Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HOMOSEXUALS are trying to indoctrinate our CHILDREN!!! HAAALP!!


There is so much misinformation floating around about the revised Sex-Ed Curriculum, Pink Day anti-bullying, anti-homophobia & anti-transphobia activities, in Ontario these days. You'd think we were living in the American bible belt with the amount of collective outrage over progressive education and diversity.

Parents are fearful that their children will be given how-to lessons on masturbation, or will have to bare their genitals in class, that babies will be taught about the wonders of anal sex ... ludicrous, baseless fears if you think about it for longer than 2 seconds.

There is this article ...if you are a parent from Ontario, Canada and wish to dispel the myths surrounding the curriculum, please do read it.

-----

A friend of mine recently pointed me to another 'wonderful' piece...and I read a lot of stuff on the internet...but rarely do I come across something like this.

I was greeted immediately by a fantastic pop-up, that told me exactly what kind of "discussion" I should be expecting from the site:

That's code for anti-choice, anti-woman, and anti-diversity. *cringe*

Let's move on to the headline:

"Lesbian teacher: How I convince kids to accept gay ‘marriage’, starting at 4-years-old"

Wow. Like... imagine teaching your poor four-year-old the awful characteristics of tolerance, acceptance and understanding towards those who are different from us. Imagine if your child could learn to see all relationships as equal.... and not discriminate towards other kids, who may very well come from families with two dads or two moms. Just imagine what a *horrible* world it would be if kids were taught about love and respect for all. The nerve of liberals sometimes. Next they'll say we shouldn't judge people based on their race either. 

And by "convince", surely they mean "teach" - imparting knowledge and getting young minds to be convinced of said knowledge, is generally what a teacher does. Our world is moving towards having more human rights for all, while not perfect still, we are seeing the shift. Why wouldn't classrooms reflect this shift towards equality? Ps- I think they also teach girls that they can be anything they want to be, and are not bound to kitchen and home, as was once believed...the audacity! 

"A primary grade lesbian teacher from an Ontario public school revealed in a workshop at a homosexual activist conference for teachers earlier this month how she uses her classroom to convince children as young as four to accept homosexual relationships."

We already discussed the 'convincing' above. What is the world coming to...teachers teaching acceptance *and* equality. Smh. 

But moving on...what I'd like to know is why someone who is opposed to this was present at this homosexual themed conference? Were they not afraid they'd catch 'the gay'? And of course mentioning her sexual orientation is very relevant in the headline. Every time a heterosexual teacher talks about mommies and daddies in classrooms ...or reads a book featuring hetero-parents, it is important to note too that they are perhaps "indoctrinating" young minds towards heteronormativity. Since it's such a choice, please stop with the hetero-brainwashing...omg..staaaaahp. They can always just choose to be straight when they are older, sexually active beings. No need to give the gay agenda fodder to tell us we are brainwashing our kids!! No more stories with parents of any kind in books I say! I mean... even good, traditional, god-fearing heterosexual parents do make babies through sex, and we don't want our children thinking about sex, do we?! What if they ask difficult questions? 

“And I started in Kindergarten. What a great place to start. It was where I was teaching. So, I was the most comfortable there,” Pam Strong said at the conference, attended by LifeSiteNews.

Oh dear...LifeSiteNews - I fear you have been tainted by your attendance of this gay indoctrination conference. Please get your attending staff member to take some time off from their family, and keep them away from all children..lest they spread the gay even further. Quarantine them in a room full of crucifixes for about 10-14 days. Hose down with holy water occasionally.

The conference, hosted by the homosexual activist organization Jer’s Vision, now called the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, focused on the implementation of Bill 13 in Ontario classrooms. Bill 13, called by critics the ‘homosexual bill of rights,’ passed in June 2012 and gave students the right to form pro-gay clubs in their school, including Catholic ones, using the name Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).

HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST ORGANIZATION?!!! - Wait...are you telling me they have entire organizations now that *actively* promote equality and human rights? What has this world come to? Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.

And I looked up "Bill 13" too, I will only post a small excerpt, but you can only imagine the other horrific things it says from this small paragraph:

"The people of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly:
Believe that education plays a critical role in preparing young people to grow up as productive, contributing and constructive citizens in the diverse society of Ontario;
Believe that all students should feel safe at school and deserve a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability;
Believe that a healthy, safe and inclusive learning environment where all students feel accepted is a necessary condition for student success;
Understand that students cannot be expected to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel insecure or intimidated;"
-----

Strong, who is in an open relationship with another woman and who has been a teacher for about five years, focused her workshop on what she called the “power of conversation”

Not sure how they verified the nature of this teacher's private relationship with another consenting adult, but regardless...I wonder how many hetero teachers have been called out for having non traditional and un-christian relationships with their partners by LifeSiteNews. Do you think possibly the heteros are having sex before marriage? *Gasp* They wouldn't dare. Or do you think good traditional family-people are getting divorces? No way! What a way to spit on the sanctity of marriage and relationships that would be.

I can't quite remember what institution it was...but there was something big that actively, systemically tried to hide multiple non-consensual relationships of male authority figures with children...it certainly wasn't schools... what was it now...Something beginning with a 'ch' sound... or 'V' or 'atican' sound...

Strong related how she began with the junior kindergarten class.
“And I read a [pro-gay child’s] book [King and King], and I started to realize that conversations can be very difficult, and they can have the most power when they are the most difficult.”
Omg. Did she really read a "pro" gay book to a kindergarten class? (I'm certain that's exactly how she phrased it too) Clearly the implication here is that an "anti" gay book would have been the better option. LGBTQ people are people like any other, but reading a book that teaches kids that.. and the fact that all types of people are worthy of love and acceptance is the issue here. Okay then.
We should, according to LifeSiteNews be teaching kids the opposite of that. Gay is wrong kids!! Shun your classmates who happen to have same sex parents, or who identify as gay or queer. Because making some children feel miserable about themselves or their families is definitely how we will make the world a more harmonious place. So the key is NOT to include kids from LGBTQ families into the normalized kindergarten experience...it is to alienate them further. Because really, how dare they *choose* to have two same sex parents or relatives ..or feel attraction to the same sex themselves. Shaming kids is a healthy thing we don't incorporate enough of into our school curriculums. Excellent point LifeSiteNews!
Also - we should obviously never tackle the bigger, more difficult conversations with kids. Sex ed in general is a bad idea....definitely more helpful to pretend like it doesn't exist, so when they are older and in a situation that might involve sexuality...they are unaware of risks, options, of anything that might help them make informed decisions. Being informed, tolerant, accepting, prepared for situations in life are all a no-no, as far as teaching kids is concerned (according to LifeSiteNews) - got it. 
“But difficult conversations are a part of what we do as teachers, right? And when these conversations are properly supported by teachers within the safety of the classroom, they provide a rich environment for our students as they unpack these complex social issues and they reflect on their own preconceptions, rights, of gender, sexuality, love, all these different things,” she said.
Wow. This paragraph really helps make your case, LifeSiteNews. She sounds like an absolute monster. She wants to provide a rich environment *and* help students unpack complex social issues. This is alarming...I can see why you have included paragraphs like this in your piece, to show unsuspecting parents the extent of the deterioration of their children's morality. Wow. Getting young minds to reflect on their own preconceptions? I've never heard of something more disturbing.
This teacher's quest to indoctrinate doesn't end there dear readers:
To which the boy replied, according to Strong: “Oh, yeah, I know Mrs. Strong, but that’s just a story. That’s not real life.”
“And I said: ‘It happens in real life too. I am married to a woman. I am gay. And I am in love with my wife.”
Pam Strong actually dared to mention that she herself was GAYmarried! She continued to talk about how she *loved* her partner too...could it possibly get any worse? Surely no hetero teachers ever speak of their spouses in the classroom, and they can't possibly be mentioning the dirty concept of love! Think of the kids...please. They are not ready to hear about love and marriage....all decent self respecting married parents hide the nature of their relationship from their kids. (That is what we are saying here right? Or are we implying that only gay people should hide their marriages from children? Wait...why? Oh yes, because even the mention of it might pass along a case of the gay).
I'm so confused. Thankfully, I have LifeSiteNews to keep my thoughts on track.
“And so I said: ‘That may seem different to you, but we’re not that different. Would you like to know about what I do with my family?”
Noooo....she didn't just set up a room full of innocent kids to talk about her immoral lifestyle of sacrificing babies, and attending orgies did she? Pam Strong, have some shame...
“I said, you know, we take our kids to the park. I swing them on swings,” she related, telling conference attendees that she could share things she did with her own children that “mostly likely all of their families did with them.”
Then she told the children: “We laugh together. We go grocery shopping together. I read to them. I tickle them, sometimes until they scream and laugh and when they cry, I hug them until they stop.” 
*---------Oh---------*

O__O
*reposition and cue outrage*
HOW could she pretend to them that her family is just like ours?!! Is she trying to infiltrate our hetero-communities by doing things heteros do? Going grocery shopping and going to the park?! This is how they disguise themselves amongst us morality-loving people, and then when you least expect it they convert our children! Don't let them fool you with their talk of grocery shopping, everyone knows the gays go "grocery" shopping in their own flamboyant, godless stores where all the food is shaped like genitalia...there is loud satanic music playing at all hours, disco "balls" everywhere, and all sorts of immorality going on. I hear there are typically only three aisles, each called aisle 6. Think about that for a second!!!!!! 
"Strong related an incident that happened last fall involving a new boy who had recently entered her grade 5 classroom. The new boy had not yet been made aware of Strong’s sexual preference for other women."
Because every good teacher should be quick to let their classroom know about the details of their sexual preferences. What was Strong thinking withholding such information? And if you're telling the kids you're married or that you love your partner, you might as well be telling them details of your sex life. Because mentioning a spouse is so obviously the same thing as sex. It's really horrible both ways, especially if a "Lesbian" like Strong does it. If she withholds the information, she is doing it so she can shame kids when they express disapproval with the gays, if she tells them she is gay its because she wants to indoctrinate. Luckily we have LifeSiteNews keeping track of people who can do no right.
The lesbian teacher has amassed a collection of “conversation starters” that she says helps get her started when presenting to her students the LGBTQ message. She said pro-gay children’s books are one of her favorites.
Clearly all of these "children's books" are pornographic and explicit, that much is apparent from the covers alone.

If Pam Strong was really about diversity she would have anti-gay children's books as well as "pro" gay ones. Checkmate gays. Where's your diversity now? 
Strong says she watches the [gay] commercial with her students up to three times, asking them to make a list of all the similarities between the gay-partnership and their own families.
Again with the comparison to decent heterosexual families. I bet Strong doesn't mention the kitten blood gays need to drink to survive, or the small horns that grow out of their heads, which they are usually careful to cover and distract from with their flamboyant clothing and fancy hairstyles. I mean really, she has some nerve to assume there are any similarities at all...let alone *forcing* children to find them, whilst flaunting her *sexual* preference for women the whole time. I bet she doesn't un-gay herself for a single minute. How inconsiderate...
‘Recruiting children? You bet we are’
Though homosexual activists claim their efforts in the schools are a way of combatting bullying, a number of homosexual activists have highlighted that the movement’s goal is in fact to “indoctrinate” children into accepting the normalcy of the homosexual lifestyle.
That subheading basically sums it up. Oh we are *so* on to your secret gay army that you want to recruit our children for. We will not go down without a hetero-fight. As you try to 'indoctrinate' our kids into accepting the normalcy of diverse lifestyles and people, we will teach them how to shun, shame and hate human lives we don't approve of. Don't think you can fool us with the bullying stuff...the bullying and suicides even, are set ups by your secret gay agencies, faked to gain the sympathies of otherwise moral people. You guys are good, I'll give you that....
In 2011 U.S. gay activist Daniel Villarreal penned a column for Queerty.com stating that the time had come for the homosexual lobby to admit to “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.
How dare you? Really...how dare you indoctrinate our children to accept, love and tolerate others different from them? We simply cannot accept such agendas! This activist quoted, continues to horrify us with his monstrous views:
“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”
Woah woah woah! WHY would we accept anyone different from us as 'normal'? To suggest this is preposterous! How can this activist be so bold as to say these things out in the open? See how immoral and shameless they have become? They want *our* kids to accept kids that are *different* from them...as normal!! And they don't even sound ashamed to say it? 
What next, are they going to say "YES this is what we want and we are NOT sorry!!" 
I will leave you with the frightening thought that your children might be taught to accept others...
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And if you want more info about this story you can visit other *completely* credible sites that covered it from this angle, like "Now The End Begins" (The Magazine of Record for The Last Days) or Before It's News - Your "alternative" news source (Where all conspiracy theorists people who know the "truth" go). 
*******
This commentary is a work that weaves in and out of satire. Eiynah is the author of Pakistan's first anti-homophobia children's book, My Chacha (uncle) is Gay.  Her book was used in Pink Day activities in schools across the Toronto area last year, but unfortunately generated ridiculous amounts of outrage. She received death threats, and was declared "Enemy of God".



Picture taken from @GayChacha 's twitter last year.

You can support Eiynah's homosexual-agenda by purchasing a copy of this pro-gay children's book here
You can support her generally immoral, godless voice here :) 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Sabeen...

I was told today, that a fellow Pakistani was gunned down.

I was told she didn't make it, and that her mother is in critical condition as well.

Before I even knew who, my knees buckled at the thought of another life lost...and I clutched my phone, knuckles white - waiting in line for something, I shrieked and quickly forgot where I was and what I was supposed to be doing.

Image from: new-pakistan.com

As the victim's name was revealed to me, my heart sank...my mind couldn't process that this was someone I knew online. An activist, a thinker, a person who cared about the country she lived in - the country in which we are increasingly herded towards apathy.

Pak-is-tan. The land of the 'pure'.

Never was there a sicker joke...than the meaning of Pakistan itself.

We are pushed towards not caring, so we can leave it to the vultures...to do with it as they will. It'll be easier when we no longer put up a fight...

They already outnumber those left with a human heart.

There is a dwindling group of people who dare to ask questions, who dare to want discussions, conversations...these people are killed off one by one, quite systematically. The rest are broken down by fear.

Sabeen Mahmud and I did not know each other well, except for a few emails and maybe some tweets exchanged. She expressed to me that she liked my children's book, we talked about the fun design of her website...it was a breath of fresh air, as was her organization I hear. T2F (the second floor) was a space for learning and discussion, for art, books, music and creativity. Truly one of it's kind in a country where so much of this is taboo.

Our conversations were light and pleasant. She was always kind to me, never treated me like the untouchable that many Pakistanis do...she was open-minded and a gentle soul. Never confrontational to anyone, just happy to provide a space for discussion and a platform for social change.

It was that space for conversation that proved intolerable. Right after hosting a discussion on "unsilencing" Balochistan, she was silenced. 

An image from the discussion hosted by her...posted on her instagram a few hours before her death




"A pair of sandals lies amid broken glass in a car after the murder of Sabeen" from Dawn.com


I won't go into the the complex conflicts within our country that I do not fully understand myself, I won't go into the conspiracy theories that are emerging... but I will say this;

Everything points to the fact that she was killed because she was hosting the wrong kind of discussion.

But who are we kidding, pretty much any honest discussion is wrong there.

Pakistan is a country where terrorists can find safety and protection, but regular, honest, decent people cannot.

What do we do if it's not just the terrorists terrorizing us?

***

Who did this? I don't know...but whoever it was, managed to knock down yet another pillar of 'progressive Pakistan', not long till it's entirely demolished...

Ask yourselves this, dear fellow-Pakistanis, do we value the askers-of-questions, the starters-of-discussions in life...or do we only care to mourn them once they are gone?

Sabeen's emails in my inbox are a treasure that leave a void in my heart. The plans for a Skype conversation that never happened are a lost opportunity I regret very much. If only I had tried harder to find the time.

With every person killed for doing something that pushes boundaries...it hits home. When it's a person in Pakistan, a person I knew...it hits harder. I will not be silenced by this, but I cannot help being terrified. And I cannot help being terrified even more for Pakistanis who still reside there, who have no way out of there...I am scared for the journalists, the bloggers, the apostates, the dissenters of any sort. All of you, please be safe...

My thoughts are with you Sabeen, I never met you...but feel your loss immensely. You were a force that dared to make change, and you touched so many people's lives. You will not be forgotten. The sheer number of online tributes prove that.


RIP

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Misogyny & Gang-Rape in Bangladesh


Over the weekend I watched an episode of the excellent documentary series VICE on City, which showcases some of VICE's most compelling stories. Not exactly 'relaxing' Sunday viewing, I know. There is so much awful happening in this world, it's a good idea sometimes to take a break from the news. I have trouble taking any time off from subjects that interest me, which is not a healthy habit, I admit. But at least it keeps me writing and drawing, right?

The episode we watched was very similar, sadly, to the recent chilling documentary - India's Daughter (though this one aired first it seems - how did I miss it before?). The film spoke about the rampant problem of rape in Bangladesh, and the attitudes of male authority figures surrounding it. Very similar themes, with infuriatingly similar rape apologists featured.

I wrote a piece on India's daughter, but it's time for another one....because this mentality needs to be exposed at every opportunity. Before you start getting tribal and defending whatever group you identify with - I fully acknowledge that rape is a global problem, it transcends geographical, social, cultural, economic and religious boundaries. It affects us *all*. I get it.

Some things however, feed into rape culture and nurture it far more than others. South Asian culture in particular, regardless of religion seems to be affected by this. Our regressive views on women, their sexuality, their 'role' and their fictitious connection to honour are still deeply entrenched in our collective consciousness. Our progressives think like this, our rich folk think like this, our poor and illiterate think like this...and too many don't even pretend to want equality. At least in the West, most (there are exceptions of course) people would be ashamed to defend rape or make excuses for it publicly. In South Asia however, rape is too often unabashedly declared as the woman's fault.

Our mother subcontinent is unwittingly pregnant with many misogynists who hurt, damage and destroy the fibres of our regional morality. They fill her womb with so much corruption, hate, shattered dreams, and broken women...this leaves the skin of the land stretched taut, on the verge of ripping apart the already tattered pieces of a nation that once was.

Bangladesh is the country where two secular bloggers were horrifically hacked to death earlier this year (in two separate incidents). Clearly there is a problem with security, safety and extremism. So I commend the brave correspondent Tania Rashid as well as VICE for exposing this mentality for what it is. And also for showing how religion can indeed fuel such ways of thinking. We know that critique of one particular religion often does not go down well.

Below I will share some screenshots from the film with you, but please do watch the whole thing if you get a chance. It is difficult, but so important to see these things. You can watch the film here (or try the VICE on City link above).


Imagine what the rate would be if it included those men who don't admit to this, and those women who are too afraid to come forth because of stigmatization. I dread to think how high it would be if the numbers reported were more accurate. 

The picture painted here evokes an image of nothing less than a horror film - of monsters dragging their prey to a swamp. And the sense of entitlement...is shocking. As if women are literal objects for men to use and discard as they please, where they please. The rapist is hiding his face here out of 'shame' perhaps, but certainly expressed no real remorse for his actions.

And this is so important to acknowledge. How do ancient scriptures contribute to such perceptions of women. It is something every Muslim willing to be honest with themselves must ask. What do the scriptures say about women, about the concepts of consent, about modesty...and in what context? It is hard to look at something you've loved all your life so critically, but it is also important if we want change. 

Imam's main issue with gang-rape seems to be the fact that it is extra-marital sex - which god has forbidden. God has no major issues (especially in the Abrahamic context) with the non consensual aspect, but more with sex that is outside of hetero-marriage. So if women could just be a little more considerate and stop tempting men with their very existence, just stay indoors - then we wouldn't have this problem. And most importantly, men wouldn't be forced by evil women to look bad infront of god. Poor menz. 
(Click to enlarge) Its simple really, women are at fault.
I hope you're taking notes ladies: cover yourself from head to toe, lest you provoke uncontrollable lust in men (and also stay indoors) - and then you will not get raped.
Because a) covered women obviously are never raped.
b) if you never leave your house, how can you be raped?
c) women stop being so selfish, and forcing men to rape you.

Aside from that, if you're not fully covered - then you get raped *and* sent to hell by your woman-hating merciful god.

Meet Rohima - who is a very brave survivor of gang rape. Her very existence (and the many women like her) should be enough to tell you that this 'cover or you'll be raped' narrative is complete and utter bullshit.


(Click to enlarge) For the police commander spouting much of the same crap as the imam, the reporter's clothing is apparently not enough to make him not want to rape her. A giant cloth covering even her head is not enough. What next? The niqab, the burqa? This is the line of thinking it originates from. Please tell me again how it is not rooted in anti-woman culture? Please tell me how it is a tool for bodily autonomy...?

This is the mentality you are supporting when you try to make religious modesty fit a seemingly 'nicer' narrative. 

I  highly recommend that you watch this film in its entirety, and please do share the post. The world needs to see things like this, especially so well-meaning western liberals can stop advocating for and defending anti-woman practices under the guise of relativism, 'minority' culture, etc. If you see a harmful practice or mentality, please call it out...don't let it grow and spread dressed up as multiculturalism. This is how our cultures will grow and join the modern world. This is how we are not held to lower standards of morality. 

I've said this before, but intolerance should never be tolerated. 

***

I will leave you with a table I drew, to demonstrate my feelings of frustration surrounding the double standards when it comes to calling out 'certain' things, especially in terms of Western liberal perspectives. Yes I am aware there are exceptions.




A huge thanks to my patrons: Fred, Ruthless Atheist, Lisa Fontaine, Ali Sajid Imami, Humanist Agressor, Jesus&Mo, Pastafarian Woman, Alexander, Know the Question, Mb Cunney, Leneke Van Houten, Alberto and Yasmien - your support means a lot and will help me allocate more time towards writing and drawing!

Please help me devote more time to the blog by supporting here ! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dating, Dogma & Disbelief

Hi Eiynah,

How are you?

I came across your blog about a year ago -- I read one of your posts which lead to me reading another, and another, followed by a handful of others, further followed by going to the public library recently to read 'My Chacha is Gay' (and eventually tearing up after reading it, haha).

All I wanted to say is, coming across your blog filled me with insurmountable amounts of joy. To find a Pakistani who too grew up in a Gulf country, and who possesses the same views as I do, is truly magical.

I was hoping to share my experiences with you, regarding Islam, losing my faith, misogyny etc. I find it easier to speak with strangers, for there's no judgement there -- and there are only so many people who actually understand where I'm coming from. I'd be thrilled if you were able to read what I have to say, but if you're unable to, or unable to respond, I completely understand.

I grew up in a "liberal" Muslim Pakistani family (I'm sure you understand what I mean by that). That automatically confused me regarding my views on Islam. I rebelled, I refused to read the Quran in Arabic because I didn't understand it, and once I read it in English, I had so many arguments against it. My 'Qaari Saab' (Quran teacher) used to hit my hand with a butter knife whenever I pronounced a word wrong as a kid, and that pushed me further away from it. My father calls himself religious, but cheated on my mother multiple times, physically and mentally abused her in front of me and threatened to leave her and take his kids with him (because he could, because of shariah law). When she finally decided to divorce him, he said "what a shameful thing, everyone will look down on you (i.e Pakistanis)". I was ten years old at the time, extremely confused and by the age of twelve, I dropped the religion completely.

In high school, I fell madly in love with a half arab/half Iranian boy, who seemed pretty modern in terms of his thinking -- however a year later he basically tried to convert me back, by asking to me stop smoking, drinking, covering my knees, not wearing makeup etc. it broke my heart and confused me, for a while I became weak and started to believe perhaps I was a 'monster unbeliever', perhaps I was the one who was insane and everyone else was right.

Eventually, I got over that kind of thinking and went back to my initial stance. Then, a couple of months ago, I started dating an Italian-Canadian who I found out, had converted to Islam a year ago. After we had a few discussions on the topic, he'd pass comments like "that's only something an Islamophobe would say" and basically insinuated I was a bigot, even though I possessed more knowledge on the subject than he did (realistically speaking).

I also dated a Jewish guy briefly, which I had absolutely no trouble with nor did my mother (who is non-religious) until his mother flipped out and I ended it. Thus forcing me to reevaluate exactly how accepting certain people can be.

I haven't been back to Pakistan in years and cannot imagine myself going back, simply because the general mentality would feel suffocating in my opinion. Whenever I go back to Dubai, it's very upsetting that I have to keep certain "taboo" topics to myself.

Anywho, I know it may seem like I'm asking you for romantic advice, but my question is, after you started blogging and published My Chacha is Gay, how did you deal with all the hate? How have you been able to stand so strong with your views? Sometimes I feel weak, but I won't ever give in. In my heart, I know what I believe is right (for me), but somehow I keep attracting these external factors that force me to rethink, and I just want to be able to stand stronger against such vices, I want to be vocal freely, and not have to rethink my opinions.

Thank you in advance for your response Eiynah. Keep up the incredible work, because Pakistanis and Muslims alike such as myself find it so great that we can relate to someone like you, who is genuine with her word. It took me a year to finally send this message to you, so I'm sure there are a lot more people like myself who find comfort in what you have to say.

Z


********

Dear Z,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It's always wonderful and encouraging to hear that my work is making a difference to someone. I am thrilled that I can provide some help or some form of comfort. I am so sorry for all the rough times you've been through. Especially regarding religion....really there aren't enough support systems out there for people who doubt Islam. We are quickly branded as bigots, told we are hateful...whilst having to watch other people break out and critique their faith (in the West) and be met with encouragement. It's a bizarre phenomenon, and I don't quite know what to tell you - except, I'm here for you, as are other Ex-Muslim forums if you need them.

The fact that you went to the library to look up Chacha and read his tale about love (which gets so much hate and venom and death threats) is so, so touching. Thank you for taking the time to do that. Every time someone reads it, it's one more drop in the ocean of not erasing Pakistani LGBTQ identities (as well as other identities that don't fit the mould).

I am horrified to hear about the abuse your father put you all through. The hypocrisy, the crutch of Sharia's male superiority, sadly this is not an uncommon tale. I'm glad your mother had the strength to escape. Many don't, because in our culture a woman's worth is often measured by who's daughter or who's wife she is. So kudos to her for taking that on. It's women like her that will change the perception, and will encourage others not to stay in hateful, abusive, loveless marriages...

I remember filling out bank forms in Pakistan, and cringing at the section where I either had to put my father's name or husband's name. As if, on my own, I didn't have a worthy enough identity. I had to be attached to some male figure, to be able to bank. I complained and complained but got nowhere. In the end, I had to fill out that section if I wanted to be able to use that service in the bank. That's how deep rooted misogyny in Pakistan is. That was a few years ago, I hope it's changed...but wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't.

Reading the Quran in a language that you actually understand (compared to what most Pakistanis do and recite it in Arabic without understanding what they pledge allegiance to) will definitely do the trick and help you realize that ideas over 1000 years old, don't work today.

The thing with 'Liberal' and progressive Muslim families is that they don't buy *all* the hateful stuff religion has to sell, but they certainly buy into some very harmful concepts. Like the fact that women are objects, to be covered for honour purposes, female virginity is to be saved for marriage...homosexuality is a sin, heck drinking is a sin - yes these are ideas that are prevalent amongst liberal muslims. Sure their daughters aren't forced into hijabs or burqas, or marriages...but some parts of the 'honour' b.s. still remain - as you mentioned, with being asked to make sure your knees are covered. Knee-length clothing will make you a better candidate for heaven than above-knee-length clothing apparently. And in more religious families you can pull the skirt length lower and lower.

I'm sorry that you had to have a couple of experiences with Islam-inspired misogynists, who felt it was their place to tell you how to dress, behave and be. That kind of male behaviour is not limited to just Islam, however - the more you study religion in general, the more you realize god isn't exactly fond of women.

Also keep in mind that converts often have stronger convictions than those of us born into the faith. Because they knowingly bought into it in adulthood, as opposed to us who didn't have a choice in whether we were going to be Muslims or not. Ugh, what luck, even when with a far-removed Italian Canadian the traditional muslim guy douchey-ness comes out - and the nerve of him to call you an Islamophobe....ffs! Don't you just love it when a bright-eyed convert who views Islam as their new shiny toy tells you, you daren't have an issue with it? As if your entire life experiences with it mean nothing...

As for the Jewish guy and his family's lack of acceptance...this goes to show you that Abrahamic faiths are not so different from one another after all (sure nowadays we have more terrorists, killing and violence in the name of Islam..but intolerance is a theme central to them all, mashallah).

Regarding your question about speaking freely, well... that's something that doesn't come easy in our community. You do have to watch what you say and who you say it in front of I'm afraid. That is something too many people have paid with their life for. One thing I find that's useful is, even if you cannot speak freely about your thoughts on religion.....you can always speak freely about your thoughts on human rights and equality. Speaking about equality on all fronts usually discredits religion anyway, without having to directly reference it :)

And we all feel weak, because of the constant pressure around us. It is not easy breaking away from lifelong religious indoctrination, especially Islam...but hang in there. The numbers of disbelievers in the world are growing, the numbers of ex muslims are growing.

But know that it's hard.

Challenging the masses...swimming upstream, will never ever be easy. But that's really part of what you relish when you make it through. The struggle it takes to firmly plant yourself on the other side - that struggle is part of the beauty. Don't let others make you doubt what feels right for you. Just focus on humanity...human rights...and equality on all fronts. If you make that your focus...religion can't possibly win (if you're honest).

How do I deal with the immense amount of hate coming my way? You know... sometimes I just can't and I'm on the verge of quitting myself, but it's contact like yours that makes me want to not stop. So stay in touch with others who feel similarly as you. Even if its just knowing ex-muslims online....that will give you strength and confidence.

I hope more people like you come out and speak out - even if it's through this anonymous platform. It is healing to be heard and to connect with others like you.

Much, much love...stay strong xx

-E

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A huge thanks to my patrons: Fred, Ruthless Atheist, Lisa Fontaine, Ali Sajid Imami, Humanist Agressor, Jesus&Mo, Pastafarian Woman, Alexander, Know the Question, Mb Cunney, Leneke Van Houten, Alberto and Yasmien - your support means a lot and will help me allocate more time towards writing and drawing!

You too can support the blog here ! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Faith, Guilt and Masturbation

Hi!

I saw your blog and was pretty impressed. I think your aims are impressive and its nice that you're providing a platform for people.

Before I start, I just want to say I've more or less gotten your stance on religion. I'm not sure how many and what kind of people you communicate with but I want to say I'm one of the more religious types. Pakistani Muslim just to confirm. I'm not gonna critique or anything, just thought you should know.

Now the thing is I'm a 19 year old teenage boy living in Pakistan. I'm here for the holidays; go abroad for studies. Thing is I'm pretty sexually driven. Well not really. I suppose its more accurate to say that I'm horny and I think about sex a lot
.
I'm still a virgin. Haven't had sex yet. Mainly its my beliefs that hold me back. The fact that I'm shy around girls also plays a part I suppose. Don't get me wrong, I know girls and am friends with some. I just stop myself from trying to go to the next level.

With no sex I usually masturbate and watch porn. Both of them make me feel guilty. I'm trying to at least curb down on my porn habits because I think porn is something most of us should stay away from. Occassionally I've had cyber sex. Again with guilt. I keep relapsing into these things, its hard to control.

Anyways, hope this was informative and gives you some insight. Hope to hear from you soon.

Yours,
S

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Hello S,

I communicate with all sorts of people, and am happy to do so. With varying degrees of belief and disbelief.

Thanks so much for writing. You bring up some concerns that several men your age have emailed me in the past about. 

In fact I've done several posts about it too:




Perhaps those will be helpful to read. Now as you've made clear that you are a religious person, and it is mainly religion that guides you on these issues...with all due respect, I'd say in matters of health, sexual health one should consult something more current, like medical doctors and science always. I am obviously not very religious, as you might have noticed from my work. ;) I appreciate your concerns, and the fact that you have come to me for advice despite our differences in opinion on such things.

As you can see from your own experiences, sexual urges are pretty natural, and occur frequently for most people. This is how our species has evolved to be over millions of years, probably to ensure our continued existence. I'm no evolutionary scientist, but I'd guess that urge is inbuilt to keep us from dying out - and being around for so long has been great for us humans. We've been around long enough now that we have figured out how to stop most unwanted pregnancies in a non-invasive way, which is a huge win. We have also figured out how to reduce sexually transmitted diseases quite effectively. Sex has become a better, safer experience all round. One should always take advantage of the things we have come to learn. I know you said you are a virgin, but if and when you decide to have sex, remember to be safe and practical about it. Condoms are a good option, unless you or partner have allergies. (Plenty of other options in that case)

If you trust the condoms that scientific knowledge has made possible to protect from disease and unwanted pregnancy. Then it would also be a logical extension to trust what science has to say about masturbation also. And what it says is that it is perfectly normal and healthy. You can look it up, and read tons of articles on the matter. Just don't read articles from religious publications because they are not always honest about health effects of masturbation as many do consider it a sin. 

Excessive masturbation of course has its own issues, you can become desensitized, accustomed to one specific way and find it harder to ejaculate from contact with someone else. You can cause minor abrasions too. So I guess moderation is advisable....in all things. But certainly the effects I've read about on religious Pakistani sites where they say it makes you lose weight, become immoral, impregnate your hand, unable to handle real sex, shrinking penises, those are not real issues. I promise. There is no evidence for those things at all. I understand you are a person of faith, but please look to modern science for health. I cannot stress that enough. 

You are not 'relapsing' - you are just being a regular person. Most guys, especially when teenagers...have pretty high sex drives. Porn is sometimes (often) exploitative of women, but that is also not always the case. Guilt about that is perfectly understandable, but there are plenty of female pornstars who enjoy what they do. Seek them out, I guess. And that moderation thing is advisable here too. Excessive porn consumption is worrying yes...especially when you think it borders on compulsion/addiction, and gets in the way of your real life. So keep that in mind. Porn is also a very unrealistic depiction of human (especially female) sexuality. Not the best place to 'learn' about sex at all. 

I cannot of course, advise on the religious aspect of this. Is it a sin? I hear it is. Do I believe you'll go to hell? Nope. But that's because I don't think hell is real. And some all-knowing merciful god, will have bigger sins to look out for, no? Like maybe he's focusing on murderers and rapists (hopefully).

I have heard there are some schools of thought in Islam that think masturbation is permissible because it prevents you from *real* sins like premarital sex, or adultery. So, you might want to look into that for peace of mind. :) 

Hope this has been helpful!

-E 

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A huge thanks to my patrons: Fred, Ruthless Atheist, Lisa Fontaine, Ali Sajid Imami, Humanist Agressor, Jesus&Mo, Pastafarian Woman, Alexander, Know the Question, Mb Cunney, Leneke Van Houten, Alberto and Yasmien - your support means a lot and will help me allocate more time towards writing and drawing!

You too can support here ! 

If you feel my voice needs to be heard - and you can add a dollar or two to help this project continue, I would greatly appreciate it!
Cheers!