A video of a man burning a book in the middle of a street only to be stopped and thrashed by three others is going viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the video online have linked it to the recent incident in Sweden’s Stockholm where a far-right leader put a Quran on fire. Newschecker found that the video is neither from Sweden, nor does it show any recent incident.
Several Twitter users shared the footage calling out the recent incident of Quran burning in Sweden.
A Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a report by Turkish language website Ensonhaber.com, dated March 2, 2021, titled ‘Ugly attack on the Holy Quran in Denmark.’
Displaying screengrabs from the viral clip, the report stated, “In Denmark, an ugly attack was carried out in the Nørrebro region of Copenhagen, where Muslims also live, that raised the Islamic world.A person who was learned to be a member of the racist party Tight Direction (Stram Kurs) tried to burn the Quran in the middle of the street.”
Taking a clue, we looked up keywords “Quran,” “burn,” “Denmark” & “ Copenhagen” on Google, and set the time frame of the search from March 1 to March 31, 2021. This yielded a report by Yeni Safak, dated March 3, 2021, carrying the viral footage.
Elaborating on the video, the report stated, “Three Muslim youth happened to stumble upon a racist of the far-right political party Stram Kurs (Hardline) burning the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in the middle of the street in Nørrebro, a Muslim-majority neighbourhood in Danish capital Copenhagen. One of the youth grabbed the burning book and put out the fire, while the other proceeded to give the racist a beating in the form of a flying kick.”
On Look Out For Location
On carefully analysing the viral clip, we spotted a yellow board on the street with some text in Danish (translated with Google lens) written on it. Additionally, we also noticed a pole saying “40,” a cycle stand and black shed on the street.
We then searched the image section of Google for “Norrebro, Copenhagen” and found a website called Inside Copenhagen featuring a visual similar to that seen in the viral video- mustard wall and pole. We also spotted “SARA” written on a hoarding.
Following this, we searched for “Sara, Nørrebro Copenhagen” on Google Earth View and skimmed through different directions in the application till we were able to spot the exact location of the incident ( as can be seen below).
What Exactly Happened In Sweden?
During a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan delivered an address against Islam and immigration before setting fire to a copy of the Quran. This “blasphemy” prompted strong reaction from Turkey, escalating tensions between the two countries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also cautioned the Swedish authorities to not expect Turkey’s support for their NATO bid. Reportedly, Sweden had applied for NATO membership after Russia invaded Ukraine – but needs Turkey, already a member, to approve.
We could thus conclude that the viral footage neither shows the Quran being burnt in Sweden, nor is it recent. The viral video dates back to at least March 2021, and shows visuals from Denmark.
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