Internet trolls and hate mongers are already posting photos of a young Muslim woman walking past a dying man and in the hopes that the general public will take it out of context.
London, and the country as a whole, have barely had anytime to come to terms with what happened in yesterday’s atrocities but as a city they’ve already picked themselves up and gotten back to business as usual.
Following yesterday’s events we’ve already heard about acts of kindness up and down the city, such as Muslims United For London raising £3,000 for victims in just one hour and TFL providing commuters going into work the next day with messages of hope.
However there’s always the inevitable few, the vocal minority if you like, that love to things stir up for A) shits and giggles or B) their own agenda. Case-in-point, the photo of a Muslim girl (who happens to be wearing a headscarf) walking past an injured man has been shared thousands of times on social media with people jumping to wild conclusions and off-based accusations that most likely stem from their own prejudices.
We won’t show the photo because that would be counter-intuitive to the point of this article, but the assumptions that have been made off of it are so wildly unfounded and bear-baiting to say the least.
One individual on Twitter, going by the name Texas Lone Star, shared the picture with a caption saying:
Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack, casually walks by a dying man while checking phone.
To be fair, when your Twitter bio reads: “Proud TEXAN and AMERICAN patriot # prolife # Trump2016 # TrumpPence16 F*** Islam and PC. Don’t mess with Texas!” you know what you’re in for when you follow him.
They say a photo speaks a thousand words but the photo in question couldn’t be anymore out of context, it implies that the girl, and perhaps by association Islam, doesn’t care about what’s happening in London. By sharing that photo it only perpetuates that belief, and whilst you may not share the ideology you’re still empowering those that do.
Also take into context the girl in the photo, how do we that she’s walking past to ignore the events unfolding just behind her? Maybe she’s calling loved ones to let them know that she’s safe, I know that after the 7/7 bombings I was calling friends and family to make sure they were safe and I in turn was receiving those check ups from those concerned with my well being.
Maybe she was calling the emergency services to give them location of where they needed to be to attend to the victis. Of course this is all speculation but better that than to immediately write her off as some who doesn’t care. An assumption being made mostly likely based on her appearance.
Sharing this photo right now does nothing in trying to bring people together, in fact it does the total opposite. A simple picture has been tainted because it’s been taken out of context. To reiterate you are only empowering those who want that division and segregation, groups like the so-called ‘Islamic State’, who want this because for them it only proves them right. They are they last people you want to feel vindicated.
What’s more if we’re going to call the young woman out for not appearing to care, what do we say to this Caucasian man on his phone walking ideally by. Are we going to call him out on the same alleged nonchalant demeanour as well?
Arie Kruglanski, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, who studies how people become terrorists said:
This is precisely what Isis was aiming for — to provoke communities to commit actions against Muslims…
Then ISIS will be able to say, ‘I told you so. These are your enemies, and the enemies of Islam.’
How about instead of sharing this ‘out-of-context’ photos we instead focus on the bravery of slain Officer Keith Palmer, the emergency forces who worked tirelessly for our safety, the two who victims who died on Westminster bridge and the countless injured in yesterday’s terrorist attacks?
Let’s honour their memory and show those who want to segregate and divide us that they’re failing miserably.