For the past three months, locals and members of right-wing groups have been protesting against Friday namaz in public spaces in Gurugram. The Times of India reported, “In 2018, after similar protests, the number of sites designated for namaz by the administration was brought down to 37 from 108. This November, the number of designated spaces was further curtailed to 20.”

Against this backdrop, Pakistani Canadian columnist Tarek Fatah tweeted an image of hundreds of people offering namaz in public. “It’s a demonstration of numbers to intimidate others,” wrote Fatah. His tweet has been retweeted over 2,000 times.

Facebook pages I Support Arnab Goswami (over 4 lakh followers); Divine Shaligram (over 30K followers); and Eternal Hindu – शाश्वत हिंदू (over 50K followers) made the identical claim.

Old image from Bangladesh

A closer look at the image reveals that one of the buses has BRTC written on it. It is a double-decker bus.

BRTC is an acronym for Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation. Photographs of similar buses were found in Bangladesh-based outlets The Daily Star, The Financial Express, and Bangladesh Live.

A search on the stock photography website Alamy led us to the image in question. The viral image is a cropped version of the original. As per the image details, it was clicked in 2020 by Sheikh Mohammad Mahadi Hassan. The image caption reads, “Muslims are performing Jumma prayers at The Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the world’s Muslims after Hajj.”

The part of the picture that is viral has been marked below.

To sum it up, Tarek Fatah posted an image of a public payer in Bangladesh. Alt News has documented multiple instances of misinformation by Fatah in the past.

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About the Author

He joined as an intern in 2019. Until June 2022, his work primarily focused on fact-checking. Now his primary responsibilities include catalysing all aspects of organisational growth — from fundraising to development of new projects at Alt News. He attended the Asian College of Journalism (2015-16) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2012-2015). In past, he worked at The Hindu and Zee Media's WION.
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