On Sunday, Feb. 15, a terrifying video was released purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya.
We, as a public, reacted in shock and horror, which is exactly the response sought by ISIS, a militarized body of indoctrinated, well-armed, well-funded zealots who welcome death as martyrdom and who are running rampant across the region.
Week after week, the Islamic State releases new footage of captured hostages with shaved heads and hollow eyes, mercilessly trotted out to deliver ISIS’s message of bloodlust to those of us on the other side of the screen. Week after week, viewers consume footage of ill-fated souls in orange jumpsuits, burned alive and mass guillotined right before our very eyes.
But these victims, often merely shadows of their former selves, are not faceless; they are not nameless. They are not just a statistic to be added to the Islamic State’s body count of senseless murders.
They are men, women and children; they were siblings, spouses, best friends; they were intelligent, funny, kind; they had hopes, dreams, fears and futures; they had lives that were ruthlessly stolen.
Our hearts and minds are with their families and friends. It is for them, loved ones in unimaginable mourning, and the memory of the Islamic State’s victims that we, as Scoop Empire, consciously refuse to publish ISIS footage.
We refuse to spread hate. We refuse to share extremist propaganda. We refuse to legitimize a group whose mission is emboldened by terror and advanced by fundamentalist fervor.
We mourn the loss of the 21 Egyptians killed by ISIS, as well as the lives of those taken before and that will surely be taken after. May they all rest in peace.
WE SAID THIS: We urge you, our dear readers, to also refrain from sharing photos and videos of ISIS killings.