Fact Check: Muslims Did NOT Smash Statue Of Virgin Mary In Europe, Proving Islamic 'Invasion'


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Muslims Did NOT Smash Statue Of Virgin Mary In Europe, Proving Islamic 'Invasion' Not In Europe

Did Muslim men film themselves smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary in Europe, betraying their plan to "invade" the continent? No, that's not true: The clip was shot near the city of Idlib, Syria, in 2013 by members of the Nusra Front, a jihadist group struggling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to Arabic-language media. Idlib was home to a small Christian community, most of whom fled when the rebels arrived.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on October 7, 2023, under a caption (translated from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff) that reads "Europe is under invasion." It showed a man in Islamic attire holding a statue of the Virgin Mary while reciting a prayer. He says in Arabic (translated to English by Lead Stories staff):

And with God's religion, and with the tradition and practices of the prophet Mohammed, son of Abdullah. Takbir. God is the greatest!

He then shatters the statue on the ground.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Oct 9 18:55:41 2023 UTC)

As the events portrayed in the video occurred a decade ago in Syria, they do not serve as evidence of an Islamic "invasion" of Europe. Lebanon-based Elnashra News covered the statue-smashing in an article published on October 29, 2013 (translation from Arabic to English by Google Translate), saying:

Extremist fighters from the terrorist Nusra Front attacked some Christian homes in the Idlib countryside. They carried a statue of the Virgin Mary after they had stolen it from a house, killed its residents, and then destroyed it.

Elnashra's account was corroborated by the Addiyar news portal, also based in Lebanon, in a report published on November 30, 2013.

The incident garnered fresh attention when former U.S. President Donald Trump posted it on Twitter, now known as X, on November 29, 2017, under the comment "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!" The tweet was no longer available on X at the time of writing but was archived here.

As The Economist magazine reported on November 30, 2017, the man who smashed the statue was probably condemning idolatry, not the Virgin Mary herself, because Muslims consider Mary to be sacred:

Insofar as anyone can guess the motives behind such nihilistic acts of desecration, they seem to be aimed not so much at the person of Mary as against the very idea of artistically reproducing a holy person, or indeed artistically reproducing any human being.

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