‘We’ll destroy America’ is a statement becoming too common here in Pakistan especially in the rhetoric of politico-religious folks. But this simple expression of anger, or sometime meant as a pun can land you in serious trouble. A couple of young Brits had had to go through a pretty tough time after tweeting that they were coming to ‘destroy America’. They were arrested in the Los Angeles and held for 12 hours.
Were they terrorists or something? No. Actually they used this phrase as a slang to mean their intention for some partying. Leigh Van Bryan, a 26 year old bar manager, and his 24 year old buddy, Emily Bunting, had no idea what they were going to face merely for tweeting: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.” The armored guards picked them up immediately upon their arrival.
It’s very unfortunate that today we have to live in a constant state of fear and paranoia, trapped in a veritable police state where Big Brother can arrest you simply because he misunderstood a joke.
(Published in The Laaltain – Issue 6)
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