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Programming Your Rights Online

Human Rights Groups Push To Save Condemned Programmer In Iran 244

First time accepted submitter debiangruven writes "Human rights Groups are making one final plea to save the life of Canadian programmer, Saeed Malekpour, who was sentenced to death for writing a program to upload photos to the Internet. From the article: 'Malekpour's supporters have created Facebook pages and websites in his support dating to at least 2009. Amnesty International has requested on its website that concerned individuals write Iranian authorities inside and outside the country to demand that Malekpour not be executed."
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Human Rights Groups Push To Save Condemned Programmer In Iran

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  • Goodwin be Damned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:23AM (#39092229)

    Islam is shaping up to be the modern day Nazi movement. Intolerant and bent on world domination.

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:33AM (#39092277) Journal

    Islam is shaping up to be the modern day Nazi movement. Intolerant and bent on world domination.

    If you read Slashdot enough, you would swear that the US is JUST as bad as Iran. No, I'm not kidding. There are people on here who will claim that the United States is just as bad as Iran when it comes to human rights issues and even try to argue this point.

    Others will say that Christianity is the exact same as Islam, even though Christianity specifically forbids this type of killing.

  • by loufoque ( 1400831 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:38AM (#39092311)

    It's not "shaping up to be". Islam has always been about forcing the one true view of god to everyone.
    It's by definition intolerant and bent on world domination.

  • by zarlino ( 985890 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:51AM (#39092389) Homepage

    Religions are often just a "cover-up" ideology for economical interest and can be interpreted in many different ways. From the peaceful mystical one to the nationalist and revolutionary one.

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:22AM (#39092517) Homepage

    Right, the American legal system would only destroy someone's life if they wrote a circumvention for a copy-right protection system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:28AM (#39092555)

    It doesn't matter if you've got relatives there, or if the only archaeological remnant you want so see of some civilisation lies there, or it has the best undisturbed nature reserves... just don't go there. As soon as you go to such a country, your life is theirs. Before you go on holiday, check if your destination is a democracy with reasonable laws and institutions. If not, don't go.

  • Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:34AM (#39092597)
    I am quick to criticize the US government for drifting away from protecting our rights and freedoms, but there is really no comparison with a country like Iran. In the US, when the government considers establishing a national firewall, the citizens criticize the government without fear; in Iran, protesting the firewall that is already in existence can result in being arrested or beaten up by the police. The fact that we can even compare the US to an enemy like Iran, without worrying about angering the censors, shows you just how many freedoms we still have in this country.
  • by mathmathrevolution ( 813581 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:36AM (#39092617)

    Are you talking about the most recent Iraq War? Do you imagine your brutal invasion and occupation of a foreign nation premised upon falsified claims of WMDs to be merely "resistance to subjugation"? Do you consider the million Iraqi deaths [] caused by America's actions to be "fuel for Muslim's bullshit sense of victimhood"?

    So typical of Muslims. We must be destroyed and subjugated, and if we resist, we fuel your bullshit sense of victimhood.

    What a perfect exhibit of the Orwellian mindset that has taken over so many Americans. No matter how many Muslim nations Americans are occupying, bombing, and threatening, most Americans imagine themselves to be the victims. And then they portray the world's Muslim community as idiotic and belligerent in what amounts to a textbook case of psychological projection.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @11:41AM (#39092653)
    Except that the US is not ordering any drone strikes against programmers whose software is used on pornography websites. The US may have slipped from its founders' ideals, but we are not quite at the level of Iran.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:07PM (#39092807)

    Execution does not fit the crime of making software that uploads images. The US government would not execute someone for doing this, and no government should, because the right to draw a breath is a basic human right which should only be denied in the most extreme of cases (which this does not remotely qualify).

    Arguments about political or religious relativism do not apply, in this case, for several reasons:

    1: We aren't talking about a fine, some community service, or a few months in jail. The stakes are much higher.
    2: We aren't talking about a person who deliberately exercised civil disobedience while within a country that has such punishments, he was just passing through after having done something harmless in a completely separate country.
    3: We aren't talking about laws that make a good attempt to balance the protection of safety and commerce against personal freedom; we are talking about the legislation of a code of morality based on ancient myths.

    While it is true that all governments, including America, wrongly impose their own interests on others, it is also true that these laws are oppressive and backwards and entirely based on a religion that is equally oppressive and backwards. We are entering an era, as a species, where we will not be able to function while simultaneously abiding such deleterious nonsense.

    People who are stuck in the past like this, to the detriment of those around them, should be ridiculed for it, and should be called to account for it. The harm they cause should be stopped.

  • by mathmathrevolution ( 813581 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:14PM (#39092833)

    In other words, there is no such thing as a true, fixed interpretation of a religion or ideology. Ideologies emerge from a surrounding geopolitical and economic reality and are always in flux with that surrounding geopolitical and economic reality subject to individual interpretation. It is bogus to say "Christians believe in X, and Buddhist believe in Y, while Muslims believe in Z." Distinct individual agents are constantly reinventing their interpretation of their religious experience.

    Their is divide in human culture between those who believe in peace and those who don't. There are Christians and Muslims and Jews and Atheists in both camps, but the majority of people in all religions want peace. I saw this in my graduate program which had a good mix of Jews, Atheists, Muslims, and Christians in it. This was an educated crowd and everybody there wanted to get along. The trick for the human race is to not let our belligerent minorities set us against each other. They are eager to spark conflict and set us against each other for their own gain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:24PM (#39092879)

    As another dutch citizen i say you. Nuke them yourself, if you want that so eagerly. But no, you don't dare that, do you. You prefer USA doing the dirty work, so that we can wash our hands in innocence and the USA gets all the blame.

  • by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:28PM (#39092895)

    American citizens ARE the victims, but our enemy is not Muslims, or some nameless and faceless turban-sporting brown person. In fact, Christians pose more of a threat to our way of life than any foreign government. Need proof? Read up on proposed policies by Santorum or Romney.

    Our enemy is our government. They are the ones taking away our civil rights, encroaching on our free will, intentionally unbalancing poverty and wealth levels to maintain the status-quo. They are the terrorists - not some fictional enemy Muslim.

    On a level of personal opinion, I think all religion is entirely bullshit, and the world as a whole needs to focus on reality and planning for the future instead of arguing over some unimportant stories of the long-distant past.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @01:42PM (#39093483)

    21st century demands 21st century standards. Bringing up how bad the Christian world was 400 years ago is not a relevant point to make when we speak of Islam in the 21st century.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @02:06PM (#39093681) Homepage Journal

    When we talk about freedom, let's not appeal to the Founders, ok?

    No, lets appeal to the ministers of Antwerp and the Dutch East India Company, and the English Mercantile gentry who started trading in slaves. I, for one, have no problem appealing to those men. Jefferson in particular. He was an incredibly bright guy. Those men were products of their time. Dismissing them because for an institution that during their time was endemic AROUND THE WORLD is a bit short sighted.

  • by morari ( 1080535 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @02:08PM (#39093697) Journal

    We must be destroyed and subjugated, and if we resist, we fuel your bullshit sense of victimhood.

    Doesn't sound all that far removed from Christianity, now does it? I guess that's what they get for worshiping the exact same god.

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @02:30PM (#39093855)

    In Slashdot religion bashing threads, there is one thing that always stands out to me. When child-abusing Mormons, anti-abortion Catholics, or other anti-science Christians are getting a much-deserved pummeling, absolutely NO ONE raises their voice to blunt the attacks with "so are all religions", nor does anyone bring up Islam as a counter-argument of "this religion is not the only one". Yet in threads where outrageous things are done in the name of Islam, there are always a disproportionate number of posters who jump to its defense using this kind of logic.

    For a supposed nerd community that's mostly atheist and presumably equal-opportunity when it comes to bashing religions, it seems some religions are offered more sympathy than others. It's almost as if some people here make the assumption that when one bashes Christianity, he/she must be a rational atheist, but if one bashes Islam, he/she must be a Christian. Why the bias?

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @02:53PM (#39094007) Homepage Journal

    You will need to also keep in mind that we're talking about particular Muslim cultures here, not the entire religion. According to the Koran, Christians are people of the book and so are not infidels.

    Like many cultures claiming adherence to a particular religion, they are fairly selective about which parts they adhere to.

  • by gd2shoe ( 747932 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @03:16PM (#39094127) Journal

    I'm sorry, but you are a blind ideologue, and dangerously so.

    Any time you have a shift in the fundamental construction of social values and institutions there will be those opposing the change, and there will be those pushing for change in unwise directions. American politics currently reflects that.

    Equating any mainstream American Christianity with middle eastern Sharia Law Islam makes you look positively stupid. Compare your "encroaching" on "civil rights" to the Saudi practice of capital punishment for being raped. Or even this article of writing a program to upload photos...

    To draw the inequality sign the wrong way is just sick.

    Middle eastern radicalization (on the political level) is far more dangerous. If you want Americans to blame, blame the wealthy elite who buy laws and act with impunity abroad. They're the ones driving the real civil liberties crisis here and who stirred up the hornets nest over there.

    On a level of personal opinion, I think all religion is entirely bullshit, and the world as a whole needs to focus on reality and planning for the future instead of arguing over some unimportant stories of the long-distant past.

    You can go ahead and believe that, but be careful. The moment you start tarring all religion with the same brush, you become a bigot.

  • by ogdenk ( 712300 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:46PM (#39094737)

    Since when does spouting your passionately negative and rightfully angry views warrant robotic execution? They couldn't even give him the dignity of getting shot in the face by a CIA agent?

    They actually treat drone attacks as being more legal and humane than using real people to carry out assassinations. This WAS an ILLEGAL assassination, plain and simple. Their views that human rights don't apply to those that renounce their citizenship is plain backwards. Human rights and freedom apply to well.....HUMANS.

    What they did to this guy was no better than executing a group of folks here for saying we need another armed revolution.... ya know.... since voting and playing by rules that have been turned against us has been completely ineffective.

  • by Brain-Fu ( 1274756 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:48PM (#39094751) Homepage Journal

    Incidentally, I think you need to read your philosophy coursebook a little more closely. An "atheist" is someone who does not believe in the existence of any gods. That is *it*. Rejection of belief in gods does not, in and of itself, require acceptance of the postulate "you should just be rational."

    While it is true that many atheists would probably agree with the statement "you should just be rational," most will have very different ideas about what constitutes "rationality" in any given circumstance and some may object entirely. And in any case, accepting even this statement doesn't reject the possibility of making and honoring laws. Doing so could be considered a very rational behavior (the argument is left to the student).

    Being an atheist also does not, in and itself, require rejection of a religion. Many sects of Buddhism, for example, deny the existence of any gods and as such are atheist. New-age weirdos can deny the existence of god as well and still believe in auras and energies and what-not. Again...many atheists might also reject these belief systems, but it is not a requirement of the word.

    Some might try to argue that there is a chain of reasoning at work...something like rejection of god means rejection of religion which means rejection of religious codes of morality which means rejections of any code of morality which means acceptance of the only possibility left which is "you should act rationally," but such a chain of reasoning is philosophically sloppy with incorrect assumptions each step of the way. Though being an atheist doesn't automatically make someone a rigorous philosopher, so plenty of atheists might think this way.

    I am also curious about how it has been "mathematically proven that there never are any rational course[s] of action." Mathematics generally deals with the modeling of quantifiable relationships, whereas "rationality" is more in the domain of psychology, sociology, economics, and perhaps philosophy. Does the proof look like this?:

    Let x = .33333... (repeating infinitely)
    let y = 1/3

    therefore: x = y
    therefore 3x = 3y
    therefore (3)(.3333...) = (3)(1/3)
    therefore (.9999...) = (3/3)
    therefore (.9999...) = 1
    therefore there is never a rational course of action.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:06PM (#39095183)

    Our enemy and the enemy of personal freedom is RELIGION.

    The superstitions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all completely toxic.

    Death to witch doctors and their servants.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:08PM (#39095199)

    All religion is oppressive, all religion is based on lies as there isn't the slightest logical reason to believe in Sky Fairies, and religions insist on imposing social restrictions BASED on superstition.

  • by mathmathrevolution ( 813581 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @12:24AM (#39097113)

    No, intolerance is the problem. There are tolerant religious people like Martin Luther King and Gandhi. There are intolerant religious people like Bin Laden and Benito Mussolini. There are tolerant atheists like Andrei Sakharov and Vaclav Havel. And there are intolerant atheists like Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.