Old video of stage collapse during Pakistan Imam’s speech doesn’t have any communal spin

The video is old and circulated with false narratives

Claim

The timing is Divine! An imam in Pakistan preaches that he had a dream in which it said that all Jews must be exterminated. He goes on to say, “If this is not true, may the ground sink beneath me.” Look what happens…

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Explanation

On social media, a video of multiple people standing on a stage that eventually collapses has gone viral. It is said that the stage collapsed because an “Imam” in Pakistan had spoken negatively about Jews. The post’s caption reads, “The timing is divine! An imam in Pakistan claims to have received a dream telling him that the Jews needed to be wiped out. “If this is not true, may the earth sink beneath me,” he continues. “Look what happens.” You can view the posts with a similar claim here and here.

What’s the truth?

An old YouTube video dated 18, July 2018 was discovered when we ran a reverse image search on a few of the viral video’s keyframes. This was posted by the Pakistani news outlet “Public News.” This was the extended version of the widely shared video. The video was titled “Stage collapses during Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) election campaign.” Also the description box of the video states, “Stage collapses in Mohmand Agency with Siraj Ul Haq and others from Jamat e Islami on stage.”

When we refined our search, it led us to a similar video posted on the Voice of America’s Facebook page on 18, July 2018. The post is captioned as “Pakistan Stage Collapse– A stage collapsed during an election rally held by religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal district, near the Afghan border. Party president Sirajul Haq and other leaders were on the stage but unharmed in the incident.”

Using this as a cue, we ran a pertinent keyword search and discovered reports published on July 18, 2018, by The Express Tribune and Ary News. The same incident of a stage collapse due to an overload or exceeding the maximum capacity of people was covered in both news outlets.

According to ‘The Express Tribune’ article, “The stage setup for a political gathering of the Jamaat-e-Islami collapsed on Wednesday in Mohmand district of K-P, however, no injuries were reported from the incident.

The collapse occurred after party workers and leaders reportedly overburdened it. The incident happened as more people than the maximum capacity of the makeshift stage tried to get a place on it, JI information secretary Qaisar Sharif said, adding that all of them including the party chief remained safe in the incident.”

According to the information provided above, the incident occurred in Pakistan during a political gathering; it is not implied that the person said anything, as the viral claim suggests, and the video that is going viral is outdated. This confirms that the viral claim is circulated with false narratives.

Conclusion:

We conclude that the widely shared video is from 2018, depicting a stage collapse at a political event in Pakistan and the person in the video did not speak about Jews rather he was welcoming the political leaders on the stage.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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