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Video of a fatwa against voting for PML-N is old

The video is from 2017 when TLP protested against amendment in the Khatm-e-Nabuwat clause

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Claim: A video on social media shows religious scholars issuing a fatwa, saying it is a sin and forbidden to vote for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the upcoming elections.

Fact: The post is misleading. The actual video is from 2017 when a group of religious scholars issued this statement at a press conference in Faisalabad after an amendment in the Election Act 2017.

On 15 January 2024, a user on X (formerly Twitter) posted a video (archived) with an Urdu caption,

علماء کا  فتویٰ کہ ن لیگ کو ووٹ دینا  گناہ اور حرام ہے! یہ فتوٰی مُلک بھر کے علماء نے متفقہ طور پر دیا. ویڈیو سب مسلمانوں تک پہنچائیں۔

[Scholars’ issued a fatwa that voting for PML-N is a sin and forbidden! Scholars across the country unanimously gave this fatwa. Share the video with all Muslims.]

The 27-second video shows a man holding a press conference with a group of religious scholars. He is issuing a religious statement called “fatwa” (an edict or ruling by a recognised religious authority on the point of Islamic law) that voting for PML-N in the next election is forbidden and is a sin in the light of Islamic Sunnah and Shariah.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check investigated the claim as the tweet’s caption does not explicitly mention the date or the context within which the press conference was held.

In the video, the clerics warn the public against voting for the PML-N in the “next election”. Since elections are around the corner, the post may suggest that religious scholars have recently issued this fatwa, warning the public against voting for PML-N in the upcoming election of 2024.

To investigate, Soch Fact Check conducted a reverse-image search on the keyframes of the video. The results on Google led to a YouTube video published by 24 News HD on 26 November 2017. The same video as that of the viral clip can be seen with the 24 News logo at the bottom right.

The title of the video, translated into English reads as, “Voting for PMLs is forbidden, fatwa issued”. 

Screenshot of YouTube video uploaded by 24 News HD in 2017

Furthermore, according to an article by Express Tribune published on 29 November 2017, religious scholars said that voting for PML-N would be haram after the amendment made by the lawmakers in the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath.

Journalist Javed Chaudhry also published an article on his website on 27 November 2017, which notes that religious scholars issued a fatwa against voting for PML-N at a press conference in Faisalabad.

According to the article, the press conference took place in 2017 amid religious protests in the country, and in light of the then-PML-N government’s response to Tehreek-i-Labbaik’s (TLP)  sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad.

In 2017, the government of PML-N at the time, amended the Elections Act 2017 which ended up affecting a Khatm-e-Nabuwat (finality of prophethood) clause in the bill. The government repeatedly said that the change in wording was “a clerical error” and the bill was restored to its original form later. However, anti-blasphemy protests erupted all across the country and TLP led a sit-in in Islamabad.

Since the fatwa was issued in 2017 in protest against the amendment to the Elections Act 2017, it is unrelated to the upcoming general election of 2024.

Virality

The old video received 116,200 views, 10,000 likes and 6,7000 reposts on X. It was shared by pro-PTI accounts here, here and here.

On Facebook, the video was shared here, and here.

Over the years, the same video has been shared multiple times. It can be seen on YouTube between 2023 and 2024.

Conclusion: The video of scholars issuing a fatwa against voting for PML-N is from 2017, and is unrelated to the upcoming elections of 2024.

 

 

Background image in cover photo: Voice of America

 

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

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