Monday, August 18, 2014

Neo-Catholics Caught in Big Lie: Stretching the truth past the breaking point

The girl’s blue-check dress is dirty and disheveled. She is very young but it is difficult to guess her age. She has no face. Her head is gone.

You might have seen this image in the past week, shared as it has been countless times on social media via websites keen to draw attention to the unfolding threat from Islamic State militants in northern Syria and Iraq. “A distraught father in Syria holds the lifeless body of his decapitated daughter, executed by militants because she was of a Christian family,” recounts one of those sites, Catholic Online. “All humanity owes a debt to this baby girl, to find her murderers and bring them to justice, dead or alive.”

Perhaps what we also owe is the decency to accurately relate the circumstances of her killing. A year ago her image was circulated as being of a Christian girl beheaded by members of the Free Syrian Army, a group distinct from and in conflict with the IS, and the man holding the girl’s tiny body was not her “distraught father” but a “fanatic” displaying his “trophy”. Two years ago the dead girl was identified as two-year-old Fatima Meghlaj, a victim of the Syrian military’s bombardment of the town of Kafr Owaid.

Regardless, the image has been used hundreds of times as evidence IS militants have begun the systematic beheading of Christian children in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The sole source for these reports is Mark Arabo, an Iraqi-born American citizen living in San Diego who acts as a spokesperson for Chaldean Christians. “The world hasn't seen an evil like this for a generation,” he told CNN interviewer Jonathan Mann on August 6. “There's actually a park in Mosul that they've actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick."  (more...)

So what about those neo-caths:

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