Rampant Logophobia

“Words — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” –Nathaniel Hawthorn

I love words and ideas, so I am always horrified by things like this. If we must kill people, why should we do so simply because we disagree with them? I enjoy a good argument as much as anyone, but … not carried to that extreme, not even with my contentious relatives! Of course, unlike ever so many other people, I don’t KNOW FOR A FACT that I have all the truth, and understand the absolute will of god. Therefor, unlike those with no shadows of doubt, I guess I’m not really qualified or entitled to kill those who fail to share my opinions.

Executing writers and thinkers. Killing those who express unpopular ideas. There’s certainly abundant precedent for it. From Socrates, through Giordano Bruno, to folksinger Víctor Jara, right down to Iran’s recent execution of poet and activist Hashem Shaabani. And some Americans are saying — out loud and in public — that we should assassinate NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Because such people are … dangerous. Enemies of the State. I do wish the pen, the words of truth, could truly, consistently, be mightier than the sword. Which does not always happen. But apparently, words can have considerable power, or the powerful would never fear them so much.

We must never let ourselves be silenced, marginalized, ignored. If we don’t raise hell about what needs to be changed, maybe no one will. If we say nothing, they may let us keep breathing, but craven fear and cowardice are no way to live. While we may, let us use our voices to demand justice, demand peace, demand equality.

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. Without a struggle, there can be no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” –Frederick Douglass


Iranian poet executed for ‘waging war on God’

Death sentence carried out on ethnic Arab Hashem Shaabani, accused of being an “enemy of God” and a threat to security.
Last updated: 10 Feb 2014 10:00

A human rights groups says more than 300 people have been executed since Rouhani came to power [EPA]
An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani, has been executed for being an “enemy of God” and threatening national security, according to local human rights groups.
Shaabani and a man named Hadi Rashedi were hanged in unidentified prison on January 27, rights groups have said.
Shaabani, who spoke out against the treatment of ethnic Arabs in the province of Khuzestan, had been in prison since February or March 2011 after being arrested for being a Mohareb, or “enemy of God”.

Iran marks 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution
Last July, the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal found Shaabani and 13 other people guilty of “waging war on God” and spreading “corruption on earth”.
The 32-year-old was the founder of Dialogue Institute and was popular for his Arabic and Persian poems. In 2012, he appeared on Iran’s state-owned Press TV, where human rights groups say he was forced to confess to “separatist terrorism”.
According to BBC Persian, officials from the Ministry of Information informed the condemned men’s families that they had been hanged, and they would be subsequently informed on the location of the men’s burial site.
Shaabani was moved from the area to an unspecified prison before his death, it was reported.
Iran executed 40 people over two weeks of that month, according to Amnesty International. According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) more than 300 people have been executed since Hasan Rouhani became president in August.
In the past, Tehran has said the death penalty was essential to maintain law and order, and that it was applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. Most of the executions in January were for drug related offences, according to Amnesty.

Al Jazeera



About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
This entry was posted in Dissent, Justice, Law, Literature, Media, News and politics, Security and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rampant Logophobia

  1. Perhaps it would we could make a start by doing away with the State?

    • Before the State does away with us, perchance? Makes sense to me, Stuart. If, in Jefferson’s fine phrase, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government” … well, that’s not what we have. Not by light-years. – Linda

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