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Published on August 24th, 2012 | by MEE Administrator


The Muslim Brotherhood “Crucifixion” Hoax

This morning I received an email from the ACLJ which said, Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents.

That got my attention.

So I decided to look into it.

And came across this article from Jonathan Kay at The National Post

Here is an excerpt:

It is, of course, theoretically possible that Muslim radicals truly have “crucified” someone, somewhere, sometime, in Egypt. Islamist mobs have staged countless murderous attacks on Copt “infidels” in recent years — and a crucifixion would hardly be a more barbarous tactic than truck bombs and beheadings.

But the story doesn’t just allege that a crucifixion has taken place somewhere in Egypt: It alleges that multiple crucifixions have taken place in front of the presidential palace. That would be the equivalent of, say, mass lynchings taking place in front of the White House, or a giant gang rape taking place in front of Ottawa’s Centennial Flame fountain.

“If that happened, wouldn’t someone, you know, take a picture?” I asked one of the friends who emailed me the WorldNetDaily link. Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?  And yet, not one of the stories I saw had a photo — or even names or descriptions of any of the supposed crucifixion victims. So I decided to check out the “several different media agencies” that supposedly have reported the crucifixion story.

WorldNetDaily, and other sites that are reporting the story, all trace the claim of multiple Arabic sources to a Jewish web site called algemeiner, which has published its own highly-trafficked article on the subject, and to something called The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Like the cited Arabic sources, they in turn base their claims on reports from Sky News Arabic — a recently formed joint venture between BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. Sky is supposedly the original source on the story, everyone agrees. Yet neither algemeiner nor WND nor any of the other sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly outlines the facts.

That’s because there is no Sky report on the subject.

Yesterday I contacted the management of Sky News Arabic, and asked them about the crucifixions. According to Fares Ghneim, a Sky communications official, the crucifixion claim “began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached us.”

“Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website,” he added. “The story — which was taken down within minutes — was based on third-party reports and I am not aware that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is quoted in the article [by WorldNetDaily] … What’s unclear is where websites in North America got [the] Sky News Arabia bit from. As mentioned [previously], none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented on it. Clearly there is an intermediate source the websites got the info from, but as of yet we haven’t been able to identify it.”

Nevertheless, web surfers already had begun sourcing the story to Sky, at which point it went viral in portions of the Arabic media, and then on U.S. Christian web sites, and pro-Israel blogs. And thus was born an Internet urban legend. (Update: In response to my article, WND has posted a new article claiming they have confirmed the original Sky report — but the only relevant new evidence produced is an obscure Youtube video produced by a third party, which purports to reproduce text from the deleted Sky web story).

Enter the terms Brotherhood crucifying 2012 into Google and you get numerous hits, the most prominent being the articles I have discussed in this column. Every single one of them swallows this made-up story whole. Indeed, some are even more emphatic than the original WorldNetDaily story, such as a well-trafficked Free Republic headline that claims, plainly, “Muslim Brotherhood Are Crucifying People.”

Such sites also have carried other nonsense articles about the Muslim Brotherhood, such as that it plans to blow up the pyramids — which the New York Times thankfully took pains to debunk back in July. Yet till now, no one (that I can tell) has taken the time to investigate or debunk the crucifixion tale, even though it only took a few emails to Sky to show that it was bunk. (Ordinary Egyptians also could have helped debunk the story. Here’s how one Copt put it in an email to WorldNetDaily: “I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, i.e. Egyptian Christian, my mother and members of my family live within a stone throw from the presidential palace. I talk to my mother every other day. If something like what you mentioned in your article took place, she [would] be the first one to know.”)

To read the rest of the article, click here:

Why do you think people are so eager to believe stories like this?

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MEE Administrator

8 Responses to The Muslim Brotherhood “Crucifixion” Hoax

  1. Celeus says:

    You ask- “Why do you think people are so eager to believe stories like this?”

    The article you quote at length contains the reason any rational person aware of the recent treatment of Copts in Egypt would not be surprised to hear this-

    “Islamist mobs have staged countless murderous attacks on Copt “infidels” in recent years — and a crucifixion would hardly be a more barbarous tactic than truck bombs and beheadings.”

    When you add the previous actions of other islamists in other contexts, and the statements made by islamist organizations and media- including palestinian and other state run media- that advocate similar actions, it is hardly unreasonable to believe that something like this could be true.

    People should still be skeptical, just as they should be skeptical of most things they are told by the media- such as that the proportion of islamist/radicals in islam is equivalent to the proportion of the KKK in christianity (which not only is false, is not an equivalent comparison in any case), or that the number and proportion of Muslims actively involved in, or supporting financially, or politically/intellectually supporting violence against non believers is trivial and vastly outnumbered by more moderate Muslims.

    I think a better question is to ask why so many people are prepared to believe either of those two conjectures.

  2. Katie says:

    They were crucifying reporters. Who would be dumb enough to post a picture?

  3. Guy says:

    The proportion and comparison argument you made is golden! Actually, your whole argument is the best answer to the original question. Honestly, a professor of comparative religions, anthropology, political science or a professor with a Ph.D. in all of these together couldn’t have illustrated this better. WOW!

    I want to ask for your autograph, but I think your cognitive capacities place well beyond the use of such low brow tools.

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