Video of stage collapse in Pakistan shared with false antisemitic context

By: Ishita Goel
January 18 2024

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Video of stage collapse in Pakistan shared with false antisemitic context

Social media posts claim the video shows a stage collapsing after the Imam spoke about Jews. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

We reached out to a Pashto speaker who translated the video and said that the host does not make any reference to Jews.

Claim ID 84d5cec7

What is the claim?

A viral clip on social media shows a man giving a speech on a stage, which collapses while he is accompanied by others. This clip has been shared with captions claiming that it depicts an Imam in Pakistan making antisemitic comments, with the stage collapsing as a direct response to his remarks. The video, with added Hebrew text (translated using Google Translate), suggests that the man claimed Prophet Muhammad appeared in his dream and made statements about the Jewish people.

The claim was shared by users on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), with some archived links accessible here, here, and here. These posts comment on the timing of the stage collapse, purportedly occurring right after the 'Imam' made his alleged antisemitic comments, followed by the phrase, "If this is not true, may the ground sink beneath me."

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: Instagram/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this claim is false. The video in question, which shows a political event, has been shared with incorrect and mistranslated information.

What is the truth?

A reverse image search reveals that the video dates back to 2018. 

Public News, a Pakistani news channel, uploaded an extended version of the video on YouTube on July 18, 2018, titled "Stage collapses during Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) election campaign." The description provides additional details, indicating the event occurred in Mohmand and featured Siraj ul Haq on stage.

Voice of America also shared a longer version of this video on Facebook on the same date. Their post describes the incident as a stage collapse during an election rally of Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal district, near the Afghan border. It mentions that Siraj ul Haq, the party president, and other leaders were present but unharmed.

We asked an Urdu speaker within Logically Facts to translate the viral video and found that the speaker made no references to Jews. He can be heard introducing Jamaat-e-Islami’s Emir, Siraj ul Haq, and welcoming him before the collapse.

Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul shared an extended version of the video on July 18, 2018, on X. His post clarifies that it depicts a stage collapse at a Jamaat-e-Islami election campaign rally in the Mohmand Agency district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The viral clip is found between the timestamps 0:24 and 0:48 of this video.

We also reached out to the Pakistani fact-checking organization Soch Fact Check, who confirmed that the host, speaking in Pashto, is heard praising ul Haq as “Salar-e-Qafila (our leader), Quaid-e-Millat-e-Islamia (leader of the Muslim nation)” just before the stage collapse. There is no mention of Jews in the speech, contrary to what is being claimed on social media.

Pakistani news outlet Ary News reported that the stage, constructed from wooden planks, collapsed due to an overload of people. This report included a screenshot from the viral video. The Express Tribune, another Pakistani daily, also covered the incident on July 18, 2018, with a screengrab, describing it as a political gathering of Jamaat-e-Islami in Mohmand district.

Neither report mentioned any antisemitic comments by those present on stage. 

The verdict

A video from a July 2018 political gathering in Pakistan, which shows the event's host inviting a leader to the stage, has been falsely shared with claims that it features an Imam making antisemitic remarks, leading to the stage's collapse. Thus, we have marked this claim as false.

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