‘Muslim Apartment’ Tweets Mock Media’s Treatment of San Bernardino Shooters’ Home

Fighting back with humor, activists encouraged social media users to share images of the ‘Muslim’ items in their homes.
"My #MuslimApartment has an empty wine bottle being used as a vase (gasp)." (Photo: Sahar Shafqat/Twitter)
Dec 5, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

Cats, Disney action figures, and stacks of novels. Muslim Americans began tweeting photos of their homes Friday afternoon, responding to how some members of the media treated a crime scene.

“Why give the FBI and MSNBC a reason to wait? We’ll bring our dangerous #MuslimApartment to YOU!” activists Noor Mir and Sarah A. Harvard, organizers of the social media event, wrote on Facebook.

Reporters swarmed the apartment of Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook, the married couple suspected of killing 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday. Other journalists and the public at large were shocked by the access granted to the media—and not just because it was part of a crime scene.

Footage that aired on CNN, MSNBC, and several other networks showed reporters rifling through identification documents, photos of friends, children’s toys, and food. Reporters zeroed in on prayer books, pointing out copies of the Koran and prayer beads alongside baby swings and a monthly calendar.

The hashtag ultimately got picked up and spun into Islamaphobic memes, but many of the most popular tweets feature typical households that represent Americans of any religion.

“We do not intend for this event to express any form of ‘collective responsibility’ for Muslims to have to normalize and prove their existence to the mainstream media,” the Facebook event page reads. “Instead, this is a mockery of MSNBC, CBS, and other news agencies’ coverage of a ‘Muslim’ apartment—close-ups of rosaries, the scents of Basmati rice, and a generally disgusting fetishization and fascination with ‘Muslim’ objects—that for us, are part and parcel of being human beings on this planet.”

Although many of the photos were comical, Harvard and Noor note that ultimately, “#MuslimApartment is to bring levity to a tragic news day for many Muslims that are terrified of the media narrative that is taking over this country.”