How The Far-Right Are Using Notre Dame To Provoke Racial Tension

Just yesterday we talked about Notre Dame and the donations made by the wealthy. Once again the accident has prompted a talking point and it is quite a familiar trope that seems to get dragged out whenever there is some kind of tragedy.

Prejudice, prejudice everywhere…

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I happened across a meme with a picture of two guys who looked like they were of Middle Eastern descent. The pair were pictured laughing and smiling lifting police tape with Notre Dame burning in the background. The caption read “two Muslim refugees laughing as Notre Dame burns”.


First and foremost this brought up some questions. Primarily how did the photographer know what their religion was and that they were refugees? I enquired and the original poster claimed his cousin was there when the picture was taken. Obviously, that seemed entirely plausible… I then enquired as to how his cousin was able to discover their religious beliefs and history. They did not respond.

A quick google search later and it transpired that the image had been analysed and was photoshopped anyway. I feel sorry for the guy whose cousin had blatantly misled him. It’s a hard life!

The conversation evolved

One of the posters chose to report all of the shameful things that the Islamic community have been responsible for citing the Qu’ran as a hurtful and wicked book. I responded by pointing out that things get a little bit grizzly in the bible too and suggested that these were documents compiled in times where people needed to “fear God” and that in the modern world most religious followers are able to take the texts far less literally.

There’s a difference between being an ass and a terrorist

This poster also accused the guys in the photo of being terrorists. My response was simple. Bear in mind this was before I was aware that the picture was a hoax anyway. Members of IS and similar groups are terrorists. The people who blow up buildings and behead people are terrorists. Laughing at a burning church may make you a total D-bag but it does not make you a terrorist.

Not for the first time

I said before this is a reoccurring occurrence. Think back to the terror attack on London Bridge. That tragedy resulted in the loss of 8 lives. Among the photos of the aftermath included one of a woman wearing a Hijab walking past on her phone. She was widely derided for being on her phone and not offering assistance.

Amusingly, after she faced a barrage of hate for her supposed crime, other photos were shown of the poor woman looking utterly mortified, and further to that people rolled out pictures of a white guy walking around seemingly unaffected by the tragedy also on his phone to point out that he hadn’t received any criticism. Of course, neither should have received any sort of backlash. How does anyone know how you are supposed to handle those situations? There is no manual for such things.


It seems in the internet age then that it is far easier to spread propaganda then it used to be. Memes spread so quickly and get so much attention. This is just another case of somebody trying to drum up anti-Islamic sentiment. It’s all a bit sad really.

Be quick to love

I think in the modern world we are all so quick to judge. I think we need to be quicker to love. Ultimately we are all made from the same organic components. The activity in our brains is the same. We have the same emotions. The world will be a better place when we all embrace our similarities instead of fearing our differences.

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