A few weeks ago a particularly gory photograph was being sent around by email and presumably posted on various websites. It purported to show a Christian woman in (I think) Iraq who had had her heart ripped from her chest and a cross shoved down her throat by Muslim fanatics.
The photo was sent to us two or three times, and I hastily deleted it from our webmail to try to keep Dymphna from opening it. She has PTSD, and can be triggered by seeing gruesome images and reading tales of slaughter and horrific suffering.
I declined to post the photo for the same reason, and also because it was totally undocumented. Lurid images and tales that get passed around by email are more often than not urban legends of one sort or another. Remember the Palestinian “child brides”? That video is still being passed around with the inaccurate explanation attached.
As it turns out, in this case I was right to be suspicious, if what our commenter Benny D. says is correct:
The image of the woman with the cross down her throat in the youtube clip about Aramaean Christians is taken from the film “Inner Depravity” by Remy Couture, a gorefilm producer. Here’s the ‘just before’ shot.
It has NOTHING to do with Muslims murdering Christians!
This sort of thing is the Christian equivalent of the “blood libel” about Jews that remains so popular among Muslims. Retailing spurious information about Muslims can only harm our efforts. The truth, though often less gory, is sensational enough — why opt for sensational lies?
I recommend that any unsourced information, especially a photo forwarded by email, be researched to establish at least a minimum of plausibility before it is published or forwarded again.
Charles Johnson is notorious for using photographs (even doctored ones) without any context, as an indictment of persons or groups he opposes. We should decline to use the same tactics ourselves.