Recently Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has been in news for his demand to remove loudspeakers from mosques across the country. He has threatened that if loudspeakers are not removed by 3 May, Hanuman Chalisa will be played five times a day in front of mosques during the Azaan times.
In the backdrop of this, a video showing people protesting against the public offering of namaz is in circulation on social media claiming it to be Raj Thackeray’s effect in Paris, France.
However, we have found that the video is four years old from France and has no relation to Raj Thackeray’s ultimatum.
The video is being shared along with the caption that reads: “RAJ THACKERAY EFFECT IN PARIS…..In Paris, as Muslims pray on roads, blocking streets, they are met with equally loud singing of the French National Anthem by French citizens.”
The above misleading post is getting high traction and at the time of writing this article was viewed over four thousand times.
The archived versions of similar posts can be seen here, here, and here.
On conducting the reverse image search of the keyframes of the video using the keywords, we found an article published by BBC on 10 November 2017 carrying an image of a blue banner similar to as seen in the viral video. It reports that around 100 French politicians had marched on a street in a Paris suburb to protest against Muslims offering Friday prayers on the streets by singing the French national anthem.
It also reports that police had tried to calm down the tense situation but some scuffle had also broken out.
The blue banner in the BBC article reads: “STOP AUX PRIÈRES DE RUE ILLÉGALES”, which in English translates: “STOP ILLEGAL STREET PRAYERS”.
We also found a video uploaded by the Associated Press on 15 November 2017 which has visuals similar to the viral video. The title of the video reads: “Paris suburb tries to stop Muslim street prayers”.
And the description of the video reads: “(10 Nov 2017) Tensions have erupted as residents and the mayor of a Paris suburb on Friday tried to block Muslims from praying in the street, in a dispute that reflects nationwide problems with mosque shortages. Police formed a human barricade between a few dozen Muslim residents trying to pray in the streets of Clichy-la-Garenne and more than a hundred demonstrators trying to stop them. As the Muslims chanted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, the demonstrators sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. Mayor Remi Muzeau led demonstrators to the site where Muslims have been praying for months. Those praying tried to set up on a side street instead, but police pushed them back, prompting minor skirmishes. No one has been hurt, but both sides appear to be digging in their heels in the dispute.”
Therefore, it is evident that the video is four years old and has no connection with the ultimatum given by Raj Thackeray.
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