Holly Fisher, aka “Holly Hobby Lobby,” thought she was being pretty clever tweeting her super-patriotic selfie this week.
There she is, standing in front of a huge American flag, with a huge Bible in her left arm, and a serious looking assault rifle in her right. Take that, librulz!
But the law of unintended consequences caught up with her.
Holly Fisher, a conservative Christian, has been getting insane amounts of attention recently by trolling liberals on social media over the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. Unfortunately, she tried to up the ante one too many times and now she has unintentionally become the living symbol of how fundamentalism, no matter in what religion, looks disturbingly similar.
Holly’s imagery and pose were very similar to a photo of another young woman, standing in front of an Islamic flag, holding the Quran in her left hand and an assault rifle in her right. Rather than looking merely sweet, this woman looks defiant.
Predictably. someone Photoshopped the two images side-by-side and tweeted the result. Take that, conservatives!
So, who is the woman on the right? She’s not a liberal plant, and the photo was not staged to tweak Holly Fisher.
The woman on the right was Reem Riyashi. Like Holly Fisher, she has children. Unlike Holly Fisher, Riyashi was a suicide bomber. She killed herself and four Israelis on January 14, 2004, in Gaza City. She was 22. en.wikipedia.org
Her photographs are archived at Getty Images.
(Some sources have misidentified her as Samantha Lewthwaite, “the White Widow,” who’s been implicated in terror attacks in Kenya and elsewhere. Apparently, The Daily Mail mistakenly used Riyashi’s photo to illustrate an article about Lewthwaite. A sharp commenter at PZ Myers’ blog, Pharyngula, caught the error.)
Two young mothers in similar poses, with similar symbols, but in different contexts.
One is a patriot who probably attends church every week and likes to shoot guns as a hobby. The other was a patriot who probably worshiped at her mosque every week and shot guns as part of her combat training. One is alive, enjoying her freedom to tweak “librulz” with ineffective selfies. The other is dead and a murderer, because she believed her patriotism and her religion were more important than life itself.
Fanaticism is dangerous. It’s the cause for a lot of the grief in this world, and for the political stalemates in the USA. Instead of celebrating it, we ought to be backing away from it.
Holly Hobby Lobby ought to take time to reflect what message she really wants to send out into the Twitterverse.