Social media fallout has followed Shady Srour’s Facebook post where the Egyptian YouTube star announced he was leaving Islam, citing how the “racism and cruelty” of its adherents had almost led him to suicide.
“I left Islam because of racism and cruelty in the hearts of people who are supposed to believe in God but in fact, they are a bunch of insincere hypocrites,” 24-year-old Srour wrote in a post on Friday, blaming his former religion for the excessive cyberbullying which almost cost him his life late last year.
Over the weekend, the status generated over 100,000 comments and was shared across social media, with most reactions divided between staunch support and harsh opposition.
The most popular comment on the status came from another victim of bullying, TV presenter Sherif Madkour, who wrote that Srour didn’t truly understand Islam, advising him to “ignore people with shallow minds, be yourself and trust your beliefs,” adding “God be with you.”
Srour eventually backpedaled from his comments in a YouTube video where he made it clear that the bullies he had called out were not true Muslims, and that Islam itself hadn’t played a role in the hatred he had experienced.
Shady Srour is one of the middle east’s most prominent youtubers. Even my little cousins follow his content. He announced leaving islam and in one day his entire fanbase turned against him
— aya 🇹🇳 (@prsnlaya) February 16, 2019
However, he also expressed surprise at how his post had generated a massive number of threats from hard-liners enraged by the comedian’s decision to publicly insult their religion.
It’s not like Shady Srour, or whoever else got cyber bullied will change after people massively mock them, except for the worse. Cyber bullying is a crime. You directly or indirectly participate in an irreversible damage in the victim’s life. Please, stop.
— سارّة أسامة (@SaraOsamaYassin) February 16, 2019
Last October, Srour posted a video claiming that extensive cyber-bullying had left him considering suicide. That post immediately went viral, some believing it showcased the dangers of online bullying, while others accused Srour of attention-seeking. His post on Friday was his first public comment on the incident since.
With nearly 4.5 million followers and hundreds of millions of views, Srour is one of YouTube’s top earners in the region. His case has highlighted a growing trend of Egyptians turning against Islam, many suggesting the religion has played a role in the social chaos plaguing the country.
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