Viral outrage

For all I know, the “Punish a Muslim Day” hoax — now the talk of Muslamic social media — could have been started by mischievous Muslims. Clearly, was it intended to incite real violence and not just fear, the letters would have been sent out not to high profile Muslims, but to mean white nationalists.

As it is, the only people promoting this event are Muslims, who have taken to reposting old news, videos of unrelated incidents and exaggerations (such as that it is an official holiday) as proof that a terrible scheme of victimisation is in full swing. It all reminds me of Barry from Four Lions and his plan to blow up a mosque in order to radicalise the moderate Muslims and mobilise them to action.

For my part, I am tired of activism based on propaganda, half truths and outright lies. Left and right, Muslim, Christian and atheist: they all do it. Repurposing images from one setting to represent persecution in another; starting websites documenting every alleged misdemeanour of the other; using underhand means to sow the seeds of conflict between communities: all these methods and more are deemed appropriate methods to achieve one’s ultimate goal. However those that believe there to be no harm in mixing truth and lies if it ultimately serves a higher goal are sorely mistaken…

“And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know it.” — Qur’an 2:43

So much better is it to be people of peace, than people striving for strife and conflict. Whoever really created the “Punish a Muslim Day” letter — be it Muslims or their opponents — ought to reflect on that. Taking us down the road to conflict will only end in disaster.

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