Defeating hate one dollar at a time, Susan Carland transforms the thousands of revulsive comments from Internet trolls into relief donating a dollar for every hate comment she receives on Twitter to UNICEF.
@SusanCarland Thanks for your support! You've turned hate into something wonderful: education, health care and protection for kids.
— UNICEF Australia (@unicefaustralia) November 12, 2015
Dr Susan Carland, an inspirational academic and Australia’s “Muslim of the year” is well exposed to the support but as much to the “streams of toxicity” that have flooded her Twitter feed. But this has not undermined her ambition to work as hard as she does, and adopt her Muslim identity all at the same time.
“I regularly get tweets and Facebook messages from the brave freedom-fighters behind determinedly anonymous accounts telling me that, as a Muslim woman, I love oppression, murder, war and sexism,” Carland wrote. “Their online abuse ranges from requests to leave Australia, hope for my death, insults about my appearance (with a special focus on my hijab), accusations that I am a stealth jihadist, and that I am planning to take over the nation, one halal meat pie at a time.”
Ridiculous, unprecedented and a great opportunity to raise some money.
Having, quite variably, spend so much time dealing with these comments by blocking and replying, as a Muslim she felt it was just not enough and certainly was not the right way to deal with the revolt.
“I felt I should be actively generating good in the world for every ugly verbal bullet sent my way.”
And that is certainly what she did. Early on in October, Carland tweeted that for every hate comment that she received she will be donating $1 to UNICEF.
“I particularly liked the idea of giving to UNICEF, as so often they were assisting children who were in horrific situations that were the direct outcome of hate – war, poverty due to greed, injustice, violence. These children seemed like the natural recipients for the antidote to hate,” she said.
And an antidote of hate it was. Now, Carland “barely bats an eyelid” as it “represents nothing more than a chalk-mark on my mental tally for the next instalment to UNICEF.”
But even more so what we can extract from the way that Dr Susan had dealed with hate is magnificent and above all inspirational; using what is negative to generate a greater well. It is within these fragments of hostility that Islam is able to provide a solution to transform into good, that we shouldn’t let negativity rule our lives into utter dismissal; there is always something great to extract from hate and for Carland, it was a dollar towards UNICEF.