Old Images Of Muslims Practising Yoga Viral With Misleading Claims

BOOM found that the images are from 2015 and 2017 and are not from Saudi Arabia as claimed in viral posts.

A set of two old images showing people from the Muslim community practicing yoga is viral on social media with captions falsely claiming that the images show people in Saudi Arabia doing yoga.

BOOM found that of the two viral pictures, one is from Ahmadabad, India, and the other is from Abu Dhabi. Both the pictures are from 2015 and 2017 respectively.

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The photos are viral in the backdrop of the recently conducted International Yoga Day on June 21 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the mYoga app.

The viral post, a collage of two photos, has a Hindi caption which translates to 'These pictures from Saudi Arabia is a slap on the faces of those who say yoga belongs to a particular community'.

(Hindi: योगा = जान है तो जहांन है यह सऊदी अरब की कुछ तस्वीरें उनके मुहँ पे तमाचा है, जो कहते हैं कि योगा केवल एक समुदाय से तालुक रखता है)

View the post here.


The same set of images are viral from several Twitter handles and Facebook pages with similar claims.

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Fact Check

BOOM did a reverse image search on both the images and found them to be old, and not from Saudi Arabia.

Picture 1


A reverse image search on this picture led us to an article published in Gulf News on June 20, 2017 which had a similar image.

A caption with the picture published in the Gulf News article reads 'Bohra community members performing Yoga at Bohra Islamic Community Cultural Society in Abu Dhabi'. The image credit has been given to Binsal Abdul Kader/Gulf News.


The article further states that ahead of the third International Yoga Day, the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community from India had organised a yoga session in Abu Dhabi. The event was held at the Bohra Islamic Cultural Centre at Mohammad Bin Zayed city.

Picture 2


A reverse image search on the second picture revealed that it is from Ahemdabad, Gujarat and was clicked in 2015, during the first International Yoga Day.

We found the same image published in a news report of VOA News on June 18, 2015, and a picture gallery of Zee News on June 21, 2015.

The caption with the VOA News article reads 'Indian Muslim students practice yoga at a school ahead of first International Yoga Day in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The United Nations has declared that June 21 will be observed as the International Day of Yoga'.


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The Zee News picture too has a similar caption.


International Yoga Day and Saudi Arab

The United Nations had on December 11, 2014 decided that June 21 would be observed as the International Day of Yoga.

According to an NDTV report, Yoga was 'not officially permitted in Saudi Arabia for decades'. However, the Kingdom had in November 2017 'recognised yoga as a sport amid a new liberalisation drive'. A report published in WION on June 21, 2021, states that Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of understanding with India for establishing a formal 'yoga protocol (standards)' for promotion of yoga in the Kingdom.

Updated On: 2021-07-19T18:48:22+05:30
Claim :   These pictures from Saudi Arabia is a sap on the faces of those who say Yoga is only for a particular community
Claimed By :  Facebook pages and Twitter handles
Fact Check :  False
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