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Jun 06 2014

Rape culture

Indian men continue raping women. It is clear that they do not want to stop raping. Women of all classes and castes get raped and murdered. Poor dalit girls were gangraped and murdered today, next day a female judge was raped.

In the meantime Indian ministers are making comments on rape. One says, boys should not be punished for the small mistakes they make. To him, rape is a small mistake, not a crime. Another minister says, rape is a social crime, sometimes it is wrong, sometimes it is right.

I was so angry! I was about to shout out loud, but a guide made me feel good. Here is a gentleman’s guide to rape culture.
Don’t miss it.

Jun 05 2014

‘Hug Your Cat Day’

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Jun 05 2014

Religious OCD

I am sure my grandfather suffered from scrupulosity, a form of obsessive compulsive disorder involving religious and moral obsession. When I was a child, I saw he woke up late at night every night and prayed for hours while cried frantically. He asked for forgiveness from god for his sins, and begged god for not throwing him into hell. My grandfather was a very kind and nice person, he never committed any crime, but somehow he got an idea that he would be sent to hell if he didn’t pray excessively and cry frantically. I noticed everybody at home respected my grandfather for his late night prayers, no one dared to put a complaint even though the loud and noisy prayers disturbed their sleep.

Later I found a few of my uncles and aunts including my mother did the same as my grandfather for many years. They definitely suffered from scrupulosity. There are many people outside my family I know that suffer from scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is not recognized as obsessive compulsive disorder by most people. People suffering from scrupulosity don’t go to doctors for therapy. They roam freely and influence people.
I started disliking my mother when she started crying during her late night prayers. I was never really a believer. I lost my love for my mother because of her melodramatic behavior to reach god who I already believed that didn’t exist. I was very fond of my father who was an atheist. He never prayed. He discouraged his children to pray. He was a medical doctor and believed in rationalism, and modernism. My father’s bad side was he had a patriarchal mindset. Eventhough he encouraged his daughters to study science and become independent, his behavior with his wife was awful. I thank myself for getting rid of patriarchal stuff that I was indoctrinated with during my childhood. I fought against patriarchy and misogyny alone while living in a deeply misogynistic society. I freed myself from religion when I was a child and from male domination when I left my father’s house and later my husband’s house.

Some of my relatives still suffer from religious OCD. They are having academic degrees, but they strongly believe that they would go to hell if they do not pray a lot or beg Allah for forgiveness or make a trip to Mecca to perform hajj. They cry everyday thinking of hell. I feel sorry for those relatives. I am happy for being liberated. Wish all people in the world were liberated from religion and patriarchy.

May 31 2014

Teenage girls gangraped and hanged by men

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Two teenage girls were abducted, gangraped and hanged by men in India.

Villagers found the girls’ bodies hanging from a tree on Wednesday morning, hours after they disappeared from fields near their home in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state.
The girls, who were 14 and 15, had gone into the fields because there was no toilet in their home.
Hundreds of angry villagers spent the rest of Wednesday in silent protest over alleged police inaction in the case.
Indian TV channels showed video of the villagers sitting under the girls’ bodies as they swung in the wind, preventing authorities from taking them down from the tree until the suspects were arrested.
Police arrested the three men later in the day and were searching for four more suspects.

Autopsies confirmed the girls had been gang-raped and strangled before being hanged, police said.
The villagers accused the chief of the local police station of ignoring a complaint by the girls’ father on Tuesday night that the girls were missing.
The station chief has since been suspended.
The family belongs to the Dalit community, also called “untouchables” and considered the lowest rung in India’s age-old caste system.
India tightened its anti-rape laws last year, making gang rape punishable by the death penalty.
Records show a rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people.
Activists say that number is low because of an entrenched culture of tolerance for sexual violence, which leads many cases to go unreported.

I don’t get surprised anymore. Men are the most cruelest, nastiest, filthiest immoral creatures on earth. Men hate women. They can do anything against women. They can murder all women. They can make all women extinct.

May 30 2014

Muslims should be ashamed of Islam.

All religions are nonsense. All religions are fairy tales, to fool people.
All religions were born out of ignorance. But it is only Islam which is still shamelessly showing its barbaric behaviour all over the world. Blind believers of Islam have no intention to stop persecuting people, humiliating humanity, stoning women, banning conscience, burning books in the name of protecting their God and prophet.

I hope you know that Saudi humanist Raif Badawi is facing 10 years imprisonment and 1000 lashes for calling an end of religious domination over public life. The reality is, if you want to stop Islamic oppression to save humanity, authorities will accuse you of insulting Islam and punish you. It is not limited to Saudi Arabia. Way too many countries in the world believe in the same insanity.

We hear disturbing news everyday. Women are stoned to death for being in love, writers or artists or human rights activists are lashed, slaughtered, imprisoned, hanged for criticizing Islam.

Today, it is the only ideology in the world which is exempt from critical scrutiny. People stay away from criticizing Islam not because they love Islam, but because they are scared of its terrorist-murderer-slaughterer protectors.

I wonder why Muslims are not ashamed of Islam. How many centuries do they need to know that Islam is not a religion of peace, it is just an anti human rights, anti free speech, anti democracy religion which was created by an Arab camel driver for his own interest.

Let’s protest against the violation of human rights. Come on, it is 21st century, we should not allow ignorance to rule the world.

May 29 2014

I do not call it honor killing, I call it ‘murdering women by misogynists’.

Another woman was killed in Pakistan.

A 25-year-old Pakistani woman has been stoned to death by her family outside the Lahore High Court in a so-called ‘honour killing’ for marrying the man she loved, police said.

Farzana Iqbal was waiting for the court to open when a group of around dozen men began attacking her with bricks, said senior police officer Umer Cheema.

Her father, two brothers and former fiance were among the attackers, he said.

Ms Iqbal suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital.

All the suspects except her father escaped arrest.

He admitted killing his daughter and explained it was a matter of honour.

Many Pakistani families think a woman marrying her own choice of man brings dishonour on the family.

Ms Iqbal had been engaged to her cousin but married another man, Mr Cheema said.

Her family registered a kidnapping case against her husband, but Ms Iqbal had come to court to argue that she had married of her own free will, he said.

‘Huge legal flaw’

Around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year by their families in ‘honour killings’, according to Pakistani rights group, the Aurat Foundation.

However, the true figure is probably many times higher since the Aurat Foundation only compiles figures from newspaper reports.

The government does not compile national statistics.

Campaigners say few cases come to court, and those that do can take years to be heard.

No one tracks how many cases are successfully prosecuted, and even those that do result in a conviction may end with the killers walking free.

Pakistani law allows a victim’s family to forgive their killer, but in honour killings, most of the time the women’s killers are her family, said Wasim Wagha from the Aurat Foundation.

The law allows them to nominate someone to do the murder, then forgive him.

“This is a huge flaw in the law,” he said. “We are really struggling on this issue.”

Nothing is easier than killing women in this male dominated world. Go kill women in the name of whatever, you will get thousands of sympathizers and supporters.

May 27 2014

#yesallwomen

I would not see such a strong campaign for feminism if I did not read #yesallwomen tweets. I am so moved by thousands of heart touching tweets posted by women of all ages, from different parts of the world. It is amazing to see the problems women facing in the West, in the East, in the South and in the North are the same. I can’t stop myself from mentioning some of my favourite tweets.
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May 27 2014

Swimming against the tides

André Cohen is a guest blogger today. He wrote about the universal citizenship celebration in Paris on May 23 this year. I attended the celebration and felt how important utopia and other similar movements were.

May 23rd, the Universal Citizenship Organization (UCO), a Paris-based coalition of NGO’s, celebrated its first birthday with a bittersweet taste. The Danielle Mitterrand Foundation, Emmaüs international and the Utopia Movement, the three founding organizations, decided to work together after the Dakar World social forum, as they realized that the project of a Universal citizenship passport, symbolizing the right for every human being to travel and settle all over the world, gathered an overwhelming support from the civil society, especially that of the global South. The goal of the Organization is to promote this freedom of travel and settlement as a Human right – which it technically is, being the object of the Universal Human Rights Declaration’s thirteenth article.

This year’s event, hosted by Paris’ City Hall, saw the return of our partners from ATTAC (a French NGO which advocates the taxation of financial transactions to fund social and humanitarian projects) and a wide range of organizations that defend the rights of migrants. The symbolic Universal citizenship passport was handed to the European deputy, historical militant and internationalist Daniel Cohn-Bendit, to Argentinian anti-dictatorship militant and world-renowned pianist Miguel Angél Estrella, to Franco-camerunese athlete and reporter Maryse Ewanjé-Epée as well as to two militants who have gone through the hardships of life as an undocumented migrant in France. Edgard Morin, one of the most important philosophers of the late twetieth century, also accepted to support the project and receive the passport, but couln’t make it to the press conference for medical reasons. Sakharov- and Simone de Beauvoir prize-winning author Taslima Nasreen was also here to support us in our struggle.

Given such prestigious sponsors, what could possibly cast a shadow over this celebration?
Well, actually, almost all the rest. After the recent Indian general elections gave the Hindu-nationalist BJP a clear and massive victory, after the secession of Crimea from pro-European Ukraine and into Russia, this weekend clearly illustrated that reactionary and nationalist opposition to globalization, and to the fears – fantasized or justified – that it engenders, is a global trend. In Belgium, the Flemmish nationalist movement gained momentum. In Columbia, the staunchest right-wing candidate, who refused to negociate peace with the country’s marxist guerilla, came in first.
In Europe, most of the headlines after the elections of the European Parliament mentioned the surge of anti-european, anti-globalization nationalist parties. The Greek neo-nazi party Golden Dawn made a smashing come-back after its recent electoral and legal defeats. The UK independance party, a populist movement driven by a strong rejection of the European Union in Great Britain, has, as expected, achieved a great success, despite England’s traditionally bi-partisan model. The Danish People’s Party lead a xenophobic populist list to victory in this traditionally tolerant northern-european kingdom.

But the most shocking victory was that of the French National Front, which came in ahead in this election gathering around a third of all votes. In this country, famous for its promotion of Human Rights and Universalism, for its strictly color-blind and secular administration, the steady rise in influence of this anti-immigrant, nationalist, anti-women’s rights, xenophobic and anti-European party, with a rich history of racist slurs and sporadic acts of violence, is the unmistakable proof that all over the world, people are voting for groups that promise them a more homogenous country and sell them the nostalgic memories of a fantasized past of national unity and ethnic coherence.

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This is clearly the context in which we are struggling. This is why this year, the Universal Citizenship Organization chose to invest its energy into showing that, despite these trends, despite the entrenchment of racist and xenophobic political forces, and despite the general disaenchantment with globalization as it exists so far, there are people, in larger numbers than one might think, who still support freedom of movement and settlement for all.

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So, from the 21st to the 23rd of May, hundreds of people who walked past the Paris City Hall, and dozens more through internet’s hashtag #CitoyenUni, were able to take pictures of themselves in a replica of Universal citizenship passport, to show their support for this ideal. We then printed the pictures and glued them on to a seven meter wide banner, showing a small visible part of today’s universal citizens, fighting against the mainstream anti-immigration ideas being diffused through the media, swimming against the tides. The rainbow of faces on the banner finally made it obvious that in 2014, hundreds of individuals of all origins, genders and ages, are still ready to show support for migrant’s rights and for the principles of Article Thirteen of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
” (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
A fundamental right which, like so many others and despite its clear wording, has never really been upheld or enforced by the international community, but that every individual aspires to.

May 26 2014

The link between blasphemy and cancer

There are way too many ignorant people living in the world. They believe if you commit blasphemy, you will suffer from cancer.

A few weeks ago, doctors found a tiny tumour in my breast. I was worried. I was desperate to know whether it was benign or malignant. Biopsy result showed it was a benign tumour, not malignant, and I wouldn’t even need any treatment for it.

But the fanatics didn’t like the news that I didn’t have cancer. They started spreading lies, that I got cancer. Then of course the Islamic scientists discovered the reason behind my so called cancer. They said it was my blasphemous acts that caused me cancer. They are saying that because I criticize Islam, Allah has given me cancer, I will soon burn in hell. They believe if anyone commits sin, he/she gets cancer.

I am relieved because my breast tumour is benign, not malignant, but I know I can have cancer any day. The incidence of cancer is increasing in the subcontinent. It is interesting to see how Muslim fanatics link sin and cancer with blasphemy. Some comments in a Bangladesh’s newspaper are hilarious. Commenters are just haters. They get extremely happy knowing that I have been suffering from ‘cancer’. They said, I got breast cancer, because my breasts were touched by many men. I know that If I get uterus cancer, they would say, because I believe in women’s right over their own body including uterus, Allah has given cancer in my uterus. If I get brain cancer, they would say, because I use my brain against Islam, Allah has given cancer in my brain. If I get cancer in my hands, they would say, I write against Islam, so Allah has given cancer in my hands. My body becomes very important for Muslim fanatics to prove that Allah exists.

Atheism and humanism encourage me to be kind and nice. Religious beliefs make people hateful, nasty and cruel. I would feel very sad even if my enemy gets cancer, but religious people dance with happiness to celebrate my illness. There is no relation between cancer and blasphemy, but it seems there is a relation between religion and barbarity.

May 26 2014

Universal Citizenship

That was last year.

We celebrated universal citizenship this year inside and outside of the Paris city hall.
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People were invited to make their universal citizenship passports.

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They made passports and then they put their passports on the white wall in front the city hall.
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There should be no national boundary. World belongs to everybody. Everybody should have freedom of movement, freedom of migration and settlement. Nobody should suffer from inequalities and injustices. Nobody should be oppressed because of his or her gender, nationality, ethnicity, language, colour, ideology, age. It is still a dream. But we are working to make our dream come true.

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