Friday, June 5, 2015

Facebook, #BringBackEiynah Nicemangos

Let's Bring Back Eiynah to Facebook.


I've written before about Eiynah -- feminist, illustrator, LGBTQ ally, and author of the blog Nice Mangos, which discusses sexuality in a Pakistani context. I first discovered Eiynah -- by way of her now-celebrated children's book My Chacha is Gay -- a little over a year ago. My Chacha is Gay has been published in many languages, and is read by children, parents, teachers and chachas (Urdu for paternal uncle) the world over. Eiynah also penned An Open Letter To Ben Affleck, which drew worldwide attention. She maintains an active presence on Twitter as @nicemangos and, until recently, Facebook.



The name Eiynah is a pseudonym the artist and writer uses to protect herself and her family in case anyone should attempt to make good on the many threats she has received advocating for LGBTQ equality, sex-positivity, women's rights, as well as proclaiming herself an ex-Muslim. From her May 29th, 2015 entry, Facebook Wants Ex-Muslims To Put Themselves At Risk:
Facebook has now decided that I am not a *real* individual person.
Personal profiles are for individual people only and should include a real first and last name.
My account was disabled with no warning, or even an option presented to change my account name had I wanted to.
No Facebook, I don't think I'm an organization, business or brand. Though those terms are vague enough to be argued. Is my blog a brand? Is my small patreon account considered a business? My meagre 700 or so fb friends hardly make me a 'public figure', but again vague enough to be argued.
I can assure you that I am *one* individual person. One who's work is blocked/banned in much of the Muslim world too, so thanks for adding to that! :)
And for her views as an ex-Muslim woman addressing religious intolerance generally and Islamic fundamentalism in particular:
If you are familiar with my work, you will know that I am a critic of religion in general. I believe in equality, sex-positivity, compassion for all humankind. These are the values I live by and these are the values that prevent me from having much respect for religion (the idea). I engage in a variety of discussions, with both theists and non-theists alike. I try to keep my critique limited to the ideas contained within the obsolete doctrines I oppose. And I argue passionately for others to do the same, to not generalize entire groups of people as savages, etc.
I am against bigotry from the religious and also towards the religious. I am intolerant of intolerance, I speak out on issues that put my life at risk almost on a daily basis. I cannot count for you the amount of death threats, rape threats, other threats I have received, through facebook alone.
As an ex-muslim with extensive lived experience in an Islamic theocracy, I consider it my right and duty to speak about the injustices I have seen, excused away by religion. When I see such beliefs being shielded by the politically correct liberal west, I feel I must speak out and share my perspective too, as a liberal who doesn't agree with protecting people from rightful criticism only because they are minorities in west.
I'm encouraging Eiynah's fans and followers to visit and "like" this Facebook page I've created for her, Bring Back Eiynah.

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