Not a Martyr

Not a Martyr

Updated May 12, 2014 at 04:26PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jan 14, 2014 at 05:53PM EST by Molly Horan.

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“Not A Martyr” (hashtag: #NotAMartyr) is a social media campaign started by young men and women in Lebanon to voice their opposition to the ongoing violence in the region and euphemistic use of the term “martyr” by politicians to describe the innocent victims of terrorism.


On December 27th, 2013, a car bomb exploded in the busy central district of Beirut in Lebanon, killing six people and injuring at least 50 people. Among the victims of the attack were former aide to the Lebanese prime minister and opposition figure Mohamad Chatah, as well as a 16-year-old boy named Mohammad al-Chaar, who happened to be hanging with his friends near the site moments before the bomb went off. Shortly after al-Chaar was pronounced dead later that same day, a group selfie of al-Chaar and his friends taken right before the explosion and another picture of the bloodied aftermath began circulating on Twitter under the hashtag #RIPMohammadChaar (shown below).


The photographs quickly prompted thousands of tweets expressing condolences and outrage, while a Facebook page and a Twitter account were set up to call on other Lebanese youths to share selfies of themselves with personal messages against political martyrization of terrorist victims. As of January 2014, @notamartyrs Twitter feed[5] has over 400 followers, while the hashtag #notamartyr has appeared on Twitter over 4,000 times.[6] As of January 2014, the official Facebook page[7] has gained over 8,000 likes. The Facebook banner explains:
“We refuse to become martyrs. We refuse to remain victims. We refuse to die a collateral death.”

“We refuse to become martyrs. We refuse to remain victims. We refuse to die a collateral death.”

News Media Coverage

On January 6th, BBC News[4] covered the trending hashtag #notamartyr. On January 7th, The Huffington Post[3] wrote about the bombing and the subsequent launch of Twitter and Facebook campaigns. On January 8th, New York Daily News[2] covered the social media campaign.

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