PARIS – A young illustrator and filmmaker, who works in Paris, has created a bystander’s guide to Islamophobic harassment in a public space, focusing on the incidents she has witnessed in Paris.
“This is an illustrated guide I made as part of my co-admin work at The Middle Eastern Feminist on Facebook! It will be published there shortly,” the artist, who works in Paris and goes by Maeril, told Buzz Feed on Wednesday, August 31.
“The technique that is displayed here is a genuine one used in psychology — I forgot the name and couldn’t find it again so if you know about it, feel free to tell me!
“Some could say: “Yes but you can use that technique for instances of harassment other than Islamophobic attacks!”, and my reply is: Sure! Please do so, it also works for other “types” of harassment of a lone person in a public space!!
“However I’m focusing on protecting Muslims here, as they have been very specific targets lately, and as a French Middle Eastern woman, 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”!”
The illustration was made in both English and French versions.
Instead of interacting with the attacker, which might turn problematic in many cases, Maeril focused on ignoring him totally and focusing on the person being attacked.
The 4-step guide, made in comics, has been shared thousands of times on Tumblr.
It currently has over 50,000 notes and the comments are great, getting little negative feedback
Maeril said the comments have mostly been great, getting little negative feedback.
“I expected it to be shared, but not to this extent,” Maeril said.
“I also had hate messages. People asking me, ‘What do you do if you got a Muslim who wants to cut your throat with a machete?’ But it makes me want to do even more than what I already do.”