“#1in5Muslims think Netflix and chill means Netflix and chill.”

A friend shared that tweet with me and it made me laugh out loud. Actually laugh out loud — not just LOL.

First I laughed at myself. I had only recently been educated on the true meaning of “Netflix and chill” by my sixth-grade son, so this was a timely tweet. When I shared this new definition with my friends, we suddenly felt old. Mostly because, to us, a night of actual Netflix and chilling sounded so much better than the insinuated version.

But second, I laughed because I was thrilled. Finally, my fellow Muslims responded to an insult in a manner that I could get behind.

 

The “1 in 5 Muslims” hashtag has emerged in response to a recent, absurd front-page article in The Sun, a British newspaper. Its headline reported on “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis.”

I am not here to dispute the headline; the rest of British media was quick to attack the survey. The claim was so ridiculous, it has led to an outpouring of response from Muslims with tweets that are funny and with statistics that are equally fabricated. I’ve already shared my favorite. My second favorite is: “#1in5Muslims think Rachel and Ross were on a break.” Any response with humor and sarcasm I can get behind.

I will admit that at first I was angry at The Sun. In a time when there are real atrocities being committed in the name of Islam, it seems redundant to concoct one. If the goal is to cause hatred, fear or shock, The Sun is a little late in the game. But after a moment’s anger, I had to thank The Sun. The ludicrousness of the accusation has allowed us to respond in a way that the rest of the world can comprehend, in a way that is more representative of our people.

I have been questioned many times as to why we don’t denounce acts of violence committed around the world in the name of Islam. Like you, when we hear of these acts, we are shocked, revolted and saddened. We go home and we hug our children, kiss our loved ones, watch the news and pray. We denounce them equally when performed by a madman with a bomb attached to him crying “Allahu akbar” or by a loner with no apparent agenda who walks into an elementary school with a gun. Every act is heartbreaking and the pain does not numb with time.

It does not scare me when an imbecile thinks all Americans who happen to be Muslim should be registered or when a newspaper fabricates statistics about our support of ISIL. What scares me is when this behavior is acceptable. Because when the fearmongers scare us they have won. And what kind of world would that be?

So perhaps we should thank The Sun for giving us an opportunity to let the world know where we stand. But right now “1 in 5 Muslims” are busy wondering what we’re going to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers.

 

Nina Hamza lives in Shorewood.