Egypt’s ‘crucifixion’ hoax becomes an instant internet myth

Jonathan Kay debunks the absurd story – promoted by Daniel Pipes’ and David Horowitz’s colleague Raymond Ibrahim on the Algemeiner website, and subsequently taken up by WorldNetDailyand others – that the Muslim Brotherhood nailed Christians to crosses and left them to die in front of the Egyptian presidential place. He asks:

Why do so many people believe this made up story? For the same reason that people believe all urban legends – because they play to some deeply held narrative that resides in our deepest fears. In this case, the narrative is that the Arab Spring is part of an orchestrated Islamist plot to destroy Western civilization (beginning with Israel). Believers in this narrative (who are especially numerous in America’s right-wing Evangelical circles) are so hungry for news items that purport to offer confirmation that they ignore the credibility of the messengers. If they had checked out the credibility of WorldNetDaily, for instance, they would have found that the site’s past “scoops” have included the claim that drinking soy milk makes you gay, and that Barack Obama himself is gay (presumably from aforesaid soy milk).

National Post, 22 August 2012