The Global Fight For #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp
Muslims worldwide are using the hashtag to criticize suicide bombings, but ISIS supporters are trying to hijack the conversation
Around the world Muslims rallied on social media Monday, seeking to own a hashtag that criticized a suicide bombing in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City last week, and found themselves in an online battle with ISIS, a Vocativ analysis has found.
Initially, the hashtag #قبل_أن_تفجر_نفسك, which literally translates into: “Before You Blow Yourself Up,” belonged to the thousands of Islamic faithful who condemned Friday’s attack, which killed 27 people at prayer. They called on would-be martyrs to think of their families and their faith, and refuse to carry out future suicide bombings. The Twitter campaign quickly went global, spreading from the Middle East and north Africa to Australia, Europe and the United States, Vocativ found. In less than 24 hours, it had generated more than 21,000 tweets worldwide.
Translation: #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp, remember that Allah will ask you regarding each soul you killed. Regrets won’t help you. Fear of Allah in the spirit of the people.
Translation: #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp, remember who sent you to explode yourself and described heaven for you. Why isn’t he exploding himself to get to heaven?!
Translation: #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp, remember that the tears of the orphans won’t forgive you.
But as momentum continued to build, ISIS sympathizers flocked to the hashtag to taunt its critics. The group claimed responsibility for Friday’s carnage. Vocativ found that by Monday afternoon, about 1 out of 10 tweets using the hashtag were coming from supporters of the Islamic State, which has used its social media savvy repeatedly to recruit jihadists and spread its propaganda.
Translation: #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp, Know that we are proud of you, you are the pride of our Ummah [Islamic nation]. Know that Allah made you one of his soldiers and he will make you a shahid [martyr] according to his will, with Allah’s help.
Translation: #BeforeYouBlowYourselfUp, watch the braveness of the lions of Allah.
The taunting came the same day that the alleged suicide bomber, identified as Abu Sleiman al-Muwahad, released a posthumous message that threatened more violence against Shiite muslims. ISIS considers Shiites to be apostates and has called for their killing in order to forge a pure form of Islam.
“You will see blood and death. The next will be worse and (more) bitter,” al-Muwahad said in an audio recording. “We are watching you.”