Al Jazeera Readers Celebrate Orlando Terror Attack
In the aftermath of the Orlando terror attack that left more than 50 people dead, Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language Facebook page was flooded with comments celebrating Omar Mateen as a hero for carrying out the attack.
The comments were first pointed out by Iraqi-born human rights activist Faisal Saeed AlMutar, who tweeted: “Go to Al Jazeera Arabic Facebook page and read the comments about the #Orlando attacks and you will see 1000s of people celebrating. #qatar.”
Pakistani-Canadian writer Ali Rizvi quickly followed up with a screenshot of the top comments on an Al Jazeera video about the Orlando attack. Rizvi included the caption: “Thousands at @AlJazeera Arabic FB page celebrating #Orlando attacks.”
Thousands at @AlJazeera Arabic FB page celebrating #Orlando attacks:
— Ali A. Rizvi (@aliamjadrizvi) June 12, 2016
One of the top comments in Rizvi’s screenshots (as translated by Facebook) celebrated how Mateen “slaughtered Jews and Americans.”
One of the current top comments on the video says: “God is great god welcome champ Omar the afghan,” according to Facebook’s translation of the original Arabic. Google translates the same phrase as: “God is great God bless you, hero Omar Afghan.”
Another popular comment reads: “God is great and the glory of God. God bless you, champ. God şlţ them. Your soldiers from his righteous jihad my sisters dear Lord follow me, and all our martyrs mujahideen all respect to Omar Afghan.”
“I swear the prettiest news I’ve heard in my life,” another commenter said.
Another commenter wished for a thousand men like Mateen.
Not all of the comments translated smoothly. Facebook translated the top comment, which has been liked 345 times, as saying: “A man with a thousand for it and legs of the provisions of the old Afghan Scabies fight these homosexuals filth.”
Not all commenters supported the terrorist attack.
“After the funeral of Muhammad Ali Clay and compassion and tolerance which has emerged within American society with Muslims come in this process to go back and make sure in the distortion of Islam,” one comment translated.
Another commenter worried that the terrorist attack would give Muslims “a bad reputation in front of the world.”
Most of the comments, however, were celebratory.
Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson