French President Emmanuel Macron backed the display of Prophet Mohammad’s caricatures after French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Muslim fundamentalist for showing the same during class. Macron’s comments have resulted in backlash from several Muslim countries. On November 1, over 20 European Muslim organisations called on Macron to end his “divisive rhetoric”. In response to the controversy, Macron said, “I understand the feelings this stirs, I respect them. But I want you to understand my role: my role is to calm things down as I’m doing here, and to protect those rights.”
A video has been shared on Twitter with the claim that French Muslims came out on the streets to pray in protest and blocked traffic.
Twitter user @kaushaldubey_kd posted this video on November 3.
— 𝕂𝕒𝕦𝕤𝕙𝕒𝕝 𝔻𝕦𝕓𝕖𝕪 (@kaushaldubey_kd) November 3, 2020
Several Facebook users have shared this video with the text — “Situation in France! Wait for it in India soon. *Ambulances will have to wait till the prayers are over!!* This is “sickularism”.”
Alt News received several requests to fact-check the video on our WhatsApp helpline number (+917600011160) and official Android application.
Alt News searched the keywords ‘Street prayer in France’ on Facebook and found that a video was uploaded by the page Frustrated Paul Revere.com in 2018. The six-minute video includes scenes from the viral video.
Next, we performed a reverse image search of frames from the Frustrated Paul Revere.com video and found that LDC News Agency had posted it on YouTube in 2017. As per the title (written in French), the video shows street prayer in Clichy, a locality in Paris, after a mosque was closed by the city administration. Parts of the viral video can be spotted at different points in the longer clip — 3:19, 3:57, 4:07 and 4:40.
In November 2017, Muslims in Clichy took to the streets to pray as a protest against the closure of a local mosque.
Prayers in the street have taken place in Paris suburb of Clichy-la-Garenne since March to protest against the closure of a local mosque https://t.co/vpTlvQxN9j
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 19, 2017
Videos from the three-year-old protest were also revived in the past with false claims suggesting that the incident was sparked by the recent killings in France.