Viral video falsely claims that an Imam of Masjid Al Haram issued a statement in support of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
A doctored BBC news report falsely claimed the religious leader has taken a political stance on the constitutional crisis in Pakistan
Claim: A viral video on social media claimed that an imam of Masjid Al Haram, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, issued a statement in support of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and praised his efforts for the Muslim ummah.
Fact: Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, one of the nine Imam’s of Masjid Al Haram, did not make such a statement. The video is edited and uses an old clip of him from 2019. The original clip shows him praying for the unity and peace of the Muslim ummah, without mentioning any specific leader or country.
On 28 June 2023, a screenshot of an alleged BBC News headline went viral on social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter (now X), claiming that a imam of Masjid Al Haram, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, issued a statement in support of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and praised his efforts for the Muslim Ummah. Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz al-Sudais (Arabic: عَبْدُ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ بْنُ عَبْدِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلسُّدَيْسِ, romanized: ʻAbd ar-Raḥman ibn ʻAbd al-ʻAziz as-Sudais), better known as Al-Sudais, is one of the nine imams of the Grand Mosque, Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia;
Fact or Fiction?
This claim is false. BBC News did not report that Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais made such a statement.
To find out the truth behind the viral claim, Soch Fact Check looked into details of the screenshot and found that the Urdu Nastaleeq font was used for the subtitles instead of just the logos. BBC Urdu, however, only uses Naskh Asia type font regularly and BBC Urdu never uses two fonts together.
We also thoroughly reviewed BBC Urdu’s official website, but we did not find any news related to Imam-e-Kabah Abdur Rahman As-Sudais. Soch Fact Check then searched for the video on Google using some Urdu and English keywords, but did not get any results that matched the screenshot.
The tweet in the claim was viewed more than 138,200 times and received over 8,059 interactions on Twitter.
Conclusion: Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais did not issue any statement in support of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
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