Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On warriors and what not

This is the sequence of events if you're new to this:
رسومات إباحية في مقرر الأدب الإنكليزي في الجامعة
الفهيد يمنع كتاب الأدب الإنكليزي ويحيل مسؤولين إلى التحقيق
العنزي يدعو الطبطبائي إلى التحقق من كيفية تدريس كتاب في الجامعة يحوي تجاوزات أخلاقية
الفهيد: لا رسوم إباحية في مقرر الإنكليزي
بلقيس النجار: الإرهاب الفكري

What started as a response to individual comments in my previous post began to spread into its own post. So following up on the previous post, I choose to insert my reply here:

Action needs to be taken. But that does not diminish the effect of whining and bitching on this blog. I think whining and bitching can lead to action, or even compliment action.
With that said, I agree with the sentiment that calls for action. What would you like to do about those censors who are blind to culture?
At a time when our faculty, among other faculties, is working towards being internationally accredited, we have these forces of darkness who can and will put a stop to any progressive thought. The censoring of art is only one part of this. There is an even more dangerous censoring of thought. If we are not permitted to think freely and without fear, then the matter of banning a book because of some indecent paintings is just the start. What's next?
Kuwait university is not a shitty institution. I have met quite a few enlightened minds among my students and fellow faculty members. It is true that their voices are usually low, but that is the unfortunate result of this open-mindedness that puts me at a position of accepting the oposing thought even when this opposing thought disagrees with my basic rights. We are not quiet because we are passive. We are quiet because we are not aggressive. Politics demands aggressive action. I am not an aggressive person. And I refuse to be an aggressive person, even realizing that my apparent passivity makes my voice hard to hear. I strongly believe in allowing the other to voice their thoughts. How would I raise my voice when I know that raising my voice would shush other voices?
I know most of you disagree with this. I know that most of you think that passivity is not accepted at this stage. But I cannot change what I believe in just to win a cause, no matter how important that cause is. I might have made that mistake before, and I might make it again in the future. But I refuse to knowingly make it now.

I cannot yell and mute other voices. I cannot scream that my opinion is the only right opinion. I simply cannot do that. I have always thought that was because I didn't have enough strength to do that. But I have lately come to realize that my passivity is part of my nature, a nature that refuses to allow me to enforce my thoughts on anyone.

If you're a warrior, go ahead and grab your sword. I am no warrior.