After seeing a couple of articles about a research paper called “Islamophobia on Social Media: A Qualitative Analysis of the Facebook’s Walls of Hate,” I decided to chase the links, read the article and figure out if it was crap.
From the AsianImage article:
Islamophobic abuse posted on Facebook most commonly depicts Muslim women as threats to national security and suggests all Muslims should be deported, according to a new study published.
Research carried out at Birmingham City University (UK) examined 100 different Facebook pages, posts and comments and uncovered nearly 500 instances of anti-Muslim hate speech.
500? Five hundred? The U.K. has a population of 64.1 million. The researcher looked for hateful posts, found 500 or so, and then analyzed (US spelling) the evil things being said.
From the research:
…the author searched for outputs using the terms Muslims, AND Woolwich, Muslims AND Islam, Muslims AND Extremism and Muslims AND Terrorism. These searches generated over 550 results. These searches were then used to examine 100 Facebook pages, comments and posts that included the following inclusive criteria – articles regarding Woolwich, Rotherham, Trojan Horse and ISIS.
OK. Almost 550 results. 100 Facebook pages, comments and posts. I think you could give a kid with a disease a poster saying “I want 1,000,000 Likes” and we’d get more than a hundred in ten minutes.
So, what were those search terms again?
Woolwich: (From Wiki) On the afternoon of 22 May 2013, a British Army soldier, Fusilier Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was attacked and killed by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London. Two Muslim converts ran him over with a car then stabbed him with knives and a cleaver. [U.S. readers: See effectiveness of gun control.]
Rotherham: (From Wiki) Widespread organised child sexual abuse took place in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, between 1997 and 2013. Local investigations into the abuse began in 1999, although some reports were never finalised or made public by the authorities. In 2010, five men of Pakistani heritage were found guilty of a series of sexual offences against girls as young as twelve.
Trojan Horse: (From Wiki) Operation Trojan Horse refers to an organised attempt by a number of associated individuals to introduce an Islamist or Salafist ethos into several schools inBirmingham, England. The name, based on the Greek legend, comes from a leaked letter discovered in March 2014, alleged to be from Birmingham Islamists detailing how to wrest control of a school and speculating about expanding the scheme to other cities.
So, using search criteria about very nasty scandals/attacks by Islamists, the researcher eventually finds nasty things being said about Muslims. His conclusions:
Overall, this study found Muslims being demonised and vilified online which had manifested through negative attitudes, discrimination, stereotypes, physical threats and online harassment which all had the potential to incite violence or prejudicial action because it disparages and intimidates a protected individual or
You know what else has the potential to incite violence or prejudicial action? Killing a soldier. Abusing children. Trying to introduce Islamist thought into British schools.
Which is a long way of saying that somebody’s accusations of Islamophobia are overblown. If Muslims want to avoid being “vilified” online, they need to teach their community members to avoid vile activities.