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HomeFact CheckNo, This Video Does Not Show Pakistani Residents Demolishing A Mosque To...

No, This Video Does Not Show Pakistani Residents Demolishing A Mosque To ‘Sell Its Iron & Bricks For Food’

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Hit by an unprecedented economic crisis, the citizens of Pakistan are struggling to meet their daily needs. Multiple unverified visuals allegedly showing the struggles of people to fulfil their bread and butter requirements are flooding the social media platforms as inflation surges. In this context, a video showing a group of men atop what appears to be a minaret, vandalising it brick-by-brick, has grabbed the attention of social media users. Those sharing the clip claimed that it shows the Pakistani residents demolishing a mosque to sell its “iron and brick for food.” Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.

Several Twitter users shared the video with the caption, “In Pakistan they are demolishing masjid and selling its iron and bricks for their food. This is the 3rd masjid demolished in recent past. They say if Allah can’t give us food what is the need of masjids???? (sic)”

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here and here.

Newschecker also received the video on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044) requesting to be fact checked.

 This Video Does Not Show Pakistani Residents Demolishing A Mosque To ‘Sell Its Iron & Bricks For Food’

Also Read: Old Image Of Lahore Blast Shared As Recent Suicide Attack In Pakistan

Fact Check/Verification

We looked up keyframes of the viral footage on Google lens, which led us to a report by the Hindustan Times, dated February 4, 2023, titled ‘Pak police watch as Islamists vandalise Ahmadi ‘mosque‘ in Karachi | Details.’

Screengrab from Hindustan Times website

Displaying snippets from the viral clip, the report stated, “Pakistani Islamists vandalised a worship place belonging to the Ahmadi minority in Karachi. The Express Tribune reported that the “miscreants” vandalised the minarets of the worship place. Pakistani law prohibits Ahmadis from calling their worship places in the country as mosques. The place of worship for the minority community, Ahmadiyya Hall, was built in the 1950s. Policemen at the scene failed to stop the vandalism and no FIR has been registered so far.”

Following this, we conducted a keyword search for “Ahmadi,” “Worship place,” “Karachi” & Pakistan on Google, which yielded multiple reports from the first week of February. Such reports can be seen here, here and here

Detailing the incident, Pakistan’s The Express Tribune stated, “The place of worship for the minority community, Ahmadiyya Hall, was built in the 1950s according to community members…The spokesman of the Ahmadi community Amir Mehmood condemned the incident and lamented that the police failed to control the attackers. He maintained that recently, worship places belonging to his community were being targeted across Pakistan.”

Screengrab from The Express Tribune website

A report by Dawn, dated February 4, 2023, added that five suspects were held in vandalising Ahmadi worship place case. Adding, “The police said that the suspects were booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with Intent to insult the religion of any class), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.”

The Ahmadi worship places have been under a string of attacks over the past few months. Reportedly, the Karachi incident was the second such attack in a month after minarets of the Ahmadi Jamaat Khata on Jamshed Road were demolished. In the last three months, this is the fifth Ahmadi mosque to be attacked.

Ahmadi community or Ahmadiyya, a sect  founded by Mirza Ghulam Aḥmad in Qadian in the Punjab back in 1889, has been subjected to regular atrocities and harassment in Pakistan. The Pakistani Parliament  had declared the Ahmadi community as non-Muslims in 1974. A decade later, they were banned from calling themselves Muslims. They are banned from preaching and from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

The reports on injustices and exploitations suffered by people belonging to the Ahmadi community in Pakistan have surfaced time and again over the past several years. Such reports can be seen here, here, here and here.

Screengrab from Al Jazeera website

Multiple news organisations, citing locals, reported that the members of TLP were involved in vandalism of the Ahmadi worship place in Karachi earlier in February. Such reports can be seen here, here ,and here.  The TLP or Tehrik-e-Labaik Party is an extremist Sunni Islamist group whose main focus is protecting Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws and punishing blasphemers.

However, we were not independently able to verify the same.

Conclusion

Viral post claiming to show Pakistani citizens demolishing a mosque and “selling its iron and bricks for their food” is false. The video actually shows people vandalising a worship place of a minority community in Karachi.

Result: False

Sources

Report By Hindustan Times, Dated February 4, 2023
Report By The Express Tribune, Dated February 3, 2023


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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