This week on Twitter, we remembered those who lost their lives at the World Trade Centre, engaged with World Suicide Prevention Day, and watched Apple unveil some new, very expensive things that we definitely don’t need. We also learned a little bit about Islam, and a lot about our collective intolerance towards homophobia.
@Ireland Twitter account causes a stir
Curated by a different person each week, the @ireland Twitter account has been delighting us with its vast variety of individuals, perspectives, and tweets for 185 weeks now. Directors of the account began their ‘rotation curation’ back in 2012, based on the notion that “a single voice cannot represent a country.” This week, Muslim cleric and founder of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, Dr. Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, took to our timelines to tell us all about Islam.
It started off fairly well, as Al-Qadri presented some common misconceptions about Islam, shared some photos of his children, and expressed his appreciation towards those who have been so generous during the #refugeecrisis. But things quickly turned sour when Al-Qadri began discussing his views on homosexuality.
To all those who think we Muslims hate and want to kill homosexuals. Islam teaches to hate sin, not the sinner! pic.twitter.com/flqIL1Fmvg
— Ireland / Cat (@ireland) September 7, 2015
His claim that “Islam teaches to hate sin, not the sinner,” accompanied by a picture of openly gay Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, provoked some warranted criticism from almost everybody who responded to the tweet. While many chose to engage with Al-Qadri and question his religious judgments, most were simply offended by the suggestion that involving oneself in homosexual activities is a sin.
But the (rather quite uncomfortable) discussion didn’t stop there, as Al-Qadri decided that he wanted to learn more about the LGBT community and homosexuality as a whole. Which would have been alright if it hadn’t ended with him stating that he was “keeping an open mind” about whether or not people can ‘choose’ to be gay.
@ireland Counter-question: Are all heterosexuals born as straight?
— Kathy (@polylexic) September 10, 2015
So some are born gay and some choose to be. Those who choose to be gay sometimes are called bi-sexual, right ?
— Ireland / Cat (@ireland) September 10, 2015
A lot of people were outraged, some were confused, but most were simply offended by the cleric’s outdated view of homosexuality. While Al-Qadri did invite the LGBT community to the Islamic Centre, his inability to understand that sexuality exists on a spectrum and is not a choice, took precedence over practically every other valid point about Islamic extremists, refugees, and prejudice he had made before the debate began.
A single voice cannot represent a country. But as it turns out, neither can one that thinks sexuality is a choice.
.@Ireland seems like a well-meaning nice guy, but simply lost when challenged on Islam views of women/LGBT etc. Essentially: "My book says!"
— Dr Panti Bliss (@PantiBliss) September 9, 2015
@ireland I'm sure you're well aware of the abuse, violence and discrimination LGBT people face; Why do you think anyone would *choose* that?
— Ciarán O'Brien (@Sarklor) September 10, 2015
Apple unveil lots of new products: lots of people are excited #AppleEvent
On Wednesday, Apple had an event in San Francisco where CEO Tim Cook and his team spent 2 and a half hours telling us about all the new and expensive things they’d be making us buy over the next year. These included the iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus (which also comes in rose gold!), a newer Apple Watch, some charging docks, the iPad Pro (that has a screen that’s basically the same size as an actual MacBook), and the Apple Pencil.
Lots of people who have lots of money and presumably just enjoy buying things were very excited by the announcements. Others… Weren’t so bothered.
Us: Can we get 3 way FaceTime & better quality charging cables ?
— no (@tbhjuststop) September 10, 2015
The first iPad Pro selfies have started. pic.twitter.com/M7eAmQy7dm
— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) September 9, 2015
"If you see a stylus, they blew it.” -Steve Jobs, 2010
— Ryan Block (@ryan) September 9, 2015
Twitter talks #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #LetsGoOrange
Yesterday, many major landmarks around the country lit up orange as part of World Suicide Prevention Day. Cycle Against Suicide launched their #LetsGoOrange campaign with Solus to promote the idea that it’s okay not to be okay. Some of the buildings, streets, and landmarks included in the project were Trinity College, Grafton Street, Belfast City Hall, Blarney Castle, and NUI Galway.
— TrinityCollegeDublin (@tcddublin) September 10, 2015
— NUI Galway (@nuigalway) September 11, 2015
According to a report filed last year, Ireland has exceptionally high rates of suicide among young people, with the rate among young women being the highest in Europe, and the rate among young men being second highest.
Many in Ireland, and around the world, took to Twitter on Thursday to share their stories, mental health awareness, helpline numbers, and the message that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it.
"Everything is going to be okay – maybe not today but eventually" #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
— Jennifer (@LaniganJen) September 11, 2015
— lys (@deadexgf) September 11, 2015
When you wake up tomorrow, remember that #WorldSuicidePreventionDay isn't just one day. Remember that every day is as important as this one.
— Somewhat A Lady (@somewhatalady) September 11, 2015
The world remembers the victims of #September11 #NeverForget911
14 years ago, 2 hi-jacked planes were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Centre. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in a field near Pennsylvania. Today, Twitter commemorated the lives of the 2,996 people who were killed in the initial attacks, the hundreds of others who died trying to save those who were trapped, and the thousands affected by the War on Terror.
I was in NYC that day. I had a front row seat. The pain of watching the towers fall burns in my heart. #NeverForget911
— Emme Rylan (@EmmeRylan) September 11, 2015
— LADHumour (@LadHumour) September 11, 2015
RIP to those who paid the ultimate price for a crime they did NOT commit. Afghans, Iraqi and Pakistani. #NeverForget911
— Móňa (@TheBetci15) September 11, 2015
— ImpatientProblems (@ImpatientPrblms) September 11, 2015
Everyone’s celebrating their #juniorcert results
The Junior Cert results came out this week and it got a lot of people very excited to celebrate their achievements, show off their honours, and probably go under-age drinking in a park somewhere. For a few days, Twitter was wrought with 16 year olds being nervous, 16 year olds being happy, and finally, 16 year olds being hungover.
It was a momentous occasion. Here’s some tweets about it.
I'm only excited for going out #juniorcert
— eleanor✨ (@badintxntions) September 8, 2015
— Gary Doyle (@thegarydoyle) September 9, 2015
— WWN (@WhispersNewsLTD) September 9, 2015
Featured image via theverge.com