Who is Wajahat Ali? Journalist irked by ‘racism’ over Boulder shooter’s identity as ‘Islamic’ trends on Twitter

Who is Wajahat Ali? Journalist irked by ‘racism’ over Boulder shooter’s identity as ‘Islamic’ trends on Twitter
Wajahat Ali (MSNBC/YouTube)

The mass shooting at King Soopers supermarket in Boulder Colorado has led to massive outrage surrounding "racism" on social media after the shooter Ahman Al Aliwi was identified as a Syrian born. When his ethnicity was revealed, the word 'Islamic' started to trend on Twitter as several began to drag the shooter's religious background owing to his actions. 

This didn't sit well with people from the Muslim community and journalist Wajahat Ali, who writes for Daily Beast, used the opportunity to express his disappointment in the trend, which targeted a certain community over a criminal's actions.  He tweeted, "Islamic is trending. Don't even have to click on it. Let me guess: Right wing outrage & racism over the identity of the Boulder shooter. Meanwhile crickets on gun reform & white supremacist terrorism, the #1 domestic threat in America. Somehow Trump will be seen as 'tough.'"

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Ali wrote in another tweet, "The shooters regardless of their ethnicity and religion are able to commit mass murder due to access to assault rifles. GOP should enact gun reform if they care about security. Go after all violent extremists, right? Don't befriend, elevate & promote the ones you like."

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Wajahat Ali (Getty Images)

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Who is Wajahat Ali?

Ali is a journalist, writer, lawyer, award-winning playwright, a TV host, and a consultant for the US State Department. He is said to have previously helped launch the Al Jazeera America network as a co-host of Al Jazeera America's 'The Stream', a daily news show. 

He is the author of 'The Domestic Crusaders', which is dubbed as the "first major play about Muslim Americans, post-9/11." According to AACU, he's currently writing a television show about a "Muslim American cop in the Bay Area". Furthermore, he is the author of "Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” the seminal report from the Center for American Progress. His writing's been featured in leading publications including 'The New York Times', the 'Washington Post' and 'Salon'. 

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(Wajahatali.com)

Many condemned the trend

Similar to Ali, many have condemned the "Islamic" trend on Twitter as it generalizes one religion over the horrific incident. Seconding Ali one Twitter user wrote, "Nothing religious or jihadist going on w this mass shooting. & doesn't even seem like he had a beef to pick w the market or the people waiting in line that he killed. This shooting really seems caused by extreme mental illness & lack of proper gun control." Another added, "If a Christian go kill 10 people Will Christian be trending if a Jew go kill 10 people will their religion be trending NO! everyone has this hard on about people that are in the Islamic faith everybody needs to stop being ignorant, its bad people in all colors and all religions" One asked, "Why was there no mention of the religion of the man who murdered the people at the spas last week?" One wrote, "We are quick to discount mental problems with these perps. He didn’t say he was on some Jihad, did he? We often jump to conclusions about motivation when we can call them an “other.” Meanwhile, we have angry white guys that are more inclined to kill for the cause of hate."

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