As the world continues to react to US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Islamo-facist statements against Muslims, it seems another storm is brewing in the UK following Saturday’s stabbing at a London Underground station. Muhaydin Mire, of Leytonstone, is accused of sawing at the throat of a 56-year-old man at Leytonstone tube station on Saturday evening. A bystander who witnessed the attack told the perpetrator ”You Ain’t No Muslim Bruv” – a phrase which has now dominated social media and become an international trend.
”You Ain’t No Muslim Bruv” is uniting Twitter against extremists acting in the name of Islam. The hashtag shows support for victims and their stance against Islamaphobia. Muslims from all around the world have demanded that extremists stop killing in the name of Islam. This hashtag can be seen as a method to counter-terrorism.
@Kolakune_5 ”#YouAintNoMuslimBruv is possibly the most reaction to a terrorist attack ever.”
@thebestjoan Fantastic!! Donald Trump UK ban petition passes 370000 signatures #YouAintNoMuslimBruv
@stevebrookstein When there is a terror incident we say #YouAintNoMuslimBruv in the USA idiot Donald Trump says #BanMuslims
Speaking at a press conference in Derby this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron praised the bystander and said the hashtag ‘You ain’t no Muslim bruv’ was a brilliant response.
“[He] said it much better than I could have done. Thank you…that will be applauded around the country,” said Cameron.
South Africans following this story believe that countering Islamic extremism or terrorism is more than just about negating religion.
”Although we need to make use of all means and methods at our disposal, I don’t think this hashtag will be anywhere near enough to counter the global campaign against Islam,” says Khalid Elhadaad, a member of UCT Muslim Student Association (MSA).
Is this a form of Takfir?
While many agree the hashtag has made a profound impact on non-Muslims and Muslims globally, some believe this hashtag is forbidden for Muslims to use.
”Killing someone is a major sin but it doesn’t take you out of the fold of Islam. People are following a trend not knowing the big wrong they’re doing by making someone a kaafir,” says anonymous.
Many mainstream scholars warn against takfir, as it is strictly prohibited in the Quran, the Hadith, and the writings of many eminent Muslim authorities. In a hadeeth cited by Sahih Muslim, it is said:
”O Unbeliever! (then the truth if this label) would return to one of them. If it is true (then it is) as he asserted, (but if it is not true) then it returns to him (and thus the person who made the accusation is an unbeliever).
Islamic scholars believe that if you call other Muslims ”kafir” or ”mushrik” without discrimination, you yourself have left Islam, according to the words of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). However, it must be noted that there is a difference between saying that a person has done an “act” of kufr or shirk and between saying that one is “kafir” or “mushrik”.
There is another view that condemning other Muslims as ‘kafir’ is no better than the extremist ideologies of groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Iraq (ISIS) – the very organisation this kind of social media campaign is trying to counter.
ISIS is an extremist deviant group that follows a misguided interpretation of Islam. One of the main tenets of its doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, based on the ideologies of Abd al-Wahhab and his followers, ISIS sympathisers deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that are regarded as un-Islamic.
According to Elhadaad, Muslims should not feel the need to apologize for the actions of ISIS or any other extremist group.
“However, we do need to play a role in educating the world about the reality of Islam. Let the world see the greatness of Islam through us. We need to be an alternative to the existing bias portrayed in the western media who work to demonize a religion followed by over 1.6 billion peace loving people.”
”ISIS is working towards achieving a political agenda,” adds Elhadaad.
”Social media and a hashtag won’t be nearly enough to curb this.”
Anonymous, a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities launched their trolling day on Friday against ISIS. Hactivists warned the ”crazed jihadists” on all social media platforms to ”expect us”.
”The key to defeating extremist groups is about understanding how it markets itself,” says a UCT student, who asked not to be named.
A social media user named Muhammad from the ‘NO2ISIS’ official Facebook page, started in the UK, said their campaign is aimed at uniting people against an organisation that has hijacked Islam to divide humanity.
”I’ve never met anyone who is pro-ISIS. 99 percent of Muslims just want to lead peaceful lives, you know, have a coffee with friends. This is the message we want to get out there,” he says.
Social media activists also feel the hashtag ”You Ain’t No Muslim Bruv” should be used as a counteroffensive against Donald Trump’s statement’s vile and audacious call to ban Muslims from entering the US. Hundreds of activists rallied on Thursday in front of Trump’s hotel in New York to condemn the Republican 2016 presidential candidates call to restrict the movement of Muslims, with some likening Trump to a modern day Hitler.
American boxing legend Muhammad Ali, one of America’s most famous Muslims, defended Islam and criticized those who mischaracterize Islam for personal gain, in a statement aimed at the Republican presidential front-runner. In a statement which went viral online, Ali spoke candidly about how Islam is being negative portrayed in the media.
”I’m a Muslim. I’ve been a Muslim for 20 years. I’m against killing and violence and all Muslims are against it. People should know the real truth about Islam. You know me. I’m a boxer. I’ve been called the greatest of all time. People recognize me for being a boxer and a man of truth. I wouldn’t be representing Islam if it was really like terrorist make it look. I think all people should know the truth, come to recognize the truth, because Islam is peace. I’m against killing and the terrorist and the people doing that in the name of Islam, are wrong, and if I had a chance I would do something about it,” wrote Ali.
What’s worse for Trump is that he is supported by a number of ultra-wealthy Muslim businesspeople, who have significantly contributed to the growth of his empire. Trump’s utterances may even hurt him financially, as there are growing signs that business partners are reluctant to associate themselves with the Trump brand. VOC (Amina Waggie)