On @MatthewDoyle31 and feelings of prejudice in the wake of extreme acts

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
12:06 pm and is filed
under Humanity.

“‎The greatest danger of a terrorist’s bomb is in the explosion of stupidity that it provokes.” – Octave Mirbeau

Prejudice: an unjustified or incorrect attitude (usually negative) towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group. [source]

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Matthew P Doyle tweeted the above comment in the wake of the recent bombings in Brussels. There was an immediate outbreak of mockery and criticism that all users of Twitter will be familiar with.

In the face of this, the tweet was deleted, and Matthew P Doyle proceeded to pass the comment off as a “wind up”, heavily implying through various tweets and retweets that he was satirising prejudice, not displaying/furthering it. Here is one such example:

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But despite backing off from his generalisation, Mr Doyle’s earlier comments clearly display the feelings of prejudice he is struggling with:

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Here is an excellent example. It would be more accurate to say that there is an extremism threat in this country. That would prevent any potential confusion between Mr Doyle’s feelings of concern and attempts by certain other parties to portray all Muslims as a threat to our safety and way of life:

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I would humbly suggest that it would be more constructive for us to back off with the pitchforks and allow Mr Doyle some room to accept and acknowledge that he struggled with prejudice in the wake of an extreme act. It is a response that extremists count on to further their aims, and if we are to counter their efforts with kindness and humanity, we could do worse than start with Mr Doyle.

(Over to you, Matthew. The most constructive thing you can do is recognise the problem, rather than deny it. I know the latter seems like the easier option in the face of the attention your are receiving, but it is precisely because of the attention you are receiving that you are so well-placed to set a better example. Good luck!)

UPDATE – *sigh*. This might be an uphill battle. Matthew tweeted the following while I was finalising and publishing this article:

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UPDATE – Yep. Definitely uphill.

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I dare to hope that some or all of this is not heavily ingrained, but mainly in response to the support Mr Doyle is being shown by those certain parties I mentioned, who are more than happy to reinforce his prejudice. I further dare to hope that even this can in time be reversed with genuine, selfless kindness… but probably not while Mr Doyle continues to revel in the attention while hedging his bets and passing it all off as a humorous PR exercise.

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If Mr Doyle is sincere in his faith, he will be wary of following crowds in pursuit of an injustice.

UPDATE (24 March) – *sigh*… Mr Doyle had a very busy day yesterday, and his attention-seeking behaviour included tweeting links to a Daily Mail article about him to various news outlets, and people like Donald Trump and Barack Obama:

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After this, his behaviour became increasingly eccentric, including claims that he would be doing the newspaper review on SKY that night and referring media enquiries to his favourite news reporter, Kimberley Leonard.

And then this happened…

Independent – Croydon man arrested after confronting Muslim woman and telling her to ‘explain Brussels’: A man from Croydon has been arrested after comments about confronting a Muslim woman in the street to explain the Brussels attacks were posted on Twitter… A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We have arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media.”

Judging by that statement, it was probably not a real or imagined confrontation in the street that got Mr Doyle into trouble, but more likely the bravado that he showed in the face of criticism, and even some messages preceding his ‘confrontation’ claim. Taking a look back at earlier tweets, in the immediate wake of the Brussels event, he was tweeting all-caps messages like “WE ARE A CHRISTIAN CONTINENT” and “NO MORE MUSLIM MIGRATION” and blaming atrocities in whole or in part on Syrian refugees:

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So, to reiterate my initial comment on today’s update… *sigh*.

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