Viral video of alleged protest against Nupur Sharma is actually from 2019

Video is of people celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Yemen in 2019

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Claim: A video shows a massive crowd gathered in India to protest against BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s recent controversial comments about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Fact: The video is in fact from 2019 and shows people celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Yemen. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 7 June 2022, Facebook user Dr Aziz Lashari posted a video claiming that it shows millions of Muslims taking to the streets in India to protest over Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s recent remarks that were seen as insulting to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The Sindhi caption of the post translates to, “#India millions of Muslims take to the street after BJP’s Nupur Sharma commits blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and Aisha [the prophet’s youngest wife].”

The one-minute 16-second video shows an aerial view of a large crowd.

Soch Fact Check conducted a Google Reverse Image search which led us to a blog published in 2021, carrying a snapshot image from the viral video. “From the Great Nabidin Celebration in Yemen,” the caption of the photo read.

To further investigate the claim, a keyword search on Google was carried out which led to a video by Voice of America (VOA) on YouTube which features some of the same visuals as in the viral video.

Titled “Muslims in Yemen Celebrate Prophet Mohammad’s Birthday”, the video was published on 11 November 2019. It is accompanied by the description, “Tens of thousands of Yemenis and Houthi supporters gather in Sana’a to mark Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, Saturday, November 9.”

VOA’s video however does not contain the audio heard in the viral video. Soch Fact Check searched YouTube with the Arabic-language audio of the viral clip and came across a video uploaded on 12 September 2018, titled, “قسم السيد حسن نصرالله في مسيرة الولاء للنبي الاكرم [Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah swore an oath of allegiance to the Noble Prophet].”

The address by Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah corresponds with the audio in the viral posts, as can be heard between the 0:11 and 1:26 mark.

Furthermore, the video had gone viral on social media previously with the following false claims: 

  • Crowds in Istanbul in response to French cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad
  • Protest against insulting Prophet Muhammad in Saudia Arabia
  • Chechen Muslims protesting against France

Virality

Soch Fact Check used Facebook’s search feature to check the virality of the video with the search term “#ڀارت بي جي پي پارٽي جي اڳواڻ نوپور شرما آقا دو جھان نبي اڪرم صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم ۽ امان عائشه صديقه طاهره طيبه رضي الله عنها جي شان مقدس ۾ بدڪلامي ڪرڻ تي ڪروڙين مسلمان روڊن تي نڪري آيا [#India millions of Muslims take to the street after BJP’s Nupur Sharma commits blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and Aisha]” and found at least five posts carrying the viral claim.

It was shared here, here, here, here and here.

Dr Aziz Lashari’s post on Facebook received 180 likes and 3,300 views. 

On Twitter, it was shared here and here.

Conclusion: The video in question is not from a protest in India against BJP’s Nupur Sharma’s recent anti-Islam remarks. In fact, it is an old video from November 2019 that shows a large crowd celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Yemen. 

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