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Photograph From Bangladesh Shared as Muslims Offering Namaz in India

The photograph showed people offering namaz at the Biswa Ijtema 2020 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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A photograph showing a huge number of people offering namaz on a busy road was shared by several social media users, including Pakistani-Canadian columnist Tarek Fatah, with a claim that it was from India.

The claim comes amid a row stirred up by right-wing groups who have been protesting against people offering Friday namaz in public spaces in Gurugram.

However, we found that the photograph, which dates back to 2020, was from Dhaka, Bangladesh and not India. The photograph showed Muslims performing Friday prayers at the "Biswa Ijtema" — an annual gathering of Muslims on the banks of the Turag River at Tongi, on the outskirts of Dhaka.

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CLAIM

Fatah, while sharing the photograph, wrote, "Blocking traffic on a highway in India to perform Friday prayers. This doesn't seem to me as a prayer; it's a demonstration of numbers to intimidate others. Any attempt to ask them to move to designated prayer spaces will be labelled 'discrimination'.

The photograph showed people offering namaz at the Biswa Ijtema 2020 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Several other social media users and Facebook pages shared the viral image with the same caption as Fatah, archives of some of which can be found here, here, and here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

Upon closer inspection, we noticed BRTC written on a red double-decker bus seen in the photograph.

The photograph showed people offering namaz at the Biswa Ijtema 2020 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Closer look on the viral photo.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The acronym BRTC stands for Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation. We found photographs of similar buses on the BRTC website and some news reports.

We then conducted a reverse image search of the viral photo and found a photograph posted on Pintrest, an image sharing platform. In the image we found the watermark of the photographer, Ratul Dhar.

We looked for the photographer on Google and found his website where he had posted the same photograph. The caption of the photograph said "Iztema".

Using "Ijtema" as a keyword, we conducted a reverse image search on Google and found a photograph posted on Alamy – a stock photo website – that had the a wider view of the viral image taken from a similar vantage point as Dhar.

The photograph showed people offering namaz at the Biswa Ijtema 2020 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A link to the photograph can be found here.

(Source: Alamy/Screenshot)

The photograph was titled, "Muslims are performing Jumma prayers at The Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the world’s Muslims after Hajj", and was posted on 10 January 2020.

Evidently, an image from Dhaka, Bangladesh was shared as Muslims occupying a busy road to offer Friday prayers in India.

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(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer.)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Dhaka    Bangladesh   Tarek Fatah 

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