#Fiji #Bula #Ocean
#Fiji #Bula #Ocean
I'm writing this in response to the senseless events of the past 2 days.
First, a brief bio:
I used to be a Muslim of over 20 years. My parents come from a country where insulting Islam is punishable by flogging, and leaving it is punishable by death. Though always a skeptic at heart, questioning Islam in my country of origin meant facing persecution at best, and the death penalty at worst.
I've seen beheadings, floggings and beatings in the name of protecting the sanctity of Islam. They're not impressive in the least, and you don't want any of them to transpire a few feet away from you at an impressionable young age. I've seen the effects of Islamic fundamentalism first hand, and how extremely effective it is at stifling an entire civilization from developing into a society that favors reason, rationality and the basic, axiomatic right to express your thoughts and ideas freely, even if they are perceived to be disrespectful, offensive or tasteless.
Through a series of unfortunate events that included loss and bereavement, I've come to terms with calling myself an atheist. I have an Islamic first name, yet I'm as godless as a bagful of decapitated puppies.
The reason why it's frustratingly hard to come out as an atheist and share my identity with the world is the following:
If word goes out and reaches my country of origin that I'm an atheist, I would place my family in harm's way. The reason for this is that even though I'm no longer physically located in the country in question, the government of said country will employ an Italian-mob like strategy wherein they would harass and even harm my family in an attempt to goad me into going back to face the music.
In addition, I'm not even as vocal a critic of Islam as I used to be, because doing so meant adopting a toxic, neurotic mindset wherein I'm constantly looking for things to complain about my former religion, however trivial they may be. I've found this to be a decidedly substandard approach to living, and that it is far more conducive to my well-being to light my past with a torch and move on with my life, rigorously pursuing my own educational and professional aspirations, Islam-free.
In the wake of what happened in France, however, I'll make an exception.
I would like to emphasize the following crucial point that is the reason why I'm making this post:
What the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack are trying to do is not just stifle freedom of speech, or force an entire continent into a state of terror and trepidation. What they are truly aiming for is far more sinister and diabolical:
They want to make it infinitely, ineffably and irrevocably harder for both Muslims and ex-Muslims to go about their lives peacefully in the countries that they have immigrated to.
They aim to foster an environment that has its foundations firmly rooted in fear and confusion. They hope that such an environment will make for fertile ground for prejudice, bigotry and intolerance to manifest and fester.
Muslims of all walks of life, be they Middle-Eastern, South-East Asian or otherwise, are deathly afraid of the blowback that they might experience through no fault of their own.
I implore you to not give in to the mindset that these fundamentalist thugs want you to succumb to.
If you see a girl wearing a hijab, instead of going "What the hell is she doing in my country? Why won't she go back?", buy her a cup of coffee. Perhaps a slice of cake. Watch what happens.
Do not be surprised if the girl bursts into tears -
because your out-of-left-field act of compassion and kindness will be an overwhelming reassurance that she is not subject to misplaced prejudice and unfair bigotry.
If the two schmucks who attacked the Charlie Hebdo HQ were subjected to the sonic barrage of a Ramones tune at an early age, I'd wager that many lives will have been spared, and that we would all go back to extolling the virtues of Pastafarianism instead. Obviously, it's much too late for that. So what am I asking you to do?
This is not an appeal to emotion and compassion for the mere sake of being nice to your fellow human being.
Rather, I'm desperately appealing to reason and civility, concepts that are woefully alien to the perpetrators of the heinous acts of the past 55 hours.
I'm rather short on time, so please feel free to crosspost this to wherever you deem this to be relevant.
Thank you for your time.
- - -
P.S. Jean Anne Esselink writes for the website, The New Civil Rights Movement and she also wrote a post about Tori for the website. At the end of her article, she included something very important for those who will inevitably ask, "Why does it matter if he was gay?" (the same people, who, by the way, would never, ever ask that question when it comes to their opposition to gay adoptions or to marriage equality)
And one last personal note:
Whenever we publish stories about the extraordinary deeds of gay men, someone will inevitably leave a comment asking, "What difference does it make if he was gay?" As a straight woman and ally, I would like to answer that question.
For years - for centuries actually - gay men have been called pansies. They have been characterized as weak, as ineffectual and cowardly. They have been painted as promiscuous, as man-whores, and even as child predators. The truth, of course, has always been something completely different, but because they stayed in the closet, no one knew that the war hero, or the movie star, or the athlete they admired was gay.
People are finally coming out, and gays are becoming accepted as part of the patchwork of America. But the struggle is far from over. So until lgbt equality is achieved, it remains imperative that we laud every gay success story, not just every hero, but every actor, athlete, and politician, every businessman, every clergyman, every faithful husband and loving father. We need to hold up successful gays as examples. We need to continue to tell their stories until we have put an end to the lie - to the damned lie - that gay men are somehow "lesser" beings.
I plan on telling those stories until there is no one left in America who needs to be convinced of that fact.
Then I plan to start persuading the rest of the world.
Hahahah ` ~ They are seriously trying to get a slice of the illusive and
Hahahah ` ~ They are seriously trying to get a slice of the illusive and lucrative "crazy random confusing music video" market ~
Gangnam Style - Psy - 2,190,071,649 views on YouTube - coming 1st almost double the amount of views of the 2nd place holder (Justin Bieber)
PonPonPon - 75,002,958 views - only 75 mil, but has become world famous ~ (was in The Simpsons~)
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