Conservative News Website Falls For Muslim-Burning-Catholics Hoax

"Muslims burning Catholics alive" Photo HoaxAlthough it’s been repeatedly debunked over the last two years, yet another conservative website is reporting that a photo of the July 2010 explosion in the Congo that killed over 200 people is actually an instance of “Muslims burning Catholics alive.” The photo hoax originally began in 2011 as reported by Waffles at Noon:

A horrifying photo has surfaced on Facebook, one that claims the dead, charred bodies in the photo are Christians burnt alive by Muslims in Nigera. A common caption reads reads:

Christians burnt alive by Sunni Muslims in NIGERIA…(Posted by Jillian Becker in Africa, Arab States, Christianity, Christians burnt alive by Sunni Muslims, Islam, Muslims, jihad)…..PLEASE SHARE IT OR JUST UPLOAD YOUR OWN…BUT SOMEHOW SPREAD IT IF YOU’RE EVEN 1% CHRISTIAN — It is still not over yet!  

As expected, enraged comments ensue. Problem is.. the photo itself is real but the story attached to it is fake. already took this photo to task with an excellent dissertation posted several months ago, yet the story continues to be passed around. That site will show you that the charred bodes were in fact a result of a tanker explosion in the Congo. Because they have already posted an authoritative rebuttal to this photo, such a discussion isn’t necessary here. I urge you to read their blog if you have any doubts about the photo.

Who originally perpetuated this hoax? It was none other than infamous anti-Muslim Pamela Geller. She spread the hoax via her blog in 2011 after pulling the photo from The Hive (which has since issued a correction that the photo was not what they said it was). The actual photo is of a  Congo explosion story reported at (click the diaporama to see the “breaking news” photo posted in 2010). Here’s another French-language report covering the same story with additional photos: RDC : les images atroces du drame de Sange au Sud-Kivu.

The story has been debunked so many times (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, to name just a few sources) it’s almost Onion-esque that a conservative publication would still report this story as fact (and as new-news, no less).

Sara Marie Brenner

Sara Marie Brenner

And who is the perpetrator? None other than Ohio politician and novice journalist Sara Marie Brenner. Her story – “Catholics burned alive by Muslims in Nigeria — where’s the MSM?” – cites no credible sources in any attempt at journalistic integrity. In fact, the only source she does cite is a Father Juan Carlos Martos (who apparently has no other media credentials other than being someone with the Catholic Church who was told this story was true). The other quoted item in the article (a Nigerian news site called Punch) isn’t even about her supposed Catholic-burning. Reading the full article, it’s revealed that the story is actually about tensions with Christians – not any specific “genocide” incident.

There’s a reason the mainstream media isn’t reporting this – mainly, it’s not news. It’s not even a new hoax. For being a self-proclaimed “alternative” to the MSM, the Brenner Brief certainly seems to have problems reporting real news.

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.



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  • alaanile

    Fanatics don't see themselves as being wrong… proof to them is what they make up and then spread around, like manure. Faced with actual facts, they just say it's a liberal media conspiracy. They rely on the lunatic-fringe right-wing blogosphere for their 'facts'


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  • Atzy67

    Fanatics don't see themselves as being wrong… proof to them is what they make up and then spread around, like manure. Faced with actual facts, they just say it's a liberal media conspiracy. They rely on the lunatic-fringe right-wing blogosphere for their 'facts'

  • Artzy67

    A right-wing friend sent me the fake story and asked "Where's CNN? FOR SHAME!"

    I responded "Where's Fox News?". I then sent a Fox news report describing the actual tanker explosion

    Conservatives are on a hate mission, destroying—out of fear and paranoia—everything they don't like or understand.

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    It is not possible wrong news.

  • Shit has hit the fan. All BS. I use google image and it's working really fine

  • Diana445

    unreal now how many sites post this article as truth :( sad!

  • It's truly sad – there are enough actual atrocities in this world without creating false tragedies to upset people over.

  • deadhead

    the pro-muslim sites also use this photo as propaganda too…. one of the stories is a mass ethnic cleansing in Burma, where the buddhist gathered muslims and burned them alive.

  • People have even posted the original article the photo is from in the comments of her article, yet she still denies it. Sometimes admitting you're wrong can be the hardest thing I suppose.

  • Was blind, but now I see....

    What shocks me is that she is STILL saying that the "article" may be true. She has cut and pasted a reply sayng ONE source says her article is wrong when anyone can Google it and find dozens of reports! UGH…. Brenner Brief…on intelligence. This is why I left the GOP… sheep!

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