Fact-Check: Video Showing People Offering Namaz on Streets is Not From Paris
The video showed people offering namaz on the streets of Moscow, near the Moscow Cathedral Mosque.
A video showing a huge number of people offering namaz on the streets with the sound of Azan playing in the background has gone viral with a claim that it is from Paris, France.
However, we found that the viral video was from Moscow, Russia and showed people praying near the Moscow Cathedral Church. While we were unable to determine when the video was taken, we found that similar prayers are held at the same location every year for Eid.
The video, shared by one Mini Razdan, had been viewed more than 2,20,000 times while this story was being written. In her caption, Razdan wrote, "Believe it or not, this is Paris. Yes, the fashion city Paris in SECULAR France".
We also received the video as a query on our WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using the InVID WeVerify Google Chrome extension, we extracted keyframes from the viral video and conducted a reverse image search on some of them.
While going through the reverse image search results on a particular keyframe, we found that a building shown in the viral video was the Moscow Cathedral Mosque. We found the same building on several stock image websites.
While conducting a reverse image search on another frame from the viral video, we found an old tweet from 2013 from a BBC World Correspondent called Olga Ivshina, who said that the image showed people praying in Moscow on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha.
We conducted a keyword search for prayers near Moscow Cathedral Mosque and found several news reports with images and videos showing people offering namaz on the streets near the mosque on the occasion of Eid.
Recently, Eid was celebrated in a similar way near the mosque during Eid-al-Fitr 2022. Images of the celebration were shared by The Moscow Times and it showed the mosque as well as other buildings seen in the viral image.
While we were not able to independently verify when the video was taken, it is clear that the video showing people offering namaz on the streets is not from Paris but from Moscow, Russia.
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