A troll handle pretending to be a Muslim cleric revived a fake screenshot from 2014 that purports to show Qatari news broadcaster Al Jazeera using a stillframe from the Hindi movie ‘Sholay‘ to report about an airstrike in Gaza.
Many Twitter users including senior journalist and editor Prabhu Chawla were involved in sparring with the fake account pointing out that the picture was a scene from the cult 1975 movie featuring a star-studded cast.
— Prabhu Chawla (@PrabhuChawla) September 9, 2018
But the screenshot in question dates back to 2014 and was called out by the Doha-based news agency itself on social media after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy shared it on Facebook calling it ‘the worst case of yellow journalism’ he had ever seen.
Al Jazeera’s PR team had tweeted that it could only laugh about such ridiculous stories about the channel adding that those who created it could have at least got the channel’s logo right. (Read more about it here)
— Al Jazeera PR (@AlJazeera) September 7, 2014
While netizens were amused by the tweet few bothered to check that the account @muneebln using the alias of Maulana Muhammad Muneeb ur Rehman was a fake account complete with a profile picture.
It was created only two days prior to posting the fabricated tweet. (Click here to view an archived version of the profile)
The bio of the account said, “Sunni Muslim,Islamic scholar,Slave of allah, Trying my best to teach our young generation the true meaning of islam,dogs and infidels are also welcome .parody.”
The profile picture used by the handle was stolen from a 2017 Dhaka Tribune article. The photograph is of a convicted war criminal Abu Saleh Md Abdul Aziz better known as ‘Ghoramara Aziz’.
While the account claimed to be a parody account nearly all its tweets were anti-Muslim.
From another tweet it is clear that Twitter has been ineffective in curbing fake accounts as the person operating the handle earlier used the handle @maulana1n, which was also suspended.