by Esmerelda Weatherwax (Oct. 2008)
I received this e-mail a few weeks ago - Fwd: Important info..... NOT a joke!
And the person who sent it to me and about 25 other women urged us to “Read right to the bottom” more>>>
Please learn the term Jihad and what it means from a true Islam website that defines it. Woman unable to go out has absolutely NOTHING to do with Jihad. It also does NOT mean holy war. That is something the media has done to define it. People figure since the media uses the definition, it must be correct. The news and tv shows/films are as ignorant as the rest who use the word wrongly. On the other hand, jihad does take many forms, just not, officially, the form people use the word in context with.
It is always nice that people share these "ideas" with all the murderers and thieves and rapists that prowl the internet. Why not give them another idea for a way to hurt or kill people?!?!?! GEEZ....You think people would learn eventually!!!
Mags from South Africa
How lucky you are to live in a country where all of this may be considered far-fetched.
I have had a good few of these warning emails, though a number were to do with attachments and viruses so they could be true in a general way, if not as deathly as some of the ones mentioned (and yes, I remember the flashing headlights one though it wasn't AK-47s they used)
But people do fall for these hoaxes. A colleague of mine years ago - well before the internet - listened carefully when I said that one of the commonest 'modern myths' is the half bottle of whisky in the old ladies bag which contains a urine sample and is stolen by someone while she is on her way to the doctor's surgery.
When I told him this I added it was always a friend of a relative who had this happen to them, but you never meet the person who actually had the sample stolen.
"The story is true," he said in all seriousness. "Exactly what you said really happened to one of my aunt's friends."
I've heard the second story before - about a year ago - but nothing in the news. I consider it a possibility, and the obvious action is, if you're filling up in a neighborhood you don't know, lock the doors when you go inside. Men as well as women.
The first story seems a bit far-fetched. There are a lot simpler ways to kidnap someone.
Another such hoax is the one about not flashing your headlights at night if you see a car approaching with its lights off - because they'll open fire with AK-47s. (A close relative living in Albuquerque at the time insisted it was true.)
The best plan is, first, ignore them, but if they seem faintly likely, go to hoaxbusters or snopes. If the mail comes from a friend, pass the results back.
That one went round our office last year until somebody nipped it in the bud.
I agree that part of the motivation is to keep women indoors. In fact statistics show that young men are far more likely to be attacked. I'm all for sensible precautions, but not at the expense of freedom.