True Story!
By Farah Saleem

September 13, 2012

So today, as I tried to complete my assigned textbook readings for school, I found myself being constantly distracted and rather fidgety. To get rid of this problem and force myself to focus, I decided to shut off my laptop and devote my undivided attention to reading the writings of Thomas Hobbes! However as I refreshed my laptop screen and went on Facebook to send one last Facebook message for the night, I sighted an interesting article posted by a friend. Less of an article and more a series of pictures, the link displayed Libyan citizens openly expressing their condolences at the loss of
US ambassador Christopher Stevens. The author mentioned that such images had not been picked up by any major media outlets. As I saw commenters on this post express joy at this act of compassion, a sudden jolt of emotion punched me in the stomach! Rather than feeling joy, what I experienced was a feeling of relief. Humanity does exist.

I’ve spent the better part of my day reading up on the abuse endured by Bradley Manning and the nauseating views of Terry Jones and Sam Bacile. The worst thing about such news is that it leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless. I’m a 20 year old student, still completing her bachelor’s degree. It seems almost impossible for any action of mine to influence Manning, who has now spent over 2 years enduring abusive treatment (including being forced to stand nude nightly) at Marine Corps Base Quantico as a detainee – all a part of his pretrial proceedings for releasing classified information to wikileaks. I can donate to his cause and I can protest but how big of a difference will it really make. “Those that hold power will continue to abuse it.” is the thought that raddles around my brain. To make matters worse, my mood was further crumbled when I came to learn about the beliefs of Terry Jones while looking into the highly controversial film (to put it in a light way) “Innocence of Muslims”. It baffles my mind that racism (for lack of a better word) can rule an individual’s entire life, driving them to actively advocate discrediting the beliefs of others in such a distasteful and disrespectful manner. What I find even more ironic is YouTube’s decision to allow content from the film to remain on the website despite its offensive nature - all in the name of freedom of expression. The international turmoil sparked by the video has not been enough to halt the spread of such offensive and demeaning content.

This is the world that we live in. We are free to hate yet restricted from knowing the truth on matters that concern us. Yet rather than being disheartened, the thought prevailing in my mind as I finish up this article is: “We may be restricted but we won’t be stopped.” After liking my friend’s
post on Facebook displaying Libyan remorse over the death of Christopher Stevens, I opened up a Word document to begin writing the article you are now reading. What I found when I returned to my Facebook window was that the same article had been reposted by a cousin of mine – an act that may very well have been a result of him seeing my “like”. Although the major media outlets were not picking up this news, it was still spreading. People would still know. So as I finish up this article, I do so with a feeling of empowerment. I genuinely believe that we must follow the example of Bradley Manning and reject the example set by Jones and Bacile. We must use social media outlets available to us to spread information, inspiring images and kind words and turn away from those that seek to make our world a hateful place to live! I live in hope, that at the end, knowledge will equate to power and prevail over ignorance and evil!


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