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”

“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. Continue reading ““Kez paylaş””

The wrong photos

Last Tuesday, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minster took to Twitter to call on the international community not to turn a blind eye to ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Continue reading “The wrong photos”

Viral vigilantes

Is it ethical to share on social media a photo of an alleged attacker without first verifying the facts?

And is this habit Shariah-compliant with regards to the manners of bearing witness, taking evidence and judging equitably?

It seems that in these troubled times, the politics of identity have completely replaced the moral framework which underpins our faith.

What if, after the photo has been shared 30,000 times, it turns out that the alleged attacker was innocent?

Does anyone have regrets and repent, or do we just write it off as a case of collateral damage? Mere fallout of the new vigilante religion we have made?

Pray tell.

Investigate

It’s heartening that there are people in modern times who dedicate their time to checking facts. Tracing claims to their source, mapping the path of the information as it spread worldwide. Investigating the contents of the claims. They are the modern inheritors of the sciences of isnad and matn.

But it is disheartening that they are rarely Muslim, and that in complete reverse, it is often Muslims who spread the unverified junk without a moment’s pause, purely because such claims confirm to their worldview or what they wish to believe.

This Quranic maxim is the last thing we want to hear:

O you who have believed, if an ungodly man comes to you with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.