No, a BTS fan did not play ‘Dynamite’ on mosque’s loudspeakers instead of Azaan
Claim: A young Muslim Indian man played South Korean boy band BTS’ song ‘Dynamite’ through the Atala Mosque’s loudspeakers instead of the Azaan, the call to prayers in Islam. He was subsequently arrested and had to pay a fine.
Fact: The post was created by an Indian satire and parody page on Instagram and made to appear like a news article. It has no basis in reality whatsoever.
On 29 June, what appeared to be a screenshot from a news article began circulating on social media. The picture includes an image of a mosque — purported to be the Atala Masjid in India’s Jaunpur city — and text stating that a man in his early 20s was arrested for “accidentally” playing a song by South Korean boy band BTS through the mosque’s loudspeakers instead of the Azaan..
The image further alleged that the 21-year-old was arrested, confessed, repented, and was eventually set free after paying a fine worth 3,000 Indian rupees.
The text accompanying the image was as follows: “Muslim BTS fan accidentally plays the song ‘Dynamite’ instead of Azaan on loudspeakers at 4 AM; gets arrested. 21 year old man, Aqib All accidentally connected his mobile phone with the loudspeakers of the Shahi Atala Masjid of Jaunpur. His mistake disturbed the sleep of many people and in a few minutes, police arrived at the Masjid. “I did not intend to play my favourite band’s music instead of the holy Azaan, may Allah forgive me someday”, said Aqib. He is currently set free and was fined INR 3000.”
The image went viral on social media, evoking anger in some and amusement in others while garnering many likes and shares.
On Facebook, pages and public groups that posted the image garnered more than 5,000 interactions, according to social monitoring platform CrowdTangle. The top six posts on Facebook were from pages with close to 700,000 aggregated page likes.
The image was first posted by Real Insho(r)ts (@realinshots), a satire and parody account on Instagram that has now been deactivated. Shortly after the backlash, the page addressed the virality of the post through its stories, which Soch Fact Check took screenshots of.
Real Insho(r)ts wrote: “NOTE: This post is very close to become viral and we just want to say that this is completely not a real incident. We are not responsible if someone interprets this as otherwise or gets their sentiments hurted. Thousands of people still …”
In two more slides, the now-deleted Instagram page wrote: “Whoever felt bad for the BTS Azaan news, we are really sorry from our side we didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments. We never thought that the post will become viral. We assumed that people would at least know that Azaan is recorded live and not played from any device, and we regret our assumption. We will take care in future that such things don’t happen again. Thanks. As the damage is done now, there is no point of threatening/abusing us in the DMs. Please understand.”
The account’s bio at the time it was operational had read: “India’s foremost fictitious source of news. Nothing we post is real and must be interpreted the otherwise.” Real Insho(r)ts is “operated by a Trishit Banerjee who has created three such satire news pages”, according to Boom Live, which also published a fact check on the same story.
AFP captured a screenshot of the @realinshots’ original post, which was captioned: “‘We had to set him free because my daughter supports the Army too, and I love when children from such a young age support and want to become a part of the Indian Army’, said an officer.”
“Condolences to the people who got their sleep ruined on a Sunday,” the caption went on.
Furthermore, Soch Fact Check discovered that the mosque shown in the claim is not the Shahi Atala Masjid, which is located in Jaunpur, a city in north India.
Conclusion: The news-like post was created by an Indian satire and parody page on Instagram with the handle @realinshots. The post, as well as the page, has been deleted since. It’s unclear whether the account was taken down after users reported the post or Instagram took the action by itself.