To be trustworthy

Faith does not mean forwarding every piece of spurious crap you receive on WhatsApp, believing everything you read on Facebook, or liking every Tweet shared by a Muslim personality. You still have to verify the information you receive, even if it comes from a trusted friend.  Continue reading “To be trustworthy”

Bye bye InfoWars

So long, InfoWars. You won’t be missed. Long ago you were the beloved of Muslamic conspiracy theorists, who would insist Alex Jones was always pretty much on the money. Yes, in those heady days when 9/11 and 7/7 were inside jobs, perpetuated by the deep state in order to wage war in foreign lands and build a police state at home. Those were the days when the ranting of Paul Joseph Watson was considered cutting edge research. Ah, those were the days indeed, when everyone could vouch for your nonsense, depriving us as it did any collective responsibility for our lives. But all that is but a distant memory today. Through the Obama years, InfoWars transformed before our very eyes from spouter of nonsense that every paranoid Muslim activist could believe in, into spouter of nonsense that every paranoid anti-Muslim activist could believe in. It was all the same in the end. The gospel according to InfoWars had many disciples, and no doubt infamy will increase them in number. Alas we now have our own Muslamic Alex Jones preaching from the same gospel, only to the Islamised transcript. I guess we always will. Hate speech and spurious nonsense is very much in vogue these days. For laying those foundations you deserve full credit. If only today’s misfortunes were truly your demise.

Sheikh of the interwebs

Sheikh of the interwebs has a following to propagate; twenty-two thousand and rising (he’s small-fry today, but tomorrow the world). A populist controversy daily keeps the disciples coming back for more: he’s a champion of the new voiceless, an advocate for forgotten reactionaries. Social media is manna from heaven: the glue that holds together a career giving lectures and writing articles, pending the advent of a proper job. To rest on your laurels is suicide: fail to cultivate your following on social media and you are nobody. A nobody with no influence; what a horrible thought, when there is just so much to say.

Ah, but listen for the sound of silence. There goes the sheikh with his minuscule following far from these virtual worlds, who shuns controversy, but nevertheless speaks the truth to the populist masses. Perhaps there is one we could learn from, as he toils by day in honest employment, and teaches at night to a humble circle of gentle friends. May God preserve us from the groupies and vast followings that teem on the interwebs, from being led awry and from leading others astray. May God preserve us from the lust for fame that this medium nurtures, from the pursuit of likes and mentions, retweets and shares, from seeking out a multitude of fans, who hang on our every word, whether we speak the truth or not. May God preserve us from the new sheikhs of the interwebs, and from the worst of ourselves.

Faux boycott

Boycott Starbucks, reads the WhatsApp message, which goes on to highlight a series of completely (and obviously) made up facts about the company and its alleged support for Israel’s armed forces. Continue reading “Faux boycott”

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.

These amalgamations

I am one of those exceedingly annoying people who, when presented with a collection of photos (especially concerning an incendiary issue), insists on running them through a reverse image search to check that they really are what the person posting them claims them to be. It may be an obsessive compulsive disorder, or it may be a concern about the truth: I’m not even sure myself. Continue reading “These amalgamations”

Propaganda

Years of training on social media mean that I am just as likely to disbelieve Muslim propaganda as anything put out by the so-called mainstream media. Sad but true.

Organ donation

The following post is currently being circulated on social media:

A reminder to all, residents in the UK are now automatically on the organ donation register. If you don’t Opt Out your organs and tissue are now the property of the UK government after death. You can easily opt out for yourself and family members using the link below, it takes about 1 minute. [link] It is *NOT* permissible for us to donate our organs.

My immediate thought, on reading this, was: why is it not permissible for us to donate our organs after our death? Do we need them as we lie in our graves? Continue reading “Organ donation”

Qur’anic literacy skills

On Facebook earlier today, I encountered the following post:

When reading rumors in the media regarding accusations made against any person, especially if the accuser is an ideological and social opponent of the accused and declares open hostility to divine legislative sovereignty, it is crucial that Muslims employ Qur’anic media literacy skills. The Qur’an emphatically states:

“O You, Who have made a firm commitment to Allah! If a degenerate person comes to you with some news, verify it lest you unwittingly cause harm to a people and later become remorseful over what you have done.” (Al-Qur’an: Surah 49, Ayat 6).

Continue reading “Qur’anic literacy skills”

Twenty-one thousand signatures

Imagine being asked by all your friends and peers to sign an open letter stating full and total support for men accused of sexual abuse and predatory behaviour at the outset of Operation Yewtree. Of course, the accused had the right to the presumption of innocence — and indeed we learnt the hard way the dangers of reporting before evidence had been heard, when some men were wrongly accused of crimes in the media and were later cleared.  Continue reading “Twenty-one thousand signatures”