A video has gone viral on social media with multiple claims while on WhatsApp it is being forwarded with the claim that states, “The holy book of Islam namely the ‘Quran’ is being recited in the White House as the US President Donald Trump has failed to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the US.”
Surprisingly, Investigative Journalist and Editor Reporting at Urdu News, Waseem Abbasi also shared the same video with the claim that states, “This Muslim scholar read in front of US president @realDonaldTrump, the verse from Islam’s Holy book Quran which demolishes racism by saying human are divided into groups and tribes only for the identification purpose.”
As we began fact-checking this video, we first fragmented the video and performed the Google reverse image search with one of the keyframes.
We found that most of the search results indicate that the video was first uploaded on the internet in January 2017. However, one search result indicated that the video was recently uploaded in the month of March this year. When we checked the videos uploaded on YouTube in January 2017, we found that the YouTube video is the same as being shared along with the viral claim.
We also found that some of the videos going viral with the same claim contain the watermark of ‘ilmfeed‘. When we searched further, we found the same video on YouTube which was uploaded on January 21, 2017.
The description of the video reads, “Donald Trump at Inauguration service – Imam goes off-script at Trump inaugural service.
The imam was scheduled to give the “Islamic Call to Prayer” instead the Imam chose two passages from the Quran with clear political implications, especially at a time when many American Muslims feel marginalized and mistrusted. Addressing the capitol’s power brokers, including Trump’s family and Vice President Michael Pence, Magid read first in Arabic and then provided an English translation. The first verse he read was from Surah Al-Hujarat, in which God says: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.”
The second verse he read was from Surah Ar-Rum: “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those who have knowledge.”
The Imam reciting the Quran is Imam Mohamed Hag Magid.”
Notably, a report published by CNN is given as the source of the information mentioned in the description of the video. The CNN report can be read here.
During the search, we found a video posted by a verified channel on YouTube namely ‘Newsone Breaking’ that backs the claim mentioned at the beginning of the article. The title of the video dated March 27, 2020, reads, “Reciting Quran Tilawat in US Assembly in front of Donald Trump”
From the media reports and the videos presented above, we found that on January 21, 2017, as a part of an old tradition in which the US Presidents attend an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral, the US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attended the same.
There is a watermark of ‘ABC news’ on some other videos that are being shared. So we checked the official YouTube channel of ABC news along with their website but we could not find the same. Also when we watched other videos uploaded at the same time as of the one in the claim, we found that ABC News doesn’t place its watermark at the bottom left.
A comparison between the two watermarks can be seen below.
Hence it is proved in our fact-check report that the US President didn’t join the reciting of the verses of Quran at the White House after he failed to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and the viral video was shot on January 21, 2017, when as a part of an old tradition, the very next day after swearing-in as the US President, Donald Trump along with his deputy went to attend an interfaith prayer service at Washington National Cathedral.
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