In a Facebook post that has since been removed, an Egyptian journalist published a picture of US citizens evacuating Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma making landfall. Included in the post’s caption is a Quranic verse about signs being shown to believers, indicating his view that the storm was Allah’s will and a display of power.
Ahmed Mansour, a journalist at Al Jazeera, wrote that the evacuations were “the grand escape from Florida … 20 million American running away in fear of hurricane Irma which is wiping out everything in its wake.”
He said Hurricane Irma represents a “display of God’s greatness which many dare to deny” and added a Quranic verse stating, “He will show you His signs, and what signs of Allah will you deny?”
According to Morroco World News, many of Mansour’s 4 million followers described his post as a show of hate speech and religious intolerance. He was severely criticized for gloating over the misfortune of millions who were in actual danger, and of misusing a verse from the Quran.
One Facebook user pointed out in a comment: “What signs?! Even the murders and killing and destructions happening in Muslim countries are part of His [God] signs!”
In another comment, a Moroccan Facebook user residing in Miami, Florida, explained to Mansour that the evacuation was mandatory and that those leaving were merely “following the instructions and advice of the US government to avoid any casualties.” The man also reminded the journalist not to forget that “many Muslims actually live in Florida.”
Although many were offended by the post, this isn’t the first time people of Muslim faith have used social media to infer that Allah is pouring out his wrath on the U.S.
As DML News reported last week, ISIS supporters recently celebrated Hurricane Harvey’s terrible destruction and were reported to have been “eagerly awaiting the destruction” that Irma would cause.
Several instances of ISIS supporters suggesting the hurricanes were divine retribution against the U.S. were noted. In one example, a post by Media Studies Center was shared by The Monotheist’s page on Facebook, which captioned the post: “May Allah drown the enemies of Islam and force them into their knees subdued, and humiliated, defeated, and scattered!”
The sentiment is similar to Mansour’s, in that it suggested Allah was responsible for the hurricane’s power and devastation.
However, despite the public outcry against his original post, Mansour reportedly published another Facebook post with a video showing a dozen airplanes “fleeing” Florida before the hurricane, captioned with the same Quranic verse. This was likely due to some of his followers having supported his hateful opinions.
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