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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.

May 22 2014

Bad ad.

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This is a bad ad.

It seems the organization that has given the ad has been influenced by Hitler to hate people.

The Quran is a book of hatred and horror. It is against non-Muslims. True.

The Quran is also against women. Against democracy, human rights, freedom of expression.

The truth is the Quran is more against Muslims than against non-Muslims. Muslims suffer more than non-Muslims because of Islam.

The people born in Muslim countries are not responsible for what a man called Muhammad did 1400 years ago.

Like all the children in the world, the children living in Muslim countries need food,drinking water, shelter and care. They badly need secular education. Poor women in Muslim countries need education, job and independence. If US aid helps them to survive and fight poverty, illiteracy, bigotry, then why US should end all aid to Muslim countries?

Muslim countries are giving birth to fanatics and terrorists. True.
Muslims countries are also giving birth to people who have thinking mind, people who are bravely opposing Islamic oppressions. More and more people in Muslim countries are trying to reform Islam, questioning Islam, leaving Islam, challenging hateful fundamentalists. They are trying to secularize societies and states. More and more people in Muslim countries are becoming revolutionaries, taking risks to enlighten people. They get attacked, jailed, exiled, killed. Wasn’t I born and brought up in a Muslim country and became a rebel?

Muslim societies are full of hatred. Judeo-Christian societies and other non-Muslim societies are not hatred-free. What we need is love and compassion in the world of hatred. For the sake of humanity, we need to stop indoctrinating children with religion, patriarchy, misogyny, ignorance, and superstitions. The world will be changed.

The anti-Muslim organization has the right to give an ad. I have the right to say, this is a bad ad.

May 21 2014

Multiculturalism

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In our ‘women in secularism’ conference in Virginia, USA, some Western scholars blamed government of France for the banning of burqas. I do not understand why they think Muslim women like to wear burqas and it is government of France, not Islam, violates Muslim women’s human rights. My mother used to wear burqas. Once I wore one of her burqas only to feel how she feels when she wears that. It was hot and suffocating. I could not feel I was a human. I just felt I was a nobody. I felt I did not have any identity and I did not exist. There was no reason for my mother not to feel the same I felt. But my mother could not stop wearing burqas only because her misogynistic patriarchal society wanted her to wear burqas.

If burqa is not good for Western women, it is not good for Eastern women. If burqa is good for women, it should also be good for men. But men don’t wear burqas. Men wear burqas when they go to kill or commit crimes, because they need to hide their faces. Women are forced to wear it because they are women and because men may look at them and get sexually excited. Instead of blindfolding men, society is forcing women to wear burqas. Women have to suffer only because men can not control their sexual urges. How pathetic the whole purpose behind the burqa is!

Liberal women discussing about multiculturalism believe that ‘Western people are racist, they hate Muslims’. It can be true. Suppose it is true, or it is very true, but it is wrong to think that because the West is against Muslims, it is alright for Muslim women to wear burqas. Whatever happens, it is never alright for anyone to wear burqas. Wearing Burqas is not the ‘culture’ that we should respect. We must not accept misogyny in the name of culture. If Western women need to fight misogyny, Eastern women also need to fight misogyny. Misogyny is Muslim culture, so Muslims should have the right to practice misogyny — this idea is racist. In the name of fighting Western racism and so called Islamophobia liberal Westerners show their own hidden racism which is the most dangerous kind of racism.

May 15 2014

Don’t underestimate cats

May 08 2014

‘Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women’.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said.
“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women, ” he continued.

There is no reason to not believe what this man is saying. Once upon a time when a man said, ‘Allah asked me to fuck my wife’s slave, so I fucked. Or Allah asked me to fuck my son’s wife, so I fucked. Or Allah asked me to fuck the captive women, so I fucked’, everybody believed in him. People still believe in that fucker.

So what is the problem to believe now that the Nigerian man is telling the truth that Allah asks him to sell women? He should get billions of followers. Allah talks to him, he must be a prophet. Who the fuck says there will be no more prophet? Abubakar Shekau must have direct contact with Allah, or who will give him a bunch of anti-women advices but Him?

Long live Abubakar Shekau (peace be upon him)!

Apr 29 2014

Women and religion

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They all agree on subjugating and suppressing women.

Apr 25 2014

Islam has relation with terrorism

A film at the soon-to-open National September 11 Memorial Museum on the roots of the attacks has been denounced by an advisory group made up of clergy from different faiths. Here is the news.
Clergy of every religion try to save all religions. Religion is their bread and butter. They know that during the crisis they have to save each other’s ass. They now try to say, Islam had nothing to do with 9/11. But the truth is, Islam had a lot of things to do with 9/11. Most of the religious terrorism we witness in today’s world, is Islamic. Islam is related to terrorism doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists, it means Islam has relation with terrorism. Many Muslims do not believe in terrorism, or they are afraid to be involved in terrorism. But Islam didn’t establish itself as a religion without terrorizing people. It has a bloody history. The terrorists of 9/11 might have some political agenda but it was Islam which made them so desperate to kill kafirs. Muhammad the prophet of Islam himself killed kafirs and inspired his followers to kill kafirs or the enemies of Islam. All 9/11 terrorists were the blind followers of Muhammad and Islam, the religion he created more than 1400 years ago.

Why deny the truth?

Apr 19 2014

Science and religion

I have never seen any place in the world but India where science and religion are taken cared of at the same time as if they are siblings. Unfortunately I haven’t met any doctor in the Indian subcontinent who doesn’t believe in god. I have no idea how doctors who are fine scientists find it so easy to believe in mythological gods or superstitions.
Today I talked with a few doctors working in a reputed hospitals in Delhi about my mild health problem. Everybody advised me to have faith in god. Then the medical clinic I visited this evening was having a god at their gate. It is almost impossible here to keep science and religion separated.

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