Turkish author Ramazan İzol, image via Milliyet

On Saturday (January 21), a Turkish author by the name of Ramazan İzol openly called for the killing of a Danish-Swedish politician named Rasmus Paludan for committing ‘blasphemy’ by burning Quran.

Paludan had burnt a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in the Swedish capital Stockholm, to protest against Islam and Turkish President Erdogan’s attempt to influence freedom of expression in Sweden.

Angered by his action, Ramazan İzol vowed to kill him on the micro-blogging platform. He wrote (archive), “A bastard burned the Quran today in Sweden, why are you silent as Muslims? If I catch this rascal who burned the Quran, I will burn him alive.”

Screengrab of the tweet by Ramazan İzol

At the time of writing, the disturbing tweet was viewed over 13 lakh times. Moreover, it was retweeted over 3400 times and garnered 5,471 likes. Ramazan İzol boasts of a whopping 5.11 lakh followers on the micro-blogging platform.

Although it has been two days since the Ankara-based author posted the threatening tweet, the Twitter moderation team did not take any action against Ramazan İzol.

Twitter has a crystal-clear policy against violent threats

Inaction against İzol is very surprising since the tweet openly violates the micro-blogging site’s violent threats policy. The policy dated March 2019 states –

You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Healthy conversation is only possible when people feel safe from abuse and don’t resort to using violent language. For this reason, we have a policy against threatening violence on Twitter. We define violent threats as statements of an intent to kill or inflict serious physical harm on a specific person or group of people.

Ramazan İzol tries to skirt Twitter policy

Amidst growing demands of netizens to de-platform the Turkish author for openly vying for the blood of Rasmus Paludan, Ramazan İzol has voiced his fear of an impending suspension.

Screengrab of the tweet by Ramazan İzol

“My account is at risk because I shared about the dishonest person who burned our Quran. This is why I ask you to follow my @ramazanizoll account where I opened all my brothers as a backup,” he announced on Sunday (January 22).

So far, Twitter has turned a blind eye to the hateful rhetoric from his account, so it is unlikely that he will need to use his “backup” account.

Update: The Twitter account of the user who threatened to kill the person who allegedly burned the Quran in Sweden is suspended. His ‘backup’ account, too, is now suspended.


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