Is there a more despicable slogan than “Not in my name” ? It is hard to imagine one. Alternatives that could have been used- “No War”, “Stop the bombing”, “No killing”, and so forth – would all have been superior. They would have focussed on what was being opposed. They would have argued against the dangers of death and destruction. They would have been clear and to the point.
But “not in my name” ! This turns things around. The most important issue is not the war, not the killing, not the dead or dying but the danger than someone might think that they agreed with it. This is the sanctimonious cry that “I didn’t do it, I knew better”. To the #notinmynamer it is more important that they escape any blame than we consider who dies where.
Sitting in the comfort of a safe home, enjoying the technologies and freedom of an affluent open society they also need to have clean souls and a feeling of superiority. As they hashtag an apt quotation, or repost a shameful picture, they signal their virtue; that they knew what was right and they are not to blame. There is no attempt to enter the debate, or find a solution to the horrors, simply an escape hatch from feelings of guilt and avoidance of difficult decisions.
Ironically anyone using the slogan ought to feel ashamed.