Qatar has reportedly invited controversial Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 to deliver religious lectures during the competition, evoking sharp reactions across social media. Naik, accused of money laundering and hate speech in India, has been living in exile in Malaysia since 2017.
Against this backdrop, a video has been doing the rounds of social media, with users claiming it to show Naik “converting people to Islam” at the World Cup.
Newschecker scanned the comments section of the viral tweet, which led us to this post by @jaberalharmi, dated May 27, 2016, attaching the same video. According to the tweet, translated from Arabic, four people declare their conversion to Islam after a lecture by Dr Zakir Naik.
We then ran a relevant keyword search on Youtube, which led us to a video, dated May 29, 2016, uploaded by Aljazeera Mubasher. The video, seemingly of the same event from a different angle, is titled in Arabic, “4 people declare their conversion to Islam during a lecture by preacher Zakir Naik”. The description stated that the lecture is titled “Does God Exist?”.
Taking a cue from this, we ran another keyword search that led us to a preview write-up in Qatarliving.com, about a lecture, “Does God Exist?” by Naik, that was on May 26, 2016, at Katara amphitheatre, which we learnt was located in Doha, Qatar.
A further search led us to this report, dated May 29, 2016, by Qatar Tribune, on the Katara event. “After Dr Zakir concluded his lecture, four people ascended to the stage announcing their conversion to Islam,” read a line in the report, confirming that the viral video is from 2016. We also came across multiple videos of the same event, confirming that it was the same programme as seen in the viral video.
Viral video of four people converting to Islam in front of Zakir Naik is from 2016 event and not the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback, or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at [email protected]. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form