Syria: Facebook satire pokes fun at militants

Screengrab from Facebook page

A satirical Facebook page posted pictures of "Christian militants" alongside crosses - but quickly had to clarify it was an example of "black comedy".

The Christian State of Syria and Lebanon site first posted on 20 September and appears to be a parody of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But, after it gained more than 2,000 fans in just four days, its owners made clear they wanted to use humour to promote understanding between religions. They uploaded an illustration of a mosque minaret and church bell tower embracing and pointed out the page was managed by three Christians and two Muslims.

Their clarification read: "There is nothing called DMISL [the acronym the group uses] on the ground... We are against sectarianism from any group, religion or military group." The group describes its goals as setting up a united Syria and bringing down the government and posts news of alleged human rights abuses by ISIL fighters and photos of young Syrians draped in the Free Syria flag. Among the most popular posts have been pictures of placards promoting interfaith harmony.

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