In a world that is marred with hate and discrimination based on the most mundane of things, it is no surprise that Facebook has banned Tommy Robinson as a result of his sentiments against Islam and Muslims. Social media has become a platform through which people can spread propaganda and even worse is the fact that they have a ready audience and supporters. The diversity that exists in the world in terms of religion, race, beliefs and others should be an opportunity for human interaction, open-mindedness and tolerance. Regrettably, the very opposite is true.
Religion is a difficult and delicate topic and one must tread wisely especially when it comes to a religion that one is not intimately acquainted with. Robinson is a conservative whose opinion is that Muslims should be banned from Britain and their places of worship destroyed. This is blatant racism and bigotry based on religion. Many Muslims throughout the world profess theirs to be a religion of tolerance, peace and love. A few have preached hate and death in the name of Islam but this should not be taken as the view of all Muslims.
The fact that some American conservatives consider Robinson to be a martyr of free speech is truly baffling. The self is a social product and thus Robinson’s sentiments must be viewed within a social setting such as family, friends and others who might influence him. It is wrong to spread messages of hate and to dehumanize millions of people based only on their religion. We should cultivate a culture of freedom of expression and acceptance. There should be moral boundaries to ensure that we treat others with respect. Freedom of worship and religion is enshrined in the constitutions of almost all democracies in the world. Politics may also have a hand in Robinson’s beliefs; some leaders have turned acts prejudice into norms. If anything, the Muslims against whom Robinson preaches are the real martyrs.
Facebook is justified to follow in the footsteps of Twitter which removed him from its platform. Such steps are important towards discouraging senseless hatred and propaganda against others simply because you might not understand their beliefs or values. The world should work towards social change in form of tolerance and peace, and social media platforms such as Facebook are an important part of this journey.