The world witnessed one of the most devastating terrorist attacks in recent history when a series of blasts claimed around 300 lives on Sunday in Sri Lanka. The attacks took place in several churches and hotels across the national capital Colombo. According to reports, even the Indian embassy in the country was on the target.
However, when all of this was going on, the top priority of a section of people across the world seemed to be shielding any Islamist involvement behind the attacks.
During Sunday, an unconfirmed letter from Sri Lanka’s intelligence sources warning people against an extremist Islamist organization called the National Thowheed Jamath started making rounds of the Internet. But even before anything about the source or extent of authenticity of the letter could be said, self-proclaimed fact-checker AltNews’ co-founder Mohammed Zubair jumped guns to declare it fake.
Generally, it is expected of journalists that they would treat any rumour or information during such times as “unconfirmed,” without completely ruling them out. But going by long history of Alt news, declaring even real news as “fake” is not surprising at all.
Zubair, however later deleted his tweets after the confirmation from Sri Lankan government regarding the investigation involvement of Islamist terrorists in the blasts.
Yesterday I had quoted a few Srilankan journalists & media houses who said the intelligence document which named 'Thowheed Jamath' is Fake. In today's report, Srilankan govt confirmed that Thowheed Jamath was behind the attacks.https://t.co/tF2eyhtmcF
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) April 22, 2019
He was not the only one who appeared to be shielding Islamists on Sunday. CJ Werleman, a columnist and self-proclaimed activist against alleged Islamophobia, accused the entire nations of India and America of praying for Muslim involvement in the attacks. “How utterly depressing knowing there are literally hundreds of millions of Indians, and tens of millions of Americans praying to their personal gods that Muslims are responsible for the bombings in Sri Lanka,” he wrote on twitter.
How utterly depressing knowing there are literally hundreds of millions of Indians, and tens of millions of Americans praying to their personal gods that Muslims are responsible for the bombings in Sri Lanka.
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) April 21, 2019
Terror attack, rape, murder takes place
Normal people: How tragic. Feeling sad/angry
Celeb journos: 5 years ago, I was 50 km away from where it happened
Bhakts: Let's blame it on Muslims. Googles Muslim names, picks one, adds Abu to it and tweets fake news
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) April 21, 2019
When we watch the horrific pictures from Sri Lanka 🇱🇰, its important to remember that Muslims and Christians are small minorities. Muslims historically were moderate and peaceful. They have been victims of violence in Sri Lanka, not orchestrating it.
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) April 21, 2019
Indian journalist Aditya Menon and Norwegian politician Erik Solheim also appeared to be suggesting that the Muslim community in Sri Lanka is hapless and are being falsely implicated in the attacks. While we do not argue that Muslims of Sri Lanka may be a peaceful community, terrorism is a completely different subject.