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FACT CHECK: Old video falsely portrayed as recent arrest of Saudi Imam for anti-Israel remarks

Amid a surge of misinformation, an old video from Saudi Arabia is circulating on social media, falsely claiming to depict the recent arrest of an Imam advocating war against Israel. India TV’s Fact Check team debunked this, revealing the video dates back to March 2018.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: November 14, 2023 23:44 IST
Israel
Image Source : INDIA TV Screenshot of the old video falsely portrayed as the recent arrest of Saudi Imam for anti-Israel remarks.

In a recent wave of misinformation, an old video from Saudi Arabia is being falsely shared on social media, with claims that it depicts the arrest of an Imam calling for war against Israel. India TV's Fact Check team revealed that the viral video dates back to March 2018 and is unrelated to the current Israel-Hamas conflict. The video, lasting 21 seconds, shows an individual on a pulpit while others attempt to bring him down. Social media captions erroneously allege the arrest is recent, linking it to anti-Israel sentiments in Saudi Arabia. However, India TV traced the video's origin to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in 2018.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVA screenshot of an old video from Saudi Arabia claims that it depicts the arrest of an imam calling for war against Israel.

A reverse image search of keyframes led to a March 4, 2018 report by Indonesian outlet Viva, titled 'Exciting Video: Moments of Cleric Arrested by Police During Lecture.' The report clarified that the video circulated falsely, claiming a cleric was forcibly removed for speaking against Israel. Additional reports from Moslem Today and Al-Quds Al-Arabi confirmed the incident's context.

India Tv - FACT CHECK

Image Source : INDIA TVIndia TV traced the video's origin to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in 2018.

The arrested man was accused of impersonating an Imam by Saudi officials. Allegations of him being "psychologically challenged" emerged, and earlier claims that he spoke against the Saudi Crown Prince were debunked. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia stated that the man was prevented from delivering the sermon due to impersonation.

This incident, unrelated to recent geopolitical events, highlights the importance of verifying information before sharing it on social media.

Also read | FACT CHECK: Doctored video showing profane chants during US President Biden's speech exposed as fake

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