Were the vikings Muslim?
That was one narrative promoted by publications like the New York Times (among many others) last week.
The articles all centered on a newly-discovered textile that allegedly included an Islamic script translating to "Allah" found in viking boat graves. According to the media, this could mean only one thing: the vikings were Muslim.
One expert, though, is disputing this claim, and calling out the media for failing to do their homework.
Monday morning, Dr. Stephennie Mulder, an associate professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at UT-Austin, posted a long and extensive thread on Twitter this morning totally disputing the narrative.
Mulder said the textile "doesn't have Allah on it" and went on a lengthy academic thread breaking down the veracity of the textile and Islamic connections with the vikings.
In one tweet Mulder said "Actually #Viking textile has no Arabic at all but story has gone viral @NYTimes @Guardian @BBCWorld @NatGeo @ScienceAlert have reported 2/60."
Mulder criticized the media for running with the story without consulting other experts.
"There is something very troubling here about relationship between news media & experts, who should have been consulted for verification" Mulder added.
PJ Media initially expressed skepticism about the story, and delved into the media's motivation for promoting it.
We'll let you decide for yourselves about the media's motivation for promoting this story, but it's another good reminder not to believe everything you hear.