Several users on social media platform Twitter are sharing a 30-second video showing scores of people offering Namaz on a main thoroughfare, allegedly from Paris, France. There is no clarity on when the video is from, leading social media users to believe it to be a recent incident. Newschecker has found the viral video to be from Russia.
One of the many users who shared the video, ‘@mini_razdan10’, wrote “Believe it or not, this is Paris. Yes, the fashion city Paris in SECULAR France”. The post, shared on May 7, 2022, garnered over 3,100 retweets and 233.7K views.
Several Facebook users also shared the \video blaming France’s “careless immigration policy” for this situation in “Paris”.
Newschecker also received the viral on our WhatsApp tipline number (+91-9999499044) requesting to be fact checked.
Newschecker conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video on Yandex and found a post on the verified Twitter handle of a news outlet, ‘@1tvru_news’, dated June 25, 2017. The tweet featured an image that matched the keyframe of the viral video and carried a Russian caption which roughly translated to “Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian Muslims on Eid al-Fitr.” The tweet also carried a link to an article.
On inspecting the link in the tweet, we found that the building seen in the video was of the Cathedral Mosque on Mira Avenue in Moscow.
We further compared the building in the viral video with the Google images of Cathedral Mosque in Moscow and found them to be similar and also spotted another building seen in the viral video next to the mosque on Google images.
On running a reverse image search on other keyframes in Yandex, we found another image published in the website called LiveJournal that matched the keyframe from the viral video.
The caption of the image roughly translates to, “Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr today. This holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In Moscow, the main service is held in the Cathedral Mosque on Prospekt Mira. Supreme Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin addressed the believers. More than 50 thousand people came to the Cathedral Mosque for the morning service.”
In addition, BBC World correspondent Olga Ivshina also tweeted an image on October 15, 2013, which had landmarks similar to the ones seen in the viral video. The caption, which was in Russian, read ‘Moscow. Prospekt Mira. Eid al-Adha.’
We further looked up keywords ‘Eid celebration in Moscow’ and found a report by Moscow Times, which carried images from the recent celebrations of Eid al-Fitr in the city. It also featured two images with landmarks that can be seen in the viral video.
As per the report, “In Moscow, hundreds of the city’s one million Muslims gathered at the Russian capital’s largest mosque — the Cathedral Mosque — for prayers. Space is limited, so worshippers often spill out onto the surrounding streets. (sic)”
Our research indicates that large gatherings at the Cathedral Mosque in Moscow for Eid prayers is an annual phenomenon. However, we were unable to ascertain when the video was shot.
Our investigation revealed that the viral video claiming to show visuals of Muslims offering Namaz in a public thoroughfare in Paris is actually an old video from Russia’s Moscow.
Result: False Context/False
Report By News Website 1tv.ru
Tweet By BBC World correspondent Olga Ivshina
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