Stabbing In London Is Investigated As A Terrorist Attack, & Twitter Responds With Love, Not Islamophobia
Police arrested a man late Saturday for injuring two people with a knife at a London Underground subway station. The man allegedly said "this is for Syria," before stabbing and injuring the two people, so police announced Saturday that the incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism, according to the BBC. The social media response to the Leystonstone stabbing decided to start fighting against Islamophobia before it could even really get started.
The attack took place at the Leystonstone subway station, a suburban area in east London. One of the two injured people reportedly had more serious injuries, but they weren't life threatening, according to the BBC. Police haven't released the identity of the suspect or the victims, but social media users wanted to stop racism or religious hatred before it could even get started. One witness in the subway station shot a video that showed a pool of blood on the station's floor and the suspect lunging at police officers who were trying to subdue him, according to the Associated Press. Officers eventually pinned the suspect down after tasing him. In the video, one bystander yells "You ain't no Muslim, bruv," using a slang term for "brother," and Twitter users have adopted it as a hashtag to shut down Islamophobia that could bubble up from police calling the incident terrorism.
Twitter users pointed out Saturday and Sunday that violence is not a tenet of Islam. Rather, extremists distort Islam to help it better fit their radical vision that the West is perpetually at war with Islam. In fact, one of ISIS' stated goals is to eliminate the "gray zone" of coexistence between the West and Islam. That's why, after its attacks, it seeks to isolate Muslims in the West by claiming that all Muslims support its goals.
But Londoners and other Muslims weren't going to sit around and wait for Islamophobia to take over the internet after police deemed the Leystonstone stabbing a terrorist incident. Instead, they started using #YouAintNoMuslimBruv to counteract any claim that all Muslims are violent or support a war with the West.
The responses are heartwarming given the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, and in Paris. After the attacks in California, Muslims in Washington D.C. told Reuters that they feared backlash against all Muslims in the U.S., according to the International Business Times. Omar Hummadjimi, a Sudanese man who moved to the US with his family 15 years ago told Reuters that the FBI seems to be jumping to conclusions by calling the California attack an act of terrorism already, according to the IB Times:
Why are criminals labeled as Muslims? If somebody kills people, that's a criminal act. It has nothing to do with religion.
Muslims repeatedly denounce the actions of extremists, and they never attempt to blame that person's actions on mental illness. Twitter users made it clear that turning to Islamophobia and hate would only help fuel ISIS' and other terrorists' goals. Londoners, brilliantly, wouldn't give terrorists that kind of power.