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Online haters not ashamed to make manipulative allegations about photographs of London terrorist attack

26.3.2017 14:20
Racists online have done their best to depict this woman wearing a headscarf, who was photographed at the scene of the 22 March 2017 terrorist attack in London, as some kind of insensitive monster, but the photographer has spoken out in her defense. (PHOTO:  Jamie Lorriman)
Racists online have done their best to depict this woman wearing a headscarf, who was photographed at the scene of the 22 March 2017 terrorist attack in London, as some kind of insensitive monster, but the photographer has spoken out in her defense. (PHOTO: Jamie Lorriman)

The terrorist attack in London last week has prompted a series of manipulations on Czech-language online social networks that have a single aim: Disseminating hatred against a particular group. Photographs are being shared through the Internet of a young Muslim woman wearing a brown headscarf, accompanied by allegations that the photo shows her walking past injured victims of the attack without taking any interest in them.

News server Romea has also reported on the online manipulations attempted with reference to audience reactions to a live broadcast by Al-Jazeera on Facebook about the attack. Racists are also disseminating photographs through online social networks that allegedly show Muslims feel no pity for the victims of the terrorist attack in London.

One such photograph features a woman in a brown headscarf who appears to be calmly walking past injured people and staring at her mobile phone without taking any interest in those around her. The photo is being shared in the Czech-language Internet environment by the entomologist and Islamophobe Martin Konvička.

"...she is evidently absolutely horrified and calling for help, that's clear... and those 'likes' on Al-Jazeera must have been in response to the fact that they killed the terrorist..." is the ironic commentary that the entomologist has posted to his Facebook profile along with the photograph. His comment about the 'likes' on Al-Jazeera is a reference to the online manipulation previously reported on by Romea.cz.

Some Internet users are alleging that the "Muslim world" celebrated the London attack with emoticons of laughter and "smiley faces" during the Al-Jazeera Facebook broadcast. However, the total number of emoticons used clearly refutes that allegation.

Some online social network users have begun to share photographs of apparently non-Muslim, white residents of London showing similar reactions at the crime scene in an attempt to refute this manipulation of the woman's image. Others have been pointing out that police probably told people not to linger at the crime scene and to leave so the police intervention and rescue work could take place.

Since then, however, the media have published more photographs of the Muslim woman in the brown headscarf that place her reactions in context, and the entire lie being spread by the racists has collapsed like a house of cards. The additional photographs show the woman apparently crying, stressed-out, and terror-stricken.

Nothing from the new photographs released shows the stolid indifference that the xenophobes have done their best to say was her reaction. Moreover, on Friday the woman anonymousy published her own statement.

“I’m shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media. To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I’ve also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia," the TellMAMA website, which measures anti-Muslim attacks, reported the woman as saying.

"My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern. What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims. I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station. My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence,” TellMAMA reports the woman as saying.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Hoax, Islamophobia, London, manipulation



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