An alleged statement by former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has been circulating on social media along with his image. The statement reads, “Muslims are not born terrorists. They are taught the Quran in madrasas, based on which they selectively kill Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, and people of other non-Islamic faiths. It is imperative to ban the thousands of madrassas running in India in order to control terrorism.”

Alt News received dozens of requests on our WhatsApp number and mobile app to verify this claim.

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Numerous handles also tagged Alt News on Twitter, asking us to investigate the alleged statement.

Fact-check

We noticed that this forward has been circulating online for many years with a picture of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Two years ago, it was shared widely on the ShareChat app but with a different picture of Kalam. Alt News found the earliest instance of the quote in question in a 2014 blog post. This blog is run by one Sanjay Tiwari who describes himself as the founder of Ujala News Network. A quick look through his Twitter handle confirms that he is a BJP supporter and has used abusive language towards leaders like Arvind Kejriwal.

We could not find any news reports corroborating the statement. It is impossible that such a controversial statement would not have garnered widespread media coverage.

Kalam’s family clarifies the statement is fake

Alt News got in touch with APJMJ Sheik Saleem to ask about the veracity of this picture. Saleem is the nephew of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and the Managing Trustee of the Abdul Kalam International Foundation (AKIF). “APJ Abdul Kalam did not make any such statement. He never made any comments about any religion,” he said.

A fake statement against the Muslim community attributed to APJ Abdul Kalam, a Muslim leader himself, has been circulating on social media for years.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.