Welcome to 2018. Now, we need a campaign to tell humans that it is OK to talk to other humans.
The latest trending hashtag on Twitter – ‘Talk To a Muslim’ – which started with the intent of curbing Islamophobia and breaking Muslim stereotypes has garnered mixed reactions. Several Twitter users support it, others feel it further promotes the stigma and the rest using it are trolls.
“The idea of #TalkToAMuslim is to engage a discussion. If the powers that be or the media could cross check, speak to Muslims before spreading falsehoods and propaganda, wouldn’t we all be better off?” read one tweet.
Bollywood actresses Swara Bhaskar, Gauhar Khan are few of the prominent figures promoting the campaign.
#TalkToAMuslim seriously didn’t think a day would come where talking to a muslim leader or a commoner would question ur patriotism or ur belief in ur own faith!!by land I am a Hindu ,by faith I am a Muslim and by heart n soul INDIAN is my identity !!! #killThehate #spreadlove pic.twitter.com/kiXaHNmplA— Gauahar Khan (@GAUAHAR_KHAN) July 17, 2018
If you think that Muslims aren't feeling persecuted— Nazia Erum (@nazia_e) July 17, 2018
If you think Muslims aren't fed up of being the national conversation every night at 9pm bulletins
If you think Muslims don't feel otherized, demonized & marginalized
Then you need to talk
I am an Indian Muslim#TalkToAMuslim
This answers a lot of issues. The idea of #TalkToAMuslim is to engage a discussion. If the powers that be or the media could cross check, speak to Muslims before spreading falsehoods and propaganda, wouldn’t we all be better off? https://t.co/R0C7F9bqeT— Wajahat Jilani (@WajahatJilani) July 17, 2018
The Problem With ‘Talk to A Muslim’ Campaign
One of the reasons that the campaign is receiving pushback is due to its patronising undertone. Is barely talking to someone from another religion a good deed enough that needs to be highlighted or is it rather condescending?
The problem can also be seen in the hashtag as it further creates a divide based on religious identity.
If you think you need to #TalkToAMuslim, don't come near me.— Omair Ahmad (@OmairTAhmad) July 17, 2018
If you can't see another human being without seeing their 'identity' (race, caste, gender, whatever), you are the problem.
Today it’s #TalkToAMuslim. Tomorrow it would be #TalkToADalit. And then #TalkToAWoman. After which #TalkToNonYadavOBCs. If you need to be told to talk to other human beings to deal with your hate & paranoia, the problem rests only with you. That’s why I advocate #TalkToAShrink.— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) July 17, 2018
Completely flaggerbasted by the #TalkToAMuslim hashtag. It imbues TALKING to muslims with a stigma that never was, and is patronizing as heck. I'd imagine people with friends of different religions including Islam are quite taken aback by this and unsure what it attempts to fix.— Narasinga (@syrinje) July 17, 2018
I am very conflicted over the #TalkToAMuslim hashtag. That it has come to this is heartbreaking. And that ignoring the other-isation of an entire community has brought us to this.— Kiran Manral (@KiranManral) July 18, 2018
Confused? The social media can give you conflicting thoughts over differences in opinions. Does talking to someone from another community put you on a pedestal? Is it that rare a quality that you have to share it on social media? Or have we actually reached a point, where this hashtag is needed?
. Read more on India by The Quint.#TalkToAMuslim: Yay or Nay? Twitter Divided on ‘Patronising’ TrendAt Mandela Event, Obama Warns Against ‘Rise of Strongman Politics’ . Read more on India by The Quint.