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”

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”

“It was photoshopped”

As you will have realised by now, I am a just little obsessed with investigating the authenticity of images shared on Social Media. Whenever a great controversy arises, I will be there with my magnifying glass, peering into exif data, converting images to text files, running them through reverse image searches and consulting Street View for helpful clues as to whether the image is genuine or not. I admit that it is verging on a compulsive disorder, but so too is the habit of my fellow travellers in forwarding absolutely everything that confirms their worldview without pause. Continue reading ““It was photoshopped””

Gaudy palaces

I’m no fan of gaudy palaces filled with gold leaf and French furniture, nor of the politicians who reside in them, but why do people have lie and fabricate for added effect?

The caption of this Facebook post mockingly reads, “In service of the nation” — in juxtaposition to the President and his family enjoying an apparently lavish lifestyle of high fashion and luxurious surroundings. Continue reading “Gaudy palaces”

Disturbing images

Here is another gruesome and disturbing image being circulated on social media in respect of the unfolding crisis in Myanmar (the annotations are mine). Continue reading “Disturbing images”