Are we playing ball spreading the terror on behalf of ISIS?
By Melanie Nathan, January 17, 2014.
Today when I awoke here in California my feed was abuzz with disturbing pictures and articles of (purportedly) gay men being thrown from a rooftop by ISIS, which appears to have taken place in Mosul. The internet is aflame right now with pictures of ISIS, displaying these horrors for the world to see and of course to share. And there are more pictures showing contorted bloody bodies on the ground, and others depicting the shooting of people on crucifixes, beheading, stoning and more and more and yes it is horrific.
Pictorial accounts of the murders were apparently disseminated on Twitter by Isis, and it was easy to find. It did not take long for the West to jump to their call. Almost every LGBT and progressive outlet will undoubtedly continue to do their bidding. Are we spreading the intended fear? Or will we simply be angry! What do we do – do we succumb, do we remain silent and is there a middle road?
This is indeed a predicament – one in which I find myself caught too. There is fine balance and I do not now how to play it. On the one hand compelled as we are to spread news and create awareness, we do their bidding, while we inflame outrage- which is precisely what they want – and at the same time outraged we should be. And on the other hand do we pretend this flagrant disregard for human life is just another day in Iraq, where our own Bush Cheney regime provided the can opener to this ‘can of worms.’
Bloggers and press are quick to believe and post without checking through direct sourcing as to the validity of the stories and surrounding circumstances, and so we may be buying into elements of fiction, propaganda and we become the intended messengers of fear and terror, whether true or not.
I do not know the answer, as I have no direct sources there, and I am not sure I want to follow the others who also do not have direct sources there, yet still report, layer upon layer, from what they picked up here and there on the internet. Do we just keep on spreading the news as Isis would have us hear it? And then I wonder when we do display these stories and pictures, how much on our part is done for advocacy, how much for ratings – while it all feeds into the bidding of the terrorists who want us to do what we are now all doing? And of course how can we not speak out and scream our indignation for the lost souls?
We see an article from toe tapping Pink News apologizing for the graphic nature of the picture, ready to accept that indeed a gay man is the victim of the roof top toss, because they believe the ISIS Twitter chat and not because they checked it out through direct sourcing.
We see another article from The Daily Beast acknowledging the propaganda:
“ISIS-affiliated social media feeds began spreading the images Thursday. Those accounts linked to a justpasteit.com file attributed to the “Information Office of the mandate of Nineveh,” an apparent propaganda arm tied to Islamic state press releases. The public executions appear to have taken place in Mosul, the capital of the Islamic State and Iraq’s second largest city sits in Nineveh province.”
….”Death is shown in high resolution—the killing carefully composed inside the frame. These images belong to a deliberate social media and information strategy. Like all good Internet propaganda the images are made to be readily “shareable” and appear to have been released with the intent that they travel to a broader audience. It worked. Obscene and merciless, it’s a reflection of the state of life under ISIS rule.”
We see the story perpetuated by Bilerico Project with caveats, attempting to sustain a semblance of political correctness, all too familiar and often a painful reminder of the barriers our American pundits face, as follows:
“Author’s Note: This post does not condemn Islam or assign collective blame to all Muslims for the actions of a savage minority……”
How do we find our soul in all of this?
What is the right thing to do? How do we find the truth as some insist some pictures may be doctored? And we become the intended victims of fear? Are we quiet? Do we let it spread? Do we play ball?
Lest we forget what we are seeing is an ISIS account – no real sourced journalistic account; not yet. Do we drop the ball?
I wish I knew the answer to these questions. I do not. The truth is I am stumped. I do not want to fail human rights through silence. I do not want to perpetuate fear.
I do not want to apologize for what is done in the name of someone else’s religion, albeit extreme, and last of all I do not want the murder of innocent humans, in the name of some extreme religious attempt at world domination, to go unnoticed. It is truly a dilemma.