Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I caught a case of #MuslimRage yesterday

I admit that I lost it yesterday. Newsweek magazine had a really lovely and picturesque cover on it's September 16 issue (which you can see here), with the headline in bold capital letters, "Muslim Rage". Below the words was a photo of what can only be described as what normal, everyday Muslims look like, whether going to work, eating dinner, or hanging out at the park. I'll be honest, the cover was actually marginally better than the October 15, 2001 cover that spotlighted a Fareed Zakaria piece, entitled, "Why they hate us,"with the sub-heading the Roots of Islamic Rage (I'd argue that this title and photo were more unethical than his short-lived plagiarism scandal but that is only one raging Muslim's opinion.)

The cover was in reference to the recent protests that have intermittently spread to over a dozen countries in the Arab world and beyond, and which I wrote about last week. While these demonstrations, some violent, have proven in some instances to be deadly (mostly to the protestors in fact), they have usually involved marginal groups from the wider community, and in fact many other shadowy jihadist groups have used the pretext of this film to raise the specter of militant attacks (which is what the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, appears to be now.) However, no one in any of the countries affected - I am in Egypt at the moment - would deny that there has been a problem, and that there continue to be religious fundamentalists that would like to push a further clash. Yet, it is in all cases a minority movement that the majority is trying to address, including the governments in each of the countries, from Libya to Egypt and beyond.

That didn't stop Ayaan Hirsi Ali of prolific former Muslim fame from chiming in with her lead article in Newsweek. She is a serial abuser of intellectual inquiry in favor of a biased agenda: "For Ali, her myopic worldview is divided into black and white, where civilization is clearly defined and is found solely in the narrow confines of a neo-conservative philosophy shared by her and her thought-partners. Everything outside that is anathema to something called Western civilization."

Yet, when I and countless other people really lost it and went into a Muslim Rage, was when Newsweek asked on Twitter for people to use the hashtag #MuslimRage to provide further comment on the story. It obviously backfired as seen by the subsequent comments on twitter. A resistance of satire and scorn ensued, with probably the best tweet being, "Lost nephew at airport but can't yell for him because his name is Jihad. #MuslimRage."

In that spirit, here are my tweets as as stream of consciousness from last night (most recent first):

  • When you realize you just spent the last hour coming up with tweets to mock Newsweek. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that MTV doesn't actually play music videos anymore. #MuslimRage
  • When your secret that you like Vanilla Ice is no longer a secret. #MuslimRage
  • When somebody asks you if you know their friend Mohamad, because you're both Muslim, and you actually know him! #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that the scale is kilos not pounds. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that the Queen actually rules your country, #Canada, #Jamaica. #MuslimRage
  • When you teach somebody how to dougie but they're not interested. #MuslimRage
  • When a fat guy sits next to you instead of a hot girl in a plane. #MuslimRage
  • When you're called in for an 'interview' by a government agency and realize it's not for a job. #MuslimRage
  • When even you can't point out Iraq on the map. #MuslimRage
  • When your friends realize Mo is short for Mohamed. #MuslimRage
  • When a terrorist shares your name. #MuslimRage
  • When people see a country in the news that has nothing to do with you and ask: Is that where you're from? #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that Flo Rida is actually just Florida split into two words. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize you're singing along to Carlie Rae Jepsen's "Call me maybe." #MuslimRage
  • When you ask somebody to do something and they answer with 'Inshallah.' #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that if you have a 5 o'clock shadow it can be deemed a security threat. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize the person on TV who is a "Muslim expert" is neither Muslim or an expert. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that when they have 'Sushi' in Iraq it doesn't mean Japanese food. #MuslimRage
  • When you start the joke with, "An Imam, A Rabbi and a Priest walk into a bar..." and realize it won't work. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that Muslim is the new Black, but doesn't come with the benefits of street cred. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize you're brown in France. #MuslimRage
  • When somebody tells you, "you look just like my friend" who actually looks nothing like you. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that you can actually gain weight during Ramadan. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that even you find the adhan is sometimes too loud. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize that 'being on the list' at the airport is not the same like it is at the club. #MuslimRage
  • When I forgot to lower my gaze last night at the club. #MuslimRage
  • When you're crying inside and nobody knows it but you. #MuslimRage
  • When you go for a walk and it starts raining, and you forgot your umbrella. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize Persian and Iranian are actually the same thing. #MuslimRage
  • When you can't go to the bathroom at the front of the plane, because of what that might mean. #MuslimRage
  • When somebody finds out that Backstreet Boys and Celine Dion are very popular amongst youth in the Arab world. #MuslimRage
  • When you don't shave in the morning and someone asks you: So is that a religious thing? #MuslimRage
  • When Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is more outraged by a movie than his friend Bashar al-Assad. #MuslimRage
  • When a rich #Saudi prince goes to Las Vegas on a bender and then funds a Salafist cleric. #MuslimRage
  • When you're defending Islam and a cleric declares that Muslims should be allowed to marry 9 year-old girls. #MuslimRage
  • When you find out it's not okay to say Allah Akbar loud in a public place. #MuslimRage
  • When someone claims to know "What Went Wrong" with all Muslims is actually cited as a leading expert. #MuslimRage
  • When you're asked, and "What's the Muslim perspective on..." #MuslimRage
  • When you are citing famous Muslims and forget about Dave Chappelle. #MuslimRage
  • When you find out Newsweek still has relevance even though it's irrelevant. #MuslimRage
  • When you have to explain why you don't drink for the umpteenth time. #MuslimRage
  • When some things you wish were halal are actually haram. #MuslimRage
  • When you look up 'Arab Street' and can't find it on Google Maps in any Arab country. #MuslimRage
  • When you realize there's actually no such thing called the Muslim world. #MuslimRage
  • When you find out your Kindergarten teacher can't pronounce your name. Young #MuslimRage
  • When you realize Ramadan this year will be 30 days and not 29. #MuslimRage
  • When you find out Barack Obama isn't actually Muslim. #MuslimRage
  • I can't believe it's not butter. #MuslimRage @Newsweek

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