Saturday, April 24, 2010

Secularism and secularists

Tomorrow, some will participate in a Laïque pride in Lebanon. They wont all be on the same wave, that's for sure. They will split. That's highly probable. They will fight. That's very likely. They have some common demands but they stand on different grounds. They don't share the same definition of secularism and they pick and choose when it comes to basic rights. In a country like Lebanon, where
Atheism is punishable by law
Homosexuality is punishable by law
Cohabitation is punishable by law
Extramarital sex is punishable by law
Abortion is punishable by law
Public display of affection is punishable by law
Domestic violence is not punishable by law
Honor crimes are attenuated by law
Freedom of expression has limits and regulations by law
Right to vote is excluded for adults aged between 18 and 21 by law
Women do not have the right to give nationality to their husbands and children by law
Civil marriage is not a right not even an option
Heritage rules follow religious laws
Books, movies, TV programs are pre-screened by law enforcement authorities
Child labor, child soldiers, child beggars, child exploitation are common phenomena
let alone the forgotten rights for foreign migrants, victims of trafficking, Palestinians and other refugees,
picking and choosing is pointless. Rights are indivisible. Freedom is a package. All or none. But tomorrow many will join the march and take advantage of the sunny weather for tanning purposes.

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