Fake | Iceland recognizes religion as a weapon of mass destruction

On March 12, a curious material was published on the Yandex Zen platform called “Iceland accepts the declaration: all religions are weapons of mass destruction. Follow Laughing in Disbelief!” “The parliament considered it necessary for people to know that the whole religion is a mental disorder and is dangerous at the same time,” the article cites the words of a certain Icelandic legislator Andrew Canard. Moreover, the article has a link to the source!

Verdict: Fake (satirical)

The text was written by the blogger, Andrew Hall, and was published on his “Laughing in disbelief” blog. 

The format of fake satirical publications such as Panorama Information Agency (Russian) is also well known to English-speaking audience. However, the pioneer in this sense was the American The Onion, organized back in 1988. But the origin of the “news” about Icelandic initiatives is due to the Patheos.com blog platform, which brings together people who are in a spiritual quest. This is the platform where the Laughing in disbelief blog is.  

And here is the blogger’s answer to the question “Is it a satire?”. The answer contains information for thoughtful readers about why this is a satire. For example: 

The story you are reading is satirical. The material may contain links to real events, but the Laughing in disbelief post is a fake … 

Probably the people mentioned in the post are named after the generals of the Confederation or the Nazis. 

The article begins as quite sane but then turns into an absurdity. 

Just in case, we looked through the Althing (Icelandic Parliament) website and did not find such news. There was a feeling that the Icelandic legislators are more concerned about interstate agreements relating to the protection of capelin stocks and other issues of fishing and trade. 

Context 

However, Richard Dawkins, a famous British scientist, ethologist, popularizer of evolutionary biology, the author of the “meme” term, in a sense, is not far from the understanding of religion, which is shared by Icelandic parliamentarians from a parallel reality.

Айгерим Мекишева
Журналист, фактчекер, МА (Journalism for international students, University of Westminster, London), технический писатель, редактор, PR-специалист, руководитель проектов (медиа и PR)