TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

The blast, caused by a stockpile ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at a Beirut port, generated a shock wave so devastating that it levelled buildings near the port. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 07 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

  • Impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus
  • Mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves are conflated as nuclear in nature

DUBAI: Almost three of four readers think there is more to the massive explosions that hit a Beirut port on Tuesday, according to an Arab News straw poll on Twitter.

The blast, caused by a stockpile ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, generated a shock wave so devastating that it levelled buildings near the port and caused extensive damage over much of the rest of the capital, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.

The impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus.

Specifically, 73 percent of more than 1,000 readers who responded to the poll do not believe the explosion was an accident compared to about 27 percent who thought it was back luck that the ammonium nitrate – unsafely stored for six years – has been the cause of the deadly Beirut blast.

The enormous explosion consequently created a mushroom cloud over Beirut, stoking fears and rumors on social media and, among conspiracy theorists, that a nuclear bomb has been detonated in the Lebanese capital due to the sheer magnitude of the blast.

About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was involved during Tuesday’s explosion. Ammonium nitrate is a crystal-like white solid commonly used as a source of nitrogen for agricultural fertilizer, and is relatively safe when stored properly. It, however, becomes deadly as an explosive when mixed with other chemicals and fuel oils.

Some experts pointed out that people who are not accustomed to seeing large explosions may confuse mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves as nuclear in nature.

Others believed the Beirut explosion lacked two hallmarks of a nuclear detonation: a ‘blinding white flash’ and a thermal pulse, or surge of heat, which would otherwise had started fires all over the area and severely burned people’s skin.


Did Biden just ‘Inshallah’ Trump on his taxes during the US presidential debate? 

Updated 30 September 2020

Did Biden just ‘Inshallah’ Trump on his taxes during the US presidential debate? 

DUBAI: Shortly after the US presidential debate, Muslims took to social media to have their own debate on whether former Vice President Joe Biden used the Islamic term “Inshallah” with President Donald Trump.
During the televised debate that aired on Tuesday, Biden pushed his rival to release his tax returns.
Trump said his records would be released “when they were ready,” after he was asked about a New York Times report that said the president had only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and none in 10 of the previous 15 years. 
“When? Inshallah,” Biden butted in, leading social media users to begin their own debate on whether the Vice President used the Arabic word for “God willing.”

 


Although the term is often used in its true meaning by Muslims, it has also been known to have been used informally by some to indicate something is unlikely to happen.

 


“Did he really say Inshallah tho(ough)?” One user commented on the video that was shared by Araby Society on the social media platform, Instagram. 
Although another wrote: “I heard ‘when…in July?”

 

 

 

 

 


In what some say was the most chaotic presidential debate in recent years, the two men frequently talked over each other with Trump interrupting, nearly shouting, so often that Biden eventually snapped at him, “Will you shut up, man?”
“The fact is that everything he’s said so far is simply a lie,” Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”