A video is viral on social media claiming that it is from France. The Islamic call to prayer (adhan) can be heard in the background and hordes of people can be seen offering prayers on the streets, in a large area surrounding a mosque.

The video has been shared widely by users on Twitter with a claim that translates to, “There remains no space on the streets for ordinary French citizens to walk because 25 years ago, France was preaching “a liberal mindset” to its citizens. Now they are learning a lesson”.

The video has been shared on Facebook as well.

Fact-check

We performed a reverse image search on Yandex using keyframes from the viral video. It yielded multiple results including a tweet dated July 17, 2015, where the same mosque with the gold and green minarets can be seen, surrounded by visually similar-looking structures when compared to the viral video. The tweet is linked to a report by a Russian news agency on Muslims celebrating Eid-al-Fitr in Moscow in 2015.

Here is a comparison of one of the keyframes from the viral video and the image linked to the news report where the same building behind the same mosque can be spotted.

Upon cropping out the image of the mosque and performing a reverse image search on Google, we were able to confirm that the mosque in the viral video is the Moscow Cathedral Mosque situated at Pereulok Vypolzov, 7, Moscow, Russia, 129090.

Further, we viewed the Moscow Cathedral mosque using Google street view and found the same building (circled in red above) behind the mosque.

Thus we were able to establish that the mosque in the viral video is situated in Russia and not France.

We also found many images and videos showing crowds offering Eid prayers in the area surrounding the mosque from different time periods that indicate it is a recurring event. This video report (below) dated June 5, 2019, also captures the same event. The brown building behind the mosque can also be spotted in this video at 0:08/0:54.

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About the Author

Nilofar Absar is a lawyer by training and a storyteller by nature who takes a keen interest in the lives of people belonging to South Asian diasporic communities.