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Mishal Husain: Combat Isis On Social Media

The Battle Continues Online

BBC presenter Mishal Husain has had her say on how to tackle the apparent growing threat of Isis. She has recently called on British Muslim scholars to utilise social media when combating extremism. The Today Programme host is the most high-profile female Muslim broadcaster in the United Kingdom, and is now using her popular image to urge scholars to tackle the group in the virtual world.
Source: theguardian
She was recently interviewed by the Radio Times, and they asked her whether the Muslim community was under too much pressure to “apologise” for atrocities committed by Islamic State. She responded by saying: “I think the Not In My Name campaign is a very positive development because outrage is shared by all right-thinking people.

“I would really like to see much more of the counterpoint from a theological perspective, with scholars taking to social media to refute the awful arguments we see put forward in those videos.”

She added: “I don’t think my way of life is under any kind of threat. I think I’m true to the way my parents brought me up and the home I came from.”

The TV personality also gave her opinion on the debate surrounding Muslim identity: “The emphasis on what you wear on your head or how many times you pray, on the outward things rather than what’s in your heart and the way you treat people, I find slightly misguided.”

In what appeared to be a collection of silly questions, she was then asked what she would call herself, to which she replied: “I would say simply British. I feel it’s a shame that we have started to divide people much more.

“Now we want to know whether people are Sunnis or Shias. All these labels within communities. I’m not sure how helpful it is.”

Source: tribune.com
Targeting Isis on social media has been a popular suggestion due to the group’s success on the networking platforms, but in recent days, they have been too forthcoming online it appears. Many members of the group have been posting pictures of their apparent opulent lifestyle and threatening violence. These posts have been beneficial for America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). This is because they can track locations and data via these posts.

According to the Financial Times, an Arabic-language guidebook has now been sent to Isis members informing them that they should remove metadata from anything they post online, including PDFs.
The handbook says: “A number of security gaps have appeared that have benefited the enemy and have helped expose the identities of some brothers or identify some sites used by the mujahideen with ease.”

It is clear that this conflict is fought as much online as it is in the physical, and this is the way world conflict will now play out. Social media has such an impact on society, and how it’s shaped, that groups would be foolish to not try and dominate that sphere, and gain new supporters through it.

This is why public figures are coming out to promote the idea of fighting back online, as anyone can take part. It is a dangerous game though, as communication online can spread hate. There have been multiple examples of this in the past, and no doubt there will be many more as this battle of ideologies rages on.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Mishal Husain: Combat Isis On Social Media Reviewed by Alex Smith on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Rating: 5
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