Magazine article New Internationalist

Allahu Akbar Misunderstood

Magazine article New Internationalist

Allahu Akbar Misunderstood

Article excerpt

From Manchester to Madagascar, 'Allahu Akbar' (God is the greatest) is an expression routinely used by Muslims to underline approval, surprise, fear, grief or encouragement.

But the phrase now has an exaggerated connotation with religious violence, accompanied as it often is in TV footage by images of gun-wielding men in dusty locales. As a result, a group of Syrian activists has begun training civilian journalists operating inside the war-torn country not to say it while filming the carnage and atrocities they witness.

'It doesn't present a good image,' according to Rajaa Altalli, director of the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Turkey.

Rani Ali is one such journalist. Before the war, he was an electronics student in the city of ldlib, but he has spent the last year recording the uprising from inside the conflict zone. …

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