A new hashtag, #muslimrage, has taken Twitter by storm and is a fantastic way to dispel a harmful media narrative at its base level.
In the wake of bombings of consulates in Libya and riots in several other countries, headlines blared across America trumpeting a level of “Muslim rage” following the footage of a supposed anti-Muslim movie on YouTube. But the #muslimrage hashtag, in its Twitter-esque way, manages to put a human face to the people media have led us to believe are totally plotting Death to America most of the day, except, of course, when they are putting pudding cups in the microwave.
The #muslimrage hashtag reminds us that humans are humans are humans, and, for the most part, when drones hit a civilian-populated area, there are moms and babies and firemen and civil workers and other human people among the collateral damage.
Media presents one version of events, and then we have Newsweek, who invented the #muslimrage hashtag as one to denote stories about the film-related rioting. But Twitter is as Twitter does, and soon people were using the tag to describe mundanely person-like life circumstances and very effectively reminding Americans that Muslims are basically just like us.
My personal favorite #muslimrage tweet came to prominence in the Gawker post about the hashtag (with a great photo series depicting Muslims raging while shopping at the market, swimming, and chatting on the street with one another coyly) that read:
when my mom got mad at me for putting a pudding cup in the microwave #MuslimRage
— Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@pushinghoops) September 17, 2012
The same young woman added:
But on her Twitter, she also explains the reason behind the (can I say hijacking?) of the #muslimrage hashtag when she astutely says:
to justify ongoing violence Muslim targets must be dehumanized presented only as 2D savages, ‘real’ people are harder to kill — Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@pushinghoops) September 17, 2012
And this, folks, explains the #muslimrage hashtag re-claiming and exactly why it’s important to really look at these issues from all angles. Because to you or me here on American shores it’s a distant issue involving people we have never met nor know anything about, but to Ayesha, it’s a casual dismissal of her culture and home as a violent, scary place that won’t be very much disrupted at all by outbreaks of war-like activities.
Did the #muslimrage hashtag open your eyes at all? Here are a few more examples of Muslim rage via the #muslimrage hashtag:
You lose your nephew at the airport but you can’t yell his name because it’s JIHAD. #muslimrage
— Hijabi Girl (@HijabiGrlPrblms) September 17, 2012
There’s no prayer room in this nightclub! #muslimrage
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) September 17, 2012
Not only did I trip and fall, but I didn’t even land facing the Qiblah! #MuslimRage
— Rami Salamé (@ramisalame) September 17, 2012