Messiah rumour drawsMuslims to German hospital

23rd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2004 , ESSEN - A rumour that the messiah has been born to a Turkish woman in a maternity ward in western Germany has drawn crowds of Muslims from as far away as the Netherlands, but hospital officials said Wednesday the proclamation was an internet hoax. Police and hospital staff said the pilgrims had been pestering the concierge at the ward of University Clinic in the city of Essen, and accusing him of lying when he said there was no miraculous child. Up to 100 a day had demanded to meet the mothe

23 June 2004

ESSEN - A rumour that the messiah has been born to a Turkish woman in a maternity ward in western Germany has drawn crowds of Muslims from as far away as the Netherlands, but hospital officials said Wednesday the proclamation was an internet hoax.

Police and hospital staff said the pilgrims had been pestering the concierge at the ward of University Clinic in the city of Essen, and accusing him of lying when he said there was no miraculous child.

Up to 100 a day had demanded to meet the mother since the claim three weeks ago by a user of an Internet site for Turks in Germany, but the visits halted Wednesday, a day after an Essen newspaper reported the hoax.

An anonymous contributor in the chatroom of the portal had asserted that a Turkish mother died while giving birth, then rose from the grave for 41 days to breast-feed Allah's chosen son and call mankind back to the straight path, according the hospital.

The original claim could not be located during an internet search Wednesday.

A hospital official said police and security guards had been called to force the departure of people who would not take no for an answer, because the ward's normal operations were being disturbed.

"Initially we kept the matter a secret because we did not want to frighten away patients," said clinic spokesman Burghard Buescher.

He said there have been no deaths during childbirth recently.

"There is no such patient in this hospital," said Buescher.

The entire story was false, as was the anonymous author's claim that "large numbers of Muslims who heard of this visited the woman in the University Clinic in Essen to hear the story from her own mouth".

City cemetery officials told the Neue Ruhr Zeitung there had been no burials of Turkish women of child-bearing age recently.

On Saturday and Sunday, 140 persons had requested admission to see the saviour and his mother. Police explained there never was such a patient, but were told: "I know you are lying. I can see it in your eyes."

Muhammet Balaban, head of the city ethnic minorities council, said the story was "devoid of truth". He had been asked by hospital officials to speak out to convince Moslems the tale was a hoax.

DPA

Subject: German news

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