Monday, June 27, 2022
Monday, June 27, 2022

HomeFact CheckQatari Anchor Fatima Shaikh Concerned About India’s Religious Freedom? No, Photograph Shows...

Qatari Anchor Fatima Shaikh Concerned About India’s Religious Freedom? No, Photograph Shows Anchor From Afghanistan  

With tweets continuing to populate the #BoycottQatarAirways trend, an image of a news presenter in a complete Islamic face cover, seated in a studio,  clutching her head, is being widely shared. Users who shared the image claimed the video shows Qatari anchor Fatima Shaikh, who is “expressing concern over religious freedom in India”. Newschecker has found the claim to be fabricated.

At first glance, the photograph appears to have been clicked when the woman in the image seems to have been in the midst of a breakdown. The image was shared by several others Twitter adding to the trending #BoycottQatarAirways. One of the tweets, by handle @AdvisorZaidu, shared on June 9, has received over 10.8K likes and close to 3,000  retweets.

Facebook  page ‘I support Arnab Goswami’ was among the several users that posted the image on social media, claiming to show ‘Qatari Anchor Fatima Shaikh’.  The post has garnered over 600 shares and over 450 comments. 

FB post claiming to show Qatari anchor Fatima Shaikh

Also Read: Qatari Princess Caught In An Orgy With 7 Men? False Claim Revived Again

Fact check/Verification

To verify if the claim made using this image was indeed true, Newschecker  began by conducting a Google search of the keywords ‘Qatar’ ‘Anchor’  ‘Fatima Shaikh’ ‘India’ ‘Show’, but the search yielded no relevant results. We further looked up if there was a journalist called Fatima Shaikh associated with any prominent news broadcasters in the Gulf country and found no credible results. This led us to conclude that the woman seen in the image was not a Qatari journalist breaking down over religious freedom in India. 

Newschecker probed further and traced the original account that tweeted the image to the twitter handle @AdvisorZaidu. On analysing the account, we found that it posted Satire content. “All Tweets are 100% fake, resemblance to any person dead or alive is purely coincidental. Ghazwa Commander, Greater Pakistani, Personal Advisor to Gen Qamar Bajwa,” the description of the page reads. 

To further investigate the source of the image, Newschecker conducted a reverse image search on the photograph and found several articles featuring the same image, identifying it to be from Afghanistan. 

One of the articles that carried the image in the New York Post, published in May 23, 2022,  was titled “Taliban enforcing face-cover order for female TV anchors: ‘non-negotiable’”. The caption for the image read “TV anchor Khatereh Ahmadi bows her head while wearing a face covering as she reads the news on TOLO NEWS, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 22, 2022.”

We also found a tweet by Saad Mohseni, the director of the Moby media group that owns TOLO news, who gave more insight into the backstory of the image. Tweeting with the hashtag #FreeherFace, Mohseni wrote, “For those wondering about this iconic photo: here we have Khatera Ahmadi, one of our news presenters, preparing for a news bulletin – exhausted. Difficult breathing with a face covering”

Conclusion 

An image of a news presenter wearing a face cover under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, is claimed to show Qatari journalist Fatima Shaikh, expressing concern over religious freedom in India.

Result: Satire

Sources

Tweet by Saad Mohseni

Tweet by AdvisorZaidu

New York Post


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Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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