“Kez paylaş”

The image below, shared on social media by friends, demands that we recognise and share what is happening in Myanmar, for the sake of Allah. The text is attributed to Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca, who is a popular imam in Turkey. After mentioning the tyranny faced by the people of Arakan (Rakhine State), the text roughly reads:

“We are collecting Yasin-i sherif. I can not do anything, I stand there with prayer, send DUA, read Dua Halkasina and share in your prayer circles.”

I believe the words “1 Kez payla?” superimposed on the image means “Share once”.  So far, so good.

However there is a problem with the photograph used. We are led to believe that it shows a Rohingya victim of Burmese brutality. Clearly it is a powerful image that elicits all the right emotions from the reader, but it is not in fact from Burma at all.

The photo used here is instead a quite famous photo from 2012, which captured the moment one of two Buddhist Tibetans set himself on fire near Kirti Monastery in eastern Tibet, in protest against Chinese State oppression.

Unfortunately the result of sharing photographs incorrectly attributed to the present conflict in Burma — like those shared by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Simsek, on Twitter — is that it causes cynicism about what is actually happening in the region, and innocent people will suffer as a result.

Now might be the time to recall how how the Children of Israel were addressed, when they were asked to fulfil their covenant with their Lord.

And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know it. — Qur’an 2:42

Mixing the truth with falsehood naturally corrupts it and ultimately leads people astray. As believers we should strive our utmost to avoid it, even in the mundane act of sharing an image we have received from a trusted friend. Truth, after all, stands out clear from error on its own merits. But truth mixed with falsehood: there lies the murky world of doubt and mistrust.

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