Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Well, there ARE words: try hatred, bigotry and malice.


The preamble to this photo, and a number like it in a sequence, read:


It goes on to say that an 8yr old boy in Iran was caught stealing bread and was sentenced to have his arm crushed by a car. (See, I told you bread was dangerous!).

It then asks "is this (Islam) the religion of peace and love?"

After the photos, it continues:

No religion can ever justify such hideous crimes
Pass it on ......let the world know what's happening in the name of Islam...
Pass this to all, for public awareness.
It must be sent WORLD WIDE!

And, like the well meaning and suitably shocked lady who sent it to me, folk see it and send it on.

But it is fake.

Worse than fake, it is religious and racist hate mail of the highest order and in forwarding it on you are unwittingly participating in a virus of the collective mind.

In essence, the boy is part of a 'market place magic act', common in the Middle East. The boy acts the part but is unharmed, as the unpublished photos from the series show. The blanket protects his arm. For a full explanation of the pictures and what is really going on, read about it at Snopes: here.

The disturbing difference between the email on Snopes and the one sent to me is the implication of Iran. Could the powers that be be trying to 'animalise' the Iranians as part of a pre-war softening? I don't know. The email also included Hebrew translations of the text. Is Israel involved? I don't know. Is it a double reverse sting with pike? I don't know.

But I do know that it is wrong.


Finally: a call to action:

1. If you get an email that seems too good to be true, too bad to be true, too anything, go to Snopes and check it out. Go there now. Bookmark it.

2. If you find that it has totally misrepresented the situation, especially in a way to inspire hate and bigotry, send the Snopes link back to the sender along with a polite explanation as to how the email was wrong AND ask that they forward the reply back up the line, to the person who sent it to them.

3. If the email permits it, use "reply all" when you do.


  1. well, what the hey, I might as well admit to being duped AND finding the right answer, too.

    "PALIN BANS BOOKS!" was the crap that landed in my e-mail.
    I wrote to many Republican friends for help in finding the answer to this....most stated disinterest. The Democrats, however, landed on it like sharks on fresh cow.

    OK, none of these guys helping?
    I'LL look it up myself.
    And I do.
    And it's a splinter of truth squeezed thin as rice paper and held up on stretcher bars....but in essence it was fake. (oh, she'de LIKE to ban a few books, buit she couldn't)

    Did the research myself.
    Even weirder....was, upon writing back to the Demos, all I heard was crickets...
    writing back to Repos I heard great cries of "I told you so!" (no...nobody told me squat)

    Now, as for the arm?
    Islamists force a man to climb a rope going nowhere, and he vanishes! Proves Islam is evil as bread!
    Atheists force a woman to actually FLOAT on stage. Atheists DON'T believe in the same GOD as WE do!
    Tall blonds in the USA actually laugh when they write stuff like this! TALL BLONDS ARE TOO SILLY!


    SNOPES, huh?
    Good find, guy.
    Bound to save me some time.

  2. (oh....did I mention my Old Man was an amateur magician, a fan of the amazing Randy and Houdini who both dealt with debunking fakes?)

  3. Wish I could remember who sent ME that picture a couple of months ago, before I summarily deleted it from my folder. Must think of Snopes next time a dopey email arrives.

    Thanks, Lee.

  4. Mum always checks those types of emails out by googling. There are a few sites that tell you if emails are bogus or not. Mum's often angry at how Iran is villified in the West. She has some Iranian friends here in France (who are not religious) and they are horrified by how Iran is portrayed.

  5. That is powerful and sick. It makes me sad that people have such hate inside their heads that they will do this. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Well done, Lee! Everyone should know about Snopes and the great job this site does in de-bunking racist and hate mails.

    I use this site quite often to check things out. After all, you can't believe everything you read on the Internet!

  7. Thanks Lee. I have an instinctive reluctance to forward ANYTHING on if I am urged to, even if it's just pretty pictures of flowers and scenery and wise maxims about how to live your life. I now feel fully justified in having that general rule, and have bookmarked Snopes. It's sick, sick, SICK!

  8. Good Reminder. Exercising some responsibility regarding forwarding email to others goes a long way. Unless we are certain about the content of the email, else we became part of the deception to our contacts.

  9. Nowadays I don't even read circulated guard my sanity too.

  10. There's no rational explanation for people...

  11. Friends won't forward on such emails to me anymore. I always responded with the link to Snopes debunking the crap they just sent...

  12. There are so many misconceptions about Islam and this particular viral e-mail does not help.

    Anyway, I've never one to believe all those emails about people asking for donations, and other 'urban legends'.

    It is what it is: Total Crap.

  13. I use the same principle but the Hoaxbuster site. The most recent e-mail crap I got was about the holocaust being banned from history lessons in the UK (very topical!) It was wrong on so many levels besides being full of inaccuracies and downright lies. The person who sent it to me is a teacher (words fail me). I have had no response to my "reply all" and may well have lost a friend and not made any new ones by my action but it doesn't seem that high a price to pay and maybe, just maybe, they will think twice and check things out before spreading the virus.

    P.S. I'm with Judith on the forwarding policy

  14. yeah I got that email too a long time back and got horrified!!!
    this is an eye opener....!!

    people everywhere!!! sheeeesh!!

  15. Though I don't often get these types of e-mails, I will remember to do this. Thank you for the words of advice.

  16. I got the 'Holocaust teaching banned in British schools' one a while back, and went to Hoaxslayer to get to the bottom of it. the person who sent it was quite embarrassed, and said she would be less ready to pass stuff on in future - mass forwarding is a bad idea anyway.

    I like to think I can sniff out this kind of neo-con crap; the sly thing is there's always a germ of fact that's been distorted out of all recognition, and always this disingenuous hysterical outrage. Yes, Boneman's right about the Palin bookban and similar, but no one's going to be persuaded to wage war over that.

    There is enough in the world to get really worried about, god knows we need the wisdom to know the difference.

  17. Hear Hear!!
    i am a long-time snopes fan, and avid returner-of-emails to the sender with attached snopes link. As a result, I rarely receive viral emails now cos my friends have got the message!

  18. Thanks, lee..thanks a lot.


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