Not all protests are violent, not all protests are made by large groups of people. And sometimes a protest can indeed be in response to a protest.
Zakia Belkhiri became something of a social-media heroine after posing in her hijab for a bunch of selfies with anti-muslim protestors at a rally outside the Muslim Expo in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Expo is described on its website as a “lifestyle art&culture halal market and social& community business&network” expo. In other words… how is something this boring and normal being protested to begin with?
What this girl did showcases the need for freedom, understanding and inclusion in today’s modern multi-cultural society. While she says she just did it to be cool, and that all the social media attention is a dream come true, I think this is an image for the history books.
Belgium, the country so small no one knew it was a country until after the Paris attacks, has turned into a country that is so divided by hate and suspicion that standing in front of this group of angry white people couldn’t have been easy. Zakia Balkhiri, you are the flower in the gun for this generation’s war with itself.
This generation has seen more refugees, civil and global unrest than any generation before it. And what do we have to document our struggles and bring life and light to our personal trials and tribulations? Selfies. Tweets. All the inane platforms we take for granted have the power to be wielded for good, for informing and educating. For all the individuals out there wanting to make a difference, you can. you have the opportunity at your fingertips.
Or. We can all keep using this amazing gift to spread hate and disenfranchise even the most banal efforts of social equality. Like these assholes.
Your choice. #endonlinedouchebaggery and/or #behumanplease