Every once in a while twitter comes along with a hashtag that is nothing short of genius. Today (the 26th November) was one such day and Ukip and its divisive leader Nigel Farage were very much the butt of the joke. Here’s the story of the #ThingsThatAreNotMosques meme and why it seemed like suddenly the whole of twitter were sending pictures of things that weren’t mosques to Nigel Farage.
How It All Began: Ukip’s Balls Up
On the 25th November (Tuesday) The BBC had been running a street poll on whether Nigel Farage would make a good prime minister. The poll involved passers by dropping coloured balls into either a yes or no bucket…
… and was taking place outside of this building.
You might recognise the building. It’s pretty famous to say the least. But just in case you don’t, I’ll tell you that it is Westminster Cathedral in London, the mother church of the catholic church in England and Wales.
What it is definitely not is a mosque. Step forward Ukip South Thanet, or at least their representative on Social Media…
With stupidity like that, they were just asking to be trolled and as usual, the internet didn’t let us down.
Ukip’s Blunder Is Picked Up By Hope Not Hate
Simon Cressy of Hope Not Hate spotted the faux pas and wrote up a blog post about it here.
The post was quickly circulating around twitter and before long there were numerous tweets heading Nigel Farage’s way pointing out the error. Needless to say they were sarcastic in tone.
The early tweets did not have a common hashtag and from what we can see #ThingsThatAreNotMosques was first used by journalist Alex Andreou (@SturdyAlex), a regular contributor to The Guardian. Here is the first tweet.
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques @Nigel_Farage pic.twitter.com/qGitbnJWnl
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) November 26, 2014
Within the hour #ThingsThatAreNotMosques was trending on twitter and it seemed the whole internet were sending Nigel Farage tweets with weird and wonderful pictures things that well… were not mosques. Here are some of our favourite tweets so far.
Not A Mosque: Luke Skywalker’s House
Luke Skywalkers house #ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/Cgz9w4yiwg — Robiu (@Robiuu) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens #ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/taGjQnRKEw — Dr James Carr (@jcarr1975) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: Disney’s Castle
@Nigel_Farage keep calm, it’s only Disney #ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/6Asodj9BgR — Hannah (@Fostie2) November 27, 2014
Not Lots Of Mosques: Lots Of Little Sweets
Best Twitter game yet #ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/52Dn1CEWov — Hannah Tucker-Bloom (@hannahtb) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: This Van
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/7ZUXPC5arY — Samuel Palk (@Spam286) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: The Teletubbies House
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/sUR4j1Sk1c — Stephen Farrow (@stephenfarrow) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: This Snail
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques (Molluscs) pic.twitter.com/4eoUcHCS1G — Tayla Robinson (@tayladrobinson) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: Just A Mouses House
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/sKv8FOzDCY — Derek Paterson (@delpaterson) November 27, 2014
Not A Mosque: But We Can See It Could Cause Some Confusion
It’s a Mosquito Not a Mosque. #thingsthatarenotmosques #UKIP pic.twitter.com/tBMClO2Y1n — Kate Morgan (@katelmmorgan) November 26, 2014
Not A Mosque: Just A Mecca Bingo
#thingsthatarenotmosques @sturdyAlex @Nigel_Farage pic.twitter.com/SoVI2poIJu — Malkintrash (@malcsp76) November 26, 2014
Not A Mosque: This Sandcastle
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques pic.twitter.com/1jxlnPy36n — Craig mair (@craigmair1138) November 26, 2014
Not A Mosque: Kate Moss
#ThingsThatAreNotMosques @UKIP @Exposing_UKIP pic.twitter.com/6ML5zMZFvX — Nippy Sturgeon (@nippysturgeon) November 26, 2014
Not A Mosque: This Castle From Mario
#thingsthatarenotmosques @Nigel_Farage pic.twitter.com/aUUrVpYS2X — Mark Súileabhán (@sullieship) November 26, 2014
Those are just a few of our favourites, but there are literally thousands! You can follow the #ThingsThatAreNotMosques hashtag on twitter.