Persecution Porn: Many Australian Christians Spread the Canard That Their Homes Are Secretly Marked By ISIS September 28, 2014

Persecution Porn: Many Australian Christians Spread the Canard That Their Homes Are Secretly Marked By ISIS

(Warning: Several links in the second half of this post lead to web pages with extremely violent, NSFW visual content.)

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A bit of flimflam that’s been spreading like wildfire in Australia plays expertly on Christians’ never-ending persecution complex:

New South Wales police have been moved to reassure Australians that text messages claiming members of Islamic State (Isis) are knocking on people’s doors and marking Christian houses are a hoax, as concerns grow about the threat the extremist group poses.

The text message states: “There are members if Isis going door knocking on homes. They greet you with ‘Salam Alaykom’, and then pretend they are trying to collect money for orphans. They come with a black folder and ask you if you want to donate. I have just had one approach me at home just 2 hours ago. Please — do NOT Talk to them or open for them.”

The message, which references areas in the south-west suburbs of Sydney, exhorts people to “spread the word” and apparently convinced enough people for the police to feel compelled to tell them that there was no truth in it. In a tweet on Friday, the police included a picture of the offending text message with “FALSE” written in bold red letters across it. An accompanying message said: “Don’t be fooled by social media myths exploiting the current political climate.”

No sane person has any doubts about the depths of the moral depravity that hardline Muslims in ISIS are capable of. All the same, the group is also being accused of purely fictional crimes that are nonetheless eagerly recounted by Christians to further their religion’s core narrative.

Take, for instance, reports saying that

… ISIS had “systematically beheaded children” and put their heads on sticks in a park in Mosul, Iraq. As far as we can tell, no other sources have corroborated [these] claims, although the phrase “systematically beheaded children” has been making the rounds in media echo chambers. Google is now saturated with sites claiming children were beheaded in Mosul.

Surprise:

[W]e found zero pictures or videos of kids’ heads on sticks anywhere in the world. We can’t verify that the news is false; however, it’s highly unusual that not one person in Mosul took a photo or video if such a ghoulish display is actually out in public there.

For a closer look at how this persecution porn spreads, consider Catholic Online, which last month ran a demonstrably false article under the headline

WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS (RAW) — ISIS begins killing Christians in Mosul, CHILDREN BEHEADED

The very disturbing pictures (proceed at your own risk!) that accompany the piece were misappropriated; the Catholic Online editors fraudulently described them as evidence of ISIS atrocities against Christians.

Although the lie was uncovered more than a month ago, the Catholic Online article is still up — unchanged, uncorrected, and as mendacious as ever.

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P.S.: Late last year, I exposed another falsified claim of anti-Christian oppression that supposedly took place in the Middle East, again involving straight-up lies about the subject of a photo.

(Image via Shutterstock)


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