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Before You Blow Yourself Up: Hashtag sweeping the Gulf Open in fullscreen

Karim Traboulsi

Before You Blow Yourself Up: Hashtag sweeping the Gulf

Shia mosque targeted by suicide bombing in Kuwait on June 26 [Jaber Abdulkhaleq/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2015

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Blog: Gulf Twitterers are using an Arabic hashtag to mock would-be suicide bombers in the wake of the Kuwait mosque bombing.

Though suicide bombings are not new to the Gulf, the attack against a Shia mosque in Kuwait, for which the Islamic State group claimed responsibility, came as a huge shock for both the governments and public of the region.

Kuwait has since identified the suicide bomber as a Saudi citizen, Fahd Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Qabaa.

On social media, there were expressions of horror, condemnation, and anger against the perpetrators.

However, the attack and its aftermath also triggered debates among Kuwaitis and other Gulf Arabs over issues such as the IS threat to the Gulf, Sunni-Shia sectarianism, and the conditions of Kuwait's stateless Bidoon community - to which the alleged driver who transported the suicide bomber belongs, with concerns the authorities might now crack down even harder on them.

In addition, there was a remarkable backlash on social media against the act of suicide bombing itself.

Recall that in some circles in the Arab world, suicide bombing is seen as sometimes justifiable, or at least, understandable, especially in the context of resisting military occupation.

The Arabic hashtag, #Before_you_blow_yourself_up, which has gone viral, is being used to both mock would-be suicide bombers, and, more soberly, to deter extremists and remind them that killing innocent Muslims and others runs against the teachings of Islam.

Some even tweeted in English using the same hashtag.

Yaaqoub al-Imarati: Ask yourself, why has the misguided person who sent you not sent his son to blow himself up instead?

Ghazi al-Juhaini: Remember that killing innocents is a greater harm for Allah than the death of all of humanity

Majed al-Raisi: You are not a mujahid fighting for Allah. You are an instrument in the hands of murderers who will kill your kin after they are done killing others.

*Jahannam=hell in Arabic

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