After igniting a backlash

Journalism again treating violent unreasonable reactions to other people’s reasonable actions as “provoked” or “sparked” or “ignited” by the people who did nothing wrong. Charlie Hebdo “sparked” the violence that left nine of them dead; Lars Vilks “set off” outrage; Raif Badawi “triggered” his own ferocious punishment.

This one is the New York Times:

An actress from Iran has gone on the run after igniting a backlash by posting photos of herself on social media showing her not wearing a hijab…

Seriously: journalists need to be more careful with the way they write these stories. She didn’t “ignite” anything.

Sadaf Taherian began posting the controversial photos on Facebook and Instagram over the last two weeks and the response from Iranians was as swift as it was extreme. In an interview with Masih Alinejad, a journalist who runs a Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom,” which features photos and videos of Iranian women walking in public with their heads uncovered, Taherian reportedly said she was initially “nervous” about the reaction the images might trigger. Indeed, many Iranians lashed out at Taherian with insults and called her “immoral.”

That’s the way to say it. They lashed out at her; she didn’t do anything to them.

Then, the Iranian government piled on, officially denouncing Taherian as an “offender.” When another popular actress came to Taherian’s defense on social media, a spokesman for Iran’s ministry of culture and lslamic guidance said the two actresses would be barred from acting. “As far as this ministry is concerned, these two individuals are no longer considered to be artists any more and do not have any right to act,” said Hossein Noushabadi. The popular TV show starring Taherian was abruptly pulled from the state television network schedule.

Well, that’s “Islamic guidance” for you.

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