The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis in the United States has triggered widescale ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests.
Now, a viral image claims to show that people in the US protests carried placards that read: “We are not Arabs to kill us and keep silent.” However, we found that the image is a photoshopped version of an actual image captured by Reuters photographer Joshua Roberts in July 2016. And the real version of this poster reads "Stop Killing Us".
The image is viral with different claims across Facebook and Twitter. Some social media users shared the image with the caption: “USA people take placards and write we are not Arabs to kill us and keep silent, very painful time for Muslims around the world.”
While other shared the image with a text in Hindi that reads: “अमेरिका में हो रहे प्रोटेस्ट का ये बैनर सिर्फ अरब नहीं बल्कि पूरे आलमे इस्लाम के मुँह पर तमाचा है....लिखा है के....हम अरब नहीं हैं के हम मारे जाने पर खामोश रहे”
(Translated: The banner seen in the ongoing US protests is a slap not only on the Arabs but on entire Islam. It’s written that we are not Arabs to kill us and keep silent)
The image shared by a Facebook user ‘Abu Huzaif’ had as many as 128 shares at the time of publishing the story.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A Google reverse search led us to an article published by Al Jazeera in August 2016 which carried an image similar to the viral image.
The image has been credited to Reuters photographer Joshua Roberts. Consequently, we found that Reuters had, indeed shared the image in July 2016 with the caption: “Demonstrators with Black Lives Matter march during a protest in Washington, US, July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (sic)”
We found that the viral image has various similar elements as compared to the image captured by Reuters. For instance, the people seen in both the images, the background of the images, other placards seen in the two images.
However, the placard in the centre reads ‘Stop Killing Us’ in the Reuters’ image and not ‘We are not Arabs to kill us and keep silent’ as claimed in the viral image.
Back in July 2016, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were shot by the police in two separate incidents. While Castile was killed in Minnesota on 7 July 2016, Sterling was shot in Louisiana on 5 July 2016. The two incidents had led to widespread Black Lives Matter protests in different parts of US.
Evidently, a 2016 image was tampered with to claim that people held placards stating ‘We are not Arabs to kill us and keep silent’ in the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
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