Allegations of the “Islamization of the UK” have been sparked by a widely shared photo of a street sign purporting to display Arabic translations of English place names in Yorkshire, England. We also got some posts with similar claims from previous years which can be seen here and here.
— xi Z3DDY ix (@Z3DZ786) July 19, 2017
What’s the truth?
We found, using Google Translate, that the Arabic words do not match the translated place names; instead, they contain unbelievable expressions such as “As-Salaam-Alaikum,” which is a common Arabic greeting that translates to “Peace be unto you” or “Refugees welcome you,” as well as a derogatory phrase.
Moreover, a reverse search brought up a Metro.co.uk report from 2016, calling it as fake. According to the report, “Not for the first time, some cunning use of Photoshop has caught a lot of people out.
This time, they were furious about an image that appeared to show a road sign in Yorkshire which had been translated from English to Urdu.
Surprise surprise, the picture is a fake – but it still managed to get a lot of people riled up in the meantime.”
The article also stated that an X user pointed the readers in the right direction by sharing the signboard with a caption, “And here’s the road sign before it was photoshopped to meet your hateful, hate-filled agenda.”
To find out if the signboard had ever been changed to include Arabic translations, we also cross-verified the imagery on Google Street View.
The recent 360-degree view uploaded under Street View photos is in March 2022. The viral image is on the internet atleast from 2017. This clarifies that the shared viral image is a digitally altered picture, not an original one.
Therefore, we deduce that the widely circulated picture featuring the signboard with the Arabic translation beneath the location names is a Photoshopped image. Actually, it just displays some irrelevant phrases instead of the actual Arabic translations of the place names on the signboard.