‘Peace for Paris’ symbol goes viral – Muslim Australian donates $1 for every hate-filled Tweet

peace-for-parisPARIS:  A “Peace for Paris” symbol, combining the city’s beloved Eiffel Tower with the peace sign of the Sixties, has gone viral following the Paris terror attacks. The designer is a 32-year-old French graphic artist, Jean Jullien, who lives in London.

Listening to the radio, he became horrified by the violence unfolding in his nation’s capital and reached for his sketchpad. “My first reaction was to draw something and share it,” he told AFP. “It was spontaneous. I wanted to do something that could be useful for people.”

“Given the scale of the violence, the peace-and-love symbol was essential.  It was then quite an easy thing to combine it with the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris,” he added. “The two symbols fit together.” The peace-and-love motif was adopted by Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in the 1950s, before being used by anti-war and “counter-culture” militants in the 1960s.

Jullien posted the combined symbol on his website and then tweeted it.  Within hours, it was shared more 45,000 times and retweeted 76,000 times, including by the British underground artist Banksy.

At least 128 people were killed and several hundred were killed in coordinated gun-and-explosives attacks on a Paris concert hall, restaurants and the Stade de France stadium.

A similiar Internet phenomenon occurred after the January 7 attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed by jihadist gunmen.

Joachim Roncin, artist director and music journalist at the lifestyle magazine Stylist, devised a slogan of solidarity, “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), in white capital letters on a black background.

He placed the image on social media, and within hours it was picked up around France and beyond, becoming the totem of nationwide rallies totalling an estimated four million.

An Australian Muslim woman has donated close to Aus$1,000 (US$700) to charity after pledging to give one dollar every time she receives a hate-filled Tweet.

Susan Carland, who teaches at Monash University in Melbourne, tweeted on October 22 that she was donating to UNICEF for every nasty comment from trolls.  “Nearly at $1,000 in donations. The needy children thank you, haters!,” she said at the time.

Carland said she had previously been blocking, muting, ignoring or occasionally engaging with trolls but decided some months ago to turn it around based on the Quran’s injunction of “driving off darkness with light”.

“I felt I should be actively generating good in the world for every ugly verbal bullet sent my way,” she wrote in a column for Fairfax Media on Friday. Carland said any Muslim seemed to attract a lot of hate online, and abuse directed at her ranged from wishing her dead, to insults about her dress sense and accusations that she was a “stealth jihadist”.

But she said making the donations meant she now barely batted an eyelid when a “ghastly tweet” was served up to her. “It represents nothing more than a chalk-mark on my mental tally for the next instalment to UNICEF,” she wrote. – Agencies

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