Thank brave Pakistanis! Thank you, Facebook! Our petition to Facebook succeeded!

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A joyful moment, but read more — because we still need your help no matter where you live. 

 


The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science petitioned Facebook to restore a Pakistani Atheist page. Religious fanatics had targeted the page for complaint to Facebook. After being flooded, Facebook’s system shut down the Pakistani Saaenji page citing “negative user feedback.” 

A cleric named Molana Tariq Jameel, a supporter of terror, publicly thanked his supporters for getting the Pakistani Saaenji page shut down. The very lives of the Pakistani secularists are in danger if their anonymity were to be violated. These Pakistanis are courageous people who speak for non-violence. One quote of many against the Saaenji page: "anyone who disrespects the prophet deserves beheading."

Thousands of you signed the petition in just a couple of days. Someone from Facebook saw our petition. They looked into the matter and the Pakistani Saaenji page is restored. Please like the page!

https://www.facebook.com/saaenji

And, please, let friends know. There are millions of honorable Pakistanis, religious and secular, who support the right of this Pakistani Saaenji page to exist.

We thank Facebook very much! — and not just for restoration of the page. Without Facebook maintaining their anonymity, our Pakistani friends could be attacked and even killed. 

However, our Foundation continues our plea to Facebook that strong policies be put in place to ensure that minority rights aren’t trampled by mob rule in cyberspace.

Facebook says it has criteria in place to avoid mob rule, but, when a page is bombarded by thousands of complaints, this can perhaps be more likely to happen. 

We are worried that this might happen again, if not to this group, than other peaceful oppressed minorities. 

 

Most of all, we thank the Pakistani freethinkers! They dared to think on their own. They dared to organize. They are heroes to us all. They deserve to be honored and supported. 

Help us continue to organize for Reason & Science:

http://www.richarddawkins.net/donations/new

Sean Faircloth

Director of Strategy & Policy
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Written By: Sean Faircloth
continue to source article at

17 COMMENTS

  1. What the hell has the photo got to do with he article? Perhaps using Abu Ghraib prison torture photos might have been more contemporary. This site has been unblocked in China. I had to use a vpn for several years to access it. For crying out loud think about ordinary Chinese instead of stereotyping them as barbaric stalinist monsters every time they’re mentioned in the media.I actually yearn for articles from Sean Faircloth. They motivate me. This piece of cheap propaganda wasn’t called for.

    • In reply to #2 by ramfalls:

      It seemed obvious to me that the image at the head of this article was used simply as a symbol (which it became even at the time it occurred) of brave defiance in the face of overwhelming oppressive power. I for one saw in it no comment on “ordinary Chinese” or even on the current political establishment in China. With regard to the Saaenji Facebook page, the vulnerable protesters have won a small but important battle against their oppressors by having their Facebook page reopened. That is cause for joy.

      • bollocks. I hate Pakistani oppression too. Don’t be so patronising. Using it to represent state oppression my arse. I felt more oppressed in 5 minutes in England than the last 7 years living in China. I have a Chinese family, I have friends who are policemen and government officers. NO. Don’t be so naive it was used deliberately as an ongoing campaign by middle class toadies to undermine anything or any image associated with China. Don’t believe me? Read the telegraph and other publications.Check the backlog of stories from the BBC. No cutesy woodsy japanese or Korean stories. Just blatant undermining propaganda. Just because I am fan of this website does not mean I will keep quiet on propaganda. Once you start that game you are into coercing not convincing people. And that is exactly what we are trying to stop the theocrats from doing. In reply to #3 by Garrick Worthing:

        In reply to #2 by ramfalls:

        It seemed obvious to me that the image at the head of this article was used simply as a symbol (which it became even at the time it occurred) of brave defiance in the face of overwhelming oppressive power. I for one saw in it no comment on “ordinary Chinese” or even on the current political establishment in China. With regard to the Saaenji Facebook page, the vulnerable protesters have won a small but important battle against their oppressors by having their Facebook page reopened. That is cause for joy.

        [Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use]

        • In reply to #5 by ramfalls:

          bollocks. I hate Pakistani oppression too. Don’t be so f..king patronising. Using it to represent state oppression my arse. I felt more oppressed in 5 minutes in England than the last 7 years living in China. I have a Chinese family, I have friends who are policemen and government officers. NO. Don’t be so naive it was used deliberately as an ongoing campaign by middle class toadies to undermine anything or any image associated with China. Don’t believe me? Read the telegraph and other publications.Check the backlog of stories from the BBC. No cutesy woodsy japanese or Korean stories. Just blatant undermining propaganda. Just because I am fan of this website does not mean I will keep quiet on propaganda. Once you start that game you are into coercing not convincing people. And that is exactly what we are trying to stop the theocrats from doing. In reply to #3 by Garrick Worthing:

          In reply to #2 by ramfalls:

          It seemed obvious to me that the image at the head of this article was used simply as a symbol (which it became even at the time it occurred) of brave defiance in the face of overwhelming oppressive power. I for one saw in it no comment on “ordinary Chinese” or even on the current political establishment in China. With regard to the Saaenji Facebook page, the vulnerable protesters have won a small but important battle against their oppressors by having their Facebook page reopened. That is cause for joy.

          What a load of bullshit. For most reasonable people, that image represents defiance. I actually wanted to release an action figure of the man because I like that kind of defiance. This article is about standing up to people who would have you put down. Exactly what the hero in that image did. It happened more than seven years ago, so who cares about your last seven years of experience. I can tell you’re looking for a fight and not looking at history, that image or this article. Your anti-western post is propaganda.

          • You need to cut down on your youtubing. Oh and disagreeing with something is not looking for a fight. Actually I know there’s a lot of sheep on here who know shite about China so I’m used to it. And what my 7 years here has got over you is I actually know what I’m talking about. So you can go back to your flock worship ‘the claw, the claw” because in my eyes theocrat or atheist a sheep is a sheep is a sheep. Also the Abu Grhaib Prison point wasn’t mentioned. Why not use that image? In reply to #6 by aquilacane:

            In reply to #5 by ramfalls:

            bollocks. I hate Pakistani oppression too. Don’t be so f..king patronising. Using it to represent state oppression my arse. I felt more oppressed in 5 minutes in England than the last 7 years living in China. I have a Chinese family, I have friends who are policemen and government officers. NO. Don’t be so naive it was used deliberately as an ongoing campaign by middle class toadies to undermine anything or any image associated with China. Don’t believe me? Read the telegraph and other publications.Check the backlog of stories from the BBC. No cutesy woodsy japanese or Korean stories. Just blatant undermining propaganda. Just because I am fan of this website does not mean I will keep quiet on propaganda. Once you start that game you are into coercing not convincing people. And that is exactly what we are trying to stop the theocrats from doing. In reply to #3 by Garrick Worthing:

            In reply to #2 by ramfalls:

            It seemed obvious to me that the image at the head of this article was used simply as a symbol (which it became even at the time it occurred) of brave defiance in the face of overwhelming oppressive power. I for one saw in it no comment on “ordinary Chinese” or even on the current political establishment in China. With regard to the Saaenji Facebook page, the vulnerable protesters have won a small but important battle against their oppressors by having their Facebook page reopened. That is cause for joy.

            What a load of bullshit. For most reasonable people, that image represents defiance. I actually wanted to release an action figure of the man because I like that kind of defiance. This article is about standing up to people who would have you put down. Exactly what the hero in that image did. It happened more than seven years ago, so who cares about your last seven years of experience. I can tell you’re looking for a fight and not looking at history, that image or this article. Your anti-western post is propaganda.

            In reply to #6 by aquilacane:

            In reply to #5 by ramfalls:

            bollocks. I hate Pakistani oppression too. Don’t be so f..king patronising. Using it to represent state oppression my arse. I felt more oppressed in 5 minutes in England than the last 7 years living in China. I have a Chinese family, I have friends who are policemen and government officers. NO. Don’t be so naive it was used deliberately as an ongoing campaign by middle class toadies to undermine anything or any image associated with China. Don’t believe me? Read the telegraph and other publications.Check the backlog of stories from the BBC. No cutesy woodsy japanese or Korean stories. Just blatant undermining propaganda. Just because I am fan of this website does not mean I will keep quiet on propaganda. Once you start that game you are into coercing not convincing people. And that is exactly what we are trying to stop the theocrats from doing. In reply to #3 by Garrick Worthing:

            In reply to #2 by ramfalls:

            It seemed obvious to me that the image at the head of this article was used simply as a symbol (which it became even at the time it occurred) of brave defiance in the face of overwhelming oppressive power. I for one saw in it no comment on “ordinary Chinese” or even on the current political establishment in China. With regard to the Saaenji Facebook page, the vulnerable protesters have won a small but important battle against their oppressors by having their Facebook page reopened. That is cause for joy.

            What a load of bullshit. For most reasonable people, that image represents defiance. I actually wanted to release an action figure of the man because I like that kind of defiance. This article is about standing up to people who would have you put down. Exactly what the hero in that image did. It happened more than seven years ago, so who cares about your last seven years of experience. I can tell you’re looking for a fight and not looking at history, that image or this article. Your anti-western post is propaganda.

          • Ramfalls:

            You’re having an obviously irrational reaction to this photo, and being a bit ranty. I sincerely hope you will take a breath and reflect.

            No one said or even implied any anti-Chinese propoganda. The photo is just a photo. Merely showing it is NOT an instace of sterotyping. Several people have pointed out that this now iconic photo has become a symbol of defiance in the face of oppressive authority – a symbol which transcends the specific political moment and any specific nationality. You react to such a simple observation with attacks and derision. It seems circumstantially clear that you are bringing along some baggage – possibly stemming from some other particular use(s) or misuse(s) of this photo. Nothing of that sort has occurred here.

            It’s true that – provided one finds the ‘sybol’ explanation unconvincing – the photo could be viewed as a bit of a non-sequiteur to a posting about Pakistani atheists and YouTube. But it is a huge leap on your part to criticize the mild (and debatable) sin of posting a possibly irrelevant photo as an act of anti-chinese “cheap propoganda.” Seriously, you’re reaction is wildly disproportionate.

            Garrick Worthing was in no way patronising in his very reasonable points, and I think you might consider an apology.

            Aqualicane’s intimation that you seem to be brewing for a fight is VERY justified by tone and content of your posts here – which go way beyond “disagreeing with something.”

            Oh, and I’m not sure what anti-Chinese propagandistic distortions you may have encountered in the past in connection to this photo, but I am a bit dumbfounded that merely seeing the image could inspire a tirade such as:

            For crying out loud think about ordinary Chinese instead of stereotyping them as barbaric stalinist monsters every time they’re mentioned in the media.

            It seems obvious to me, that the man with the grocery bags IS an ordinary citizen of China, and is shown in an extremely sympathetic light in this photo. It is also obvious that on this occaision, Chinese governmental authority DID IN FACT use an overwhelming, military-grade show of force in an attempt to oppress political dissent. That’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact.

            You are the only one here leaping to the conclusion that a single instance must stand for an entire nation of people. I DO think of “ordinary Chinese” when I see the photo, and I do not tend to equate them to the people sending or driving the tanks. I DEFINITELY don’t think anything like “what ‘barbaric stalinist monsters’ those Chinese are!”

            My reaction is similar when I see the now iconic photo of the cop casually pepper spraying seated and peaceful protesters at UC Davis. It would never occur to me that such an image was anti-American propoganda, because – well duh! – everybody in the picture IS American.

            The only view in this forum that lacks complexity or nuance in relation to this pictrure…is yours.

          • In reply to #7 by ramfalls:

            Also the Abu Grhaib Prison point wasn’t mentioned. Why not use that image? In reply to #6 by aquilacane:

            You may note, that I too will elect to leave your Abu Ghraib prison “point” unanswered, because it is silly.

            “Why not use that image?” ????? Really? (Maybe if you had some evidence that some other image was considered first but then rejected we could have a discussion. As it is, your point is easily rebutted with, “Ummmm…because it didn’t occur to anybody at the time? Plus there was only room for one headline photo, and they used the tank guy one…so…yeah.”)

  2. It’s such a shame when some people miss the whole point of being on a site like this and get caught up in their own anecdotal experience instead of focussing on the issue.This is a cause for great celebration within the secularist and freethinking community and should be viewed as such.

  3. Mods’ message

    We have removed two further off-topic comments posted since our request to users yesterday not to continue posting them. Our terms of use require comments to be on the subject of the OP, and disagreements not to become overheated.

    The mods

  4. Well done to the brave Pakistani men and women who continue to risk their lives to express the thoughts we take for granted, here in Ireland I enjoy seeing the disappointed look on the faces of religious people when I tell them I’m an atheist, i always explain that i will change my atheist views as soon as i see evidence of any god in any of the religions
    but in Pakistan comments such as that could get them killed.shame on Facebook to close the page and require pressure from Rdf to reinstate the page.

  5. Not to sound rude, but it looks like Sean, being a director of prestigious Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, has written this article after quite minimal research.

    “A cleric named Molana Tariq Jameel, a supporter of terror” is what’s written in the second paragraph of this article which is far beyond facts. MTJ spearheads Tablighi Jamat, which is rather a peaceful organisation and has not been on a terrorism list of any country. Nor have they been involved in any terrorist activities in Pakistan and abroad.

    I know Sean was perhaps ran by his emotions while typing this article, but this in no mean should have came without proper research — something RDF brags to uphold and encourage.

    • Eeman.
    • Wait. Isn’t he a member of the Deobandi Movement, which includes some pretty nasty groups including the Taliban?In reply to #16 by Eeman.Saleem:

      Not to sound rude, but it looks like Sean, being a director of prestigious Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, has written this article after quite minimal research.

      “A cleric named Molana Tariq Jameel, a supporter of terror” is what’s written in the second paragraph of this article which is far beyond facts. MTJ spearheads Tablighi Jamat, which is rather a peaceful organisation and has not been on a terrorism list of any country. Nor have they been involved in any terrorist activities in Pakistan and abroad.

      I know Sean was perhaps ran by his emotions while typing this article, but this in no mean should have came without proper research — something RDF brags to uphold and encourage.

      Eeman.

  6. don´t understand why there is a picture of something which clearly happened in China many years ago is above the page here…. weren´t there any pictures of Pakistan to be found??

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