Category Archives: News

3 Fake news stories you probably came across this week in social media

NOTE – This article was not written by Musa Cerantonio, nor is this website ran by him as falsely claimed by the Herald Sun and Daily Mail. This is clarified in the following post on this page – https://musacerantonio.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/this-website-is-not-ran-by-musa-cerantonio-and-its-articles-are-not-written-by-him/ 

1. Reyhaneh Jabbari, the woman who was hanged this week in Iran was NOT a Sunni and was most likely guilty of murder

reyhanehMost of you will have seen in the past few weeks posts shared via Facebook and Twitter notifying people of the pending execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari from Iran, claiming that she was in fact a member of the minority Sunni Iranian community who was about to be killed by the Shi’a government for defending herself against a Shi’a man who had tried to rape her. Quite a big deal was made out of this and the case of Reyhaneh was being used as a proof of the continued persecution of Sunnis in Iran and many prayers were made for her up until the day of her execution. After she was hanged she was hailed by many people online as a martyr and kind words flowed for her and poetic obituaries were made for the woman who was supposed to be the latest victim of the Iranian Shi’a regime.

Of course this was all nonsense. Reyhaneh was not a Sunni, she was a Shi’a like most Iranians and was more than likely guilty of a pre-meditated murder. The fact that the story about her being a Sunni was made-up should have been evident to anyone who had bothered to check official sources. Reyhaneh had been on death row for 7 years and not a single source ever claimed that she was a Sunni, it was only in the month before her execution that it was claimed on social media that she was a Sunni. The original claim made also said that she was an Arab from Ahvaz region where a minority Sunni community exists, this too was a lie as Reyhaneh was not an Arab but was full Persian/Iranian and she was from Tehran and was not from Ahvaz nor were any of her family. For 7 whole years not a single source ever claimed she was a Sunni because it was well known that she was a Shi’a.

Some of the reports that incorrectly claimed she was a Sunni added that she had killed the man she claimed tried to rape her by smashing his head with a rock, this of course contradicts the real story of what happened which is that she stabbed him in the back with a knife that she had bought 3 days before the murder occurred. The inconsistent reports and false information should have been a giveaway that these unconfirmed social media posts were incorrect, however it seems that many preferred to judge by emotion rather than fact and took the bait hook line and sinker and fell for the lie that Reyhaneh was an Ahwazi Arab Sunni.

It has since been confirmed by those who knew her that Reyhaneh was a Shi’a, and to dispel any doubt for those still wondering it was widely reported that she was buried in the Shi’a cemetery in Tehran known in Farsi as Behesht-e -Zahra. A Sunni Iranian social media page also confirmed that she was neither Sunni nor from Ahvaz and that the reports stating so were bogus and contradicted what was well known among Iranians who had known her and followed her case for 7 years. It is rather sad that the claims of Reyhaneh being a Sunni is not the only time that similar fake news has spread, in the past it was also claimed that Majid Kavousifar was a Sunni Iranian from Ahvaz who was hanged for the crime of propagating Sunni teachings in the country. Like with Reyhaneh his image was spread all over social media and prayers were made for him calling him a martyr. Unlike with Reyhaneh his name was changed in social media posts making it a bit harder to find out that the news was fraudulent, however a quick reverse image search quickly showed that he was in fact an ethnic Persian Shi’a who was convicted of killing a judge and was hanged for the crime, quite different from the claim of those who lied and tried to say that he was a Sunni from Ahvaz.

Along with the strange attempt to portray Reyhaneh as a Sunni from Ahvaz, the social media posts seemed to also ignore the realities of the case, presenting Reyhaneh as someone who was most definitely innocent and the one she killed as being an attempted rapist who deserved to die. A basic look at the facts of the case suggest that this is far from true, rather than being a person who acted in self defence it was proven in her trial that she had planned the murder and only days before sent an SMS to a friend stating that ‘planned to kill him’, and that she had purchased the knife used to kill him also in the days before it happened. There are other pieces of news which also came out suggesting that there was a more sinister reason for Reyhaneh murdering the man however I won’t go into them here and they are easily found online for those looking for them.

So does the fact that Reyhaneh was a Shi’a and not a Sunni change the fact that Iran is indeed oppressing and persecuting the Sunnis of the land? Of course not. The Iranian regime is without doubt one of disbelief, heresy and immense evil. Their actions towards the people of the Sunnah are well known and very real, however we cannot let fake news like in the cases of Reyhaneh Jabbari or Majid Kavousifar overshadow these real crimes.

2. The King of Saudi Arabia did not buy his daughter a golden toilet

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There is no scarcity in the news of reports involving rich Arabs from the Gulf doing stupid things with their money, which is why it came as no surprise to many to read that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had bought his daughter a golden toilet as a wedding gift. The initial reports also claimed that he had gifted her with a wedding dress with an absurd price tag of 30 million dollars. This news spread quickly and before long people’s timelines were filling up with this piece of crazy news and was being hastily shared by many along with commentaries about how ludicrous and extravagant the Saudi royal family is.

Like in so many cases however, a quick online search or even a bit of basic knowledge about the Arab world would have quickly shown that the news was fake. The pictures of the ‘princess’ and her groom were not of a Saudi couple but were in fact of a Moroccan couple, and the golden toilet photos were actually from a display at the 11th World Toilet Summit and Expo held in China in 2011 (yes, believe it or not international toilet expos do exist!). It became quickly evident that the story was fake and that the photos being used were not from Saudi Arabia but from Morocco and China.

This of course does not mean that the Saudi royal family and government does not spend large amounts of money on absurd luxury items which serve no purpose other than showing off their wealth, one only needs to look as far as Walid bin Talal to see many cases of this. The Saudi regime however is more likely to be spending their wealth on bombing the Ummah rather than golden toilets, a fact which does not at all exonerate them but only reminds us of their tyranny.

3. Islamic State fighters do not believe that they will go to hell if killed by women fighters

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Whilst the above 2 stories spread mainly due to social media, this piece of so-called news found acceptance in many major mainstream news outlets. It was claimed by supposedly reputable news outlets such as the Washington Times and the Daily Telegraph that Islamic State fighters believe that they cannot enter Paradise if killed by a woman but that they will instead enter Hell. According to the sources quoted in these pieces this strange claim found its origins with a US lawmaker who told the New York Post that Islamic State fighters held this belief, and it was supposedly reinforced by a Kurdish fighter named Tekoshin who confirmed it.

This of course is utter nonsense. It should be enough of a warning to know that what is being said is garbage when a US politician and a secularist Communist are commenting on Islamic doctrine which they know nothing about. There is absolutely nothing in Islam which teaches that a person cannot go to Paradise if killed by a woman, in fact the opposite is more likely to be true, that a person who is killed and dies as a martyr who fought for the sake of Allah is guaranteed a place in Paradise regardless of the gender of the one who kills him. It is well known by Muslims that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ died as a martyr due to the effects of being poisoned after the attack on Khaybar, and that the one who had poisoned him was a woman. So rather than being a barrier to entering Paradise it is proven that the best of mankind who is promised Paradise was a martyr who died due to the attack of a woman.

The absence of any actual statements of Islamic State fighters on the matter itself should have indicated that the news was nothing more than fraudulent propaganda, and there is no doubt that the Islamic State and its fighters do not and have never held such a belief which contradicts that of the Islamic doctrine. Perhaps it was nothing more than a bit of propaganda from those siding with the Kurdish Communist fighters in an attempt to portray their enemy as being backwards misogynists who hold strange views about women, though in the course of attempting to do so all that they proved was that they themselves are a bunch of liars who cannot be relied upon to deliver actual news but who instead serve fake propaganda in the place of real information.

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