CAIR invites Elon Musk to meet Muslims following 'bigoted' tweet

CAIR invites Elon Musk to meet Muslims following 'bigoted' tweet
Hate content has become more widespread on Twitter since Elon Musks's purchase of the social media platform. Though some of it appears to be in jest, such content can have real-world consequences for marginalised communities.
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
31 December, 2022
After Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, the site has seen a sharp increase in hate content [Getty]

Following a meme that mocks multiple beliefs, including Islam, posted on Twitter by the company's CEO Elon Musk, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is suggesting that the billionaire meet Muslims and learn about their faith.

The meme in question shows a black figure wearing a surgical mask, their body covered with logos and symbols of companies and movements often associated with the political left. 

Among the logos and symbols are those of Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, CNN, syringes, a hammer and a sickle, Google, YouTube, Facebook as well as Twitter itself.  The figure appears to be holding a trans-inclusive pride flag with a crescent and star – the symbol of Islam – printed on top.

To the right of the figure is a man with light hair holding an American flag. The man on the left says, "They brainwashed you," to which the man on the right asks, "Really?"

While the meme is presumably meant as a joke, it is difficult to estimate the effects it could have on the marginalised groups that it is mocking.

Multiple studies have found correlations between bigoted social media posts and hate crime. There have also been numerous examples of people overcoming prejudices through personal interactions.

"American Muslims can take a joke, but this was a very dumb joke," CAIR's national deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in a public statement.

"We invite Elon Musk to meet with American Muslims and learn about the truth of Islam. This will not only help him respect and better serve his diverse customers, but also perhaps bring him closer to the peace that money and fame can never buy."