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outspoken as  a  Muslim  woman.  I  do  get  some  criticism  as  well  –  it  isn’t  all  positive.  I  do,   I  suppose,  every  other  day  I’m  called  a  terrorist  online.  Every  day  I’ll  get  someone   saying  something  awful  about  Muslims  in  general.  I’m  used  to  people  criticising  Islam,   because  I  also  criticise  things  in  Islam  or  the  practices  of  certain  Muslims,  or  whatever.   So  I  don’t…  I’m  not  offended  by  that  type  of  thing.  But  when  someone  says  something   about  Muslims  as  a  group  of  people  in  general  –  anti-­‐Muslim  bigotry  –  I  do  experience   that.  But  not  as  much  as  I  feel  I  should  be  getting,  which  is  really  odd.  Although  I  do  feel   that  I  interact  with  people  maybe  differently  to  many  others  who  are  visibly  Muslim   online.  Or,  well,  because  whenever  someone  says  something  awful  to  me,  I  often  try  to   defuse  the  situation  with  humour,  and  often  I  find  that  although  the  person  won’t   change  their  mind  and  maybe  will  still  have  the  views  that  they  had  before  –  for  a  brief   moment  they  consider  me  as  a  person  like  them,  and  maybe  laugh  at  a  joke  that  I’ve   made.  And  at  least  they  think  for  one  second  ‘that’s  a  Muslim  who  made  me  laugh’  and   ‘I  liked  that  Muslim’  and  ‘that  Muslim  didn’t  say  something  horrible  to  me’.  Because  it   would  be  very  easy  to  say  something  horrible  like  ‘oh,  go  away’  or  block  people.  And  I   try  not  to.  I  think  I’m  friends  with  several  people  who  originally  I’d  have  considered   trolls.  Because  they  find  that  they  can  express  their  opinions  –  even  if  they’re  awful   opinions  –  and  they  know  that  I  will  respond,  or  try  to  respond,  in  a  fair  way.  I’ll  try  to   answer  questions.  I’ve  had  a  few  occasions  where  someone  has  criticised  me  publicly   and  it’s  caused  a  big  palaver  online  and  I’ve  found  that  I’ve  had  people  of  all  different   faith  backgrounds  –  and  non-­‐faith  backgrounds  –  defending  me  saying  ‘OK,  I  know  you   don’t  like  Islam  or  Muslims,  but  she’s  nice  …  she’s  trying  to  be  fair.’     So  you’ve  got  some  online  allies  around  you?     …and  that  makes  things  easier.     Let’s  pick  up  on  that  topic  of  trolling,  and  I  guess  this  week  has  been  particularly  bad   with  the  hashtag  #stopislam  as  a  result  of  the  Brussels  bombing.  How  do  you  feel  as  a   Muslim  when  that  sort  of  venom  and  vitriol  is  flying  around  the  Internet?     When  there’s  a  terrorist  attack  and  it’s  committed  by  someone  who  identifies  as   Muslim  –  firstly  you  feel  awful  on  a  human  level  that  people  have  been  killed  and  then   there’s  another  layer  when  you  start  to  worry  about  yourself.  I  do  feel  bad  about  it,   because  I  shouldn’t  be  thinking  ‘I  hope  it’s  not  a  Muslim’.  It’s  awful  to  think  that,  but   from  past  experience  –  whenever  something  like  that  happens,  you  know  in  that  week   you’re  going  to  get  a  lot  more  vitriol  than  in  the  week  before.  And  also  it’s  tiring   because  you  often  get  people  asking  you  to  –  or  demanding  you  to  –  to  apologise  for   something.  And  you  think  ‘of  course  I  condemn  it’.  When  people  ask  me  ‘do  you   condemn  this?’  my  first  reaction  is  I  think  ‘why  are  you  questioning  my  humanity?’  you   know,  ‘why  are  you  assuming  that  I’m  going  to  agree  with  someone  killing  another   human  being?’  So  that’s  very  tiring.  I  was  exhausted  this  week.  Because  also  I’m  a   teacher,  so  every  day  I  would  have  people  who  would  come  into  the  classroom  and   obviously  they  would  want  to  speak  about  Brussels  because  it’s  news  that’s  just   happened.  And  maybe  they  want  to  ask  my  opinion  as  well,  and  also  on  social  media   having  people  asking  you.  It  can  be  quite  exhausting.    

Putting Your  Faith  in  Social  Media  

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Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...

Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...