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!
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”.
“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
Following what happened in Belgium earlier today, Alex has decided to share a few words of his own, sharing the thoughts that are going through his mind at the moment. We want to join our thoughts to his, and to all of you. After all, we’re all affected by what happened.
Today we’re celebrating the International Women’s Day which is kinda odd to me, still in 2016. I’ve been asked to write down something about a woman that I admire, or impacted me in some ways… But I’d rather use this day, and platform of mine, to invite us all, men and women, to simply do something about those sexe inequalities STILL ongoing all around the world. What’s wrong with us men? What are we afraid of that much? I think fear is the real word to put on these inequalities, nothing else… fear. Why women had to fight to vote, to be educated, to hide their faces in some countries, to go through genital mutilations in others? I know I might sound 10 years oldish “Hey daddy, why is this going on in the world?” kinda questions, but still, this is what’s happening around us, and this is only because of one thing; fear.
I grew up weirdly until I discovered punk rock, where to me, everything made sense in life… where establishment of all kinds, whether it was to challenge the acceptance level of difference in high school, to my parents and their friends, the local authorities and so on… it all had to evolve according to me, using shocking methods as motto and motivations to get up in the morning! It’s with that same spirit that I’m here today, but with a greater purpose, since we, all together, have to, and can make a real difference in this world. Why not making of this 21st century the 1st in history where men and women lived as equal? I want to thank women like Rosa Parks today that stood up for what she believed in, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I also want to thank Marie Curie for stating that nothing in life is to be feared, it’s only to be understood. I want to thank Emmeline Pankhurst working hand in hand with her husband to get rid of ignorance, leading women to vote, Audrey Hepburn for using her fame to become a UNICEF ambassador and seed hope for the ones in need. I could go on and on like this, since our world’s history wouldn’t be what it is like now, if it wasn’t for all these brave women, but what I really wanted to do also today, is to thank and honor you all, my precious female friends, sisters, for your guts and courage to go through everyday life facing those inequalities, facing the modern world pressure of what a woman “should” look like, should act like, should talk like and worst, should dream like…
I’ll end up with this, I think that equality and respect should be what really shines and what inspires each other to grow, to live and to dream as equal human beings. I want to walk with you all hand in hand, fearless, for future generations to read that we, together, ended those inequalities between men and women in our generation. You with me?
We’re all guilty of something in life. And the band members are no exception. But what if we could all be free? No judgement, but a pure and simple freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of being. This is what should prevail in our everyday life. In honor of those who do not have this freedom, we stand united.
Human Rights for all, no exception. This is a motto that the members of Your Favorite Enemies go by every day, and one for which they’ve fought for years.
Message d’Alex, suite aux attentats de Paris.
Je suis présentement à l’aéroport de Montréal en compagnie de Jeff. Nous quittons pour Tokyo dans moins de 2 heures. Nous n’avons pu fermer l’oeil de la nuit, inquiets pour nos êtres chers qui manquent toujours à l’appel et résolument déterminés à ne pas succomber aux extrêmes émotions que pareils actes de barbarie pourraient nous sembler raisonnable de vivre en pareille occasion.
La véritable victoire de la terreur s’avère sa propension à créer de nouveaux monstres, justes ou non. Ce matin, alors que je ne peux que penser à nos amis qui manquent toujours à l’appel, alors que rage, peine, incompréhension et consternation s’entremêlent dans mon coeur, dans mon âme, je pense à tous nos êtres chers… Et malgré la profonde souffrance qu’est la nôtre, je me refuse à faire surgir ce monstre vengeur. Je renonce à devenir l’ombre de ces abominables actes du mal. Car elle est là la victoire de ceux qui sèment la mort; le triomphe de la haine s’avère l’appel à nos instincts les plus primaires, à nos sentiments les plus insondés.
Ce matin, j’ai mal d’une blessure innommable puisqu’indescriptible, puisqu’insoutenable… Et je pense à ceux que j’aime, qui ont de justesse évité le courroux de l’injustifiable. Je pense à ceux qui, comme nous, ont perdu des êtres chers aux mains de la sauvagerie des uns devenue l’horreur des autres. Je pense à ceux qui ce matin ont la force de se lever avec la singulière détermination de continuer ce qui sera désormais considéré comme le combat de la compassion et de l’amour. Je pense à ceux qui, après avoir été fauchés par l’infamie de l’extrême abnégation de la valeur de l’autre, nous rappellent de vivre au-delà de la folie engendrée par l’abomination du désespoir. Ce matin, au-delà de la répulsion que mon coeur éprouve face aux images que les infos nous balancent en boucle, je veux simplement prendre le temps, en mon nom et au nom des membres de la grande famille de Your Favorite Enemies, pour vous dire ce que mon effréné quotidien m’y illusoirement contraint de vous partager trop souvent, c’est à dire à quel point vous êtes toutes et tous incroyablement précieux pour nous. Ce matin, après avoir été si majestueusement Charlie, le monde est amèrement Paris. Mais devant telle tragédie, et bien que j’aie peine à n’être bien plus que moi-même ce matin, je ne suis ni Charlie, ni Paris, pas plus que je ne me sens Amnistie Internationale. Mais malgré l’aberration de cette admission, je m’en vois néanmoins rassuré, car l’arme que nous avons tous face à la frayeur que sème la terreur est de se savoir plus que jamais humain, ce qui m’invite à vous dire humblement que je vous aime, bien que la profondeur de ce sentiment m’échappe si cruellement souvent. La plus petite lueur a le pouvoir de terrasser la plus profonde noirceur. À nous maintenant de briller de tous nos feux.
– Votre frère, votre ami, Alex.
On April 10th, via Rock N Rights, members of Your Favorite Enemies & crew have joined members of Amnesty International to demonstrate their desire to free Raif. Flogging has been avoided today again, but Raif still isn’t free. We urge you all to keep spreading the word around you, and to do anything possible, like signing petitions and sending letters to the official authorities requesting Raif’s release.