No, girl wasn’t turned into monkey for throwing away Qur’an

A post shared on Facebook in Nigeria claims a “girl from Oman” was “turned to monkey” for disrespecting the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.

The February 2019 post shows an image of a naked and crouching animal-like human female. The caption says the girl was watching TV while her mother read the Qur’an.

“Out of anger, she asked her mother to go read her Quran somewhere else,” it says

“Her mother refused to do so and this angered the girl and threw away the Quran. The girl within few seconds turned into a creature looking like Monkey as it show in the picture.”

An old hoax

But a reverse image search reveals that the photo has been online since at least 16 July 2005, when it was published in the article “Who is Gecko-girl?” on the blog Egyptian Stories.

The blogger debunked a story about a girl being turned into a “lizard”, which he said a friend of his was told by a fellow passenger while travelling by train in Cairo, Egypt. 

He said the picture was “a cropped image from the sculpture The Leather Landscape by the Australian artist Patricia Piccinini”. It was part of an exhibition at the 2003 Venice Biennale, an international art fair. 

Artist offended artwork ‘taken out of context’

This is confirmed on Patricia Piccinini’s website. 

In a short 2003 article, Piccinini says the image was “really taken out of its context in a way I do not like”.

An image from my work The Leather Landscape was circulated around almost the entire Muslim world. It was used to illustrate a hoax story about a girl from Yemen.

I really was offended by this… the essence of the work, was completely gone.” 

Different stories have been shared online, with one claiming the girl was turned into a “half monkey, half snake, lizard and very ugly like a ghost”.

All these stories are false. Grace Gichuhi

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