On social media, one of the most common targets of outrage are journalists. Perhaps even more than politicians. This has origins in how social media started out. It is called “media” : it’s a form of media with no gatekeepers. As such, going after “mainstream media” is one of the most popular things on social media.
I myself am very critical of many journalists and often disrespectful to them as a whole. At the cost of sounding arrogant, I will say 99% of the ire that journalists face on social media is well deserved. They have brought this on themselves. They were supposed to report the truth. They were supposed to speak the truth. Instead they turned themselves into compromised power brokers.
So the other day, I got a pleasant surprise when watching a video from ABC News. This video.
Journalists can do good as well. At least this one did. Her name is Sophie McNeill and she is an Australian journalist.
And this girl may seem like any ordinary first year college student, but she is much much more. Her name is Rahaf Mohammed and she is an inspiration.
Rahaf was born in a powerful family in Saudi Arabia. Her destiny — or rather the lack of it — was determined for her the Islamists do with all women. She was to spend her life as a slave under the Saudi guardianship system, starting with her father and then whoever he chose for her.
But one day this 18 year old made a decision. While her family was on vacation in Kuwait, she decided to make a run for freedom. She decided to give up Islam and got on a Kuwait Airlines flight to Bangkok all by herself. Without “permission” from her owner/father. Her destination: Australia. Her dream : liberty.
But by the time she had landed in Bangkok, the Saudi father had found out about the escape of his slave. The Thai authorities seized her passport and told her she would be put back on a Kuwait airlines flight the next day. Doubtless that her father would have seized her, taken her to Saudi Arabia and done whatever they do over there.
This is how the world tolerates the Islamists, even cooperates with modern day slavery.
But not Sophie McNeill. Luckily, the Thai authorities had shown Rahaf a tiny mercy and put her up in a hotel inside the airport, with an internet connection, waiting to be deported to Kuwait. That’s when this young girl went on Twitter, pleading the world for help.
Here’s what a real, brave journalist does. Sophie McNeill got on a flight for Bangkok immediately. Arriving at the airport, she actually sneaked past all sorts of security and locked herself in Rahaf’s hotel room.
See that? That’s real courage from a journalist. Fixing cabinet portfolios in return for bundles of cash from big business : that takes no courage.
By now, the Australian authorities had canceled Rahaf’s visit visa with which she had planned to enter Australia and ask for asylum. Like I said, everyone cooperates with the Islamists and their system of slavery for women.
But Sophie would not budge. She sat with Rahaf in her hotel room. They locked themselves in and refused to come out until the UN showed up. The Thai authorities tried tricks, lying about the UN being at the door. But Sophie kept coaching the young girl, making sure she would fall into no trap.
By now, the Saudi Embassy was talking to the Thai authorities about recovering Rahaf. You can imagine the kind of powerful person her father was. Here was a woman who could have surrendered to Islamism and lived a life of tolerable comfort. But no, she chose to give up everything, put her life in danger and go penniless to a whole new country in search of freedom.
Ultimately, the UN came. So much outrage had been generated online that the Australian foreign minister flew out to Bangkok to meet Rahaf herself. They promised to figure out a way to get her to Australia.
Ha! As if Australia’s foreign minister couldn’t have gotten the work done if she wanted. You can listen to her statement to media: typical politician, trying to defuse the situation without doing anything.
Days passed and Australia did nothing. Zero. They didn’t want her. Liberty is such a crummy, old fashioned cause these days that nobody worries about it. Islamophobia is a hip and trendy cause. People want to do be seen on the cool side of that issue.
But Rahaf and Sophie kept the pressure on, making sure the world does not forget about a young woman who wants freedom.
And it worked! That’s Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcoming Rahaf as a “new Canadian.” While Australia dithered, Canada sent a helping hand and got the job done. Doing the paperwork never actually takes very long when you have intent. Well done, Canada. Thank you!
There is a lot we can learn from this inspiring story. First, there is the journalist Sophie McNeill. Journalists can do a lot of good in the world if they actually want. Who knows what could have happened to Rahaf if the journalist had not flown to Bangkok to help her? They might have dragged her to Saudi Arabia and you know what happens after that.
The second is from Rahaf herself. Now that’s a *real* dissenter. Dissent is not writing for the Washington Post while sitting in a five star hotel counting fat bundles of $$$. Dissent is that which stands up to real dangers, like the Saudi legal system, instead of fighting the non-existent threat of Islamophobia. Rahaf was a dissenter. She stood up for her rights. She stood up against an oppressive system. She risked her life in search of a new one. She is an inspiration. That is one of the reasons you have probably never heard of her before.
Because Rahaf’s dissent makes the establishment genuinely uncomfortable. Not just the Islamists, but also all the governments around the world who cooperate with the Islamists.
Here is a thumb rule. If it is in the Washington Post, it’s probably not dissent. It’s more likely to be establishment propaganda.