A video showing a group of men offering Namaz on a footpath, while protestors are seen walking down the road singing the French national anthem, trying to drown out the sound of the azaan in an attempt to disrupt the prayer is going viral on social media. Users ascribe the protests to show ‘Raj Thackeray effect in Paris’ referring to the MNS leader’s ultimatum to the Muslim community to remove loudspeakers from mosques. Newschecker has found that the video is old.
Among the many users who shared the video on Twitter is @sarinmall85, whose post has garnered 20,100 views and 386 likes and 122 retweets. The video has been shared with the caption ‘#RajThackeray Hanuman Chalisa Effect in Paris. As Muslims blocked streets for prayers, French Nationalist started singing loudly French National Anthem. But in Maharashtra,if you chant National Anthem on roads, you might get arrested By Shiv Sena Police.’
Newscecker found similar claims with similar captions on Twitter.
Raj Thackeray’s Ultimatum On Loudspeakers In Mosques
Raj Thackeray gave a call against loudspeakers blaring azaan from the mosques and said his party will play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques if the state government does not remove the loudspeakers by May 3. Social media has been abuzz with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims in light of these events.
Fact Check/ Verification
Newschecker conducted a Google reverse image search on the key-frames of the viral video to ascertain its authenticity and found a news report by Golosislama, a Russian publication, uploaded on 20th November, 2020 titled ‘French security forces: “We will interfere with prayers on the streets”’ which contained images similar to the ones in the video.
According to the report “In the suburbs of Paris in the city of Clichy-la-Garenne, local officials, including mayors of nearby cities, deputies from the right-wing Republican Party and the centrist UDI and MoDem, held a provocative action to prevent and interrupt the Friday prayers of Muslims praying on the street. During the Jamaat prayer, Islamophobes stood in front of the worshipers, stretched out posters calling for “stop illegal prayers in the street” and began to sing the anthem of the French Revolution “La Marseillaise” in chorus.”
Upon further investigation, Newschecker found a news report by the BBC uploaded on 10th November, 2017 titled ‘French politicians protest over Muslim street prayers in Paris.’
According to the report “About 100 French politicians have marched on a street in a Paris suburb in protest at Muslims holding Friday prayers in public.”
Newschecker also found a video uploaded on the YouTube channel of the Associated Press on November 15, 2017, with the title “Paris suburb tries to stop Muslim street prayers”.
The description of the video reads ‘Tensions have erupted as residents and the mayor of a Paris suburb on Friday tried to block Muslims from praying in the street, in a dispute that reflects nationwide problems with mosque shortages. Police formed a human barricade between a few dozen Muslim residents trying to pray in the streets of Clichy-la-Garenne and more than a hundred demonstrators trying to stop them. As the Muslims chanted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, the demonstrators sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. Mayor Remi Muzeau led demonstrators to the site where Muslims have been praying for months. Those praying tried to set up on a side street instead, but police pushed them back, prompting minor skirmishes. No one has been hurt, but both sides appear to be digging in their heels in the dispute.’
According to the investigation by Newschecker, an old video from 2017 in the suburbs of Paris where many politicians protested against the namaz in the streets is being passed off as the effect of the ultimatum to remove loudspeakers from mosques given by Raj Thackeray.
Result: False Context/False
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