Oh Look, Another Crazy Sexist Fatwa!

Stop it. Stop sharing those crazy sexist fatwas from crazy obscure skeikhs. It doesn’t make you a liberal, it doesn’t make you a feminist, if anything, you’re doing extremism a service. Conservatives need to listen to this as well, because we’re failing terribly at doing anything constructive together. I’m not going to be apologetic, I am a liberal, and we’re not a minority by any means in the Arab world, even if it does seem so. Conservatives form the other majority, most modern societies are split along those lines. Another fact is that most liberals and conservatives share many common values, and some common sense. I’m sure most of you have had friends that you “respect” despite their opinions.

But that doesn’t sell views. Why else would you have all of these Egyptian talk shows running a battle royale between some irrelevant actress and some obscure extremist. Those things sell, and it’s our fault. For every stupid issue these shows focus on, many women face millions of other problems that people don’t want to see being discussed. How many people would like to watch a debate on the gender salary gap between two reasonable people? That’s bad TV. So we give more airtime to anuses that have been trained to speak, and eventually they become spokespersons of their camps, and the silly issues they share become major points of contention and other issues that deserve just as much attention if not even more, get the back seat.

It’s not only a matter of issues. A big issue in Jordan is harassment, and I’m not saying it’s not a big issue, and it should be discussed. I just don’t want to discuss it with trolls like Amjad Qorshe, we need to discuss it with people that have a bit of common sense. The more attention we give to this trolls will only cause more polarization. These trolls can take any issue and turn it into a sensational cesspool of misinformation, and I’m sick of how counterproductive we are becoming. It’s all a crazy trick designed to make sure we never find middle ground, because all you see is the crazy on the other side, and you sure as hell are not going to agree with that shit, so you stick with your own people, and all your support goes to them in whatever political/charity/commercial endeavor they have.

Let’s face it, despite all the communication tools we have in this new age, our conversation is broken. Issues aren’t real issues, reactions and scaring others is what counts. A huge number of people are not informed and scared shitless, and the people we’ve allowed to become our spokespersons are idiotic trolls that spew madness and lies out of every single hole in their bodies, and we listen to them because it gives us more joy. It’s easy to diss the crazy person, and it’s hard to have a frank and real debate with facts and science with other reasonable people who have differing opinions to ours. Our only hope is if we all collectively start to identify trolls, start ignoring them, and begin glorifying honest and productive debate instead.

My Friend is a Terrorist…

The title of this post refers to the recent (?) ad campaign I’ve been seeing all over facebook, and on TV, so don’t worry guys, none of my friends are actually terrorists. Excellent timing by the way, especially with all the discussion going on about Jordan’s new cybercrime law, which you can view on the Jordanian Ministry of ICT website (Arabic only), which includes an article that forbids “promoting terrorism”, but I won’t be doing any of that here, I just wanted to plug the law in, it’s new and there’s currently a discussion going on about it on AmmanTT’s website and the twittersphere (hashtags #AmmanTT and #CCL).

Anyways, time for my rant on that ad campaign. Now, I don’t disagree with the message, as a self-pronounced pacifist there is nothing I hope for more than people actually using words to work out their problems rather than resorting to weapons and terror. But the way by which this ad is presented, and the way it’s worded just pisses me off at no end. First of all, the Facebook ad, which literally says in Arabic, “My Friend is a Terrorist, How can I set him straight?”. It’s probably Americans behind the ad, and I don’t say this out of a conspiracy theory point of view, but the idea of how they presented terrorism in a way that’s equal to crack addiction.

It just shows a lack of touch with how our society is, and how terrorism really works, and especially what terrorism really is. Terrorism isn’t like pot, you try it at first, then you’re hooked at it, until you hit rock bottom or your friends stage an intervention and you “wake up” and change your life around, nor is it so prevalent that this ad will reach that many people who actually know terrorists. What some people label as “terrorism” grows out of injustice, and grows do to apathy, ignorance and intolerance.

These ads will only serve to feed the ignorance, mainly their sense of paranoia, that itself feeds the terrorism. My advice to the holders of that campaign is, to scratch it right away, actually study the people they are targeting (they can take a leaf out of the MyIslamIs.Me people’s book), encourage people to stop being apathetic and hold them responsible for their destinies, and then fight the ignorance (which will take more than a 30 second spot on MBC4), perhaps teach them about  pacifism, non-violent resistance, and conflict resolution. But ultimately, that plague can never be banished without removing all of the injustices in the world. This is how I can get my friend off Terrorcrack.