I’m sure the slogan “believe all women” came to life with good intentions. For a long time, even today, women are being shamed for what they have no control over. For example, many blame raped women for the assault because of their choice of clothing. Or, many still harass women when they see them driving or working in an office.

I’m pretty sure “believe all women” was a slogan made to make people listen to women and have empathy for the pain they go through everyday. But should we really believe all women?

I don’t consider myself a feminist I don’t believe men and women are equal. Don’t get men wrong, I believe in equality of men and women but my understanding is that equality between men and women is them being treated with justice. When we treat both men and women with justice, we’re treating them equally.

I listen to women. If they say they’re assaulted or harassed, I’ll have empathy, but I won’t accept what they say unless there’s proof of that. I won’t ruin people’s lives because some woman accused them of rape, assault, or sexual harassment. Women are human beings after all and human beings are capable of many awful things, including lying.

I’ve seen social media ruining people’s lives because of a lie some person (man or woman) told and I’ve seen human beings suffer from those lies. Even if millions of people repeat something, unless there’s proof of that, I won’t believe it.

I respect the “believe all women” motto but for me it’s not really to believe, but to feel and have empathy for those who really are assaulted, raped, or harassed. I understand that many may experience a lot of things in their minds and the severity of harassment can be different for people based on their condition (in life or anything) but that’s not enough to accuse people of assault (or rape or harassment).

We should not cancel people or ruin people based on unproven stories. Even if the story is very much convincing, unless there’s enough evidence to prove that story, we shouldn’t accept that. In today’s world that there’s surveillance cameras everywhere (sadly) and we have a lot of tools to capture moments and we have enough technology to save the moments and incidents, there shouldn’t be a culture of cancelling based on myths, stories, and lies.

Let’s fight against this culture and while we’re fighting against them, let’s work to improve the life condition for women and those who suffered. Let’s listen to women, accept them, treat them with justice and manner, and help them to not be second class people. Don’t believe all women, but listen to them.

From my previous post, I should add this:

We should not let them win this. This is not just RMS, it’s a fight for truth. If we, and FSF, step down, we give them power to do anything simply because they want to.

The first mistake was made back in 2019 when the FSF bowed down by not standing up to the mobs. That sent the message, “we listen to you.” It’s only natural that the mobs will try again, with renewed violence.

If we had same attitude 40 years ago, there would be no FSF and GNU. It took someone like RMS to create what we have.

Canceling someone because he explained the meaning of some words is crazy and dangerous. And there’s more. Once they realized the issue with the words was not enough of an excuse, they started looking for more, resorting to intentional misinterpretations, exaggerations and lies.

And the FSF keeps listening to the same rant.

Richard Stallman is a scientist and a philosopher. That means he has an inquisitive mind. If he says he is skeptical of something, if he criticizes the status quo, it only means that: a doubt, a desire to understand better. And as a scientist, as soon as he discovers evidence that clarifies his doubts, or something that helps him understand, he is ready to declare it openly. He has done that, several times, as have many scientists on a variety of subjects.

History shows that inquisitive minds are not always welcome, specially when they challenge religious, ideological, or political views. If these minds choose not to self-censor, they need to be ready to suffer severe punishment.

Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy and brought to trial by the Inquisition when he declared that the earth was not flat. Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for holding opinions contrary to the masses. There are many.

Yes, we are back to the Middle Ages.

Update: I received an email about this note. The message:

Hi Ali,

you conclude your last blog post by saying: “Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy and brought to trial by the Inquisition when he declared that the earth was not flat”.

Please be aware that not only Galileo was never tried for Earth’s roundness, the whole fact that the flat Earth theory was widespread in the middle ages is a hoax. Earth’s roundness was already well established in ancient Greece, and nobody ever doubted that even in the Catholic church. The flat Earth theory really originated in America. around the late 1800s.

Even the myth of Christopher Columbus wanting to prove that Earth was round is humbug. Everyone knew Earth was round, there was no need to prove it whatsoever.

The reason why Galileo was trialed was because he said that Earth revolves around the Sun, as opposed to the geocentric doctrine that was then accepted in the mainstream.

Lastly, I find your last remark inappropriate. The middle ages were not at all “dark”, most of the pre-modern technological advancements happened there. More relevantly, there was never a dictatorship of the angry masses which is what the cancel culture is about. If anything the angry masses had their chance to impose their opinions starting from the French revolution, at the height of illuminism – ironically, the movement that invented the concept of the medieval times being the “dark ages”.

I hope you will consider altering the conclusion of your article, as in its current state I feel it ruins an otherwise well written and very agreeable content.

Regards,
Alessandro

I’ve been asking those who signed letter to remove RMS from all leadership positions whether they’ve read RMS statement/email that lead to all the controversies we’re now experiencing but not a single person have read the complete message/statement.

This is madness. All those who I asked have got their info on the matter from news sites that only quoted very specific part of RMS’ message out of context. They’re asking RMS to step down from his job simply because they don’t know what he said exactly.

Let me give you a backstory.

A backstory

It was September 2019, just a few months after the world had learned of the horrific sex trafficking operation run by influential billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Revelation after revelation had come out of powerful people and institutions connections to Epstein. MIT was no exception. Epstein had donated $850,000 to MIT’s Media Lab, visited campus many times, and associated with several professors and administrators. Richard Stallman was not among the MIT professors with Epstein ties, and like all decent humans was appalled to learn of Epstein’s heinous crimes.

However, Marvin Minsky, an acclaimed AI pioneer at MIT who passed away in 2016, was an associate of Epstein having been a recipient of Epstein’s research grants. Minsky visited Epstein’s estate in the Virgin Islands where one of Epstein’s 17-year-old victims was “directed to have sex” with him. In response to this and the other revelations, a protest was organized at MIT and an invitation for it was sent to various MIT email lists. Stallman was on one of these and sent a reply-all response that included the following:

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky: “deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims)” The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault” is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X… The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing… We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates…

RMS simply explained the meaning behind a word. He is very careful about the words he uses. You can look at his glossary and anti-glossary on his website. Specifically about this matter, RMS has called Epstein a serial rapist several times but people accused him of defending Epstein and pedophilia. Something very far from truth.

Some also accuse Stallman of sexual harassment and “assault” which there’s no proof of and as a person who knows him, I can tell very far from truth. They also are annoyed that RMS had a mattress in his room/office at MIT and were seen shirtless, which I don’t know how it is disturbing. If you’re harassed or assaulted by seeing a shirtless person, man or woman, I think you’re the crazy one here.

Now with this short simple backstory, let’s get to what’s happening now.

(Don’t) cancel RMS

Few days ago, RMS announced that he’s back. Many people cheered this decision and announcement and some were upset. Well, many were upset and many are asking FSF board and RMS himself to resign over this decision. Complete idiocy.

This makes me mad not because I’m a fan of RMS’ work but because of idiotic cancel culture that is going on software libre world. Misleading media and news, among those who just hate RMS are pushing lots of pressure on FSF and Stallman to make them resign from their jobs.

We should resist this. This is very dangerous. Giving organizations power to control literally the future of software libre movement is dangerous. I would support a debate between RMS and anybody who wants to debate him on his claims and statements but quoting only part of his statement out of context to cancel someone is dangerous to all of us.

Imagine this. You say “those who say ‘rape is good’ are bad people.” Then I write a blog post about your statement and quote “rape is good” from you and ask people to cancel you. You literally said the opposite but because I quoted only specific part of your saying out of context, people get mad and try to ruin everything you stand for or have.

RMS is a diamond for software libre world and we should keep him. Nobody can lead the movement and the Free Software Foundation better than RMS. I’ve always said, the difference between us and Open Source people is our principals. We stand by our principals and values no matter what.

If we don’t stand by our principals, which are based on justice, we’ll lose everything we have ever fought for. I highly oppose those who ask RMS and/or FSF board to resign.

I’m in process of canceling all my donations to organizations who signed that letter and I’ll stop any help I was providing to them whether they’re individuals or an organization. This is not an effort to cancel them but an effort to not be affiliated with any person or organization that doesn’t care about truth.

I would even cancel my FSF membership if they decide to resign or cancel RMS. A weak organization that doesn’t fight for truth doesn’t deserve any help or support.

Last but not least, I invite to read this great article: #Cancel We The Web?

Nowruz is the Persian new year which begins on the first day of spring and is the first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian solar calendar. It is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups, and falls on or around March 21.

Nowruz has Iranian and Zoroastrian origins; however, it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over three thousand years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia.

We celebrate Nowruz by eating rice and fish, going to meet our elders, giving people gifts and presents, and throw parties. We also believe it is the day for forgiveness and we encourage each other to forgive and reconcile those we think have wronged us.

Part of Nowruz is Haft-sin. Haft-sin is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the letter “س” pronounced as “seen” the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet; haft (هفت) is Persian for seven. The following are the primary items of Haft-sin, whose Persian names begin with the letter س in the Persian alphabet.

  1. Sabzeh (سبزه) – wheat, barley, mung bean, or lentil sprouts grown in a dish.
  2. Samanu (سمنو) – wheat germ sweet pudding.
  3. Senjed (سنجد) – Oleaster
  4. Serkeh (سرکه) – vinegar.
  5. Seeb (سیب) – apple.
  6. Seer (سیر) – garlic.
  7. Somāq (سماق) – sumac.

Coins (سکه sekke), hyacinth (سنبل sonbol), and clock (ساعت saat) are sometimes included too. Other symbolic items that are typically used to accompany Haft-sin include a mirror, candles, painted eggs, goldfish, and traditional Persian confections. A “book of wisdom” is also commonly included, which might be the Quran, the Bible, the Avesta, the Shahnameh, or the divān of Hafez.

In Iran, the Nowruz holidays last thirteen days. On the thirteenth day of the New Year, Iranians leave their houses to enjoy nature and picnic outdoors, as part of the Sizdah be-dar ceremony. Sizdah Bedar (Thirteen Outdoor) also known as Nature’s Day is held on the thirteenth day of Farvardin during which people spend time picnicking outdoors. It marks the end of the Nowruz holidays in Iran.

On that day, we celebrate the beautiful mother nature we have and encourage each other to take care of it. Also, “Lie of the Thirteenth” is the Iranian version of the prank-playing April Fools’ Day which is observed on the first or second day of April in Iran, on the day of Sizdah Bedar.

Nowruz is a nice holiday. It brings us joy and happiness and time to spend with family and friends. It’s one of the nicest holidays I know. Everybody is happy, everybody is joyful, everybody is friendly and everybody is just a human being, regardless of differences we have.

Happy Nowruz everybody. Wish you a great new year.

Ubuntu is a very nice story from Africa. The motivation behind the Ubuntu culture in Africa is that an anthropologist proposed a game to the African tribal children.

He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand 100 meters away. Then announced that whoever reaches first, would get all the sweets in the basket.

When he said ‘ready steady go!”, they all held each other’s hands, ran together towards the tree, divided the sweets equally among themselves, ate the sweets and enjoyed it. When the anthropologist asked them why they did so, They answered “Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu meant ‘How can one be happy when the others are sad?’ Ubuntu in their language means “I am because we are”, a strong message for all generations. Let all of us always have this attitude and spread happiness wherever we go. Let’s have a “Ubuntu” Life.

I AM BECAUSE WE ARE.

I recently realized this. Facebook can figure out people that you might know by analyzing the pattern of dust and scratches on a camera lens. Facebook filed a patent for their “people you might know” feature, the thing that recommends someone that you might want to become friends with.

And the way that it works is this: Imagine we’re at an event and I’m taking pictures. I take a photo of you that you really like. We don’t know each other but I show it to you, I send it to you and you post it on your Facebook page. I od the same thing with someone else.

So none of us are in the pictures, none of us know each other, I’ve just taken a picture of you and someone else and you both posted them on your Facebook pages.

Facebook can then analyze the dust and lens scratches that were on my camera and find the invisible artifacts that those left in the photo to determine that you both had your pictures taken by me at the same time and then recommend that you become friends.

When reporters found this patent, Facebook denied that they were using it in their system but there’s no way to know if they’ve started using it since or if they’ve put it in something like Instagram and WhatsApp.

This is surveillance capitalism, this is how deep we’re in trouble for protecting our privacy.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March around the world. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day in New York City on 1909 February 28, German delegates Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker, Paula Thiede and others proposed at the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference that “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually.

After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1977.

Women around the world are suffering from inequality and need special attention. I don’t believe men and women should be treated exactly the same. People should be treated good and without discrimination, not completely equal. Being equal doesn’t bring justice and doesn’t eliminate discrimination.

Commemoration of International Women’s Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.

Read more about women’s rights on Wikipedia

Yesterday marked three years since 2018 March 04, when Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, 35, was abducted from international waters and forcibly returned to Dubai.

Earlier that year, she planned to escape Dubai with the help of friend Tiina Jauhiainen. They boarded a U.S.-flagged yacht and crossed the Indian Ocean, with plans for Latifa to fly to the U.S. and seek asylum.

This plan came to a nightmarish end when Indian and Emirati military forces intercepted the boat, illegally, when it was sailing in international waters. Despite her pleas for asylum, Latifa was tranquilized and flown back to Dubai by private jet. She has been confined ever since.

The international community should step aup and help Latifa. Latifa is just an example of many men and women who are experiencing similar situations and are hopeless and muted, because nobody knows them.

Helping Latifa can bring hope to many others who are suffering from same situation. It’s a matter of human rights so it needs real human action. Please step up and start action. Spread the news, ask governments, and do something you can. This specially needs help from governments who pretend/claim human rights is important to them.

Additionally, it’s very good to sign this petition: FREE PRINCESS LATIFA AL MAKTOUM – #FreeLatifa.

Two years after Latifa Al Maktoum published a secretly-taken video and explained how she’s being held hostage by her father and explained only some of horrible things her father did and does, there’s still no good news about her.

Every single day, we see news about how she’s still missing and hear politicians expressing concerns about her situation and whether she’s still alive or not, but there’s still no action.

This is very concerning. As a person who lives in a sanctioned country, which some of them are for violation of human rights, I feel very frustrated and sad. This is another proof that western countries such as Amerikkka and Britain do not champion freedom, but they only value benefit.

How come if countries like China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, etc. violate human rights, they get sanctioned and held responsible in United Nations Security Council, but when Amerikkka’ allies violate human rights, nothing happens?

I’m not defending violation of human rights, I’m just condemning the double-standard of USA and many other countries. What I see is that they ignore this human rights violations because they see their financial and economic interests at stake if they act.

Amerikkka, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, etc. impose new sanctions on Iran and some other countries with the reason of violation of human rights but they are scared of doing the same with UAE when they see such horrible thing, directly done by the leaders of the country.

They, western countries, are selling weapons, missiles, and military equipment, and their business will be jeopardized by sanctions, so they do nothing. They do not sacrifice their business for human freedom and human rights, and this only shows their hypocrisy and malice.

Latifa’s story is just one of many examples of violation of human rights in allied countries of Amerikkka. Sadly, they have not taken any positive practical step and this should be changed.

We should act for Latifa and one positive possibly-effective step is to force our governments to impose high pressure on those who responsible on this matter. Expressing concern will do nothing for Latifa and others in same situation, UAE dictators and all those responsible should feel a serious and practical threat.

Meanwhile, you can sign this petition: FREE PRINCESS LATIFA AL MAKTOUM – #FreeLatifa.

Imagine Jamal. Jamal is black person living in a poor neighborhood. Jamal has a friend named Kevin, a white kid living in a wealthy neighborhood. All of Jamal’s neighbors are black and all of Kevin’s neighbors are white.

Because Jamal’s school is funded mostly by property taxes, his school is not very well funded. his classrooms are overcrowded, his teachers are underpaid, and he doesn’t have access to high quality tutors or extracurricular activities.

Kevin’s school district is also funded by property taxes, so high school is very well funded, his classrooms are never crowded, his teachers are very well-paid, and he has access to high quality tutors and lots of extracurricular activities.

Kevin and Jamal live only a few streets away from each other so how come they’re growing up in such different worlds with such different opportunities for success?

The answer is systemic racism.

Continue reading