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Three hoaxes on Muslims in Spain

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Maldita.es, Spain

13 March 2019, Updated: 16 March 2019

Our Spanish partner Maldito Bulo compiled hoaxes on so-called “Muslim protests”. Here are three of them.

No, this Spanish video is not showing Muslims demanding ‘Sharia’ law

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A video has been circulating widely on Spanish social networks under the headline “hundreds of Muslims demand the application of Sharia law in Caspe”, a small town near Zaragoza, in Spain. A tweet featuring the video gained more than 2,000 retweets. The claim was absolutely untrue. In these images, various people are yelling chants that are impossible to understand due to a manipulation of the audio.

Given that the tweet comes from Caspe, Zaragoza, itself, we contacted the mayoral office directly to find out the origin of this video and we discovered that, in reality, the subjects of the video are Pakistani Muslims celebrating the birth of Muhammad on 18th November 2018. They were not calling for the application of Sharia law.

In fact, the mayor of Caspe himself participated in the celebrations and he assured us that they have occurred there “for a number of years”. Even La Comarca, an Aragonese regional newspaper, recorded the celebrations in 2016 and published a video online. The mayor also confirmed that a demonstration of this type has “never” taken place in the town or surrounding area.

No, this video doesn’t show Muslims being violent in London. It’s a fight between football fans in Switzerland

“Muslims bring terror to London after roads are not closed for Ramadan” is the title of this hoax. The text accompanies images of various people attacking cars with sticks, jumping on them and smashing the glass. This hoax began on 16th May last year when Ramadan had already started.

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  • This video is not from London, nor did it take place during Ramadan
  • It shows a fight in Basel between ‘ultras’ after a football match between FC Basel and FC Luzern
  • German ‘ultras’ also took part with two arrested
  • The disturbances took place on 19th May in Basel
  • This video has gone viral, not only in Spain, but also in many European countries

We found that media outlets in Switzerland had reported on the event. They reported a fight between Swiss ‘ultras’ after a game between FC Basel and FC Luzern that had been recorded by eyewitnesses.

As a result of this, according to the Swiss-German daily Tages Anzeiger, the police arrested two people of German nationality.

No, Muslims are not “suing Spain” for Semana Santa procession

This hoax started in Spain and gets repeated every year, specifically every Easter since 2015. Its headline states that “Muslims will take Spain to the European court of Justice in Strasbourg for Semana Santa (Easter) processions”, explaining that it’s “an offence to Islam”. It claims that “Muslims will rise up to sue Spain for Semana Santa in front of a Tribunal in Strasbourg”. Spanish websites Mediterráneo Digital and Alerta Digital have shared this hoax. Those outlets allude to the British Imam, Anjem Choudary, who apparently cited the Spanish Constitution in an interview with the Daily Mail and asked for the prohibition of the Semana Santa processions which occur all through Easter week. The interview with the Daily Mail does not exist.

Choudary is a radical cleric who has settled in the UK and has been frequently denounced by British imams and Muslim community leaders. He has been sentenced to five years in prison for support for ISIS. He was released on parole in October 2018.

Translation by Albie Mills ([email protected])

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