This photograph shows children exercising, not praying

By: Sam Doak
April 18 2023

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This photograph shows children exercising, not praying


The Verdict False

There is no record of British schools mandating students to pray together. Iterations of this image have been circulating for several years.

Claim ID 89df4d56


On April 14, Twitter account "British National Front" posted a photograph of a group of children kneeling on mats in what appears to be a classroom. The author of this post captioned it with the statement, “Time to put an end to all this farce!" The text contained within the image itself reads, “OUR KIDS SHOULD NEVER LEARN TO BOW TO ISLAM. KEEP ISLAM OUT OF SCHOOLS.”

Since it was initially published, this post has been shared widely on Twitter. At the time of writing this fact check, it has been retweeted over 2,600 times and liked by more than 5,600 users of the social media platform. From replies, it is possible to conclude that a significant number of users have taken the post in question at face value, believing it shows an act of worship in a British school. 

While it does not appear as though the account that posted this content is formally affiliated, the term National Front likely refers to the extreme far-right political group which shares its name. 

Despite the discourse concerning this photograph, Logically Facts has concluded that it does not depict what is being claimed. 

In Fact

Logically Facts searched extensively for any record of primary school-aged children being directed to participate in a collective act of worship in the manner purportedly shown in this photograph. No reports in local or national newspapers, school announcements, or social media posts could be found to verify the interpretation being promoted in this post, despite iterations of this image circulating since at least 2020. 

While there are some passing resemblances, the actions displayed by the people in this photograph do not appear to be the same as those which are performed by Muslims during worship, which is referred to as sujud. According to, “During the sujud, the hands must be placed parallel to the ears. For men, the elbows must not be placed on the ground and must remain open on both sides like wings. Not only the forehead but also the nose must be placed on the ground.” This does not closely match what is shown in the photograph. 

A far more likely explanation for this photograph is that it depicts a yoga class in a school. The pose held by the children closely resembles a position in yoga often referred to as “the child's pose.” The mats being used in the photograph also appear to be yoga mats, not prayer mats.

This is not the first time that an image most likely showing a yoga class has been misinterpreted as evidence of Islamic practices being enforced in British schools. In 2016, the far-right party Britain First mistakenly tweeted an image of what appeared to be a group exercise with the caption “Heartbreaking.”

The Verdict

There is no record of British primary schools mandating group prayer in the manner suggested in this post. The pose held by the children does not closely resemble the sujud, and appears instead to be a yoga pose. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

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