A video showing the wooden interiors of a religious place is in circulation on social media platforms with the claim that Muslims have illegally built a mosque on the site of an ancient Hindu temple in Kerala.
However, Facto News found out that the claim is false. The mosque in question is one of the oldest mosques in India and is located in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
The caption along with the video reads: “केरल में अति प्राचीन हिंदू मंदिर पर अवैद्य कब्ज़ा करके मुसलमानो ने बनाई मस्जिद … हिंदू समाज के विरोध के बावजूद केरल की वामपंथी कम्यूनिस्ट सरकार कोई भी कारवाई करने के लिए तैयार नहीं…!!”
(Translation: Muslims built a mosque by taking illegal occupation of a very ancient Hindu temple in Kerala. The Left Communist government of Kerala is not ready to take any action despite the opposition of Hindu society.)
We minutely observed the entire video several times and found the logo of TSOI (Thousand Shades of India) on the left top corner of the clip. This gave us the cue that it can be a social media page or channel. On further searching, we found their handles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The about section of TSOI’s YouTube channel is described as: “At TSOI, we celebrate India’s diversity in life and livelihood, cultures and traditions, heritage and history, art and craft through our stories and documentaries!”
We then searched for the video on its social media platforms and found it uploaded on 20 December 2021 as a reel on Instagram: The description of the video reads: “A glimpse into the oldest mosque of Karnataka and the third oldest in India!🕌 Mangalore’s Bunder area houses one of India’s oldest Muslim communities, their origin dating back to almost 1,400 years. A testimony to their history, going back 14 centuries, is their ancient place of worship, Zeenat Baksh Masjid, renovated and renamed by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Serene, unique in its architectural style and profusely intricate in its woodworks, Zeenat Baksh is a calming oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of this southern port city.”
We then searched for the mosque using the keyword “Zeenat Baksh Masjid” and came across several articles. According to an article published by Karnataka Tourism Department, the mosque is located in the Bunder area in Mangaluru. It is believed to be established by the Arab Muslim traders in 644 AD and was renovated by Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan in the 17th century who named it after her daughter Zeenath Baksh.
The article also says that the inner sanctum is wooden with 16 teakwood pillars which corroborate the visual seen in the video.
We also searched for news reports about the illegal occupation and conversion of the ancient Temple into a Mosque; however, we found no such reports.
Therefore, it is evident from the above findings that the religious place in question is an ancient Mosque from Mangaluru, Karnataka.