By now you must have heard the heartwarming story of a Muslim security guard by the name of Zouheir who has been widely credited with “saving hundreds, if not thousands” of lives in Paris after he denied entry to one of the terrorists at the Stade de France on Friday.
This tweet, for example, has been RT’d a staggering 46,000+ times:
This is so fucking important. It should be retweeted and shared 10000 times pic.twitter.com/HF5I5KnJHI
— Rebekka (@SimpIyboca) November 15, 2015
So “f***ing important” that nobody bothered to check if it was true. Because it’s not:
"Naturally, that hasn't stopped the Internet from making Zouheir into a hero, rather than a media source…" https://t.co/nfeT2f2TTs
— The Weekly Standard (@weeklystandard) November 16, 2015
Every tragedy needs a hero. But the security guard who foiled the stadium bomb was not a Muslim. https://t.co/xAKJmx6BgM
— p4z (@p_eyre) November 17, 2015
— snopes.com (@snopes) November 16, 2015
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 17, 2015
Correction: Security guard Zouheir was part of team on duty at Stadium but wasn't present when bombers blocked https://t.co/IHN77FVeAt
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) November 16, 2015
The Journal, for its part, makes it pretty clear Zouheir was only their source for the story, not the object of the story itself, nor even an eyewitness to the story.
Zouheir, who was stationed by the players’ tunnel, said he was briefed on the sequence by the security frisking team at the gate.
And a fake-hero was born.