Recently, images of a one-eyed baby purported to be the Dajjal — the Islamic Antichrist —have been circulating online, garnering tens of thousands of views. Their goal, it seems, is to convince Muslims that the end is nigh and only the righteous will be saved.
An image of a child born with a rare birth defect called cyclopia — she has no nose, and only one eye — has recently made the rounds on both mainstream social media. The claim is that the girl was recently born in Israel and is the false, one-eyed prophet Masih ad-Dajjal who more or less signals end times.washingtonpost.com
While it's unclear who is behind the circulation of these images, Vocativ.com reports that analysts told that similar end-of-times memes have helped ISIS recruit foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria
“The ideological core of the Islamic State, they really believe this stuff,” says Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. “It’s definitely a part of outreach to new recruits.”vocativ.com
Is this true? Is the one-eyed baby really the Islamic Antichrist? How much of this is FACT or FAKE?
Because there are two angles to this story, we are going to break down this week's FACT or FAKE in two parts. Firstly, we will establish the origin of the said image, and its authenticity, and later we will determine the claim regarding the baby being Dajjal.
FACT: The photograph, taken in the year 2006, is real. It actually features a one-eyed baby born with cyclopia, a rare form of holoprosencephaly and is a congenital disorder.
An excerpt from Scott's WIRED story dated 20 September 2006:
The child was never given a name and was listed in the hospital's register as "baby of Gomathi." She died in the first week of September of complications arising from her condition, known as cyclopia, having survived longer than any other known similar case.
Wired News first reported on the child's condition in August. Cyclopia is a rare defect that affects about one child in a million. The child's brain had been fused into a single hemisphere; she had no nose and only a single eye socket in the center of her forehead.
An internal hospital report seen by Wired News stated that there were only two potential causes: Either it was the result of an undetected chromosomal disorder or the child's mother had been exposed to cyclopamine, an experimental drug being researched by several U.S. pharmaceutical companies as a potential treatment for cancer.
Cyclopamine is available through several drug suppliers in the United States and Canada.wired.com
FAKE: NO, the baby is NOT Dajjal, nor a herald of the apocalypse
As most Islamic scholars have pointed out, the descriptions of Dajjal in the Hadith refer to a man (not a woman) who is blind in one eye (not a cyclops). So even a literal interpretation of the text repudiates claims of it being Dajjal.vocativ.com
But some people take the photos seriously. Indeed, as Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times recently noted, militants in Indonesia have become taken with the idea that Syria is the land of the Last Caliphate, “where the Final Battle, or Armageddon, against Dajjal, or the false messiah, will ensue.”straitstimes.com
"It's important to combat the lies that spread across the Internet"
The militant group ISIS has an extensive social media network and is savvy about deploying false information to encourage converts to fight on their behalf. It behooves us–or at least me–to speak up when I see images misused by people who want to bring about their own version of the apocalypse and destroy any hope that there might be for peace in the middle east.scottcarney.com