Elham Asaad Buaras
A leading American advocacy group has exposed the rise of online anti-Muslim sites and produced a report to help American Muslims counter the “rapid” rise of Islamophobic material online.
In its report Muslim Advocates (MA) explains the law and corporate policies that regulate content on the internet with the aim of “empowering individuals with the tools necessary to effectively respond to hate online.”
In a statement to The Muslim News MA Staff Attorney and lead author of ‘Click Here to End Hate: Anti-Muslim Bigotry Online & How to Take Action’ Madihha Ahussain, said: “Online bigotry towards American Muslims continues to be a serious issue, particularly in the last few years where we’ve seen hate groups, anti-Muslim proponents, and public officials use various social media platforms to spread hate.”
“Their voices are amplified on the internet and help create a space for the American public to echo these sentiments of hate and engage in acts of violence against an entire group or community. People often think that there is nothing they can do to respond, but the reality is that their voices can be a powerful antidote to hate speech.”
Using anti-Muslim blogger Pamella Gellar to illustrate the level of support garnered using the internet, MA said Gellar, who was barred from entering the UK in 2013 for her hate speeches, had 19 thousand followers on Facebook in June 2013 a year later she has over 78 thousand.
Click Here to End Hate not only gives examples of offensive online content, but also sheds light on the legal considerations surrounding hate speech and what social media companies are doing about it. The report also serves as a guide for individuals who want to push back with reporting mechanisms built into social media platforms and by engaging in counter speech.