Another casualty of the Syrian Civil War has been honest and accurate reporting. Much of what is relayed from the civil war torn nation is overt propaganda and evidently biased depending on which side the reporter or news agency is supporting.
Recently, a picture has been making the rounds on the interwebs showing a woman being stoned to death by angry, Muslim men for the ostensible reason of having a Facebook account.
When one searches “Syrian girl stoned to death for using Facebook account” you get 294,000 results. iCNN, The Daily Mail, Breitbart, Tundra Tabloids, Examiner, India Today, Global Times, Israel Hayom, Daily Bashkar, FrontPageRag and numerous other news sites and blogs reported the story.
One immediately notices something wrong with the picture, it looks to be a still from a movie and indeed it is: The Stoning of Soraya M.
The story first originated ironically in Iran’s, Fars News Agency, which is pro-Bashar Al-Assad and cites the Arabic website Al-Rai Al-Youm as its source. It is ironic because the still that was used to claim that Syrian rebels were stoning a woman for having a Facebook account was originally about a supposed “true-story” recounting of the stoning of “Soraya M.” in an Iranian village in the 80s.
Iran’s government castigated the movie as false and Orientalist but apparently years later their news agency has no quibbles in pushing their own Orientalist style fear-mongering that eventually played into essentialized characterizations of Islam and Muslims.
Surprisingly The Blaze, not usually known for its accurate reporting about Muslims and Islam actually published a decent write up on the story, noting its origins and the way the unconfirmed reports spread like wild-fire across the internet. (h/t: Shuaib)