I wanted to mention something about the move to have a day of silence to protest the jailing of Fouad. Let me admit that I had originally wrote a lengthy post on how we should not silence ourselves and instead speak up. But then it occurred to me that this was more of a symbolic move, that it was a form of solidarity that is tough to do simply because bloggers such as myself find one day of non-blogging as difficult as fasting, and that it was a way to mobilize and show a bit of unity. This is to say nothing of the fact that I would rather join and add some value of unity, than criticize in an obvious display of disunity. It is, after all, just one day, and I think even bloggers can put aside their knee-jerk critical reactions for a day to stand side by side.
This is to say nothing of the fact that I know some love to use such an opportunity to criticize the choice to choose one day of silence, and as an affect, it’s just another way of embarrassing the many bloggers who joined in to show their solidarity; not sympathy, no, solidarity (there’s a difference, really, look it up). Talking about the issue is one thing, insisting on talking about the issue because others have chosen another (temporary) form of protest is quite the other. Criticism is easy, shutting up for a day, well that’s a different story.
Some of the most profound statements that are the hardest to refute, can be said in silence. So there is something profound in a lot of people coming together to show solidarity in that way.
Now, all that being said, the day of silence is over and Fouad is still jailed, which means there’s something still worth fighting for, still worth speaking about, still worth screaming about, still worth spreading the word about, still worth talking about, over and over and over again, until even deaf ears are forced to listen. A stand should be made that symbolizes how bloggers will not tolerate one of their own being jailed for voicing an opinion.
And I hope that stand will now be taken with words, because on the blogosphere words are by default their own action. I hope the day of silence brought bloggers together in an effort to mobilize them for this cause. I hope they’ll use their blogs to push the issue to the forefront of controversy; on to the international stage with a big giant spotlight for all the world to see. If everyone blogged about the issue on a single day, or even every day for one month. If everyone sent emails of their posts to the press, I think something positive can get done.
Tyranny does not listen to silence, it does not take orders from silence; it simply grows and festers in silence. Martin Luther King Jr., once famously said that “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
So I hope the wheels will start turning and bloggers will continue to force this issue into the daylight. Together, I think a difference can be made and if it takes a day of silence to do that, to bring people together in that way, to help them understand what it’s like not to speak, then so be it.
Because Fouad, as of now, has had 28 days of silence.