The group of 87 thousand and counting people who have hit like on this popular Facebook page are activists. They work a 9 to five job or homemakers or motivated and concerned organizations and agencies or even people who hate Islam… It does not matter! On this page, they are united as a cause and they have hit the like button! Much like the wearing of clothes is a fashion statement, the wearing of Like Buttons on your Facebook profile is your statement of the “wearing these values”. The all unifying and integrating experience of our modern cyber lives has been captured in the world of Facebook, and its as yet under explored potential to be a change-maker…!
The plight of Sakineh, living in a horrific world of anti-women, gender corrupt, and gender –mutilating world of Iranian Government policies is now well known. It would be difficult to trace a logic model and a chain of events to say how and when the Facebook page made a difference or had anything much to do with it! But, there is always a but, if you are counting then count that in a consumerist, capitalist world with the disparate sensibilities, there are 87, 296 people …helloooooo please note there are at least 87 thousand people….who give a damn about what happens to the mother of two children, sentenced to public lashings, and separated from her children, all because maybe she could not stand her husband and had an affair! These people live in places, where, ‘if you don’t like your husband leave him’ is a fine dictum…but not in crazy world! And crazy world can be anywhere...not just a person, it could be a whole institution…anywhere where a few people think they have a right to decide how and what another person does or thinks! Then willfully decide whether to shoot them, or give them public lashings or mow them down with an army….the crazies …are not into due process!
As a response, the world of the sane people sometimes caught in these insanities with little power, does what it can, which is reflect and continue the civic disobedience movement of Gandhi. They create a Facebook page and give out information, create a forum to share thoughts and responses …and ultimately, India does gain Independence and the British Colonizers do leave ….so do their armies and their queen!
Not really because of the goodness of their heart but because the combined will of the collective and the grace of advocacy and engaging people who are not directly affected. So those who are not Sakineh or at risk of becoming a Sakineh show that they care...even if it is by clicking on the like button in Facebook!
And the bottom-line is Sakineh hasn’t been saved yet…but she has not been executed either!
More on the Facebook page on Sakineh can be retrieved fromhttp://www.facebook.com/savesakineh#!/savesakineh?sk=info Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from being Stoned to Death in Iran, by Donya Jam.