A video showing a gathering of Hijab and Burqa clad women holding flags with Arabic text written on them is going viral on social media platforms.
The video shows a gathering of women, some even pushing strollers, being instructed by an elderly man, and users sharing the video claim that it shows protests by Muslim migrants in Sweden. Many added that the elderly man is a “maulvi specifically telling Women with infants to come in front and act as shield against police action.”
Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.
Several Twitter users shared the 25-second-long-video claiming to show the “condition of Europe.”
It’s election season in Sweden. The country went to polls this Sunday and as per the recent trends, its right bloc appeared in pole position on Monday to form a government for the first time in nearly a decade, helped by a wave of voter anger over gang violence which could give an anti-immigration populist party a share in power for the first time. It is in this backdrop that the video claiming to show “Muslim migrants” protesting has gone viral.
Newschecker began by ascertaining whether the viral video is actually from Sweden or not. On analysing the clip, we spotted three distinct structures in the background, and on searching for the same using Google lens, found several images associated with British sculptor Tony Cragg. Taking a clue, we conducted a keyword search for “Tony Cragg sculpture Sweden” which led us to a photo- similar to structures seen in the viral video- uploaded on Alamy with the caption “The Sculpture “Points of View” by Tony Cragg at The Art Hall Square in Malmö. Malmo/Sweden.”
Following this, we looked up for The Art Hall Square in Malmö on Google street view and after multiple attempts, were able to locate the sculpture, similar looking buildings and floor as seen in the viral video. Thus concluding that the incident did take place in Malmo, a city in Sweden.
Next, we conducted a search for “Muslim Sweden Malmö” on Twitter which led us to a tweet by @Klaus_Arminius, dated September 11, 2022. Captioned, “Malmö: Over 3,000 Shia Muslims marched through Malmö ahead of the elections in memory of Imam Hussein,” the post carried an aerial view of a march in which participants can be seen carrying the similar green and red flags with Arabic text as seen in the viral clip.
Newschecker Urdu team also confirmed that the Arabic phrases written on the flags read “Ya Ali, Ya Hussain, Ya Hassan, Ya Abbas.” We observed that the people gathered did not carry any placards, posters, or flags that indicated a protest or demand. Neither were we able to spot any police or other security personnel in the video.
Further, we found a YouTube video by AA Productions, dated September 10, with a title in Arabic which roughly translates to ‘The march of the forty Imam Hussein, peace be upon him, in the city of Malmo, Sweden.’ On comparing the keyfarmes of the viral clip and the YouTube video, we could conclude that they both showcased the same event.
Notably, the 22-minute-long YouTube video was also devoid of any signs of protests or police action as being widely claimed.
To know more about the march, we searched for “March of forty,” & “Imam Hussein” on Google which led us to several articles on Arbaeen. The Day of Arbaeen marks forty days after the Day of Ashura, the day Hussain ibn Ali was killed in the Battle of Karbala. It is an Arabic word that literally means “forty,” – explaining the Google translation of the Arabic text to ‘march of forty’.
Arbaeen is the 40th day after Ashura. Notably, Shia Muslima observe Ashura every year to commemorate the martyrdom at Karbala of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Men and women dressed in black also parade through the streets and can be often seen carrying such flags. Similar processions can be seen on the occasion of Arbaeen.
Following this, we translated keywords “Arbaeen”, “2022” and “Malmo” in Arabic with the help of Google and looked up the same on YouTube. This led us to a video uploaded on September 10, 2022 with an Arabic title which roughly translates to “Arbaeen march of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him @ in Malmö 2022.” The video also carried similar visuals of men, women and infants marching with green, red and black flags.
Not only Arbaeen, even Ashura is observed in Malmo. We were able to find videos from the Ashura gathering in the Swedish city this year. The same can be seen here, here and here. The event was organised near the iconic ‘Points of View’ installation seen in the viral video. We also came across the Facebook page of Ashuratåget i Malmö, who’s ‘About Us’ section roughly translates to “A silent train organized every year during Ashura day, the tenth of Muharram (Islamic calendar)”
We have reached out to Ashuratåget i Malmö for their comments on the video. The article will be updated on receiving their response.
Viral posts claiming to show Muslim migrants protesting in Sweden are misleading. The video actually shows the Arbaeen march in the Swedish city of Malmo.
Result: Partly False
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