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No, terrible damage to foot not caused by ‘abusing and marching’ on Qur’an

Warning: This report links to graphic and disturbing images.

A meme posted on Facebook warns of terrible consequences for disrespecting the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. It shows a photo of someone standing on the book, and then a photo of a diseased and rotting leg and foot.

The text reads: “This is what happen to this European Germany woman, after abusing and marching the holy Qur’an. Please share this.”



Decaying foot a result of drug use


But in a Google image search, the photo of the badly damaged leg came up in several articles about desomorphine, or the “krokodil” drug as it is known in the streets.

It was used in a 2018 Health24 article on “krokodil, a flesh-eating drug that has killed thousands in Russia”.

The article says the drug originated in some of Russia’s poorest communities. It’s made by “crushing codeine tablets and mixing them with substances like petrol, red phosphorous and hydrochloric acid”.

It calls krokodil “the deadliest drug in the world”, saying “doctors estimate that from the point an addict first takes krokodil, their life expectancy is a little over two years”.

The photo also leads to a 2018 Mirror article that includes a video showing the terrible effects of using krokodil.

The zombie drug


These effects have led the media to call krokodil “the zombie drug”. An article on the site Drugabuse.com says this is because “addicted individuals have gangrene or eschars (dead patches of skin) on their body”.

“The skin of krokodil injection users can become black, grey, and/or green, scabby, and can flake off – resembling the skin of a reptile or a crocodile at the site of injection”.

The photo in meme shows the decay of skin and flesh caused by the krokodil drug. There is no evidence that stepping on the Qur’an can cause this kind of harm. - Taryn Willows (23/05/19)

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