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May 22, 2011

taboo is a strong social prohibition (or ban) relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and forbidden based on moral judgment and sometimes even religious beliefs” — Wikipedia

Cultures and societies demand different forms of conformity, discipline, un-spoken laws and liberties that make them unique to one another, taboos are an integral part of these communities and they are more than welcome to be.
But, why are taboos also not open to discussion?
as societies develop in the middle east, there seems to be more taboo topics by the minute!

Why can’t we talk about sex? acts of sexual nature? whether they are wrong or right is not the question… the Question is more objective. educative and a request for transparency. I bring up “sex” because it’s the most general of debates, that is commonly tabooed in societies throughout the Middle East and further.

But the truth of the matter is there are more Taboos to be discussed than that, more specific, more sensitive … more specific to Lebanon: Weapons and Justice.

Why can’t we discuss the growing number of Weapons on the streets? their source? how to control them? why we need them? and why we don’t? An open discussion, not targeted at anyone/group in particular (because all groups have weapons!), a transparent approach to how this problem is tearing down our society..

How many victims have passed this year alone in random shootings, individual incident (Park at your own risk!) that required gun fire (for no apparent reason), a stray bullet and a non-stray bullet out of a raging gun? None of these instances fall under the reason that guns are allowed in the first place…

Why can’t we discuss Justice? real justice, and accountability? why start at the middle? A Judiciary system that works? that holds everyone accountable for their mistakes, everyone that’s still roaming the streets with a judiciary debt? How many would consider going to a police station to report a crime, no matter how miniscule? or even go to court for something more serious? Do we have faith in our Justice system?

The continuous covering up for these issues is in direct violation of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), which Lebanon has signed, and falls under the Constitution. (How off track are we?)

Back to the definition of taboo… neither topics fit the category, but still they are hushed and made scared in a society claiming freedom of speech. freedom of speech?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. FBerjaoui permalink
    May 22, 2011 2:19 pm

    I dont think there is Taboo in Lebanon. Ok I’m being naive here, but I think “Taboo” is just a facade to hide the shame, dignity or corruption depending on the topic.

    In Sex, sex is not taboo, it’s even within the Lebanese law that prostitutes are given a permit, that’s a law that existed since the 40s or 50s. why is Sex taboo, because the “permit” holders have to preserve their “dignity” just in case the right customer comes along which they convert to a long-term customer through marriage 🙂 .
    Aside from prostitution, on a social level. Lebanese men have this nasty habit of bragging about their sexual encounters as if they’re trying to keep “scores”. which I find demeaning to women, so naturally a woman who was dumped after sex find herself violated and mis-treated (sharmouta)and tends not to talk about it.

    As to taboo about our justice system, Corruption has become rampant to a certain degree that we do not trust our own law-enforcement. I invite you to do a simple exercise on your own, go through the entire street of Gemayze and check with Pub owners how much bribes they pay per month to….(I dont want to mention, taboo 🙂 see ? 🙂 hehe

    As to weapons, that’s political corruption in a system based on making your own sectarian community always fear the other sectarian community, hence strengthening your own sectarian leader’s grip on his own sect. Leaders always grow by letting you believe the “others” from your own country are out to get you. hence, the leader says : I will arm you, I will protect you, but you have to follow my leadership.

    It’s not taboo, it’s simple semantics, then why is it treated as taboo ?? because they dont want “us the People” to address these issues head on to solve them. Solving these issues ultimately mean political leaders loose their grip and control on us. Why would we vote for them or need them if we can solve our own issues ?

    Just my 2 cents.

    • May 22, 2011 2:28 pm

      “It’s not taboo, it’s simple semantics, then why is it treated as taboo ?? because they dont want “us the People”” — your insights brings the post home perfectly…. a Taboo a social constrain on your speech, and therefore the society controls what is to be discussed and what not, therefore creating constrains out of .. nothing really.

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