Wednesday , October 18 2017

Incantation via WhatsApp – Isn’t it the height of ignorance?

Ahmad Al-Sarraf

THE widespread ignorance in our countries will indeed destroy us if it continues at this rate. There are evidences indicating the extent that ignorance has reached. They include the huge number of trivial and false messages, some of which eventually become superstitions. Unfortunately, these messages are being exchanged as though they are facts. People share them without thinking or checking on the sources.

Those messages include some regarding the dangerous consequences of the increasing number of Muslims in Europe, leading to fears that Europe could become Islamic sooner or later.

The context of those messages is just nonsense. This is because it is a known fact that large numbers have nothing to do with domination of a country unless it is supported by knowledge. We have seen hundreds of examples throughout history where colonist countries invaded and captured countries with ten times more population. We have a real world example represented in Israel.

An Algerian man recently posted a message on Twitter, which was liked by approximately one-million followers of his Twitter account. In that silly message, the man claimed that he saw Prophet Mohammad in his dream and the prophet asked him three questions. He wrote his answers to those questions … of course I am not going to narrate that strange story in this article.

What matters to me is to know how such large number of people can tolerate such trivial and illogical tales. What is the benefit of wasting time over such stories? Isn’t this the height of ignorance?

WhatsApp is also full of messages and video clips about strange ways of treating serious diseases, sometimes with a special blend or even a bamboo stick. Sometimes, the cure lies in a magical sentence or phrase.

Such enormous number of messages is part of an organized campaign aimed at spreading ignorance and increasing the backwardness of our nation. I can never believe that those messages are made with good intention and in favor of our countries.

There is no doubt that many WhatsApp messages contain useful information. However, lack of useful messages will not increase ignorance, but spread of nonsensical messages increases ignorance and aggravates backwardness.

Unfortunately, this activity of producing and distributing ignorance represents a new profitable profession practiced by low-thinking individuals who search fame and fortune. Furthermore, the social media accounts with large numbers of followers usually post advertisements about products.

Some European countries have laws for punishing those who spread false information in public or even via their personal accounts on Facebook. We recommend people to examine the messages they receive on WhatsApp before sharing them.

habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmed Al-Sarraf

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