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Old video of stage collapsing at political rally linked to anti-semitic remarks

Footage is of an overcrowded stage collapsing during an election rally in 2018 by Jamaat-e-Islami

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Claim: A video alleges that it shows a stage collapsing at a political ceremony in Pakistan after an Imam made anti-Semitic remarks.

Fact: The claim is false because the video is from 2018 and does not involve any anti-Semitic remarks or statements about Jewish people at all. The stage collapsed because it was overcrowded during a political rally held by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

On 18 December 2023, a Facebook user posted a video (archived) with the caption, “The timing is Divine! An imam in Pakistan preaches that he had a dream in which it said that all Jews must be exterminated. He goes on to say, ‘If this is not true, may the ground sink beneath me.’ Look what happens.”

The 24-second video shows a man delivering a speech when the stage he and the others are on suddenly collapses. The man can be heard taking the name of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Emir, Siraj ul Haq and welcoming him before the incident happened.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check fact-checked the video after it was shared as evidence of anti-Semitic remarks made by a religious scholar in Pakistan. To investigate, Soch Fact Check reverse image searched key frames from the video on Google and Yandex. The results on Yandex led to a news report published by Express News Urdu on 18 July 2018.

According to Express Urdu, the stage collapsed during an election rally held by Jamaat-e-Islami in the tribal district of Mohmand Agency. Senator Siraj ul Haq and other officials were not harmed during the incident. An extended version of the viral video is also featured in the news story, and any anti-Semitic or religious remarks cannot be heard in the video.

Soch Fact Check verified that the host was only introducing Siraj ul Haq in the Pashto language, using words of appreciation like “Salar-e-Qafila (our leader), Quaid-e-Millat-e-Islamia (leader of the Muslim nation)” in his speech before the stage collapsed.

Geo News and The News International also published reports on 18 July 2018 about the same incident, mentioning that the stage collapsed due to the presence of more people than its actual capacity. A screengrab of the viral video can be seen in the Geo News report:

There is no mention of any religious or anti-Semitic remarks in the video.

Virality

The viral video was shared here, here, here, and here on Facebook and here on Instagram.

On X (formerly Twitter) the video received 4.7k views. The archived versions of the video can be seen here and here.

Conclusion: A viral video does not show a stage collapsing after an Imam made anti-Semitic remarks. The actual footage is from the 2018 election campaign by Jamaat-e-Islami and anti-Semitic comments were not made during the rally before the stage collapsed.

 

 

Background image in cover photo: AP

 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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