Over the weekend, tech journalist (and non-Muslim) Xeni Jardin sent out the following tweet before she went to bed:
“Dude, ISIS is bombing Muslim people in Muslim communities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. How is ISIS Muslim? No, they’re psychopaths.”
She woke up to find that the Tweet had gone viral with 35,000 retweets (and counting), mostly coming from Muslims in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Iraq. In an op-ed for the Guardian, Ms. Jardin makes the point that over the 4th of July weekend, as ISIS attacks were unfolding, Muslims were dying. “And fellow Muslims were pouring their grief into Twitter.”
Ms. Jardin explains the reasoning behind her powerful tweet, “As news broke of each new attack on an Islamic target by the so-called Islamic State, I saw not even a hint of the outcry that followed attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino, London or Paris. No “Pray for Baghdad,” no “Je Suis Saudi Arabia” on western Twitter. No memes of unified global grief. Just more fear, racism and dehumanizing of a label that applies to millions of ordinary people all over the world: “Muslim”. In America, it’s our new N-word. America, it seems, feels no empathy for a group of people we can’t accept as fully human.