The recent terror attacks that took place in Brussels on the 22 of March have sparked a wave of Islamaphobia throughout the social networking platform Twitter. The hashtag #StopIslam trended worldwide, just below #Brussels and #PrayForBelgium.
At a glance, the hashtag would seem disturbing and almost scary. Although if we look at this from a broader perspective thousands of people stood in solidarity with the vast amounts of Muslim people who were against the actions of ISIL on the day of the attacks.
The first wave of people who used this hashtag did use it in an insulting way, there several tweets that criticised and generalised Islamic people. Conservatives from all nooks and corners from the earth had taken the chance to spread their bigoted message throughout the walls of Twitter. The terror attacks in Brussels were a chance for bigots and racists alike to spread their hatred.
We have seen this several times, like in November after the Paris attacks, there was a huge spike in Anti – Muslim rhetoric throughout social media.
However, after this initial wave, there were thousands of people who protested against the bigots. Masses of people Tweeted things like “Terrorism has no religion”.
My personal take on the situation is that the fact that hundreds and thousands stood against right – wing fundamentalists in order to defend an entire religion of people reassured my faith in humanity as a whole.
People cannot be so narrow – minded to blame over 1.6 billion people, most of whom have no control over the actions of Islamists and Jihadists. Moreover, the notion that Islam is somehow synonymous with terrorism is in fact completely untrue. For instance, more people have died on U.S. soil because of right – wing extremism than Jihadism post 9/11.