The Campaign To Dox Twitter Users In Islamic Countries For 'Blasphemy' And Supporting LGBT Rights

from the pure-evil dept

Nearly half a decade ago, we wondered publicly what a company like Twitter, a self-proclaimed advocate of free and open speech, would do if confronted by a government that is anything but. In that post, Mike discussed how Twitter had been used to rant against the government in Saudi Arabia, and wondered what would happen if Saudi Arabia decided to make such speech illegal. But what if it's not direct government action but that of other users that threatens such speech? While we have seen some governments routinely punish internet speech they don't like, we're now seeing signs of non-government individuals getting into the racket as well, as a way to silence the kind of barely-progressive speech a company like Twitter would likely say it wants to protect.

Late Sunday night, Twitter user @old_gaes tweeted a screenshot of one of @Pharaohoe’s tweets from February, which had replaced the word “domain” in a verse from the Quran with a slang word for vagina.

“This is the end of another atheist and we should continue exposing every Arab atheist child to their parents who do not know of their atheism,” @old_gaes wrote in Arabic above the tweet.

Several friends of @Pharaohoe on Twitter told The Daily Beast that she is 16 years old and lives in Kuwait.

@old_gaes has apparently been making a habit of this sort of thing, seeking out citizens of countries that would severely punish speech deemed to be blasphemous or in support of the LGBT community and reporting any speech like that, or encouraging followers to report it, to the authorities. That appears to be the only kind of tweeting the account does, in fact. Where this kind of harassment has very real consequences in nations like the United States, those consequences are not nearly as severe as might occur in other countries. And, lest you think that this kind of doxing nonsense would go unseen by the Islamic governments in question:

Dubai’s verified police account tweeted back to @old_gaes on Monday morning, asking him to “kindly send the details” about potential blasphemy along to a specific email address.

On Monday, @Pharaohoe tweeted “they fucking found me,” “im gonna puke,” then “i’m deactivating guys.” She then deleted her account.

In addition, there are many followers of this Twitter account and others like it, creating a network of like-minded individuals who could potentially out those using Twitter as a platform for speech. The targets mostly appear to be women in Islamic nations who make statements of atheism or of a faith other than strict Islam, or who make any noises in support of LGBT rights. And, according to those witnessing this doxing, Twitter isn't doing much about it.

“Twitter is absolutely useless. They don’t take this sort of thing seriously,” said the woman who asked to remain anonymous. “I don’t know what the solution is.”

“He’s so dangerous,” said Afra. “I don’t know how his account is still up.”

And, yet, what is Twitter to do? Certainly continued harassment can and should be addressed, but the fact is that Twitter operates internationally, including in countries where the law is not as friendly to secular values as it is in America. If the law in Dubai, for instance, is that blasphemous speech on Twitter should be reported and punished, then Twitter would be walking an interesting line in banning or blocking accounts for doing so. It could try to pull access from those countries, of course, but that would be technically challenging, wouldn't be in its business interests, and would only result in denying those people any voice at all. That doesn't seem like a likely solution. Attempts to get clarity from Twitter itself on how it would want to handle situations like this haven't resulted in much information.

When The Daily Beast reached out to Twitter to ask how accounts like @Old_gaes were allowed to remain active despite consistent reports of harassment, a spokesperson said that “we do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.”

When asked to “better outline how Twitter assesses threats to personal safety” after a violation of the rules that could leave its users in danger, the company did not respond to repeated requests at press time.

And so we have a speech tool co-opted by those wishing to oppress speech, with the company behind the tool seemingly paralyzed as to what to do about it. The good news is that, whatever steps backwards like these may occur, the flourishing of options for free and open speech typically also results in often unexpected change, however slow that change might occur.

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Filed Under: blasphemy, doxxing, middle east, social media
Companies: twitter


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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Jun 2016 @ 11:33pm

    And THIS is why we need robust anonymity tools like TOR

    [no message follows.]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 9:00am

      Re: And THIS is why we need robust anonymity tools like TOR

      Amen.

      Still, I don't see how this would have helped. See, you are living your life without feeling the need to hide and I'm simply expressing my views. Then some idiot like that comes and doxes you.

      The only solution would be to make everything effectively anonymous by design.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2016 @ 11:55pm

    What is Twitter to do?

    And, yet, what is Twitter to do?

    A difficult question, indeed. Sometimes the road to the greatest profits is unclear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 1:11am

    Flood twitter with info about how evil the Saudi King is.

    Remember this is a guy who actively PUSHES for hardline islamic values, whilst following NONE of them himself.

    The entire Saudi Royal family areallowed pork, alcohol, tobacco, sleeping with people they're not married to. Doesn't have to attend regular prayers etc etc.

    Basically he just pretends to be Muslim, whilst demanding harsh punishments for everyone else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Éibhear (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 2:22am

    Account suspended

    Not that it will have a great effect, that account, @old_gaes, is suspended (checked 2016-06-24, 10:20 BST)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    klaus (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 4:14am

    This makes me angry...

    ... and sad. Somewhere in Kuwait it's altogether possible there's a 16y/o girl in a cell being beaten up for posting her opinions on Twitter under the handle @Pharaohoe.

    I know "an eye for an eye" makes the whole world blind, but @old_gaes needs to realize that the internet cuts both ways, and that anyone is at risk of being outed. Also that somewhere on this planet there is a fat, bald, stinking drunk grease-stained old fart who will never be the man his mother was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 4:46am

    Well, it's good thing Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, then, isn't it?

    Imagine what might happen to these people if it was a religion or terror and death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:00pm

      I'm not sure which is better...

      Persecution and violence because it corresponds to accepted scripture,

      or persecution and violence that is contrary to accepted scripture?

      I think they're both terrible and both common.

      Fortunately, we can presume that Muslims have agency in their own lives, and can choose for themselves whether or not they are going to follow someone else's decree to betray or kill.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Avior, 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:48pm

        Re: I'm not sure which is better...

        Fortunately, we can presume that Muslims have agency in their own lives, and can choose for themselves whether or not they are going to follow someone else's decree to betray or kill.

        Umm, no. Islam, like many other religions, is all about giving up agency in one's own life and following someone else's decrees.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: I'm not sure which is better...

          Umm, no. Islam, like many other religions, is all about giving up agency in one's own life and following someone else's decrees.

          There are a lot of decrees in Islam and debates about what certain ones mean.

          Getting to the meat of the matter, only some Muslims are violent and war on the infidel. Is that to say those that don't are less Muslim than those that do? Or vice versa?

          They still have agency in where they choose to focus and where they don't.

          Very much incidentally, the same way that, say, the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention can choose to focus more on the War against Gay rather than the War against Poverty.

          Ministers like to pretend that religion is about hard lines and absolutes, but in practice among the laity, it's not.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2016 @ 8:29am

            Re: Re: Re: I'm not sure which is better...

            ...the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention...

            "Like many other religions."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 4:53am

    'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

    I rather like the AC's idea above of just flooding the service with 'blasphemous' posts. This would both make it much more difficult to pick out the 'real' ones for those dingleberries trying to hunt them down and dox them for their own amusement at the suffering of others, and serve as a nice little reminder that attempts at censorship have the potential to backfire, hilariously, instead causing an explosion of expression rather than it's silencing.

    Tangentially related, but I've always found the idea of 'blasphemy' to be rather... counter-productive, given the message it sends if you really think about it. The idea of 'taboo' words or ideas, Things That Must Not Be Said to me at least has always been an indication of a weakness of position. It's basically saying 'I do not believe that my ideas and/or position could withstand honest scrutiny or criticism, so any speech that would do so is not allowed'.

    It can also serve as an indicator of little people with little minds, trying to make themselves seem important by imbuing certain words or phrases with what is essentially 'mystical significance', but that isn't exactly much better with regards to those throwing fits over the 'misuse' of the words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 5:11am

      Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

      has always been an indication of a weakness of position. It's basically saying 'I do not believe that my ideas and/or position could withstand honest scrutiny or criticism,

      This is the tactic that many Dems take today, shouting down and violently protesting at Republican conventions, speeches, etc. If they had a substantive counter argument to make, they wouldn't need violence, attacks, rioting and vandalism to make their point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 5:36am

        Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

        Your tribal allegiance is showing, and tribal allegiances are why politics have become so corrupted.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:31am

        Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

        Thank you .. I'm glad someone said it because conservatives never get violent, it's always those filthy left wing agitators - probably the same ones from the 60's, dirty hippies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:07am

          Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

          You do remember the Weathermen right? The filthy dirty 60s hippy terrorists what blew shit up? Unabomber was a lefty too...

          As a certain AC said above me, your tribalism is showing. Horseshoe theory is a hell of a thing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

            You do remember ... blah blah blah ...

            I'm sure he does. He was just agreeing with you, after all.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

        Figured people would attack me instead of the message which is exactly the point I made so thanks for proving it. But to address your misdirection, you will typically not see conservatives using violent protest like the left does. I will leave it to you to figure out why that is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 7:30am

          Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

          A conservative party by its nature would be less likely to protest in general, being more of an establishment group by definition (establishment meaning established power, not establishment meaning being in politics).

          With that being said, please give me the conservative equivalent of a non-violent protest leader such as Martin Luther King Jr.?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 7:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

            They are less likely to protest because they are fully willing and able to sit down and have a discussion. It is the tactic of those with a weak position to resort to name calling, protest and violence.

            As for the MLK reference, you do know it was the southern democrats leading the charge against equal rights? Also, the Dems lost the civil war and spent the next 100 years trying to stop civil rights so who is really the party of the establishment? The left does not tolerate differences in opinion which is why they shout it down.

            The founder of the Dem party, Jefferson, had slaves and raped and fathered children with them. The founder of the Republican party is called the Great Emancipator. So there's that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 8:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

              King was a socialist - one who condemned the militarisn, racism and economic exploration of our corrupt two party duopoly. The 'But X was a dem/rep' meme just reinforces this idiotic binary.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 8:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

              "They are less likely to protest because they are fully willing and able to sit down and have a discussion."

              That MAY be true, but you're missing my point. Conservative positions are usually those of tradition or emplacement, which means that they would naturally have less to protest than the progressive side of things. That was my point.

              "It is the tactic of those with a weak position to resort to name calling, protest and violence."

              The tendency to protest has NOTHING to do with the weakness or strength of a position, as I'm sure you know. Neither does violence or name-calling, really. For instance, were someone in the mid 1800s to organize a protest against slavery, calling slave-owners douchebags and setting a plantation on fire, none of that would indicate that anti-slavery was a weak position.

              "As for the MLK reference, you do know it was the southern democrats leading the charge against equal rights?"

              Yes, I do, but that wasn't my point. My point is that MLK was obviously an extreme leftist by every notion of the word and there is no conservative analogy for him.

              "The left does not tolerate differences in opinion which is why they shout it down."

              This kind of over-generalization is laughably false. It would be equally laughably false if someone attempted to apply it to the right.

              "The founder of the Dem party, Jefferson, had slaves and raped and fathered children with them. The founder of the Republican party is called the Great Emancipator. So there's that."

              Are you REALLY arguing here that Jefferson was not an advocate for advancing freedom? Of course he owned slaves and of course he fathered children with them, and he was morally wrong to do so on both accounts. But Jefferson, who was not the SOLE founder of the democratic party, when placed in the context of his time, was a force for good and freedom in America and the world. Suggesting otherwise doesn't make even a tiny bit of sense.

              For his part, Lincoln neither founded the Republican party, nor were his motivations for the abolition of slavery particularly noble when he emancipated them. That said, again, placed in the context of his time, Lincoln was no doubt a force for freedom in America, though his efforts did little to effect freedom around the world (unlike Jefferson's). I don't mean to demean what Lincoln accomplished, but any understanding of history would make demeaning Jefferson in favor of Lincoln a silly attempt....

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 10:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

                My point is that MLK was obviously an extreme leftist by every notion of the word and there is no conservative analogy for him.

                Lincoln, the original civil rights activist.

                Suggesting otherwise doesn't make sense

                Uh, you just admitted that you would overlook slavery and rape because he did some good. Do you also defend the college kid who did good for 20 years and bad for 20 minutes? Seems like the same logic to me.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Dark Helmet (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 10:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

                  "Lincoln, the original civil rights activist."

                  Da fuq? There were tons of abolitionists at the time of the Revolution, long before Lincoln.

                  "Uh, you just admitted that you would overlook slavery and rape because he did some good."

                  I did nothing of the sort, as you well know. What I said was Jefferson and Lincoln were both positives for freedom in different ways. Jefferson much, much, much more so when corrected for the context of his time.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 10:51am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

                    My Lincoln comment was more for fun, but to imply that the Dems have some guy (though it is highly questionable they even had MLK) that stands head and shoulders above anyone the Repubs have is just as ludicrous.

                    I did nothing of the sort, as you well know. What I said was Jefferson and Lincoln were both positives for freedom in different ways.

                    You did everything of the sort and just did it again. He championed freedom in the world but overlooked it in his own back yard. Some might say that is hypocritical.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 2:17pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

                      "He championed freedom in the world but overlooked it in his own back yard. Some might say that is hypocritical."

                      Oh, it was ABSOLUTELY hypocritical, in quite possibly the most direct possible way. But that doesn't simply erase the First Amendment, for instance, which was largely the creation of Jefferson and one of the most liberating and important legal victories in human history.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Richard (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 10:34am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

              As for the MLK reference, you do know it was the southern democrats leading the charge against equal rights? Also, the Dems lost the civil war and spent the next 100 years trying to stop civil rights so who is really the party of the establishment?

              Over long periods of time the identities of parties change because issues change. The 19th century is not comparable to the post war period.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

              "It is the tactic of those with a weak position to resort to name calling, protest and violence."

              That must mean the pro-life people are in a weak position.
              I guess some ranchers are too. And the police lives matter, you get the idea.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Enif, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

              Also, the Dems lost the civil war

              Hmm, I never knew the American Civil War was about Republicans versus Democrats. I even heard once that big business in the South had something to do with it and lost. Who knew, eh? Thanks for enlightening us all!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:29pm

              Jefferson v. Lincoln?

              Heh. The Democratic and Republican party have done a whole bunch of position trading over the years.

              The Great Emancipator originally wanted to ship all the slaves back to Africa, not seeing a solution for integration here. It was only infeasible. Also, he wasn't a Southern Strategy Republican, founded from the push to allow religious schools to continue to exclude blacks and retain federal funding. All the other issues (Abortion, Prayer in schools, etc.) came later.

              As for Jefferson, though being a man of his time (it'll be difficult to find a non-slave owner among our nation's founders), he actually founded the United States of America, and he founded the separationists. The precursors to the GOP were the loyalists, e.g. pro-redcoat authoritarians.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

        The only thing that scares me is about that is that some administrations would just burn all the extra hay.

        Right now I'm thinking of the 40,000 or so traitors executed after the July 20 plot (including nationalist-but-not-Nazi-enough-for-Hitler Erwin Rommel).

        I would hope the Sauds are not paranoid or sheltered enough to engage in a mass apostate-by-rumor genocide, but they might be.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:52am

      Re: 'Got a few barnfuls of hay for that needle hunt you were busy with...'

      The idea of 'taboo' words or ideas, Things That Must Not Be Said to me at least has always been an indication of a weakness of position

      Absolutely. Problem is, though, you are right and might get harmed/killed anyway.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:19pm

        "You're right, but might get killed anyway"

        Always. It's why there's courage in dissent.

        Civilization is always a continuous fight against the natural order (toothier animals eat the less-toothy animals). Fighting this fight also depends on enough supporters who tire of the toothiest animals making all the decisions.

        I mean, we really could accept (say) our continuing retreat back to feudalism and serfdom under corporate rule. But I think we still have an understanding of why that is a miserable state to live in, yes?

        Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have its dissenters too, and some of them think it's worth speaking out then letting their nation stay as it is.

        For some it's worth dying for.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 5:13am

    Heaven forbid anyone have any thoughts other than those officially sanctioned by our esteemed religious "leaders", if you see something, pray something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Jun 2016 @ 5:57am

    Am I the only one who has noticed that "@Old_gaes" sounds like "Old gays?"

    Closet case, much?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      Am I the only one who has noticed that "@Old_gaes" sounds like "Old gays?"

      No

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      kitsune361, 24 Jun 2016 @ 9:39am

      bad spelling.

      It's almost like they were going for the word "geas", but can't spell worth a crap.

      A geas being "an obligation or prohibition magically placed upon an individual."

      In Irish folklore it's a curse placed on, or an oath taken by a person that causes an action become a taboo for that person. When that taboo is broken the curse inflicts a punishment or dark fate upon the taboo breaker.

      Sounds like an apt name to me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eponymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:20am

    "The good news is that, whatever steps backwards like these may occur, the flourishing of options for free and open speech typically also results in often unexpected change, however slow that change might occur."

    Excellent. The market for free speech will take care of things for us. Maybe we should all pray to help it along.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 6:53am

    Will we ever stop sucking at the teat of backward, oppressive, terrorist-funding beasts like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain? That's the real travesty of progressives, giving these assholes license to silence and torture and kill simply because progressives are such pussies. "Oh, we can't deny them their freedom to deny others freedom". Kiss my ass. Cut them off, don't give them a voice to be heard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kitsune361, 24 Jun 2016 @ 9:43am

    OPSEC.

    Sounds like some people need better compartmentalization of their online activities. Or in other words, Operational Security.

    There are quite a few guides of "OpSec for activists". It's not perfect, but it could help if you're in the kind of situation these doxing victims are in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 24 Jun 2016 @ 10:22am

    While we have seen some governments routinely punish internet speech they don't like, we're now seeing signs of non-government individuals getting into the racket as well, as a way to silence the kind of barely-progressive speech a company like Twitter would likely say it wants to protect.

    Kind of shatters the illusion that the people of the middle east really want freedom and it's just the repressive governments that are keeping them in the stone ages, doesn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Kind of shatters the illusion that the people of the middle east really want freedom

      People in the Sunni parts don't want freedom - they have been subjected to 40 years of well funded Saudi salafist propaganda. They are worse than most of the governments - which is why we should back Assad in Syria - he is bad - but he is better than any plausible alternative.

      Iran - however is different. They have had nearly 40 years of Islamist extremism and have now learned to dislike it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Old_Gasper, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      Kind of shatters the illusion that the people of the middle east really want freedom and it's just the repressive governments that are keeping them in the stone ages, doesn't it?

      Gasp! I can't believe you said that! You take that back right now! Before I have you tacked down and dealt with!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:11pm

      We have plenty of authoritarians here.

      Plenty pop up whenever we talk about a stupid or abusive law, or a stupid / abusive misuse of law. It's a regular techdirt commentary feature.

      When kids get jail time for sexting each other, our pro-authority sector will even come out and say the law's the law, and it's the kids fault for breaking it!

      We humans like authority. They're loud and seem to know what they're doing, and it makes us feel safe in emergencies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:20pm

        Re: We have plenty of authoritarians here.

        We have plenty of authoritarians here

        Once again the "we are just as bad" narrative!

        B****cks!

        We don't form a baying mob that threatens someone with death for taking a drink of water from the wrong well and then assassinate the politician that says "maybe these blasphemy laws aren't such a good idea" and then, when the assassin is caught and punished go on a 100,000 strong demonstration against it, and then have leading churchmen going up in public sayong the assassin is a martyr.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi_blasphemy_case

        This is not an isolated incident - it is just the most prominent example. This kind of thing happens all over the muslim world with alarming frequency.

        Your "white guilt" is showing!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 12:38pm

          "White guilt"

          Um, no.

          My point was that authoritarianism happens in any state, among any people, not that we're as bad or worse.

          But now that you mention it, let's look at what the Land of the Free does tolerate:

          ~ The CIA extrajudicial detention and interrogation program
          ~ The drone strike program, which just massacres civilians.
          ~ The NSA Mass surveillance program which now shares its data stockpile with other nations and law enforcement.
          ~ A three-caste police state, in which the most of us are presumed guilty and robbed or murdered with impunity.
          ~ A rape state in which boys-will-be-boys (and corporations-will-be-corporations) attitudes still prevail.

          Not a comprehensive list.

          So...yeah, we might be as bad. Or even worse.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 1:10pm

            Re: "White guilt"


            ~ The CIA extrajudicial detention and interrogation program
            ~ The drone strike program, which just massacres civilians.
            ~ The NSA Mass surveillance program which now shares its data stockpile with other nations and law enforcement.
            ~ A three-caste police state, in which the most of us are presumed guilty and robbed or murdered with impunity.
            ~ A rape state in which boys-will-be-boys (and corporations-will-be-corporations) attitudes still prevail.


            Pretty much all of which are government actions. We are not talking about that here.

            We are talking about public attitudes that make it impossible for governments to implement reasonable protection of minorities and dissidents even when they want to.

            This is true of a number of Islamic majority countries - eg Pakistan,(the example above) Egypt and even Indonesia. In many of the rest the government is actually part of the problem and so you have a double whammy.

            The only example of that that I can think of in the US is the gun lobby!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re: "White guilt"

              Considering that blacks are protected by the (current, amended) US Constitution and meanwhile blacks are grossly and systemically oppressed and exploited in regions throughout the US, I'd say we continue to suck when it comes to federal government protecting minorities when the local government has been corrupted by local prejudices against minority communities.

              We also suck when it comes to protecting victims of sexual assault, even though we definitely want to.

              We also suck when it comes to child welfare issues, even though representatives push child welfare all the time.

              Still, in Kuwait, isn't the war against apostates decreed from the top? That sounds like the national administration isn't even trying.

              And regarding our government actions, in all cases, the outcry against them is from a conspicuously small minority. Most of the United States people can't be bothered (largely because they're too busy trying to eek out a meager living in an unforgiving economy).

              So no, the people are playing along and paying their tea-taxes, albeit for understandable reasons. But it does make them complicit in the crimes of the state.

              At least it was thought so within and without after Nuremberg.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Richard (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 2:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                Considering that blacks are protected by the (current, amended) US Constitution...communities. etc etc

                I never said that the US was perfect - but really these imperfections are nowhere near to being on the same scale - or as uniform - or as strongly endorsed by such an all-pervasive ideology.

                And when was the last time an American politician as assassinated for trying to be too nice to minorities?

                and if you can think of one did a big section of the population turn out to protest in favour of the assassin?


                Still, in Kuwait, isn't the war against apostates decreed from the top?
                Yes - but as in the article it is enforced by self appointed vigilantes.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 3:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                  I never said that the US was perfect - but really these imperfections are nowhere near to being on the same scale - or as uniform - or as strongly endorsed by such an all-pervasive ideology.

                  You actually can't say that, given the FBI willfully and against law withholds the number of police-on-civillian murders, most of which don't even go reported. (We now have non-profits that track coroner reports to news articles, and they still don't trace all the john does.)

                  Considering the degree of willful opacity that exists in our nation's agencies, and the Snowden revelations which came in years after the fact, it's putting a fuckton of faith into the integrity of our nation to suggest that nothing worth consideration is going on clandestine, and shielded from view by classification or a lack of records. We even make a point not to count drone strike bugsplats very thoroughly.

                  We don't have statistics of attacks per capita to compare. We can't say the US is better, but US agencies are working really hard to prevent anyone from looking at those numbers so to make a comparison. They're willfully hiding something, and it doesn't make sense they'd be concealing good or even mediocre implications.

                  And we are still a nation that kidnaps, that holds people indefinitely without due process and tortures. And moreover, common civilians have come to thinking this is acceptable policy for a nation of allegedly free peoples with allegedly guaranteed rights.

                  Yes - but as in the article it is enforced by self appointed vigilantes.

                  You think hate crimes in the US are perpetuated by other than self appointed vigilantes? Think about how many Churches of the US, and Representatives in state and national congress push not only to deprive gays of equal rights, but also to push for rights of those who attack gays violently to do so in the name of religious expression? (No, I'm not kidding.)

                  Gay hate is epidemic in the United States, even after SCOTUS ruled their right to marry. Mostly from our religious extremists, who, regardless of whether they believe they're following your interpretation of scripture, absolutely believe they're following theirs.

                  Non-white oppression is systemic. Counties are commonly patrolled by white police forces that harass and bleed minority communities, as we've seen time and again since Ferguson. No, not all of the United States is this way, but much of it is.

                  So, no, I am skeptical that the US might compare well to the middle east when it comes to human rights concerns. We pretend we're better. We may aspire to liberty and equality. But we don't have the records to demonstrate it.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 2:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                We also suck when it comes to protecting victims of sexual assault, even though we definitely want to.

                We also suck when it comes to child welfare issues, even though representatives push child welfare all the time.


                I suggest you ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali about that one...

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 3:16pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                  What should I ask her?

                  Whether she'd rather be raped over there than over here?

                  Whether she'd rather be assassinated by fanatics over there or murdered by prison guards over here?

                  What do you believe she would say on the matter of the United States being also a shithole when it comes to human rights? That she's seen relatively worse?

                  Do you think relativity justifies our sucking?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Ukdah, 25 Jun 2016 @ 8:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                    Do you think relativity justifies our sucking?

                    As long as you're not "the worst", then you must be "good"! Didn't you know that? Where were you raised anyway? Something seems to have gone dreadfully wrong with your education.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2016 @ 8:33am

                Re: Re: Re: "White guilt"

                "blacks are grossly and systemically oppressed and exploited in regions throughout the US"

                Which regions, exactly?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jun 2016 @ 1:40pm

              L'esprit de l'escalier

              Observe that none of the issues I mentioned are even topical during a presidential election campaign.

              They don't talk about it, because all the candidates are going to continue the same policies.

              And the people don't care. It's not getting raised.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2016 @ 11:26am

    Gosh, seems like the gamergaters were right about Twitter being biased and hypocritical. Whodathunkit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
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  • identicon
    Huzaifa Asaan, 15 Aug 2016 @ 3:32am

    Idara Taleefat E Ashrafia Online Islamic Books Store in Pakistan.

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  • identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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