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Let me recommend to you all this fine resource: It's a web site that takes "urban legends" (like those forwarded emails you receive) and tries to evaluate and document whether or not they are true. Anytime anyone sends me something that is a little hard to believe or seems suspicious, I check on it here. I don't receive that many forwarded emails, but I would estimate that maybe 90 % of the ones I have received have been bogus. If you like to forward emails, I would suggest that you at least make an attempt at checking their validity at before you forward them along. I had the opportunity to consult snopes twice today. First, some friends from church forwarded me and a bunch of other people a version of the email that is examined by snopes here. Since my current hobby seems to be trying to spread some sanity regarding lumping all Muslims in with the radical fringe of that religion, I responded to all with the following:

I would suggest reading the analysis of this email: It questions several of the claims asserted by the email. For example, it finds evidence that the man presenting about Islam was not a Muslim minister but was an inmate. Though I think there is a valid point to be made about the fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam, I don't think it is very accurate nor helpful to try to link all Muslims (many of whom, especially in the US, are law-abiding, non-violent, honorable citizens) with the violent radical fringe of that religion. For example, as the analysis points out, it would not be too hard to pull out a large number of verses from the Bible (esp. the OT) to "demonstrate" that the God of the Bible is a violent and vengeful and commands his followers to be so while also citing violent, radical "Christians" like Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph who was associated with the Christian Identity movement, terrorists in Northern Ireland, etc. Since Muslim citizens of the US are generally peaceful and law-abiding (with a few exceptions, as there are with any religion), I have no concern about the growing number of Muslim voters. However, I am concerned about this: the radical fringe of Islam is apparently flourishing in our prison system, and our country imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. See this page: for links to some documentation.

Also, yesterday a colleague at work forwarded to our whole building a PowerPoint presentation with the content evaluated by snopes here. I politely responded to all with the following:

More (contradictory) info on this subject is here:

People really should do some quality control on the emails they forward.


I could not agree more. I have a client who sends me this crap all the time, and I always go to Snopes to check it out. One of the most recent examples was of Denzel Washington pulling out his check book and writing a one million dollar check to a veterans hospital. Never happened. He did tour the hospital, and did make a donation later on, but it was not nearly a million dollars, and he did not pull out his check book on the spot (Like Denzel would be carrying a check book around).Anyway, great post. Thanks for the reminder to keep people honest :^).

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