A meme carrying the hashtag ‘#BanIslam’ was widely shared on social media over the weekend – but as with anything that goes viral on the internet, it’s worth a closer look.
The meme purportedly shows two pictures of Beirut, one from before the civil war of 1975-1990 that left 250,000 people dead, and one of destruction after.
The post claims that Muslims were let into Lebanon under ‘multiculturalism’ – although a majority Muslim population and Christian and Druze minorities have co-existed in the area for more than 1,000 years – and implies the ensuing war was Islam’s fault.
Lebanon used to be the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ until Muslims were let in under ‘multiculturalism’… But don’t worry! After Islam takes over, there’ll be a Golden Age… apparently
The arresting visual contrast between the picture on the left, which is downtown Beirut,and the picture on the right, of a man amid rubble, is what caught most people’s attention.
Which is why we’re at pains to point out that the warzone picture isn’t from Lebanon’s civil war or any skirmish with Israel.
It’s a 2014 picture from the city of Aleppo in Syria showing the devastation caused by regime barrel bombs, taken by a Reuters photographer: