I am looking more and more at the technology that is currently available for activists. Whether it’s a protest, rally, Eid, or any other event involving numbers and a lot of action–communication and organization is key.
Often at these events you have one dude leading or screaming etc. Or at other times you have emergency situations where information and conflicting reports results due to miscommunication. One person says one thing, someone says another and it’s usually the one who is the loudest that is heard. And then if we are talking about some Muslims protesting, a small group will turn the peaceful protest into a time to scream and burn effigies and flags and just get angry. Control of the situation is lost and the whole thing becomes a disaster.
In leading one of these things you need the right information, you need it quick and the people who are participating need to know how to handle it. So in-the-moment communication is very important.
One method for this is to use text messaging systems to convey information quickly. There are two systems out there.
TxtMob is one service that is free and works as an email board system.
Frontline SMS is a system designed for charities and NGOs. It’s meant for non-profit organizations and the only way you can be given it to use is if you contact them and get an activation code after they make sure you qualify. This is something Muslim groups should look into and I will insha Allah try and spread the word on it.
I haven’t gotten a chance to test either of these two services out however, I thought I would share this as it is an area of development that could be of benefit to Muslims in our Islamic work. There is one Islamic project that incorporates a similar concept but it is meant for day-to-day situations rather than in the moment activism. It’s still in the works and when their website is back up I will Insha Allah post on it.
Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.