Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Jerusalem Post: Syrian rebels poke fun on YouTube, rally support on Twitter, Facebook

posted by

Technology is defying censorship in Syria as rebels mock their tenacious dictator on YouTube and summon crowds into the streets using Twitter, Facebook and other local social media.

On YouTube, an Arabic-language cartoon shows Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad picking up the phone and dialing to his friend, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Syria’s most important supporter.

YouTube Preview Image

“The people are revolting against me, they don’t love me anymore,” a nervous al-Assad complains Ahmadinejad.

“Don’t worry, crying won’t help. I have a solution – get on a plane and come here,” replies the Iranian.

Taken to a cave in a black limousine in Iran, al-Assad meets glowering, mumbling Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who advises him to surround the cities with troops and artillery, suppress individual freedoms, forbid people to gather in the streets and, above all, stop the populace from speaking.

“Terrorism in revolution is critical and lying is it basis,” the cross-legged ayatollah instructs him.

Delighted, al-Assad gushes his agreement.

“Yes, absolutely,” he declares, “Lie and lie until you believe your own lies.”

Dissidents in Syria and elsewhere in the Arab Spring world are finding new and creative ways to poke fun at their leaders – and unlike their predecessors who were reliant on the printed media, they face far fewer risks because the content is sitting on a server far away from the despot’s reach, notes David E. Miller in the Jerusalem Post newspaper.

“Most observers acknowledge social media have played a critical role in bringing people onto the streets, but YouTube offers them an opportunity to become more creative and expansive in the way a 140-character Tweet cannot,” notes Miller, who writes for the middle eastern news service the Media Line: 

As the Arab Spring marks its ninth month, that has become an increasing important element in the fight against oppressive governments.

“Facebook and Twitter are strongly linked to the Arab Spring, but YouTube has been a less significant social media platform,” Andre Oboler, an Australian social media expert, told The Media Line. “YouTube content requires significantly more time and effort to produce, which means it is less immediate, less fast paced, and there are fewer people able to do it.”

The risk of recognition in a video clip may have also deterred many Arab oppositionists from using the site, he says.

“Even in democratic states YouTube videos are used by police to identify suspects. We’ve seen this recently with the London protests,” he says. “In authoritarian regimes, the punishment may be far higher and the grounds for arrest far less reasonable.”

The danger of engaging in humorous criticism was amply illustrated when veteran Syrian cartoonist and outspoken Al-Assad critic Ali Ferzat was badly beaten by unknown assailants on August 25, left bleeding on the side of a Damascus road. The anonymous assailants made sure to injure his hands, telling him it was “just a warning.”

Over 2,200 Syrians have reportedly been killed since unrest broke out in March, according to the United Nations.

CLICK HERE to read more



Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.