Muslim civil rights advocates see the limitations of social media activism

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A San Bernardino, Calif., police officer stands near flowers left near the scene of the Dec. 2 shooting rampage at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-NASRULLAH-COLUMN, originally published on Dec. 8, 2015.

A San Bernardino, Calif., police officer stands near flowers left near the scene of the Dec. 2 shooting rampage at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-NASRULLAH-COLUMN, originally published on Dec. 8, 2015.

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(RNS) After a string of successful social media campaigns had buttressed the fledgling Muslim activist ranks, many are now seeing the medium’s limitations.

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  • G Key

    I’ve always objected to the use of terms such as “Muslim terrorists” and “religious terrorists”. These misleading terms provoke bias and hostility against entire religions while ignoring the vast majorities of believers who utterly reject violence in the names of their Gods.

    The religions have no more to do with the criminals who cite them than the bushes or trees they might otherwise hide behind. The only difference is that bushes or trees don’t suffer the consequences of slander or guilt by association.

    I wish the news media, and the public in general, would call these “faith-based” killers what they really are: “sacrilegious terrorists”.

  • @G Key,

    “These..terms provoke bias…”

    The terrorists are clear, their goal is to force you to surrender to Allah to summon the Hidden Imam by “inciting Armageddon” the last war against Satan – nuclear war to end the world.

    If you don’t think that is religious, you are not paying attention.

    The proper term for these killers is “Religious Supremacists”
    It is a Totalitarian Theocratic project as was Hitler’s Catholic Aryan Reich.

    The vast majority of Muslims and Christians are peaceful because they do not follow their holy books at all. If they did we would have worse problems:

    “Slay the infidel wherever you find them” – Allah (Surah 9.2)
    “Execute my enemies” – JESUS (luke 19:27)
    “Kill the unbelievers in daylight” – Yahweh (Deuteronomy)

    The only cures are Freedom of Speech, careful political strategies
    and ultimately the decline of religious ideas.

  • Robert Karma

    The problem with any ideology that claims to be the only source of absolute “truth” is a threat to our freedom. It doesn’t allow for any questioning, debate or opposition. It thinks in absolutes and doesn’t recognize any shades of gray in its perception of the world. Historically this has been true of secular based or religious based ideologies. Right now there are Muslims who have an interpretation of the Koran that is just as legitimate as the interpretation of the Bible used by those Christians who have killed and oppressed in the name of their God. The belief that one has supernatural permission to commit atrocities provides ample justification to them for their actions. To avoid calling these terrorist acts out as being inspired by religious belief is to be willfully delusional and unprepared on how to combat such an ideology.

  • G Key

    My point is that, whether Christian, Muslim, or any other faith, it’s only a small, fringe minority — in each case condemned by the vast majority — that believes in trespassing into other people’s private lives and inflicting cruelties of every variety and severity imaginable.

    In the face of overwhelming internal/official religious opposition, I see neither reason nor value in stipulating the “legitimacy” of terrorists’ claims to religions which they sacrilegiously purport to represent.

    It dredges up what I consider to be quite literally the worst problem on Earth: that some people vociferously, violently, megalomaniacally maintain that others’ spiritual/existential beliefs, values, rights, choices, lives — other people’s personal boundaries — are subject to their proclaimed beliefs (which are never subject to anyone else’s).

    So, personally, I refuse to credit those King-of-the-World-wannabes with any legitimacy whatsoever. I wish others would do likewise.

  • Heather

    Thinking as I type here, it s time to go to the source–the foundations and media outlets that play on the fears for political & financial gain? (is it a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch’s on the board of the first company to obtain oil drilling rights in the Golan?)

    In the case of the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado the hateful pro-life rhetoric was called on the carpet for inciting people to violence. The connection is real.

  • Doc Anthony

    The New York Post’s headline is totally accurate and appropriate for the specifc story that it covered — the San Bernadino shooting.

    Telling the truth is NOT an “anti-Muslim” thing. It’s time to tell the truth.

  • bje

    Dear Max, especially in Muslim and also other religious holy books, the verses are not so simple as you quoted above. They have so-called contextual and historical settings to be known before claiming the meaning for some purposes.