An old video of a man being thrashed by a group of people in Kuwait for allegedly desecrating the Quran is being shared with the false claim that it is recent and he was beaten for praising recently suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.
In the viral video, a group of men can be seen trashing a man. In the video, we can also spot shop signboards in Arabic.
Several Arab countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia had registered protests with the Indian government over remarks made by BJP members Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal against the Prophet Mohammed. Following the heavy backlash, the BJP distanced itself from the comments and expelled Jindal and suspended Sharma from the party.
BOOM received the viral video on our WhatsApp Tipline number (7700906588) inquiring about the video.
The caption with the video reads, "This b****rd was trying to tear pages of Quran and praising Nupur Sharma and Modi in Kuwait. He was caught by locals and thrashes like dog.. This is what these kind of hatred people should be pinalised."
The same video is also being shared on Facebook with a misleading claim in Arabic claiming it is a recent incident. The caption when translated from Arabic reads, "A Hindu tramples the Noble Qur'an in Kuwait and falls into the hands of young men."
(In Arabic - هندوسي يدوس القرآن الكريم في الكويت ويقع في ايدي شباب .)
BOOM found that the viral video is from Kuwait dating back to September 2020 when a man was beaten up for allegedly desecrating the Quran. The video predates the controversy over Nupur Sharma's anti-Prophet remark in May 2022 during a Times Now debate.
We found several Facebook posts in Arabic with the same viral video dating back to September 2020. A Facebook post with the same video posted on September 28, 2020, with the caption when translated to English reads, "The Asian worker attacked the Holy Quran in Kuwait. He was beaten and dragged by the Kwaitah youth group."
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Taking a cue from this we then searched with relevant keywords and found a fact-check on the viral video by Misbar, an Arabic fact-checking news organisation. Misbar geo-loacted the viral video to Mahboula in Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait by taking a hint from the Arabic signboards on the shops in the video.
Additionally, Kuwait's Ministry of Interior on September 27, 2020, had released a press release on the incident where an Asian man was arrested for allegedly violating the sanctity of the Quran.
The statement was posted on the official Instagram page of Kuwait's Ministry of Interior on September 27, 2020.
The statement when translated to English reads, "The General Department of Relations and Security Media at the Ministry of Interior stated that the criminal security sector managed to arrest the Asian, of whom a video clip was spread, who was seen deliberately violating the sanctity of the Holy Quran. The administration indicated that he was arrested and transferred to the competent authorities to take the necessary legal measures in relation to the incident. The General Administration of Relations and Security Media calls upon everyone to abide by public morals in the country and to respect religious values, and stresses that the Ministry of Interior will not tolerate anyone who insults the divine and the Islamic religion."
BOOM was unable to independently verify the incident, however, we were to establish that the viral video is old dating back to September 2020 before the anti-Prophet remarks by recently suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.
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