‘Muslim’ Woman Singled Out In Viral London Terror Photo

 

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Details are still coming in after yesterday’s terror attack in Westminster and the official investigation is only just underway. I suspect I’ll be blogging and podcasting a considerable amount in the coming days and weeks about this devastating act of Islamic terror.

At the time of writing this we know that at least 4 people are dead and many more are injured. The suspect is said to be British-born and the attack has been described as ‘Islamist’ in nature by the British Prime Minister.

In the meantime, as we wait for all the details to emerge, one particular injustice caught my eye which is worth pushing back against.

The following photograph was taken during the chaos and aftermath of the vehicle attack on Westminster bridge:image

It has now gone ‘viral’ for all the wrong reasons:

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The implication here is clear and without subtlety: This Muslim woman is indifferent, or perhaps even pleased with the situation she currently finds herself in.

The fact is, I don’t know who this lady is. I don’t know where she’s been, where she’s going, what she’s done, what she’s about to do or what she’s thinking. And neither does anyone else. And that’s my point.

A still image represents but a fraction of a second in time. And this one does not tell us much about the individual besides she was present during a terror attack, she used her phone and has a Muslim appearance.

The narrative being spun in its service by a considerable number of people online is uncharitable at best and outright prejudiced at worse.

Could she have been ringing an ambulance? Answering the call of a panicked loved one who had just turned on the news? Being ushered off the bridge by officials during the evacuation? To my mind, she appears to look upset/distressed.

Shall we assume the lowest possible motive of the other bystanders and passers-by who were captured in a single moment too?image

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Can anyone hazard a guess as to why these individuals haven’t been singled out for scorn in this manner?

There are a number of perfectly reasonable explanations for these images. To assume the lowest possible motive based on nothing more than the presence of a (probable) hijab is the definition of prejudice.

Imagine if you will, getting caught up in the horrific events at Westminster in which 4 people have now been confirmed dead. Scores of others remain seriously injured – some with ‘catastrophic’ injuries. Try for a moment to contemplate not only being amongst that utter horror, but discovering that a single, unrevealing, photograph of you is being used to denigrate your entire character based on little more than your Muslim appearance and a contextless phone conversation.

I imagine (and hope) we shall hear more about this lady’s story in the coming days.

We should be stern in the face of Islamic theocracy encroaching on our society in whatever form it takes. We should also refuse to flinch in our opposition to Islamists. It’s my suggestion that these principles will become diluted if we lose our sense of fairness and compassion along the way.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by this latest atrocity.

UPDATE 23 March 2017

An image captured around the same time has been now emerged. You can make up your own mind as to whether this is the face of a person unmoved by the situation. I hope this will serve as a lesson to those who shamelessly spun this for their own agendas.

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UPDATE 24 March 2017  – The Freelance photographer who took these photos is called Mr. Lorrimon and has spoken to the Mail Online about the images. As reported there:

Speaking to MailOnline, the freelance photographer originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said: ‘I was underneath the bridge taking pictures of Parliament when I saw something being rescued from the river.

‘I now know that it was the body of the woman who either jumped or fell from Westminster Bridge.

‘I was only on the bridge for a couple of minutes and I saw a woman lying on the floor after being hit.

Mr Lorriman, who lives in London, added: ‘I saw dozens of people walk past and the woman on the phone had just come from the part of the bridge where most of the victims were struck.

‘That is why she clearly looks mortified and it is obvious that she is in shock. The woman would have seen people under buses – she had just walked past the worst of it.

‘She wasn’t the only one walking past injured people and it looked like she just wanted to get off the bridge as quickly as possible.

‘I took three photographs where you can see the woman and I think she looks distressed in all of them.’

I think this pretty much aligns with what most decent people were thinking anyway.

UPDATE #2 –  24 March 2017 – The lady depicted in the viral images has now released the below statement via Tell Mama:

“I’m shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media. To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I’ve also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia.

My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern. What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims. I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station. My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence”.

It’s an utter travesty that such a statement was made necessary. It is to the shame of everyone who circulated this image in a negative manner.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

38 comments

  • Good work, Stephen.

    • you miss the point. the point is the muslim communities do not interfere. There was 9 arrests overnight in relation to the attack. So non of these had brothers/ wives who knew nothing? It the muslim community total disregard about anything negative to Christians or the west. The koran teaches even “moderate” muslims it is ok to lie to infildals. I live near large amounts of muslims and they do not like gays, women, the west. Stop apologising and asking how we can be nicer wo muslims in order for them to stop killing us.

      • Stephen Knight

        What does that have to do with this one woman?

      • danr — good for you. Don’t be afraid to put forward an alternative point of view. You are right. We have created a fifth column among us. They hate us and they will NEVER integrate. It’s a total mess and nobody want to talk about it. They will wait and keep prodding us until we totally capitulate to them. Free speech has already gone! What next?
        Diversity will be our death.

        • Stephen Knight

          ‘Good for you’? You’re throwing in with the ‘the images are doctored’ conspiracy guy? Good luck with that

          • No. Do you honestly think that minus the images above, we suddenly have no problems at all. I do feel sorry for that poor woman on a number of levels, but her role in all this is just a side-show. Meanwhile the destruction of the West continues apace … and you seem to be doing your best to cheer it on. Good luck in your multicultural rainbow Utopia.

          • Stephen Knight

            What on earth are you talking about? Where have I suggested we have ‘no problems at all’.

            Let me quote from the very piece you’re objecting to:

            “We should be stern in the face of Islamic theocracy encroaching on our society in whatever form it takes. We should also refuse to flinch in our opposition to Islamists”

            Perhaps if that’s not convincing enough, you can peruse the 5 year’s worth of content I’ve produced on these ‘problems’ here: https://www.gspellchecker.com/?s=Islam

            ‘Cheering it on?’ Can I see your output on this issue please?

            Perhaps consider retracting your ignorant comments

          • Ok, point taken and well done for that. I was just angry about the deflections that happen every single time that one of THEM kills one of US. We’d rather talk about a stupid photo than the elephant in the room … it’s getting too late in the day for that.

            Something must happen soon to stop this. And good for you for at least having the guts to mention the “I” word.

            I’m not seeing similar responses from the majority of people, and perhaps they are content to see the destruction of Western civilization. I am not.

    • Five people are dead because of Islam and once again the left is worrying about how Muslims are perceived and how that will affect their FEEELINGS.

  • Sorry, comment unfinished. The poor lassie does not look indifferent or pleased. She looks concerned and frightened and, with comments like the ones the photo attracted, I’d be bloody terrified.
    Bigotry against the innocent should not be tolerated. Excellent article.

  • The person on the floor is being attended to by several people. If the woman in the photograph cannot assist in any way greater than those in attendance then why stop? To gawk? Regardless of how she appears to be reacting (although I personally believe she looks worried/distressed) pushing this ‘muslim not stopping to help’ agenda by some of those on social media is despicable.

  • She looks very distraught in the close up photo! There are a couple of Caucasian men in the background that appear to be just standing there having a conversation, and not paying any attention at all to what is happening right beside them. Are these men being derided?

  • The “updated” image is doctored. Anyone who works with Photo Shop can easily tell. I guess you would call this “fake news”.

    • Stephen Knight

      How do you know the original image isn’t the doctored one Tarrance? Please point out what betrays the authenticity of one, but not the other.

      Good luck

    • Tarrence… Would you care to explain exactly how it has been ‘doctored’ and what techniques were used to achieve this. I have taught Photoshop for ten years and would be interested to know. Thank you in advance. I am sure that you won’t disappoint

    • the 2nd image is doctored. I do image manip and the close up is stretched gamma.

      • Stephen Knight

        Now that we have a higher resolution image and a statement corroborating its authenticity by the photographer himself, are you going to retract your baseless claim?

        • You can’t argue with “stretched gamma” it’s classic liberal leftie tactics. I hate it when they use stretched gamma. I want my country back with proper gamma.

      • Danr – “I do image manip and the close up is stretched gamma.” Yeah, here’s the thing, like peteredwarddexter I have a great deal of photoshop experience. Your comment is utter bullshit that has no relevance to the authenticity of the photograph. Go sell it somewhere else.

  • You’re right Tarrence, I would call your post ‘fake news’. Insomuch as the image quite obviously isn’t photoshopped.

  • The four citizens were killed by a British-born adherent of Islam – a murderous, fascist ideology which regards Christians and Jews as inferior creatures. The headscarf worn by the woman in the picture symbolizes everything decent people hate about Islam. Until Islam shall finally be outlawed, we must continue to criticize and ridicule it, even and especially if this means that some misguided individuals will feel offended.

    • Stephen Knight

      Can we not ‘criticise and ridicule’ Islam whilst maintaining the intellectual and moral fortitude to understand this woman did not merit the hate directed at her?

      Just how do you propose we ban a religion exactly? Read some Orwell

      • Islam has been at war with the West for close to fourteen centuries, and the car attack on Westminster Bridge is an integral part of it. To deny this is at our peril – we shall not win the war by denying its origin. I don’t know the woman in the photograph, but if I met her, I would say that I regard Islam as a danger, not only to our society but to all of mankind, herself included. I do not consider Islam, which means ‘submission’ and has the death penalty for dissent, as a bonafide religion. Nazism was outlawed, and I see no problem with banning the murderous antisemitic, homophobic and anti-Christian ideology of Islam, either.

    • ‘Decent people’ don’t hate. ‘Decent people’ don’t blame others for the actions of some. ‘Decent people’ are not judgmental. ‘Decent people’ don’t think that they are better than others. ‘Decent people’ don’t ridicule others.

      • Decent people don’t wage violent jihad on innocent non-Muslims. Decent people don’t FGM. Decent people don’t perpetuate the unsupportable superstitious beliefs of our ignorant & fearful ancestors. Decent people take ownership of their diffiCULT problems..

    • Do you think we should ban Christianity because the IRA carried out terrorist attacks? Terrorism is perpetrated by terrorists, not religions.

  • Jesus Christ! She’s probably a telephone customer service operator, college student, makeover specialist at a local department store, or something like that! I myself as a resident of NYC have had to walk past scenes like this and understand that as horrified or concerned as I may be, I have nothing to offer in the situation and the best thing I can do is NOT contribute to a crowd of gawkers. Move along and see what the news/authorities have to say about just what the hell is going on.

    Anyone who is criticising this woman isn’t following their line of thought through to its natural conclusion: what would you have her DOING? And what if doing that would only interfere and not help in any way?

  • Well done, Stephen. The targeting of this woman is vile.

    You’re like a dog with a bone, sometimes — I’ll see a flurry of tweets from you on a particular topic, and if I don’t feel a strong connection to the issue at hand (let’s say Nazi Punching, for example), I might think, “Wow, why does he keep going on about this?” But I’m always glad that you do keep at it because you are remarkably consistent in standing up for eminently-reasonable principles.

    Public criticism of religion (and Islam in particular) does seem to draw in some fringe elements who simply hate Muslims and advocate all sorts of ridiculous things like banning the hijab or ‘burkini’ (or Islam itself, as evidenced above). I’m glad that you have gone to great lengths to distinguish yourself from the idiots and haters.

  • Why wasn’t the photographer helping the injured people? He was too busy taking photos in order to sell them! Where’s the moral?

  • Excellent post Stephen. The attack on this woman was appalling. Seeing someone above characterize this situation as “THEM and US” is also pretty disgusting. (The them and us narrative is what’s wrong with all religion, not just extremist Islam btw.)

    I am quite shocked to see people attacking you in this way simply for being reasonable.

  • Ok, there are people who misinterpreted the pic, saying things like “spot the one who gives zero f…”, but there are also people who said “we don’t know the context”: I’ve seen both of them. It is what it is: some people care about the victims, and others care only about the bad aftermath for muslim people. I’ve got friends, very good friends who, right after the Bataclan attack, told me “Imagine how our poor muslim friends feel now, being targeted about their faith”, I answered “at least they’re alive, give me time to mourn the poor victims who DIED only because they went to a rock concert”.
    That’s what I’m saying to this lady in the picture: this is a bad time for you, but you’re alive, you should be glad of it, as I am for you.

What do you think? Leave some comments!