A Turkish gendarme carries the body of Alan Kurdi, 3, who drowned along with his brother Galip, 5, and their mother, in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos, in the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey, on Sept. 2, 2015.
September 10, 2015 10:02 AM EDT

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is using the shocking viral image of a drowned 3-year-old boy as propaganda to threaten Syrians seeking refuge outside the country.

The photo of Alan Kurdi, whose name was initially misreported as Aylan Kurdi, lying lifeless on a Turkish beach has been printed in ISIS’s English magazine Dabiq, the Guardian reports, in an article titled, “The Danger of Abandoning Darul-Islam” — or, the Islamic homeland.

“Sadly, some Syrians and Libyans are willing to risk the lives and souls of those whom they are responsible to raise upon the Sharī’ah – their children – sacrificing many of them during the dangerous trip to the lands of the war-waging crusaders ruled by laws of atheism and indecency,” the article says.

The photo of Kurdi, who drowned fleeing war-torn Syria with his family, was widely shared on both social and traditional media during the first week of September, putting pressure on European countries to respond to the growing migrant crisis. There have been more than 3,600 migrant deaths so far this year.


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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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