Muslim security guard Zouheir is the Internet's newest unsung hero, but it's a little more complex

Published November 19th, 2015 - 01:25 GMT
A security guard at the Stade de France stopped a suicide bomber from entering, but the Internet is confused as to who the hero really is. (Twitter)
A security guard at the Stade de France stopped a suicide bomber from entering, but the Internet is confused as to who the hero really is. (Twitter)

A story about a security guard at the Stade de France has made for ripe social media fodder this week, but now details are emerging that it is actually mostly false.

The security guard in question is a man named only as Zouheir, and according to the Internet he is a Muslim hero who stopped a suicide bomber entering the 80,000-capacity football stadium.

This is the post that's been making rounds on social media, with users expressing their outrage that the media ignored Zouheir’s heroism.

 

The entire narrative is essentially a misreading of a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article.

While a suicide bomber was indeed stopped from entering the stadium where French President Francois Hollande was in attendance, the security guard who frisked him at the gate and discovered the explosives was not Zouheir.

Zouheir was stationed elsewhere at the stadium and only relayed his colleague's story to the Wall Street Journal. The article itself was pretty clear, stating that “Zouheir, who was stationed by the players’ tunnel, said he was briefed on the sequence by the security frisking team at the gate.”

But it appears many people misread the phrase, thinking Zouheir himself was the entry gate protagonist and his heroism was ignored because of his faith which, as it turns out, was never actually mentioned, anyway. 

Social media carried on nonetheless, making the story into memes and hashtags about media flaws and Islamophobia. But with enough real-world examples of that around already, seems like we don't really need ones that aren't true. 

Have a look at some of the responses below. 

By Kane Hippisley-Gatherum


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