The “Malaysian Troll Army” Shows How Hamas Conducts War on Social Media

July 20 2021

During the latest round of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terrorist groups, there was a deluge of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity on Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites, ranging from the merely deluded to the vile. But not all of it was due to the spontaneous spread of “viral” comments. Emily Schrader notes the seemingly orchestrated activities emanating from Malaysia, a country whose recently retired prime minister was notorious for his anti-Semitic declarations:

During the operation in May, the IDF announced that it was its policy to target Hamas activists anywhere, including, specifically, Malaysia. . . . From May 10 to May 21, anti-Israel trolls from Malaysia launched an organized and coordinated cyberbullying [campaign, involving] efforts to hack into social-media accounts of major pro-Israel voices (including mine) and to lock their accounts. In addition, they used information from data leaks to spam private citizens and public officials on WhatsApp, [a popular messaging service], effectively locking their accounts.

For example, Malaysian trolls were able to obtain the personal phone number of the IDF Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee, and locked his WhatsApp account during a military operation.

New research on what happened during the operation indicates an orchestrated and well-planned effort across social-media platforms to target Israeli and Jewish users. Using [the encrypted-messaging software] Telegram, activists in Malaysia used channels with thousands of such as “Team Suspend Twitter” in which they sent out lists of major pro-Israel accounts, followed by instructions on how to maliciously attack the accounts with fake passwords to trigger account suspension.

One of the leading groups behind this cyberattack was a Facebook group called the “Malaysian Troll Army” which has over half a million followers. . . . Another group which works with the Malaysian Troll Army is the Cinta Syria Malaysia, with 300,000 followers, and its sister organization, Cinta Gaza Malaysia, which is run by a Malaysian in Gaza, Nadir al-Nuri.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Cyberwarfare, Hamas, Malaysia

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter