Over the past few days, the entire Internet has been bubbling and buzzing with Muslim rage.
I’m not just talking about the Muslim rage regarding tacky Hollywood Youtube videos and French cartoons that profane Mohammed, but also about secondary rage over a Newsweek cover story.
It all began when Newsweek decided to devote its cover to angry Muslims protesting the shlocky “Innocence of Mohammed” video with a headline in all capital letters “MUSLIM RAGE.” The story it was promoting, written by Somali-Dutch former Muslim and current atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was titled “Muslim Rage and the Last Gasp of Islamic Hate.” In this story, Ali asserted that “the Muslim men and women … who support - whether actively or passively - the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam.”
The cover image and the story provoked, if not outright rage then great Muslim discomfort with Ali’s descriptions, calling it derogative and over-generalizing. In a social media tsunami, many chose to voice their dissatisfaction on Twitter using the hashtag Newsweek had promoted to host a discussion of their article - #MuslimRage.
Some of the tweets were angry and bitter, but many were - and continue to be - very funny. For those who think that Jews have some kind of monopoly on self-deprecating humor and that Muslims are only capable of taking themselves seriously, the hashtag tweets will be a revelation. Here are some examples of the offerings collected by NPR:
"I'm having such a good hair day. No one even knows.#MuslimRage" - Hend (retweeted 2900 times).
Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can't yell for him.#MuslimRage - Leila (retweeted 1000 times).
"When you realize that if you have a 5 o'clock shadow it can be deemed a security threat."#MuslimRage - Taufiq Rahim.
"You go to a football watch party and all there is to eat is pepperoni pizza and beer battered chicken wings#MuslimRage" - Waliya.
Immediately, the big story became not only about Muslim rage, but about #MuslimRage and the debate over the splashy Newsweek cover that started it all.
The Los Angeles Times wondered whether the cover was deliberately provocative in order to boost the sagging fortunes of print magazines, asking, “So did Newsweek make an epic public relations fail or did it execute a bold strategy to generate more newsstand sales and website clicks?”
Like any good Internet meme, #MuslimRage has spawned imitators. Jews, of course, were among those who felt that they had to get into the act and get a piece of the rage.
Some creative types on the left put together a fake Newsweek cover on “JEWISH RAGE” highlighting the treatment of African migrants in Israel with a sub-head “How Israelis are lynching non-Jews, how the mainstream media is covering it up.”
And, inevitably, there was the creation of a #JewishRage hashtag. Some are using the hashtag to send serious political messages similar to the mock Newsweek cover. Others are using it to show examples of anti-Semitic videos and cartoons as bad - if not worse than the infamous Mohammed clip. And still others - not to be outdone in the self-deprecating humor department - are jumping on the bandwagon with some amusing suggestions for ethnic anger.
Alex Koppelman @AlexKoppelman
All the good restaurants in Boca stopped running early-bird specials.#JewishRage
This food is terrible. AND SUCH SMALL PORTIONS. #JewishRage
David Abitbol @jewlicious
Being told repeatedly that we control the media, and yet I can't get a date with Scarlett Johansson #JewishRage
My Rosh Hashanah tickets arrived a day late #JewishRage
Ashley Lane @ashleybesslane
Someone's taken the last knish! #JewishRage
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