After the Manchester Bombing…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A text by Alex in answer to the Manchester events:

Every morning following such a horrifying display of disasters, might they be perpetuated in familiar places or far away, reminds us how fragile gathering peace and communal empathy look like before the implacable nature of hatred… How the price for forgiveness and love seem to be more and more difficult to pay for people of good will… as we are to be facing the most horrible fears and dreads there is, which is to become the same monsters we are now so deeply despising… At least that’s always my personal decision to make.

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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

To deny anyone’s rights is to deprave everyone from their rights. We might not understand, we might not be comfortable, we might not even agree, but one thing is for sure; the moment we deny equality based on our beliefs or on other people’s differences, we become accomplice of the hatred that each and everyone of us had to face, are facing or will face one day for simply being who we are. By acknowledging who we are, whatever it might be or not, it is to assume what others might be or not as well. Want it or not, we’re all strange, weird or wrong for at least another one. And this is what makes the world a far more captivating place to evolve in than any homogenized dictature created by our fears and what we rebuke. At least, true or not, that’s where I stand… Human rights for all… no exception!!!

– Alex

Love sees no color…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

That’s the type of world we want to live in. Let’s end racism. 

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights the issue every year, though it’s an every day battle that needs to be fought with eyes wide open, acknowledging the different colors of this world and allowing the diversity to empower us and unite us. Difference is not the enemy, fear is. 

#InternationalDayAgainstRacism #EndRacism

International Women’s Day

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

When some of the most important things feel broken,
when fundamental rights and human values are torn apart,
let’s remember that we have the power to restore everything.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Hope in Dark Days

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

“Even the most fragile of all lights has the power
to redefine the true nature of darkness…
Hope is the acknowledgment of its bright radiance,
guiding our sorrowful blindness home.”

From March 1 to April 9, inclusively, the members of Your Favorite Enemies have decided to offer a free “Hope in Dark Days” pocket square with every order on the YFE Store, with the exception of digital orders and SFCC fan club memberships. 

From the conception to the design, the print, and the sewing, every step of the “Hope in Dark Days” pocket square is made in Your Favorite Enemies’ own creative atelier, The Fabrik. Every pocket square also features a handwritten quote by Alex. 

Get your free pocket square

As long as we care…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

It feels awfully more painful for me to write a message like this one… Not because madness came violently ripping life at home, but because it gets harder and harder for me to look around without sounding hopelessly cynical or disconnected…

It’s as if the world, more than the reality in which it seems to revolve around or grow in, was getting blurrier and blurrier. As if every time we were forced to look outside our own lives, we had to helplessly witness another bright color disappearing before our very eyes, suddenly unblinded, if only for a brief moment, by the despicable horrors that frightfully seem to be coming closer and closer to what we thought was our safe haven of existence.

It feels awfully more painful for me to muse about hope and love and peace as “terror” keeps inviting itself at the table of communion, bringing with it its abominable darkness, as if such a dreadful evilness was challenging everything that I am, everything that I believe in, everything that defines the compassion I turned into actions, forcing me to look deeper and deeper every time, to take a look at myself. But everything inside of me would rather keep looking the other way in order to deny myself the sole existence of such hatred, to rebuke it all, to keep living, as if… as if what…? Sometimes, I’m just too confused to even be able to lie to myself… “Everything will be ok”, I keep whispering. But how do I know? I keep wondering. Is it ok to be confused? I don’t know.

Since the Charlie Hebdo atrocities, the multiplications of abhorring hateful tragedies, their associated images and videos, what disgusted me the most remains the high level of apathetic nonsense we keep hearing in the different public tribunes. “Experts”, “specialists”, “observers” and “commentators” feed the flow of every possible easy and generic bullshit seconds only after the news are out. This morning, the garbage I heard was beyond intelligence from both sides of the political and social spectrum. I was disgusted. People advertising their books, their conferences, their services… no compassion, no empathy, no sympathy, no grace, not only from the tip of their lips as they advertised themselves. It made me so sick. I was just too repulsed by such lack of sensitivity to fake it through the day. It was beyond imagination. And since Donald Trump has been elected President, God knows the degree of insanity we have heard from all possible sides, from depicting women as sexual objects to be grabbed to walls, refugees bans, assassination jokes, all the way to publicly talking about bombing the white house. The political and social rhetoric is now too monstrously depraved of sense to simply be seen as ridiculously pathetic anymore; it’s hideous.

In fact, after the horrific events that occurred in Istanbul on New Year’s eve, I promised myself to stop writing about those tragedies. When words aren’t enough to share the true dimension of my feelings, I would rather leave others who still have enough strength to do it. But after receiving so many messages from friends from all over the world, from different cultures, religions and social, economic and political spheres of life, I realized even more that it’s not my weakness, nor my confusion or my doubts that I should fear, but silence… The true serum to everything that leads to or feeds bitterness, sorrow and hate remains our desires to keep inviting, to keep welcoming as we are, to keep taking chances…

As I’m writing, I’m still as confused as before, if not more. I still feel powerless, disgusted by it all. But it’s what a dear friend from Morocco recently wrote to me that keeps vibrating in my heart today. “It’s ok to be discouraged, to be confused or even scared. We all are. Love, peace, the world… nothing’s a lost cause as long as we care. As long as we care, there will always be hope, my friend. Keep walking your path and remember, when you are discouraged and want to give up, that there are people like me who do care about you.”

And as I keep whispering “everything will be ok” and keep wondering “how do I know?”, I guess, after all, that it’s because I’m one of the millions who does care that I know it will be ok. Thank you for your messages and for welcoming me. My family, my loved ones and I are safe. It might seem like the world gets more and more into the bleakness of black and white, but I know that the colors I thought were lost were safely held in your generous and sharing hands, my dear brothers, sisters, and loved ones… Let’s keep shining!!!”

– Alex

Rock N Rights x Justin Trudeau

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A few days ago, Ensaf Haidar and her family got to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Raif Badawi’s situation. May this meeting help Raif in every possible way, so that he can be freed and come back to his family as soon as possible! Special mention to Doudi for wearing the “Blinded I See” t-shirt. Speaking out truths should never be banished, in any way. Remember to take a stand for what you believe in… today, and every other day!

“Once More” – In Answer to the Nice Attacks

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A text by Alex in answer to the Nice attacks:

So today, I must resolve to offer you my thoughts, my prayers… My brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones, while I know that my words cannot ease your suffering, or even comfort you, I can only express my most sincere and unconditional love to you… While different, it is this love that unites us and that will be able to build us up… “once more”.

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The Hour of Truth

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

“It requires courage to respect others’ views, to appreciate others’ beliefs and choices along with their right to believe them.” Those were the words that inspired me when I first read Raif Badawi’s blogs, which led him directly in jail, and his wife, Ensaf Haidar and their three kids Najwa, Dodi and Miriam, to move to Sherbrooke, a city near Drummondville, where our HQ church/studio is now established. This crazy but real story is what had Alex and I talking about getting our human rights organization, Rock N Rights, back on social medias!

It was so beautiful to see how you responded intensively and with so much passion and love in regards to the Badawi family! You sent so many letters written from your hands in your languages… We were all very stocked when we started receiving all of those! I’ve been really blessed and touched to have the privilege to give all of those letters you sent, in Ensaf’s hands, hoping this would encourage her to keep going, and to gather our entire world to fight for freedom of speech! She was really touched to see all those letters coming from all around the world, she was speechless and so thankful, no words could describe how she felt. I will forever remember that moment, so inspiring, so real and powerful… It gives me wings every time I hear about her!

Here’s an excerpt of the book she wrote where she shares that magical moment where we all met her in a way. Read it and share it, since this battle is far from being over, and we can see how impactful we can be when we simply decide to. Love you all so much my friends!!!!! – Jeff

Read the excerpt