I just didn’t understand why they would put babies in limbo just because they weren’t baptized..Why would they say every other religion was bad. I think that all religions at their core have some really magnificent teachings, and most of them are very similar. It’s the institutionalization of these religious principles that don’t serve me well.”

And what do I think? I think all the magnificent teachings religion have are not owned by religion. Those teachings or ethic code or morality already exited in every society before religion was created. Religion just hijacked those teachings without mentioning the source. We should give credits to the philosophers and wise men/women of ancient society for those magnificent teachings. Let’s read some of ancient teachings or the golden rule that existed long before religion.

Ancient China

The Golden Rule existed among all the major philosophical schools of Ancient China: Mohism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Examples of the concept include:

“Zi Gong asked, saying, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not reciprocity such a word?” – Confucius
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius
“If people regarded other people’s families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.” – Mozi
“The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” –Laozi
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” –Laozi

Ancient Egypt

An early example of the Golden Rule that reflects the Ancient Egyptian concept of Maat appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant, which dates to the Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1650 BC): “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” An example from a Late Period (c. 664 BC – 323 BC) papyrus: “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.”

Ancient Greece

The Golden Rule in its prohibitive form was a common principle in ancient Greek philosophy. Examples of the general concept include:

“Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him.” – Pittacus (c. 640–568 BC)
“Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.” – Thales (c. 624 BC – c. 546 BC)
“What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either. ” – Sextus the Pythagorean. The oldest extant reference to Sextus is by Origen in the third century of the common era.
“Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.” – Isocrates (436–338 BC)
“What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others.” – Epictetus
“It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing ‘neither to harm nor be harmed’), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.” – Epicurus
“…it has been shown that to injure anyone is never just anywhere.” – Socrates, in Plato’s Republic. Plato is the first person known to have said this.

Ancient Rome

Seneca, maybe following Publilius Syrus, told “ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris” (expect from others what you did to them) and “non est quod credas quemquam fieri aliena infelicitate felicem” (it is not so, as you might believe, that one is made happy through the unhappiness of others).

The good teachings do not belong to religion, some of the bad teachings against humanity and some of the lies and ignorance about the universe do.