A new trend has emerged on TikTok, where users are reading and sharing their impressions of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, to better understand the faith and resilience of the Palestinian people amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
The trend was started by a Jewish girl named @biondaxox, who posted a video expressing her deep admiration for the Palestinian faith and people. She was encouraged by other users to read the Quran, and afterwards, she shared her experience of reading it for the first time, inviting others to join her.
Another user, @astrolojay_, who identifies as an evangelical Christian, read the Quran for the first time. He said he was amazed by some of the verses and concepts in the Quran. He admitted how different Islam is from the Western narrative of it.
According to a video posted by TRT, a multitude of TikTok users, who are mostly teenagers, are exploring the Holy Quran for the first time and sharing their insights on the app. The video, which has received over 44,000 likes and 2,200 comments on YouTube, is also being widely shared on Instagram and Twitter, where it has garnered more views and likes.
A common theme in these digital explorations of the Quran by these teenagers is the emphasis on knowledge and understanding as the key to fostering empathy with Palestinians and admiration of Islam.
TikTok user @jackjackwilds, after reading the Quran for the first time, compared its teachings and stories with those in the Torah and the Bible. She shared her insights; she was deprogramming her brain from the deep-running Western propaganda against Islam.
The trend has attracted a lot of reactions from social media users, who have expressed their support, or curiosity in Islam. One user wrote, “This is amazing. I love how people are learning about Islam and its message of peace and justice. This is what we need in these times of conflict and hatred.”
Meanwhile, a Muslim user admitted to exploring the Quran with a new perspective, revealing how limited her prior knowledge of Islam was. She said she was grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her faith and learn more about its history and context.
This is a positive development. It shows that people are curious and open-minded about Islam and its scriptures. It also creates a space for dialogue and mutual learning among different faiths and cultures, commented another social media user.
This trend has raised questions among critics who wonder about its origin and impact. Some question whether it is a genuine attempt to learn about Islam or if there is a hidden agenda to promote Hamas’ ideology. There are allegations that the popular app is promoting content that is pro-Palestine content; Is there any truth to this?
US Response to TikTok Trend of ‘Teenagers Learning Quran’
TikTok is a popular video-sharing app among US teenagers and has become a source of news for many Gen Z users, according to a Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report.
As a result, some Republicans are concerned about the “tide of pro-Islamic content” on TikTok, as reported by the NY Post. The Chinese ownership of TikTok and the possibility of the Xi Jinping government controlling it have raised concerns among both Democrats and Republicans in the USA over the past week.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, a long-time critic of TikTok due to its ties to China, has once again called for a ban, citing the rise of pro-Islamic content. She stated, “It would not be surprising that the Chinese-owned TikTok is pushing pro-Hamas content.”
However, NBC News reported that these claims were anecdotal and often promoted by right-wing media outlets like Fox News. The report said that there was no evidence indicating that TikTok deliberately promoted or suppressed any content related to the conflict. The app features a diverse range of views and voices on the issue, according to the report.
TikTok has not responded to calls for a ban but has said that it does not tolerate hate speech or incitement to violence on its platform. The app said that it adheres to local laws and regulations in the markets where it operates.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has been under scrutiny in the US due to potential security and privacy risks. While the Trump administration attempted to ban or force the sale of the app last year, the Biden administration has put those efforts on hold pending a review.
TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media apps, with over 1 billion users. It is popular among young people, who use it to create and share short videos on various topics, including music, comedy, dance, and education.
The app has also served as a platform for social and political activism, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests.