The preamble to this photo, and a number like it in a sequence, read:
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS!!!!!
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 The boy acts the part but is unharmed, as the unpublished photos from the series show.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.