It has been reported that ‘ISIS destroyed statue of Arab poet Abu Tammam in Mosul’. Amongst others, people are sharing a pair of photos of the process of the demolition of a ‘Symbol of Shirk [polytheism]’ (somewhat ironically, since the Christian-Muslim convert was a foundational figure in jihad poetry), and a pair of photos that show the ‘statue of the famous [Abbasid] Arab poet Abu Tamam in #Mosul #Iraq before and after the reign of #ISIS’ (or, to be precise, after and before).
In fact, [one of] the photographs [is] of the destruction of a statue of Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur in Baghdad in 2005. ‘False pro-#ISIS distro‘, apparently. They may have destroyed it but, if they have, they haven’t released any photographs of the destruction, despite their keenness to advertise their iconoclasm.
[Update (15th July 2014): The head in the right image does look different from the one in the left image. I had initially assumed that the dust had caused the difference in colour, but the head in the image on the right does appear far larger than the head in the image on the left; it appears completely different.]
[Update (21st August 2014): The pre-removal photo of the statue does match pre-conflict photos of the statue of Abu Tammam in Mosul, so that seems to be secure. An alleged photograph of the statue of Abu Tammam in Mosul – which has a lowered head and a raised right hand – does not resemble the figure in either of the images. It appears to be the statue in Abu Tammam Square, Jasim, Syria, which was allegedly destroyed on the 9th of July 2013 (though some of that news presented an image of the statue that is apparently in Mosul).
[Update (5th July 2014): The least out-of-date news is that the statue has been removed (but still not destroyed yet).]
Is there, or will there be, a Ukrainian Stop Fake-style service for verification and falsification of Iraqi and Syrian news and social media?
(Scott Long’s written about real atrocities and easy fantasies, including false evidence and propaganda.)
ISIS/ISIL is the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or the Levant, also known as Da’ash or Da’esh.