A video of a group of people sitting in the middle of the road with safety jackets on and being dragged away by some men is going viral on social media as visuals from France where Muslims allegedly blocked vehicular traffic to offer namaz on the streets.

A Twitter user named Anurag Rao shared the video with a caption that said, “Angry French people drag worshipers off the streets to make way for vehicles. Not just one country, people of the whole world are troubled by these illiterate people.”

Social media users across platforms shared the video with similar claims. Among them are Twitter users @thegauravjaat and @angryladki.

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The same Video was Viral in 2022 as well

In December 2022, Madhu Purnima Kishwar, who regularly shares communal misinformation on social media, tweeted the video and wrote “People are getting down from their cars& clearing roads occupied by the Namazis.” It is evident that the target of her post was Muslims. However, instead of using the word Muslim, she used an ‘algospeak’: MuzzBees. An algospeak is a word or phrase that is used in place of some other word or phrase, to avoid getting flagged/removed by content moderation systems on digital platforms.

She later deleted the tweet but not before it was retweeted over 230 times. (Archive)

Another user, called Meera Nair, shared the video and wrote, “In France …people coming out of their cars to clear the road of Namazis who have blocked traffic.”

A user called ‘Bhim’ also shared the video with similar captions.

Fact Check

We broke down the video into key-frames and performed a Google reverse image search, which led us to a news report by London-based tabloid Daliy Express. The report said, “France has been crippled with road blockades for months by climate activists…”

The report also said that some commuters and drivers forcefully removed the activists by dragging them away from the road, and made their way.

Additionally, we performed a keyword search in French and came across a news article by an outlet called Midi Libre. As per this report, the protest happened on November 26 when the protesters blocked the Pont de Saint-Clou (Saint Clou bridge) to challenge the government on its energy renovation plan. It also mentions that these protesters were later taken into police custody.

We also verified the location of the clip and found it to be the Saint Clou bridge.

Alt News also came across a tweet from November 26 by journalist Clément Lanot. He tagged the group Dernière Rénovation in his tweet, which allegedly organized the protests.

To sum it up, a video from a protest organised by climate activists was falsely shared as Muslims blocking traffic in France to offer namaz. Back in June, a video of an altercation between security personnel and an individual outside the BoxPark restaurant was falsely shared as a Muslim thrown out of Wembley Stadium for forcefully trying to pray inside the stadium.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc