Viral Post Says Refugee Is Member Of ISIS When He Actually Fought Them

by
Indrani Sengupta
Because who needs truthful, compassionate dialogue that gives people the benefit of the doubt when you've got lazy fear-mongering to fill your time?

In a recent Facebook post, Peter Lee Goodchild offers a "before-and-after" shot of a refugee, claiming that he is, or at least was, an Islamic State fighter.

Remember this guy? Posing in ISIS photos last year - now he's a "refugee"Are we suckers or what!

Posted by Peter Lee Goodchild on  Thursday, 3 September 2015

Goodchild opines that he will not be taken for a "sucker"...even though that's pretty firmly what he is.

Because although the refugee in question not a member of the terrorist group. He was fighting it.

Jihadist Militants Entering Europe

Which is a lot more than a man falsely maligning an innocent man in the name of opposing ISIS can say, as he sits comfortably at his desk.

But, as one commenter on the original post says,

"Why let the facts stand in the way of an ill educated swipe at brave people?"

isis refugee fighter, Laith Al Saleh

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The refugee in question is Laith Al Saleh, a former plasterer from Aleppo turned member of the Free Syrian Army. In a profile released last month by the Associated Press, he is quoted as having said:

"About 70 percent of the city is destroyed … In Syria, Al Qaeda want me, Daesh (Islamic State), the government – I fought them all. I don’t care. Some people are afraid. I’m not."

IS fighter posing as a refugee

Goodchild has since apologized for the misrepresentation, saying that he:

"copied the photo in good faith. I can only apologize for any hurt damage or offense that I've caused."

He says that he intends to apologize on Facebook (no mention as to whether he planned to take down the offending photo, however), but he's been locked out of his account. Conveniently.

But the damage is done. The photo has been shared over 80,000 times, lending more fodder to lazy anti-refugee and islamophobic sentiment.

People are already finding ways to make the mistake work to fit their agenda. As another commenter offered:

"Regardless of whether this man is a member of ISIS or not, I am quite certain there will be hundreds if not THOUSANDS of Islamic extremists who will find an easy passage into Europe amongst the genuine Refugees."

Read more: Heartbreaking Images Of Syrian Refugee Inspires Internet To Help Him

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