False claim that Saudi prince gave opinions on Kashmir

A video doing rounds on social media is being shared as “Opinion of Saudi prince on Kashmir”. In the one-minute clip, a person dressed in traditional thobe can be heard saying that he believes Kashmir is “Hindu land”. The clip is circulated in the backdrop of the recent dilution of Article 370.

Opinion of SAUDI PRINCE on Kashmir Issue!!

Opinion of SAUDI PRINCE on Kashmir Issue!!

Watch How Beautifully & Convincingly the Saudi Prince expresses his Frank opinion. Lovely Slap on Pakistan’s Face by Super Saudi Prince.

Thanks for Expressing the Reality in Quite Unambiguous Terms.
👍👌👍💐🌷💐🙏🙏🙏👆👆

Posted by NaMo Mantra – Nation FIRST on Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Another widely used caption that accompanies this video says, “Opinion of Saudi Prince On Kashmir Issue . See How Beautifully & Convincingly , He Expresses His Frank Opinion. Lovely Slap On Pakistan’s Face By Super Saudi Prince . Thanks For Expressing The Reality In Quite An Unambiguous Terms.”

“My position on the Kashmir issue is very clear. I am not a politician. I only care about history and religion. I know that Islam came to India much later than Hinduism (which) had already existed. Pakistan claimed independence way after all this happened, 70 years ago. So I don’t think Pakistani is a suitable negotiator regarding Kashmir. I don’t even think they have the right to speak. I believe its Hindu land. That’s very controversial. Many will say no, they have the right to have their opinions. My position is that Kashmir is Hindu land and I say this in front of everyone. I’m not just saying this because I am in India. This has been my opinion for five years. Even when I was an extremist this was my opinion. So nobody can say that I am being paid by Modi or anything like that,” is the full speech of the man.

Viral since February

This video was also massively shared on social media earlier in February after the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to India. From a Facebook page Proud to be India, the video had over 1.86 lakh views.

Opinion of Saudi prince on kashmir issue, see how beautifully he expressed his opinion.👌

Posted by PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN on Monday, 18 February 2019

Not a Saudi prince

The man in the viral video is not a Saudi prince but Imam Tawhidi, an Iranian-born Australian Shia Muslim Imam. Tawhidi himself clarified the same on Twitter.

Tawhidi, who runs his Twitter account from the handle @imamofpeace, was in India in February for the Arth Fest of art and culture in Delhi.

Arth uploaded the complete video of his speech. At 54:44 minutes, a person from the audience asked Tawhidi – “how do we protect the peaceful Muslim population from Wahabism in Kashmir”. Tawhidi’s reply to this question was the one-minute clip viral on social media.

The viral video is, thus, being circulated with a false narrative. It does not depict the opinion of a Saudi prince but that of Imam Tawhidi.

[This article was updated on August 7, 2019, when it resurfaced on social media with the claim.]

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