Israel-Palestine or Israel-Hamas conflict?
There are two narratives being published in social media concerning the bold conflict between Palestine and Israel which has for months turned into a devastating circumstance whichever we look at it. The two narratives are as follows:
When someone from the Middle East is exposed to the incident the region; they see words like “Israel-Palestine” in their social media feeds by people they follow of local news. Second narrative is mainly people in the West, they are mainly exposed to the same incidents but with the big difference in wording: “Israel-Hamas.” In narrative A (Israel-Palestine) the conflict is between Palestinians and Israelis. in this scenario; Hamas may ( theoretically ) is viewed as Palestinian right defender, and rebels who want to free their land. In Narrative B (Israel-Hamas ) there is no sign of Palestinian people in the picture and the focus is on Hamas Militia attacking Israeli women, men and children and disturbing the peace of a nation. Our analysis of these two narratives DOES NOT portray our support for one or the other, nor do we think any violent action can be justified, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Freemuslim condemns use of violence in any shape or form.
Our analysis of the two narratives also shows the spiral effect social media has when the person who is posting a content, may have been meaning Narrative A in mind, but the reader has Narrative B on mind or vice-versa. Many journalists, athletes, politicians, civilians, human rights activists, and / or ordinary social media users have reacted to the Israel-Palestine conflict same way the same crowd reacted towards Russia – Ukraine conflict. When people die, when children are are targeted, when fear is infused in a society, when hostages are taken for political reasons, when hospitals are bombarded due to missile malfunction ( in the era of precise technology use by drones ) or for the excuse of an entire hospital being used by armed men of Hamas, when full force is used to kill people without any justification; the world speaks, people raise their concern and voice their opinion. Social Media is a platform where people voice their opinion and concerns and that freedom should be allowed. As long as there is no provocation of violence.
Not too long ago; Director of Freemuslim; Moujtaba Akhwand had series of meetings with University professors from the Columbia Law university regarding acts of defamation towards Muslim and also disrespect towards the Holy Book of Quran by a politician in Sweden and some other radicals in Europe. When Mr. Akhwand had posed the concern of disrespecting a Holy Book of 1/5th of the world population by radical politicians, the answer was this is within Freedom of Expression. Same reasoning is not valid for anyone who has posted or shared a content on their social media regarding the violations of human rights by Hamas or Israeli forces.
Followers of Wahabism and Salafism, two Islamist sects with extremist beliefs, conduct violent activities, but they do not represent Islam nor Islamic values. Palestinian civilians should not pay the price of actions of radical groups. Pure Islam is the religion of peace and harmony and only leads people towards peaceful coexistence. Throughout history, followers of major religions have lived with each other in Harmony irrespective of what their religious backgrounds were, including followers Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Baghdad is one of the greatest examples of people with different mindsets and religious backgrounds live together in peace and contributed to each other’s well being, defended each other in difficult times, and often they intermarried prior to external influences.
As far as expression of views and ideology goes; social media is designed for people to freely discuss their opinions about different subjects with others and not fear publish shunning unless they are provoking violence, advocating for destruction of cities, properties or putting others ( including themselves ) at risk. The users react to incidents they see or hear online and they don’t always respond in the same way. We have throughout the years observed improper behavior and commenting on various platforms that deserved blaming and in many cases the comments were removed by the platform or there were other types of treatments with the intention of keeping the atmosphere clean.
Millions of people from across the world have shared their views and opinions about the recent wars ( Russia- Ukraine and Israel-Palestine as examples ). Apparently, this time it was not only the improper comments and unjust remarks that were punished.
At least two journalists have been removed from their jobs after expressing support for Palestinians since the outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas. Many athletes, actors, actresses, activists, and civilians, journalists, politicians, first responders, businessmen and Businesswomen and whomever has experienced some sort of exposure of violence or fear in any shape or form expressed their opinion about this circumstance. All of which should be considered a freedom of expression ( unless there is a provocation of violence or call for actions which Freemuslim condemns in general ).
Dialogue is the only way peaceful coexistence is achieved, if the society is shunned, people are fired from their jobs, neighbors stop talking to each other, friendships are destroyed and other actions are taken due to comments about a devastating circumstances in any region of the world, there is a fast-paced movement towards marginalization and isolation of individuals. Dialogue and freedom of expression allows for people to sort out their differences or agree to disagree.
Freemuslim calls for collective effort to raise the tolerance in the society and increase dialogue in order for society to go through rough times and collectively recover from hardship. We also emphasize that no violent behavior is acceptable and women, men and children should not pay the cost of wars.