Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Muslim Youths Counter Islamic State with #NotInMyName Twitter Campaign

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Muslim Youths Counter Islamic State with #NotInMyName Twitter Campaign

Article excerpt

Muslim youths around the globe have been using #NotInMyName on Twitter and other social media sites the past few days to denounce the well-publicized atrocities of Islamic State.

Launched by the British community organization Active Change Foundation, based in east London, the social media campaign urges young Muslim Twitter users to "fight back against ISIS," as the rogue terror organization sweeping through Iraq and Syria has been called, and "denounce their violent actions in your own words."

"I was appalled and sickened," says Active Change's founder, Hanif Qadir, on a video posted on the organization's website. "There's no rationale, there's no religious understanding that these guys are applying to justify what they're doing." Mr. Qadir founded his community organization in 2003 to worked to help prevent violent street crime, community tensions, and violent extremism on east London streets.

The social media campaign comes as Islamic State has proven to have its own sophisticated social media campaign. Using what observers have called a "well-oiled" team of media and public relations experts, the group, also known as ISIL, has produced slick videos, well-timed tweets, and even developed an Arabic-language Twitter app called "The Dawn of Glad Tidings," an official Islamic State product used to keep its users up-to-date on its latest posts and news.

But for the past few days, nearly 20,000 Tweets have used #NotInMyName to denounce the terror group on social media. This includes more than 3,000 messages posted Sunday evening to Monday morning Eastern time, according to Topsy, a social media metrics company based in San Francisco.

And the local British-based campaign has begun to go viral as users across the globe begin to post messages under the hashtag.

Mustafa Abu Bakr, a user in Nigeria, tweeted:

ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, Al-Qaeda. …

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