Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2013-09-10
The yellow card baring the new four fingered victory sign is used by tens of millions worldwide. Representing Rabia al Adawiya square, where thousands of Egyptians camped for more than 45 days the sign has turned into a symbol of hope across the Muslim world.
Cihangir Isbilir, General Coordinator of the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW) said "Rabia sign could be seen as simple but it is the beginning of Muslim world's saying to whole world: 'From now on I have something to say, as well."
"It means the Muslim world can gain legitimacy, as well as changing its own world,” added Isbilir.
“Rabia sign”, made by raising four fingers, has become the symbol of what is perceived by many as “Rabia square massacre”. “Rabia”, meaning four or the fourth in Arabic, has become the sign of anti-coup protests in Egypt.
"Rabia sign" sprouted with the sit-in when former President Mohamed Morsi was deposed by Defense Minister General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi on Jul 3 after public protests.
Rejecting the move as a military coup, protesters camped in two sit-ins in Cairo Rabai and Nahda squares for more than a month and a half.
On August 14, Egyptian security forces cracked down on protesters to end the sit-in, in which hundreds were killed and thousands injured.
Just a few hours before the security crackdown, pro-democracy protesters in Egypt tried to voice their demands to the world by raising their four fingers.
The "Rabia sign" echoed through the Muslim world as Turkish activists launched a website called "R4bia.com".
Later on, a hashtag of ‘Whatisr4bia’ was composed in Twitter which ranked among Trend Topics (TT) in a high increase in Turkey, and then took place among the world lists.
It has become a global TT in which users from all parts in the world showed interest from Asia to Europe and from Africa to the USA.
Thousands of users notably in Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, Bosnia Herzegovina, Malaysia and Indonesia, and then in Europe and America shared both written messages and photographs under the hashtag of "Whatisr4bia".
On Facebook, the number of those using "Rabia sign" as a profile picture is reported to be over 100 million.
"Rabia sign is spreading in the world and being embraced fastly, as well as being shared in social media by 100 million people," Isbilir said.
For Isbilir, the spread of the sign showed that the Muslim world has been in process of "rediscovering itself" in the last 20 years.
"Extraordinary resistance by Egyptians turned into an unexpected movement with peoples and societies' magnificent awareness and revival," he added.