Special guest Omar Usman joins the Baba Ali Show to discuss:
- Muslim trolls on the Internet
- exposing the keyboard warriors that start fitna on social media
- the negative impact of shame grenades
- the psychology behind why certain people who act like trolls
- the lack of productivity when shaming people into guilt
© Transcript (Experimental)
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Bob Marley Show episode eight shame grenades and fitna bombs. This podcast has been brought to you by half our Dean comm and was a match website designed for those who want to find that other half privately because the only people that should know you're looking to get married or people who are looking to get married, try half our Deen today. There is this common trend I've seen among Muslims and you often find in the comments section of YouTube videos, Twitter and over Facebook. It's when people post nonsense comments trying to make themselves look pious, while Timmy to attack the piety of others. Not sure what it's called never been able to put my finger on it. It's almost like
trolling but it's worse. Some people call shame grenades, while others call it fitna bombs. I call it the topic of today's episode. I'm about to put these people on blast. Let's do this.
For cultural Muslims have confused the masses and speakers are forced to be politically correct.
Hey, man, why y'all serious? This is just a podcast.
Welcome to the Bob Marley Show. I'm your host, Bob Ali. What's that in your hand? Shame grenade. Why do you have a shame grenade? I was gonna throw it. Why? Because I want to. I want to know what to think of awesome. You don't need to do that everyone's benefiting from the article. Why ruin it? Yeah, I want everyone to look at me. I want to look pious. Shame grenades don't make you look pious. They make you look delusional and desperate. What about picking up bombs like Doritos? What's the fitnah bomb? That's when he tried to take the focus away from the positive message from the video by throwing comments. That's
like one time there's this girl making a video about teaching girls how to put on hijab. And I was like, hey, how come you never talk about Allah meat in your videos that just proves you don't like me?
There's a lot of crazy people who hang out in the comments section of the internet. I'm serious. I sometimes wonder if they ever read what they're typing? I don't know if these people are just trolls with a bad sense of humor, or if they're losers who have nothing but a lot of free time. I mean a lot of free time. Or maybe they're really delusional. I've yet to solve that mystery. Today's guest actually made a video calling these people out. His name is Omar Osman and he's a founding member of Muslim matters gala Mr. To Muslim strategic initiative and debt free Muslims. He's also the man behind a new form of social media class, which is something that we definitely need today. Welcome
to the Bubba Lee show. Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. For those who have not heard about the shake and bake shame grenade videos, please Google it. It looks like a PowerPoint presentation. But it's way more than that. It's something that I've never heard anyone speak about. I mean, I couldn't really put my finger on it either. But it's something very interesting. So can you tell us more about it and what it is, so it's something I've noticed online for a long time. And same thing, I couldn't put my finger on it. Every time any kind of issue comes up. People are leaving the weirdest, most random comments, and they're so negative, but they're cloaked in
religiosity. So you kind of started taking it seriously. But I finally put my finger on it when I read an article by a Christian author talking about the Jesus juke, okay. That was basically he was at the airport. And he posted a picture of someone doing push ups while they were waiting for their flight. And people would respond, responding to him saying, We wish people were as dedicated to Jesus as they were about exercise.
And so he goes a little wiser that every time you post anything, people follow up with comments like that. And he goes, it's like they detonated a shame grenade. And it just kind of destroyed everything within its radius. And I was like, Oh, my God, that's exactly what it is that I'm noticing. I seen this so many times. If you make to offer a certain country, and you forget to make a do offer a different country, people will put you on blast for that. Exactly. It's no matter what you say, or do there's always going to be someone that is upset or offended that you didn't mention whatever their cause country problem, issue, whatever it might be. And the thing is, they come
across as being religious people not like typical trolls you see on the internet, which they're just trying to start fitna, they're coming under the disguise of Hey, I'm trying to be religious here. And I'm better than you guys. So let me tell you what you guys are doing wrong. It's this weird. Yes. It's typical trolling behavior. I mean, if you look at any kind of trolling online is the exact same thing, but with just that cloak on it. And so I think the mistake that we've made for a long time is that we tend to take it more seriously than we should because of that, have you seen any negative impact on like people, you know, or? Yeah, so I mean, one of the sites that I work with is
Muslim matters. org and, you know, we deal with it a lot in the comments section. And we've even had people that were considering writing for us or even that were writing for us.
Basically pulled back because of the excess negativity that they would get, oh, I've even felt it myself. There's, you know, you You almost check yourself like four or five times before posting something just because of how it might be perceived or how it might be responded to. I'm a victim as well. You know, I've done nearly 100 videos on YouTube, and I've had my fair share of shame, grenades, spitting up bombs, and whatever else you want to call it, because they constantly use as you said, terms you came up with or use in your video, spiritual blackmail, toxic negativity, and I didn't know what it was, at one point actually almost felt guilty, like, am I actually doing this
stuff? Am I doing it wrong? I honestly, I'll start questioning myself because they come across as like religious people that are trying to correct me, but it's hard to think that their intention is pure. It just rubs you the wrong way. And this is the thing is that if we take like the Islamic concept of nisi right of giving someone advice, yeah, there's always an intended outcome with that advice. And everyone who's on the receiving end of these types of comments, they never change their behavior for the better because of it at most all the accomplish is people who are doing good work will stop doing it. It's such a shame too. I made a video regarding It was a promotion for a
networking event we were going to have here in Southern California. And and I got a response saying how can you have a networking event when two people are serial are suffering, like the way they are? See, for me, it took a long time to kind of reach this kind of clarity for myself. But I realized this is basically the embodiment of what a lot of people call like a scarcity mentality where there's, you know, it's like, if you take money, for example, there's a fixed amount of money in the world. And so if it goes somewhere else, I'm going to lose out on it, right? basic example is there's a Masjid, and now another machine is opening up five miles away, and everyone freaks out
saying, Oh, my God, our fundraising money is going to be split up, and we're not going to be able to do our project anymore. Okay. So, you know, they're, they're basically assuming that there's only like, X amount of money in the community. And if another machine opens up, we're not going to meet our expenses next year is so ridiculous, because you're discounting the fact that there's things like Baraka that allows one to provide Exactly. And so that's with money. Now, with these things online is the same thing. But they extend that mentality to things like even compassion. So I have a fixed amount of compassion in my heart, if I'm compassionate toward, let's say, Syria, now, it means
I'm not going to be compassionate toward Pakistan, right? Because there's only a fixed amount of emotion that I have. And so if I put it in one place, I can't put it in the other. And it's so ridiculous. But that's, you know, that's literally their mentality, how can I tell the characteristics of these type of people I'm dealing with, I hate to say it, but online is almost like very obvious sometimes. And this is not to like pick on people for their social media profiles or followings, or whatever. But you'll find that there's people that have like 10,000 tweets and five followers.
I mean, and and the reason that I mentioned it that way is because what it shows is that they have not built relationships with anyone, even online, right? They're just spouting off saying whatever they want. And it's like a one way conversation, this sincere advice, you know that it's sincere, because it's the same way in person. It's someone that approaches you politely, oftentimes, privately, they'll discuss it with you in a reasonable manner, rather than just firing something off just hoping to embarrass you or shame you in public. And that's one of the things that really bothered me is like, none of these people ever contacted me personally. Instead, they decide to put
me on blast on the comments section. So it's really hard for me to think that these people are actually sincere. And it's, and you can tell because they, you know, as religious as they act, they bypass so many of the basic teachings in our religion, right? So making excuses for people as an example. So you'll see people online saying, oh, you're talking about country x, but I've never heard you address this other country. And it's almost like, Have you listened to every single speech this person has ever given both online and in person to reach that conclusion? It's impossible. An article that I read regarding this on Muslim matters, it says one of the characteristics is that if
I haven't seen it, it must not exist. Exactly. They want you to give you 70 excuses for their cause, but they can't give you one excuse for you. Right. It's a double standard. And the reason they do that is because they think that their issue is so important that they can break the rules. What about this other aspect? I see oftentimes, the chef's are victims of this as well, they're guilty until they're proven innocent. Yep. So
if he says something, or does something by default, you are guilty. Now you have to come on Twitter, you have to come on Facebook and explain yourself, otherwise, you're guilty. And these are the people that are applying judgment on everybody. How is that even fair? It doesn't make sense whatsoever. It doesn't because it's, you know, if you extend that out to its most logical conclusion, that means let's say for example, there's, you know, some humanitarian catastrophe happens in Brazil. Okay. Okay, so now a famous Shay, who has had a large following online posts, you know, let's make go over the people of Brazil. It's almost as if you have to follow that up with
like 100 more status updates, listing every single country to say like, Hey, guys, I promise I didn't forget about anybody else. It's so sad that we've gotten to that point where the
Shit, he's basically put in the corner, and he has to defend himself. And you know, and the thing is, it's not just the neglect aspect of it like, Oh, you mentioned one you didn't mention the other, there's something even worse than that. That's kind of implied. And that's basically my tragedy or My issue is more important than yours. I wonder sometimes if these people are even conscious of what they're doing, because it doesn't really make sense. I mean, I when they press the forward button, or the send button, or the thinking what they're doing, when they send me an email, or text messages for this are 10 of your friends, if you don't shaytaan wins. Like what she thought was, if I don't
forward this to 10 friends is like you are using spiritual blackmail to get what you want. And you're using Islam, you're twisting Islam to get what you want, and it's wrong. And you know, this kind of behavior. It's actually listened to an NPR story, I think it was. Somewhat Recently, there was a story about a lady who basically some guy was trolling her online. And she finally ended up getting in touch with him and confronting him about it. And he ended up apologizing to her. And they kind of delved into the psychology of why he was trolling her like that. Basically, what had happened was he was trolling her because she was a woman. And she was speaking about certain issues.
So he was just going at her online in a very vulgar and harsh way. But what it basically came down to was, he was going through a really tough time in his life. And so he was taking it out on the first target that he could find, I kind of see that same psychology online, where people that are very frustrated, or they're going through something difficult, or maybe it's just even they're upset with their own level of religious practice. It's a way to kind of project some kind of piety and some kind of a win in their eyes that I'm doing something right, or I'm doing something pious to make myself better. Wow, do you know what really bothers me? One of their tactics is like, they say,
don't donate to this cause. But donate to this cause. Yeah. And like, who puts these people in charge? Why does it have to be either this or that? And why can't it be both? It's like, there's option A or Option B, but we can't have option C. Either you guys are supporting a Masjid or you supported there must be like, Did you get invited to the meeting where they sat down and made the list, and Nydia, who puts you in charge of what's important, what's not. And the funniest thing is, is that even in our religion, there's not a precedent for everyone always working on the exact same cause right throughout, even with the companions, as he everyone was focused on different things
contributing in different ways. And it's just very short sighted to say that everyone has to only make one contribution or one issue. Yeah, while we're talking about contribution, let me talk about like one really bad charity tactic that's been used in fundraiser when they say, oh, whoever loves their mother will donate this money. Are you kidding me? Yeah, either. Yeah. If you don't love your mother, we don't want your money. But if you love your mother, if you really love your mother, give us $10,000 and your mother sitting next to you.
Who is this guy? What do you guys got? You guys are supposed to be the religious people among us. Yeah. And I'm supposed to trust you, when I give you this money because of the tactics you're doing. Come on. Now. See, it's that whole thing of, you know, understanding shame and guilt. Right. So with it, you know, I always say that guilt is a good thing. As long as it's between yourself and Allah. So whatever wrong I've done, I should feel guilty for it. Right. That's part of our as part of our tradition, but for me to come and shame you into guilt that's never constructive. It never produces any positive results. They make unattainable goals for piety. And you know, even in that fundraising
situation, even if you went and donated like $10,000 at for at least like a year after that you would hate yourself for it. You'd be like, I wish I didn't donate to that guy or to that cause because you didn't do it for the right reasons, exactly the way that it made you feel you regret it. So do you think these people lack sincerity? We can't say they lack sincerity, but they are very terrible at showing it.
Very well put, I'll ask you a tough question. You give a very good answer, Mashallah. You know, it's the what bothers me is that they almost treat Islam as a joke. And this is some serious stuff. They forget that on the Day of Judgment, everything that you do, including the things that you do online, and everything that you say, include the things that you say, online, you're going to be accountable for. Exactly. And it's not just a joke. It's almost a game. They're literally chasing imaginary internet coins likes, like me. Exactly. There's nothing else that they get out of it. But people don't like them. They don't like these type of people where your goal is just to make everyone else
look wrong. Because the reality is, we're all human beings, and we all make mistakes. And I don't want to put someone out there call someone out just because they make a mistake. You know, I've done 100 videos, I attack ideas, not people, right. What I feel bad is that these people actually attack people. They're not even attacking the idea. They're attacking the people, you have this shit, or you have this public speaker, you have this public figure or this person who just gave a talk a video and the comment has nothing to do what they're talking about. Let me give you another example. There is a sister who's a well known speaker and so she's got videos online where she's talking
about, you know, different Islamic topics. And I remember reading an article where people were basically putting her on Blackboard and they actually put one of the videos they did compare and contrast. They couldn't compare one video to another and they put screenshots and like see this proves that she's wearing makeup in this one and not that one and they'll be like in total
Three minutes and 41 seconds you can see here she's smiling in like a suggestive manner and like it was, I was like,
whatever wrong she may have done. You just eclipsed her by, like 100 times. What's wrong with these people? And what is wrong with these people? And so things like where did you realize this was like your productive use of time? And and that's like the weirdest thing, right? Like as much as they criticize the way that other people are wasting their time or their money and things like that they're doing the exact same thing. Oh, I have one for you, Omar. Yeah, I made a video in one of my videos on YouTube is called haterade. But I made an example in the video and people think like, Where do you come up with this stuff? I'm like, this is real, true stories. I don't have to come up
with stuff. Yeah, I don't need comedy. I just have to hang out with Muslims. I have plenty of content. So brothers contacted me basically and said, I'll let you know we've been watching your videos, me and a group of guys. I guess they're the beard committee. What we do is in each video, we measure your beard. I made a joke. From video to video, we watch your beard, and we watch how much it grows. And we are concerned what we do is we watch your videos and we measure your beard. So we writing this email to you to explain all this stuff. I'm like, Are you kidding me? That's very creepy.
This is what you do on your free time. You know how to respond to them. I said, Brother, I wish I had as much as free time as you do. Yeah, you know, I have a lot of faults in myself. And yes, not every sinner that I follow. And I hope and show that Allah guides me and corrects me. I'm not an example for human beings. I never tell people follow me I have a lot to improve on myself. But for you guys to come here and to waste your time trying to look for my faults. Have you corrected yourself? Let me tell you something else. Right. The the key word here is that they emailed you, you don't run into these people in real life that often there's a reason for that. Like, I always wonder
like these people that are saying all these things. Does anyone their machine even know who they are, you know why you don't see them in person? Was it because they're hiding behind their keyboard? Exactly. Because of this cloak of being religious. I think people have been kind of too scared to even call them out. And now hopefully after people listen to this podcast, and they share it with others, people will be more hesitant to do these type of things. I was I point out one other thing was uh, you know, I'm gonna roll back to the donations thing real quick. Okay, all right. So people say things like, you know, if, for example, if you post a picture of yourself eating at a nice
restaurant, they'll be like, Oh, you could have bought a cheaper meal and fed like so many other people.
And so the thing is, is like, I would turn around and ask those people, Where do they live? Have they downgraded their apartment? Have they sold their car and downgraded? Are they subsisting only on the bare minimum amount of food that they need to stay alive and donating? The rest of it? If they're not, why are they holding everyone else to those standards, it makes you wonder, because they're not coming public. Your life is public, because you're the one giving information you're advising, you are inviting people to come do some good, they're not doing anything, except they're in the background criticizing what you are doing, right. And again, the most that they ever end up
accomplishing is the people that are doing good, they stopped doing it. So it's just really like, what are you hoping to get out of this? Now let me ask you a question. Have you been a victim of this as well? Yeah. What am I QuickBooks was posted online. And actually, in that video, there's a couple of examples. I had a quick bought online and someone asked, they did the whole I'm not a scholar. But why isn't the equip by an Arabic? Oh, she I've heard that so many times. I am not a scholar. But yeah, dot dot dot. It's like the whole I don't mean to be offensive, but like no disrespect, but it is basically saying like, I'm about to offend you or disrespect you or pretend
I'm a scholar.
It's like, it's like me saying, hey, Baba Lee, why aren't you against human trafficking? And you'll be like, you'd be like, what? I'll be like, I've never heard you speak about I've never heard you criticize it. And I'm not saying that you're in favor of it. But you know, it's a legitimate question, because I've ever heard you criticize it. And then now all of a sudden, just by saying that people be like, Oh, my God, what? Why is Baba Lee in favor of human trafficking, and it just spreads like wildfire. Because I made an issue out of nothing.
Crazy, I posted a status saying something like, you know, Alhamdulillah for being able to go into the grocery store and you know, getting any kind of food that you want. And someone wrote back saying No, brother, this is not a blessing. This is why people are getting fat.
I was like, okay, that's one way to look at it. I think there's a real, I don't have a second emotional problem or personality problem where you immediately jump to the most negative possible thing you can think of in a particular situation, as you said, you had two people on Muslim matters that are hesitant to write articles. And that's terrible because we lose out on those people. Right? One of the reasons I wanted to do this episode with you is so we can let people out there know the people who are trying to make a positive change in this Omar to not let these two people influence them. I mean, Hamdulillah, you've not only stood your ground, but you're calling these people out
and I am now joining your side of calling these people out with you. So we are more conscious of this stuff. And we put a little bit more shame in these people who are doing it so they have shame in throwing out shame grenades. Exactly. It's it's all you know, everything boils down to societal pressure, right? Yeah. If people are made to feel like no, this behavior is wrong, maybe they'll think twice now before posting something like that. And you know, the other thing that I started doing is you know, before people like I said, because it was so religious people still in
engage them as if it was legitimate. Right? Yeah. Now, anytime someone says anything remotely like that I just blocked.
It gets done. I'm not dealing with it. Yeah, I remember, it's like a really old school Islamic video. But there was a speaker talking and some guy in the audience stood up and started heckling him and basically trying to take over the speech. And the speaker was like, Listen, Brother, you know, we appreciate what you have to say. But if you'd like to tell the audience about what you want to talk about, then go print up your own flyers and get your own venue, and we'll all show up and listen to you.
It's the whole thing of, I can't get my own platform, or I can't get anyone to listen to me. So I'm gonna hijack what other people are saying, exactly. And so you cut it off at the route just blocked them. Please tell us some advice that you have for our audience, for those who are dealing with people doing shake and bake and shame grenades. And so the best advice is what I mentioned at the end of the video is still resonates with me. And that's the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam where he said that if you're planting a tree, and the Day of Judgment is approaching, like finished planting the tree, right, finished the work that you started, so I would say whatever
pursuits that someone has, and you know, by the way, you're the first episode of your podcast with Omar Reagan had a lot of these examples where he's saying, like, you know, we're trying to raise money for a movie, and people are saying, oh, why aren't you doing something else? Why aren't you putting your efforts into this? Or that or the other? You know, the reality is, we don't know what efforts last month I was gonna put Baraka, right? We don't know what the outcome of the work that we do is we can only control whether we're sincere and trying to do it for the right reasons. And Allah will determine how far that work goes. So whatever work you're doing, whatever cause it is, whatever
project it is, whatever your contribution that you want to make is, don't let anyone derail you, right? Even if the day of judgment is coming, finished planting that sapling, right. So don't let anyone derail the work that you're doing. Second thing is, like I said, blocked the haters plain and simple. The second someone, even if someone just says something you don't like just block up, I mean, life is literally too short to waste time with these kinds of things. So that's really that's the two main things. And the third thing I would say is as tough as it is just maintain that attitude of positivity. And this is something I learned, as far as things go online, is
understanding what they call critics map, right? So when someone writes a book, you go on Amazon, and the author has like 405 star reviews, and three one star reviews. And you ask them about the feedback on the book, and they'll have the one star reviews memorize. And they almost won't even look at the 400 positive comments. Right? So it's you have to reorient your frame and say like, there's always going to be a supportive, but silent majority of people with the work that you're doing, right. So make sure that you're catering to them. And the positive feedback that you're getting. Don't out of modesty and humility, don't discount it, right. Like, you have this thing
where if you give a let's say, you give a clip or a speech, and people come up to you, and they're like, Oh, you know, just like go up here. That was your speech was really good. And it really affected me. And I learned I learned a lot out of it. And what does the speaker do? They say, Oh, no, no, no, it's suck. It was garbage. Right? When you do that, you're actually the person that complimented you, you're actually telling them that they're an idiot for feeling like that, and that they're incorrect, right. So we I think we have to, we really need like an Islamic discussion on how to receive praise and celebrate praise, because we do a really good job of beating each other up all
the time. But we don't do a good job of complimenting one another when we do something good. And I think there's ways of doing that without being excessively praiseworthy, or filling people's egos, but just kind of having some type of celebration of the good work that people are doing. I think we need to nurture that a little bit in our community, you have me thinking as you're speaking because I sometimes feel that I do that sometimes. And people oftentimes give me compliments and just to keep my own humility. So I make sure I'm down to earth and never let an ego ever come inside of me. But now I understand the other side of it to be more conscious of it's just not fair. And there's
and you know, in that situation like we have that Dr. Abu Bakar de la one where he said, you know, oh, Allah make me better than the people think of me and cover my faults. I don't remember the exact narration. But it was something along those lines of I'm not as good as what they're saying, but make me better and cover up the faults. I think there's a balance in your private relationship with Allah has to be on lockdown in that sense. Yeah. But at the same time, we can't make the default to always be to bash and degrade everything, even if it's something good. Yes. All right. You know, you have this class that you have called the fifth of social media. Can you tell us a little bit about
that? Yes. So the thick of social media project is basically right now it's mostly an online ebook. If you go to pick up social dot media, slash 40 Hadeeth, you'll get a free ebook with 40 Hadeeth on social media, and it's just you know, it's all common sense. have good intentions. Don't lie, don't backbite don't cause drama. Don't make Don't mock people don't make fun of people for no reason. Right. These are all basic things in our religion, I think. I think the breakdown that we've had for a long time is that we've differentiated our online and offline life and we need to connect the dots again. And I think that's one thing that has actually contributed to this whole shame grenade
phenomenon is people think that what they do online is a different world. It's like, you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Okay? It's, it's basically like what happens online stays online.
And is different from my real life. I think that mentality gives people a lot more courage online. And I think we have to connect the dots and say, our online and offline is now intermingle. Everything is connected. And so the behaviors that we're taught to have in person we have to carry those into the online arena and that's basically what this project was hoping to do. You intrigued me very much my shoulder I'm sure a lot of the listeners who are listening to this episode are also intrigued as well. So tell us how we can find you on the internet best ways actually Twitter at Evan w Omer IP and a b e om AR or the physical social media email list at HTTP pick up social media
that's where I send out articles about pick up social media and people can reply to me they're just out there with that I'd like to thank all the listeners who've been listening to this entire episode. You stay with us all the way to the very end Mashallah I let you know that we're gonna have more and more guests coming in each week inshallah. So please go to Baba Ali show.com leave your comment. both myself and Omar want to see what you guys really think about and see if you guys are also victims of this as well. And remember, the whole podcast is on iTunes. So if you have an iPhone, you can just type into Word Baba Li show. It's right there. subscribe and leave a review as
well so others can discover the podcast Jazakallah fair Omar for coming on to the show. It's been a pleasure having you this is Bobby Lee reminding you just in case you forgot I Salaam wa Alaykum Morocco today.