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HomeFact CheckOld Photo Of Men Posing In ISIS T-Shirts In Tamil Nadu Shared...

Old Photo Of Men Posing In ISIS T-Shirts In Tamil Nadu Shared As Kerala

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.

Claim
Photograph shows a group of local Muslim men wearing identical ISIS t-shirts in Kerala.

Fact
News reports confirm that the viral photograph is from Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district, and the incident occurred in 2014. The cleric who distributed the t-shirts was later arrested.

Amid the growing social media buzz around the movie ‘The Kerala Story’, a photograph showing a group of young men posing in identical black t-shirts, that feature the words “ISIS,” and the logo of the terrorist organisation, is being widely shared on social media. Users sharing the photograph alleged that it is from Kerala and assert it to be evidence to support the claims of widespread radicalisation and support for ISIS in the state.

The photograph is doing the rounds on Twitter, with users claiming, “This is a picture from Kerala, local Muzlim youth wearing ISIS t-shirt and posing with the ISIS hand signal that there is only ONE God, THEIR God! And yet, people have the nerve to say that #LoveJihad is myth. #TheKeralaStory is REAL!” 

Such posts can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

Directed by Sudipto Sen, ‘The Kerala Story’ puts a spotlight on the alleged practice of Love Jihad, where young women are allegedly manipulated into relationships and coerced into accepting Islam, and are later inducted into the terror outfit ISIS. Petitions seeking a stay on the release of the controversial film were quashed, and the film was released last week despite massive backlash in Kerala.

Apart from creating a social media divide, the movie has garnered much political attention. While PM Modi praised the film for “showing the ugly truth of terrorism,” Kerala CM Vijayan slammed the makers of the film, terming it a “propaganda” by “the Sangh Parivar.” Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor has accused the film’s makers of indulging in “gross exaggeration” and “distortion” of the state’s reality.

Also Read: Elephant Attacks Father-Son Duo Over Attempt To Feed It Meat? No, Viral Claim Is Misleading

Fact Check/Verification

A Google reverse image search on the viral photograph along with the keyword “ISIS” led us to a report by The Hindu, dated August 4, 2014, titled ‘Muslim youths sporting ISIS T-shirts cause a flutter.’

Displaying the viral photograph, the report elaborated, “A group of 26 Muslim youths caused a flutter when they posed for a photograph, sporting black T-shirts with the emblem of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Shams) in front of a mosque at the coastal town of Thondi in Ramanathapuram district on Eid day.” Ramanathapuram is a district in Tamil Nadu.

ISIS T-shirts
Screengrab from The Hindu website


A report by Deccan Herald on the incident further stated that two men were arrested on charges of distributing T-shirts with the emblem of ISIS. Adding, “Police also said 24 youths were let off as they were found to have no connection with any outfit. They “received the T-shirts in good faith”. Some of them had paid Rs 200 for the T-shirt, the police said.”

Screengrab from Deccan Herald website

Also Read: “Not made to promote Love Jihad”, Creators of Eid Video from Kerala Deny Love Jihad Allegations, Claim Reactions are Misplaced

Reportedly, the Ramanathapuram police had also arrested a Tirupur-based Imam, who had allegedly procured T-shirts and printed slogans in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Shams (ISIS) before sending them to the Muslim youths in Thondi.

In 2014, multiple other news outlets had also reported on the photograph showing a group of men in ISIS T-shirts in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram. Such reports can be seen here, here and here.

Old Claim Modified, Revived Amid The Kerala Story Row

The same picture had gone viral in 2019 claiming to show men wearing ISIS t-shirts outside a polling station in Kerala’s Wayanad. Several social media users had shared the image alleging, “This is the photo after the polling in Wayanad, Kerala on 23 April. People wearing T-shirts of ISIS is clearly visible. Voting Congress means making India an Islamic State. (sic)” 

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Conclusion

A 2014 photograph from Tamil Nadu falsely shared to show a group of local Muslim men wearing ISIS t-shirts in Kerala.

Result: False

Sources
Report By The Hindu, Dated August 4, 2014
Official Website Of Ramanathapuram District
Report by Deccan Herald, Dated August 5, 2014


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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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