#MuslimRage flares on Twitter
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 7:53a.m.
By Ryan Nakashima
If Newsweek intended its latest cover story to spark conversation, it certainly got what it was looking for.
The magazine's cover essay, 'Muslim Rage: How I Survived It, How We Can End It', has spawned a huge response on Twitter.
The essay by Somali-Dutch activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali addresses the issue of free speech in light of deadly riots in the Middle East over an anti-Islamic film. The story is illustrated on the magazine's cover with a photo of two bearded protesters in the midst of a mob.
Newsweek created the hashtag #MuslimRage to promote discussion of its cover story. But most of the tweets using it have mocked the subject, rather than adopt the article's serious tone.
Many of those who poked fun at the article's headline appeared to be Muslim. "MuslimRage" was the sixth most-talked about topic - or "trending topic" - on Twitter among US-based users early Monday. It was also a top trender in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The Twitter conversation peaked Monday morning and by late afternoon there were about 75,000 tweets using #MuslimRage hashtag, Twitter said, citing data from social media tracking firm Topsy.
One of the most popular posts came from "Hend", a user whose profile photo features a woman in a Muslim head covering: "I'm having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage".
Another reads: "Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can't yell for him. #MuslimRage".
Yet another tweet laments: "Head & Shoulders still hasn't made a beard conditioner. #MuslimRage".
"On a plane and people mishearing me when I say I'm a 'tourist'. #MuslimRage," reads another post.
Los Angeles-based author Reza Aslan, a frequent writer on Muslim issues, hailed what has come to be called the "hijack" of the Newsweek hashtag: "Memo to those few violent MidEast protesters, this is how you fight Islamophobia. You make fun of it. #MuslimRage".
Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk said the magazine's covers and hashtags "bring attention and spark debate around topics of major global importance. The internet is an open forum for people to continue their own discussion."
The essay's author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also became a trending topic on Twitter, although the comments were more pointed and critical.
Ali describes in the essay how she cooperated to make the short film Submission, which criticised the treatment of women in Islam. Her co-filmmaker, director Theo van Gogh, was murdered in 2004 by a man who left a note called a "Jihad Manifesto" that also threatened Ali.
Despite the levity expressed on Twitter, violent protests continued across the Muslim world. The death toll has reached 14, including 10 protesters and 4 Americans who died in last week's attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
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19/09/2012 12:55:56 p.m.
Really can't understand all the fuss. A short video clip is made about Muhammed and everyone is up in arms. If the topics covered in the video were analysed, similarities to "1001 Arabian Nights" would be seen. These ancient writings have been mostly suppressed by the Wahabi sect who contend that their religious beliefs are the only true beliefs.
Time for a full-length feature "1001 Arabian Nights" to be produced. (A Jackson production?)
19/09/2012 11:55:47 a.m.
There have been more foul rantings and ravings by Islamic radicals against all Western countries than there ever have been in this single movie. Get over yourselves, stop oppressing your own people, leave your madness at the door when you come to live in Western countries and be part of the real world. Tired of this mindless childish bleating.
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