Fact Check: Video showing French protests against Muslim street prayers is from 2017

By Vamsi Krishna Pothuru  Published on  27 Oct 2020 5:38 AM GMT
Fact Check: Video showing French protests against Muslim street prayers is from 2017

A French teacher was brutally murdered and beheaded by an 18-year-old Muslim refugee, Abdoullakh Anzorov, in the suburbs of Paris on 16 October. He was killed for showing controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in his class as part of a lecture on freedom of speech. This incident has triggered a lot of misinformation around the incident on social media, including Islamophobic narratives.

Twitter user Tarek Fatah shared a video with a caption, "In Paris, as Muslims pray on roads, blocking streets, they are met with equally loud singing of the French National Anthem by French citizens." This post has garnered around 13.1k likes and 3.7k retweets.

Amidst the ongoing protests in France in solidarity with the slain teacher Samuel Patty, this video has given the impression that this is a recent incident.


(Archive Tweet)

The same video was also shared widely on Facebook.


(Archive Post)

Fact check:

This video is indeed from France but it is from 2017. A reverse image search of one of the keyframes of the video on Yandex led to the same video clip which dated back to 2017. The video was titled, "Clichy: Demonstration against street prayers!."

Taking a cue from the video title, we did a keyword search on Google and came across several news reports on the incident published on 10 November 2017. According to the reports, around 200 Muslims were praying at a market square and protesting against the decision to close the local mosque in Clichy. The Local France reported, "A French mayor and dozens of other MPs and elected councillors from around the Paris region sang the Marseillaise (National Anthem of France) on Friday as they marched towards around 200 Muslim worshippers in a bid to stop them praying in the street. The standoff which was caught in several video clips took place in the Paris suburb of Clichy on Friday afternoon."

The article further stated, "Muslim worshippers had been using the square to pray in a protest against a recent decision by the mayor to close their usual prayer hall nearby, which had welcomed up to 5,000 Muslim worshippers each day. Their Friday protests have been aimed at pressuring the local council to agree to open a prayer hall in the centre of Clichy."

The article featured a couple of pictures of the demonstration which match the visuals in the viral video. Visual analysis by NewsMeter confirms the same.

Image from The Local France article Screengrab from viral video
V3 V4

While the viral video is taken from a different angle, we can spot the brown wall and a tree in both the screengrabs and the image featured in news reports.

Dw Screengrab from viral video
Up Image from The Local France news article 2017

The banner in both the viral video and the news reports from 2017 is the same and reads "Stop illegal street prayers."

The same incident was reported by the BBC, Straits Times, and others.

Finally, It is evident from the media reports and visual analysis that this viral video is from 2017 and not related to the ongoing protests in France. Therefore, the claim is MISLEADING.

Claim Review:Video showing French protests against Muslim street prayers
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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