Video Of Islamic Funeral Home In New York Viral With Communal Claim
BOOM found that the viral video was shot at an Islamic funeral home in Brooklyn, New York and not at an apartment of the Dawah group.
A video shot inside an Islamic funeral services center in Brooklyn, New York showing bodies wrapped in white sheets occupying several rooms, is being shared with a false claim that it is from an apartment of the 'Dawah group' who did not follow social distancing measures due to COVID-19.
The disturbing clip that lasts over three minutes and shows several rooms in the funeral home packed with corpses, is being shared with a false and communal caption.
The caption being shared with the video claims the following: "The Dawah group USA (similar to India Tablighi Jamat) announced they were not afraid of Covid19 and would go everywhere even if they had the virus. What is the result now ? The Dawah Group is littered with dead bodies " inside their own apartments."
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We searched with the same caption on Facebook and found that it was being shared with the misleading caption.
The Dawah group USA (similar to India Tablighi Jamat) announced they were not afraid of Covid19 and would go everywhere even if they had the virus.— #StayHomeStaySafe (@jagat_darak) April 21, 2020
What is the result now in New York ? The Dawah Group is littered with dead bodies inside their own apartments.@seriousfunnyguy pic.twitter.com/IzYvdRj204
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Also Read: No, This Video Does Not Show Body Bags In A New York Hospital
On watching the video, we noticed the numbers written on a window panel - 'Cell 347-262-2744 and Tel 718-435-67000'. A search for the numbers showed that they were of a funeral center in Brooklyn, New York named Islamic International Funeral Services.
Further, breaking the video into key-frames and performing a reverse image search using Google we found a longer video of 5.10 minutes where one can clearly spot at the 3 seconds time stamp, "Funeral Services" written on the glass panel.
Click here to view, and here for an archive.
On searching for 'Islamic International Funeral Services' we found a video report by Ruptly, a video news agency of Russia Today, whose footage confirms that the place in the viral video matches the Islamic funeral center. At the 22 seconds time-stamp, one can see the same numbers on the window panel as in the viral video.
The description of the Ruptly report dated April 8, 2020, states that funeral services in New York City are reportedly struggling to cope with the spike in deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, as the death toll in the city passed 4,000 on that day.
"Footage shows vans arriving and leaving Schaefer Funeral Home and Islamic International Funeral Services in Brooklyn, with signs outside the building reading, "Due to the coronavirus there is absolutely no families allowed in the building. We are more than happy to serve you by phone, we apologise for any inconvenience," it further stated.
Additionally, we found an article on the website Sawahpress, which when translated from Arabic states that in the viral video, an employee at the center tells the person shooting the video that 55 deaths on the day were due to COVID-19, and 10 of them were buried.
We also compared the street-view visible in the viral video with the location of the Islamic International Funeral Services on Google Streetview and found that both match.
BOOM could not independently verify the details mentioned by the person in the viral video, however, we could confirm that it was shot at the Islamic funeral center and not at an apartment of the Dawah group as is being claimed in viral posts.
BOOM reached out to Islamic International Funeral Services for a response, the article will be updated once a response is received.
The Tablighi Jamaat is a missionary Islamic sect that is spread throughout the world. Dawah or Da'wah literally means invitation. The Dawah group is said to be similar to the Tablighi Jamaat, though BOOM could not find credible information detailing activities of the low profile group
The reference to Tablighi Jamaat in the viral post is the latest example of disinformation targeting Indian Muslims with a narrative that blames them for spreading the novel Coronavirus after several members of the Tablighi Jamaat tested positive and were responsible for a spurt of cases in several states.
Also Read: False: Markaz Attendee Thrashed By Cops For Misbehaving With Hospital Staff
New York has reported 268,581 positive COVID-19 cases and 20,861 deaths while writing this article. Follow BOOM's LIVE blog for recent updates: Coronavirus LIVE Update: India Reports 23,077 Cases, 718 Deaths
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