A shocking June 23, 2016 article for Breitbart.com, Katie McHugh revealed that the “Muslim Iraqi and Sudanese migrant families whose male children stripped a white, five-year-old Idaho girl naked, sexually assaulted her, and urinated in her mouth while filming their attack have been evicted from their apartment complex.” I say shocking not because of the details of the crime, but rather because the crime itself appears to be an utter fabrication by right wing news outlets and fringe conspiracy websites.
In the article, provocatively titled “Report: Muslim Migrant Families Evicted After Their Children Sexually Assaulted 5-Year-Old Idaho Girl,” McHugh cited the Idaho Statesman, writing that the families’ landlord “mentioned the defiling of the innocent child and filming it to enjoy watching her suffer again and again as one of the ‘complexities of living in a culturally diverse society.'”
According to McHugh, “Nearly every news outlet covering the story has sneered at local residents aghast at the rape for mistakenly attributing the child rape to Syrian refugees, instead of Iraqi and Sudanese refugees.” She wrote that it wouldn’t matter if the rapists were Syrian or Iraqi since, in the end, “migrants savaged an innocent little American girl” and America continues to “subsidize migrants who come with a child rape risk in their communities.”
Unfortunately for McHugh and the Breitbart News Network, this supposed gang-rape never occurred. As reported by the Idaho Statesman (the very same news outlet McHugh relied on for her article), Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs dismissed the rape rumors, stating that there “were no Syrians involved, there was no knife involved, there was no gang-rape.” Loebs said that while an incident did, in fact, occur, the details of it didn’t match the rumors being peddled by websites like WorldNetDaily and Creeping Sharia. Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury added that the incident was reported as something “a lot less serious than a sexual assault or lewd and lascivious conduct.”
The rumor-debunking website Snopes declared the rape story “Mostly False.”
That didn’t seem to deter McHugh, who wrote that “Muslim men typically attack and rape women in a manner that would please Hollywood horror movies glorifying torture and human suffering” and “Muslims enjoy destroying…a non-Muslim human being.” She compared this incident to what happened to “Louise,” an “Australian nurse who made the mistake of falling asleep in a car in a Western country where Muslims were permitted to reside.”
McHugh quoted (without a source) Louise as claiming she had been “pulled out of the car and thrown to the ground” by six Middle Eastern men who put a knife to her throat and raped her. She also claims to have “heard shouting in Arabic” before they “started urinating in my mouth.”
The problem with this story is, once again, that it appears to have never happened in the first place. This sensational rape story was reported by Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald, but quickly fell apart under scrutiny. In response, Sheehan retracted the story and issued an apology to his readers. Sheehan wrote that when Louise recounted her story to him she “made insulting references to rapes committed by Middle Eastern men,” and concluded that he “had wrongly amplified this insult by including her words in the column.”
The best part of this is that McHugh, in attempting to bolster her argument about these gang-rapes of white women, actually linked to Sheehan’s retraction. Why? Did she not check the source? Did she even bother skimming the article in the first place? Doesn’t someone edit this shlock?
To Breitbart’s readership, it didn’t matter. McHugh may be a right-wing fabulist, but if her tall tales justify their ever intensifying xenophobia, they’ll listen. Commenter “Observer98” wrote that he doesn’t “want 3rd World Medieval throwbacks here,” adding that they should “Make a better life for yourselves in Crapistan.” “Dee” concluded that “If hating scum like the above men makes a bigot I am a damn proud one.” Another commenter remarked that “Moslem pigs should be shot in the face.” Some, like “PDS The Christian View” blamed the President, claiming that Obama “is a Muslim that has invited this satanic cult to live in our nation.”
As Grant Loebs said about this affair, Islamophobes “have not been constrained by the truth in the past” and probably won’t be constrained by the truth in the future.