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Video of Muezzin giving azan while standing on rubble is not from Morocco

Old video from 2017 went viral after an earthquake hit Morocco

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Claim: A video on social media claims that it shows a Muezzin (an official who proclaims the Muslim call to prayer known as zan’) performing the call to prayer by standing on rubble in the aftermath of a recent earthquake in Morocco.

Fact: The claim is false; the video is not from Morocco. It can be found online as early as 2017, and has been shared with different claims over the years.

A massive 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco on 8 September 2023, killing around 2,000 people and injuring hundreds as per the latest reports. The epicentre was 75 kilometres west of Marrakesh, the fourth-largest city in Morocco.

Fact or Fiction?

On 10 September 2023, a user shared a video (archived) on X (formally Twitter) with the caption, “A Moroccan Imam giving the Adhaan on top of the rubble caused by the earthquake. Through prayer do we confide and trust in Allāh عزوجل The disposer of our affairs. May Allāh keep the people of Morocco firm and grant them ease.”  

To investigate the claim, Soch Fact Check conducted a reverse image search on the video keyframes. Google Lens results showed videos from 2017 where the video was linked to Iraq.

An Iranian daily newspaper Khabarban published the same video on 19 July 2017. The Persian language news headline translated into English reads, “An Iraqi muezzin calling the call to prayer on the ruins of a mosque.” It further reads, “After the liberation of Mosul, an Iraqi muezzin gave the call to prayer in the ruins of one of the mosques in this city.”

A reverse image search through Tin Eye shows the same video was shared in 2017 with the same claim that it belongs to Iraq. It can be found here and here.

Soch Fact Check could not independently verify the authenticity of this video whether it’s from Iraq or not but it has been on the internet since 2017, not from the Morocco earthquake in 2023.

Virality

The false claim on X (formally Twitter) received 122.5k views, 5,000 likes, and 800 reposts.

The archived versions of similar claims can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: A video showing a muezzin calling “azan” while standing on the rubble of a destroyed building is not from the Morocco earthquake. The video has been on the internet since 2017 and has been linked to different cities, including Iraq and Syria.

 

Background image in cover photo: Heidi Kaden

 

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

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