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Canada: Jason Kenney Tweets Misleading Photos of Muslim Women in Chains

Not surprising given the Harper government’s pandering to Islamophobes.

Jason Kenney tweets misleading photos of Muslim women in chains

Defence Minister Jason Kenney used the occasion of International Women’s Day to rally support for the war against ISIS by tweeting photographs of Muslim girls and women covered in black and being led off in chains.

“On #IWD2015, thank-you to the @CanadianForces for joining the fight against #ISIL’s campaign to enslave women & girls,” he tweeted along with the pictures on Sunday.

One image shows a group of girls, dressed in burqas and chained at the wrists, being with taken away in pairs. Another shows four women with faces covered, also chained together.

To the casual viewer, these appear to be compelling photographic evidence of the mistreatment of women in some parts of the Muslim world.

And, read with Kenney’s reference to ISIS, they suggest to the reader that these scenes occurred under the terror group’s watch in Iraq or Syria.

But Kenney did not explain that the first image is actually from a ceremonial Shia Ashura procession that celebrates the heroism of the prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Hussein, and his family. The girls and women in the photo Kenney tweeted symbolize Hussein’s sister, who was taken in chains to Damascus after he was beheaded.

That is to say, the girls in the photos are actors in a play that depicts events said to have occurred 1,300 years ago. They are not a depiction of the current enslavement of Muslim women. There are thousands of images of these ceremonies online.

UPDATE: The exact origin of this photo is unclear but it appeared online as early as 2010 — before ISIS’s occupation of Northern Iraq — in a news story about the Ashura ceremony in the Lebanesse town of Nabatieh that year.

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  • Solid Snake

    downwithpants,
    I know you make a lot of jokes, and as you said it is a good way to personally deal with all of the pain in the world, but this joke would have worked if the article was defending slavery in general, whether modern or historical. Then one could quip “get it right Kenney it’s a depiction of enslaved women 1300 years ago not the current enslaved women.Jeez” as if to highlight the absurdity of the defense of slavery. Which would work if that was the case.

    But the article is not defending slavery, nor excusing modern day slavery. In fact it’s just pointing out that the pictures are a depiction of women being captured in a historical event in Muslim history, it’s not glorifying it nor justifying it. It’s not even disagreeing with the idea that ISIS’ enslavement of Muslims is horrible and must be stopped.

    The main point is to highlight the casual Islamophobia that seems to coat everything that has to do with Muslims on social media. A little fact checking and he wouldn’t have posted that. But hey, just throw up a picture of any random dead or chained person and claim that it is Muslims who did it and boom instant retweet Or share.

  • Capt. JB Hennessy

    We have a huge sex slavery problem in the US. And Canada in 2013, the Canadian Women’s Foundation conducted a national survey of community service providers, who reported serving a total of 2,872 trafficked girls and women in one year. And the vast majority of these girls are from Canada.

  • Mifeng86

    Exploiting victims of murder.Stay classy Islamophobes. I’m certain that these women wouldn’t appreciate their photos being used for propaganda.

  • Kataro Quasinzki

    First guy back row: “We all can see the future here, so don’t do it, chub”
    Second guy back row: “blank”
    Guy holding the bottle: “mmm, I’m not sure about this”
    Second guy from the right: “ooooh, he will”
    Third guy from the right: “Whaaaat?”
    http://torontoobserver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Kenney1.jpg

    “Yeah let’s all put a smiley face for the photo-op and not care or research the Conservative politician playing us for fools”
    https://flangedbearings.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/jason-kenney-among-the-shia.jpg

  • B.D.S

    Patriarchal hotheads that makes women their punching-bags to score whatever points over other males it seems are not just from the”East”.

  • Capt. JB Hennessy

    It wasn’t a joke but more of a sarcastic reply in the realm of, why would one take images of a passion play depicting a historical event when there are plenty of current day images available. For example the story of an Ohio man kidnapping and enslaving girls for I believe 30 years.

  • Capt. JB Hennessy

    I would be greatly surprised if Muslims are doing that considering Muslims didn’t even take advantage of the Tony Blair underage sex slave allegations. I was the only one on Fox News forum demanding racial profiling for White devoutly Christian males.

  • cmyfe .

    Of course you wouldn’t. But did this deception for anti-Islam propaganda surprise you? The bondage thing would hold more truth than this.

  • George Carty

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Islamist propaganda is already doing this.

  • AJ

    Sorry, I didn’t get your joke.

  • ShunTheRightWhale

    The stupidity one crosses sometimes on the Internet is really embarrassing. Stirring sentiments for one’s cause by inventing stories is exactly the way how not to address terrorism. The top-right image in the tweet circulated the web as the picture of a forced marriage of the (alleged Christian) girl to the man next to her. In reality it’s a girl on a Quran recitation competition staged by ISIL and the man next to her is the host trying to comfort her, she cries because she made some mistakes.

    Still it’s as cheesy as Malaysia’s Imam Muda, but less glamorous…
    Reminds me of Fatima Meghlaj, whose beheaded corpse was shown off as a Christian girl decapitated by ISIL, in reality her head was cut off by a shrapnel from Assad’s forces.

  • My take was that downwithpants is good at throwing out a joke here or there – some tasteful, some perhaps not (I’ve been known to do the same). Regarding the “current enslavement of women”, I took this notion as pointing at current social issues where some/many people feel that women are not yet permitted a social status that would allow, for example, equal pay when performing identical duties in employment to men, equal say in making any number of worldly decisions (e.g., being given the blessing by a parent/spouse/loved-one to seek out a higher education or push for higher-level employment), etc.

    Again, I’ve reached no comfortable conclusion here. Though I know downwithpants to a degree, I would not be able to interpret his true intent. I myself simply saw a wide-open “joke” that could lead to a great many discussions. I likely shouldn’t have butted in, but it’s my nature to do so at times. 🙂

  • AJ

    Can you be a little bit more clear, sire?

  • mindy1

    Heh 😉

  • cmyfe .

    Heh, I just had the most evil idea of an appropriate response to this tweet. Get some “bondage” pictures and tweet to say “this is how ‘the west’ wants to treat women worldwide.”

  • I saw a bad joke (I think) permeated with social commentary. I’ve been thinking this through for about an hour now. I’ve reached no comfortable conclusions, for we all think along different terms. Hmm.

  • AJ

    I guess for you authenticity or the truth doesn’t matter.

  • mindy1

    Why do reasonable research when you can get people angry and sell more papers :/

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