Old photo shared to falsely claim Bengaluru mosque’s signboard doesn't include Kannada text

By: Ankita Kulkarni
January 5 2024

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Old photo shared to falsely claim Bengaluru mosque’s signboard doesn't include Kannada text

Screenshot of viral posts shared on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

Logically Facts visited the mosque and found that the signboard has Kannada text on it.

Claim ID c496841d

What is the claim?

A picture of a mosque in Bengaluru, India’s biggest tech hub and the capital city of Karnataka, is being shared on social media with the claim that the religious structure does not have Kannada language on its signboard. Social media user ‘Mr Sinha,’ who has been often called out for sharing misinformation, shared the image on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, “Jamia Masjid, Bangalore. The signboard has English & Hindu texts, no #Kannada text there. Let's see if "save our language/culture warrior" protests against it or not.” The post (archived here) had been viewed at least 5,99,000 times at the time of publishing this story. 

Such claims about the mosque (called masjid in Hindi and Urdu) in the photo, identified as Benagluru’s Jamia Masjid, are being shared in light of a December 2023 directive issued by the city’s civic body. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) mandated all commercial stores in its jurisdiction to ensure that their signboards have at least 60 percent text in Kannada in addition to English or Hindi. The BBMP had issued a deadline of February 28 for business owners to implement the directive failing which the shops would have to face legal action. 

Soon after this announcement, several commercial establishments in Bengaluru were vandalized by pro-Kannada outfits for not having Kannada text on their signboards. Some social media users sharing the viral image of the mosque (archived here) with the claim that it does not have Kannada on its signboards are calling for similar action against the structure by the pro-Kannada outfits. Archived versions of posts making similar claims can be viewed here and here.

Screenshot of viral posts shared on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim made in the viral posts is misleading. We found that the image shared in viral posts is of a mosque that was earlier called Sangeen Masjid (locally known as Jumma Masjid). The signboard was modified in 2012 to include the text in Kannada. 

What are the facts?

A Google search with the keyword ‘Jamia Masjid Bengaluru’ led us to the official page of the Karnataka Tourism Department which said that Jamia Masjid is located in KR Market, Bengaluru. The photos of the mosque on the website showed a structure different from the one seen in the viral image. Several social media posts about Bengaluru’s Jamia Masjid and the visuals of the said structure captured by Google Street View also depicted the same building displayed on the Karnataka Tourism Department website and not the one captured in the viral image. 

It should, however, be noted that several visuals of this Jamia Masjid available on Google Map showed a signboard at the mosque which included text in Kannada apart from the text in English and Urdu. 

Comparison between Bengaluru's Jamia masjid and the viral picture. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot)

We then conducted a reverse image search on the viral image and were directed to a report published by local media outlet Bangalore Mirror on January 28, 2011. It included an image of a mosque and the structure matched the one seen in the viral post. 

The report noted that the mosque is located on Jamia Masjid Road, also called OPH Road, in the area called Shivajinagar in Bengaluru. The mosque was earlier called Sangeen Masjid and some local residents refer to it as Jumma Masjid. We also found the full picture of the mosque on the website Alamy, a stock photography agency, that noted that the image was captured in 2009. 

Comparison between the viral image and the picture included in the Bangalore Mirror report from 2011. (Source: X/Bengaluru Mirror report/Screenshot)

We also searched for ‘Jumma Masjid in Shivajinagar’ on Google Street View which showed the exact structure of the mosque as in the viral image. The signboard on the mosque mentioned the text ‘Jumma Masjid’ in English as well as Kannada. We also came across a video report on the mosque by local media house News 4, uploaded on YouTube on April 16, 2022. The video report also showed the mosque signboard with both English and Kannada text. 

Logically Facts also visited the religious structure and found that its signboard has the name of the mosque written in Urdu, Kannada and English, in that order.

An image of the Jumma Masjid Shivajinagar, Bengaluru, captured in the viral photos misidentifying the structure as Jamia Masjid. (Image by Logically Facts)

Usman Sharieff, secretary of the Jumma Masjid Trust Board (the body responsible for the management of the mosque), told us that the mosque’s signboard was changed in 2012 when the building was renovated. This explains why the photos taken before 2012—like the Bangalore Mirror photo from 2011 and the Alamy picture from 2009—do not show Kannada text on the mosque’s signboard.

“Since 2012, the mosque’s signboard has Kannada text on it,” Sharieff said. He also shared a picture of the signboard of the mosque trust board which also had Kannada text. He also said that the mosque was renamed to Jumma masjid from Jamia masjid around the same time. 

The signpost outside the Jumma Masjid Trust Board office includes Kannada text. (Source: Pictures shared by board secretary.)

The above evidence confirms that the picture shared online is old. The mosque’s signboard includes text in Kannada apart from other languages.

The verdict

The mosque seen in the viral picture has had a signboard with Kannada text since 2012. An image taken before 2012 is being shared online with a false narrative. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading. 

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