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Matthew P Doyle/Twitter | Remix by Jason Reed

Man’s tweet about confronting a Muslim woman over Brussels attacks totally backfires

Going viral isn't always a good thing.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Mar 23, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:28 am CDT

Dozens are dead after Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Brussels, and in the aftermath we’re starting to see a familiar scenario play out.

ISIS has claimed responsibility, but civilians and politicians alike are once again blaming an entire religion for the attacks. Republican hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has called for police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods, and the hashtag #StopIslam trended worldwide. However, when one man tweeted about confronting a Muslim woman for it, the Internet instead dragged him online and made into a mockery.

Tweeting about his confrontation early Wednesday, Matthew P. Doyle asked her to explain Brussels. The tweet has since been deleted and archived, but he called her denial of having anything to do with Brussels “mealy mouthed,” which essentially means fudging the truth.

Matthew P. Doyle/Twitter

For some people, Doyle’s tweet didn’t just show an instance of harassment but rather something to mock. There was something about the flow and structure of his tweet that proved ripe for parodying. And that they did.

Soon enough, people were asking many nationalities to explain the things that are stereotypically associated with them—and that was just the start.

One person brought up other instances of Doyle’s Islamophobic tweets.

After retweeting a few of the parody replies, Doyle responded to critics by claiming that he may have misused the word “confront,” and if he had confronted the woman he would’ve been charged. He also retweeted instances where even his own friends called him out for his post.

But soon enough, he went back to posting Islamophobic tweets.

Doyle did not yet respond to our request for comment.

Update 4:05pm CT, March 25: Doyle has since been arrested and “charged under section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986; publishing or distributing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, likely or intended to stir up racial hatred,” according to the Metropolitan police.

Update 8:25am CT, March 26: The charges against Doyle have now been dropped.

Photo via Matthew P Doyle/Twitter | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2016, 10:31 am CDT