Freelance illustrator, Maeril, based in Paris published a guide on what to do if you see incidents of Islamophobia.
As part of her co-admin role at The Middle Eastern Feminist Facebook page, Maeril created the cartoon strip in response to growing Islamophobic abuse on Muslim women in France.
“I’m focusing on protecting Muslims here, as they have been very specific targets lately, and as a French Middle Eastern woman,” she says on her Tumblr post. “I wanted to try and do something to raise awareness on how to help when such things happen before our eyes – that way one cannot say they ‘didn’t know what to do’.”
Following a prescribed psychology technique, known as non-complimentary behaviour, Maeril also insists on two things in her post:
1) Do not, in any way, interact with the attacker. You must absolutely ignore them and focus entirely on the person being attacked!
2) Please make sure to always respect the wishes of the person you’re helping: whether they want you to leave quickly afterwards, or not! If you’re in a hurry escort them to a place where someone else can take over – call one of their friends, or one of yours, of if they want to, the police. It all depends on how they feel!
The concept is aimed to defuse tense situations of aggression where one adopts the opposite conduct of another person’s. For example, if someone is being abusive or aggressive toward another person, one adopts a very warm behaviour.
Maeril’s post comes in the wake of the Burkini ban controversy on French beaches, after which increased cases of Islamophobia towards women were reported.
On Tuesday, a chef of a French restaurant kicked two veiled women out citing that “all Muslims were terrorists”.
Maeril finishes by calling for her cartoon to be shared:
“Please don’t hesitate to share this guide as it could push a lot of people to overcome bystander syndrome!
“Lots of love and stay safe!”