Is technology helping us to fight hypocrisy and irrationality?

I am sure about that. This current accelerated process of globalization of capitalism is not only making millions and millions of people to leave poverty worldwide these days but also rapidly changing the way we spread ideas and new ways of interpreting old dogmas.

As computers become indispensable home appliances and internet connections as basic as water or electricity (even in poorer economies), people start exercising different ways to make the difference in this intense exchange of ideas, fighting hypocrisy and irrationality everywhere.

These latest developments in Egypt, triggered by Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (@aliaaelmahdy) in November 2011, for example, made me realize again that we still didn’t fully comprehend the real power of mankind’s increasing interconnectivity.

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy changing the world.

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy changing the world.

For those of you not aware yet about this case, Aliaa is an Egyptian young elite student, trying to make herself heard through this very “unconventional” way for an Islamic country: showing herself as female human requesting more voice and rights in the new post-Mubarak-dictatorship Egyptian society. She started this spontaneous movement in late 2011. As threats and reprisals against her increase, other Egyptians do the same, taking the focus away from her.

Aliaa and all young men and women following her protest by publishing “unconventional” self-portraits around that region are not only making people around the world to re-think about the role of women in society. They are also showing how Egyptian youths are leading the way towards a less hypocrite and irrational 21st century.

I am sure these young people growing up in current Egypt and neighbor countries will help the world to become a better place when they start assuming responsibilities in the near future. As I heard someone saying this week – probably quoting somebody important: “Only those who lived without freedom realize the price of it, all the others tend to forget its costs”.

And that is the problem with many Western societies these days: having things like freedom for granted is producing a massive number of idiots in these societies, probably incapable to lead anything in the future.

That’s is why I’m also optimist about this current economic crisis befalling over some developed European countries. It’s true it is making some young people simply to runaway to another countries but at the same time it’s making some other young people to question societies and its old practices.

Welcome youth’s critical thinking, from Egypt to Spain, we need you!

The ignorance that divides people

Everything is ready for my first vacation trip to Iran next week, August 2010. I go with my wife for an apparently exotic trip, which people tend to label at least as adventurous. That is what has most impressed me from the moment that my wife and I decided to make this trip: the enormous social pressure to change our idea and completely abandon an itinerary that is already planned and partially paid.

In Brazil, over the past years, the name Iran leads to a direct connotation of danger, radicalism, development of weapons of mass destruction, unfounded stoning, and violations of women’s rights. This connotation was apparently constructed by the international press in general and then followed by the stupid national press (which curiously does not question facts), a press composed by journalists who normally do not have time to do their jobs with dignity (they are always in a hurry, writing articles like sausages in a production line).

As the result of this lack of information, some of our relatives, near friends and acquaintances have come almost begging for the cancellation of our trip, asking us to change our destiny for something softer like Turkey or Jordan, if it is to stay in the Islamic world.

This social upheaval that has prompted with unexpected frequency our curiosity about Persia and its historical and cultural path have scared us more, despite all the research done so far to ensure that there is no danger in a tourist trip to the country in recent years. That is, it is simply another case of prejudice and racism that the Western world itself says to combat in extreme hypocrisy.

Stop! Enough hypocrisy! Who are we, Westerners, to question what should be the role of religion or of women in Iranian society? In the United States the death penalty still exists in conjunction with a mass of millions of fat and ignorant compulsive consumerists that make up this country “model” (model for whom?). In Brazil, a few weeks ago a woman who seduced a famous footballer and got pregnant to get money from him was quartered and thrown to hungry dogs by former police officers who are constantly hired to “disappear” with people, for money also. It is somewhat ironic that a woman becomes pregnant in exchange for money and an ex-cop too kill for money. Basically, the same money initially conceived by the beautiful victim as her direct access to wealth and fame was the money that made her to be cut into pieces to feed hungry rottweilers.

The Western world and our democracy (a concept totally unrealistic) is not as exemplary as people around here are led to believe. It is important to learn more about the Islamic world and Iran before creating harmless stereotypes that do not contribute to the development of the world as a whole. And if we criticize, we should do it directly, considering the weight of the local religion and culture and finding ways to modernize the social and theological debate on the issue.

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