No, This Is Not The Taliban 'Chief Secretary' Speaking About RSS
BOOM found that the viral video shows a speech delivered by Islamabad based Islamic scholar Khalid Mehmood Abbasi.
A video showing a Pakistani Islamic scholar speaking about the organisation, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), has been misidentified as the chief-secretary of the Taliban militia, praising the latter.
The video where the scholar, identified as Khalid Mehmood Abbasi, speaks about the Bharatiya Janata Party and its connection with the RSS, is viral in the context of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops in August, 2021.
He can be heard saying, "The RSS, Sangh Parivar and their political wing, the BJP, are a very powerful unit in India. And they can be matched with Aurangzeb's power. They think that India belongs to Hindu gods and its followers. And those who do not follow Hinduism, do not have the right to stay in India." (sic)
The video has been shared on Facebook with a caption in English, "Taliban accepted that RSS and BJP are more powerful in India when BJP will be in India no country can attack if India is to be attacked then first remove Bjp Watch this video what Taliban chief secretary said... Proud of RSS........ Must listen to the full video....."
The video is viral with Hindi and Bangla captions on Facebook with a similar narrative.
One such caption in Hindi is, "". (Original caption in Hindi: तालिबान ने यह सिद्ध कर स्वीकार किया कि भारत में RSS और BJP ज्यादा ताकतवर है इस विडियो को देखिए कि तालिबान के मुख्य सचिव ने क्या कहा)
BOOM ran a reverse image search on the frames from the video and found a YouTube channel Khalid Mehmood Abbasi Official which has shared the same video. The viral video is part of an extended video of 17 minutes which was uploaded by the channel on August 3, 2021. The title of the video reads, "Hindustan Mae Bigarte Halat - Khalid Mehmood Abbasi."
Starting from 51 second mark to 1 minute 23 second mark, Abbasi can be heard speaking about the connection between the BJP and RSS. A timestamp within the video states that it was recorded on March 1, 2019.
The video features a logo of Islamabad-based Nwaa Studios. Nwaa Studios produces videos on Islamic lectures, talk shows. The description of Abbasi by Nwaa Studios reads, "Khalid Mehmood Abbasi is the most famous scholar of Pakistan. Khalid Mehmood Abbasi is the student of Dr. Israr Ahmed (late)."
BOOM found the same video uploaded by Nwaa Studios on August 6, 2020. The title of the video reads: "Inteha Pasand Hinduon Ka Asal Ajenda Kya Hai ? Khalid Mehmood Abbasi Nwaa Studios."
BOOM also found social media accounts of Khalid Mehmood Abbasi on Facebook and Twitter and a Facebook page from Abbasi's Youtube channel - none of the pages identify Abbasi as a Taliban chief.
Abbasi's bio from his Facebook page KhalidMehmoodAbbasiOfficial, reads, "Khalid Mehmood Abbasi is a renowned Islamic scholar, successor of Dr. Israr Ahmad's politico-socio-economic thought. Currently he is serving as Head of Shura for "Shubban Ul Muslimeen", a revivalist movement of Political Islam. This movement derives its spirit and ideology from Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (Allama Iqbal), Maulana Maududi (R.A) and Dr. Israr Ahmed's (R.A) religious and social thought."
We then reached out to Abbasi, who denied any affiliation with the Taliban militia. Abbasi told BOOM, "I stay at Islamabad, Pakistan. Though I am happy with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, I do not have any connection with the organisation." Abbasi further told BOOM, " The speech from the viral video was delivered in February 2019 at Rawalpindi, days after the Balakot airstrike by India. A part of it was clipped and spread with false claims on social media."
According to an article by BBC the Taliban in Afghanistan is headed by Hibatullah Akhundzada who was designated the supreme commander of the Taliban in May 2016. The Paksitani branch of the Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is supposedly headed by Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, an emerging leader after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in 2013.
BOOM has been debunking viral misinformation and disinformation since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. You can view our fact-check articles in the thread below.
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