Watching a recent segment on an Australian TV show that has gone viral, where Waleed Aly provided a simplistic but heartfelt understanding of ISIS, Sam Blacker got lost in the comments section and came back, educated.
Late Monday evening, I started seeing some of my friends posting links to a video of Waleed Aly’s segment Something we should talk about on Facebook. Just as it had done with my circle of friends, it seems to have connected with a significant portion of the world. I say “portion,” because with all things on the Internet, there are those who react negatively. And by negatively, I mean extremely. Those who speak with venom, hatred, stupidity and an aggression to the topic so strong that in their rush to spew forth their (often un-researched) opinions, they completely miss the point.
I made the mistake of wandering down the rabbit hole of the comments section on a few postings of the video. Luckily, I only lost an hour or so of my time … and potentially all my hopes and dreams. But what is interesting about these people is they believe themselves so right, so unique in their opinion that they don’t realise they are literally becoming stereotypes of themselves. So if you do choose to wander through the comments section, look out for these guys:
1: The Copy Paster
Shortly after the stated video was released, Andrew Bolt, the bastion of knee-jerk reactions, wrote a counterargument. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a fair number of those who didn’t understand the point, responded by literally copy and pasting Andrew Bolt’s entire article into a comment. They aren’t addressing any particular points. They possibly couldn’t even make any of their own. So they just copy and paste dense amounts of text and walk away from their computer, content that they have made their point … whatever that is.
2: The one that just wants Muslims to denounce ISIS
Here’s the thing, many Muslims denounce ISIS aaaallll the time. I’m not sure if the people wanting to hear “denouncements” have selective hearing, or just don’t know how to type the words “Muslims denouncing ISIS” into Google. You can try reasoning with them and showing them proof, but often their reasons are just a smokescreen for their need to be angry.
3: The one that read a bad sentence from the Koran
While I have not read the Koran, I have heard a fair bit about some aggressive stuff in the book. Weirdly, I am able to accept that Muslims are able to read it and pick and choose the parts that are relevant to society, much like I expect most Christians to be able to do the same with the bible.
4: The people who can’t do math
There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. If they were all like ISIS, we would all be pretty close to dead. The people who post this stuff can be trolls, but often tend to be those who will definitely not respond to reasoning.
5: The ones who missed the point completely
While all of the previous four also missed the points made in the video, there are some who do a monumental job of just …acting like they didn’t watch the bloody thing. Waleed Aly literally opened his piece by saying that ISIS will claim things to make themselves sound bigger than they are. There’s no point arguing with the Pam-of-Penriths of the world. If they couldn’t get it when Waleed Aly explained it, there’s very little chance the rest of us can get through to them.
Article first appeared in The Big Smoke AU.