Home Fact-Check Fact Check: Did 350 people convert to Islam in New Zealand after the Christchurch Mosque attack?

Fact Check: Did 350 people convert to Islam in New Zealand after the Christchurch Mosque attack?

A 12 year old video has been used to spread the fake news

After the horrific terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand which had left 50 people dead and almost equal number of people injured, one news has become viral on social media in last couple of days. Many people are sharing one news which says that 50 Muslims were killed in New Zealand, and 350 people converted to Islam.

Former MP and journalist Shahid Siddiqui also shared the news, quoting a tweet which contained what looked like an image of a news report on the same.

A video is also being spread on Social Media, which shows few persons accepting Islam in a public event. This video is claimed to be from New Zealand where 350 people converted to Islam after the Christchurch attacks. Several users have published this same video on Youtube making the same claim.

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This news is being spread on Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp by many people, so we decided to do a fact check on this news to check the veracity of the claim. First, we did an online search using the words used contained in the purported news report, but we were unable to find any news media or even a credible social media user from New Zealand sharing this news.

Although we found that two websites had reported the news, and both happen to be from India. Naqeeb News and Kashmir Glacier have published the report, although the latter has deleted the report now.

Screenshot of the news item on Naqeeb News

Moreover, the report only says 350 people accepted Islam, it does not give any more detail on the same, like the location where it happened and who organised it, which is unlikely for a media report. It also doesn’t include any detail about the people accepting Islam. Most people who shared the news are from India and Pakistan, which points towards the possibility that the news originated in the sub-continent and not in New Zealand.

Now coming to the video, in our web search, we have that to be an old video which has been used to make the claim about New Zealand. The following video was posted on Youtube 12 years ago in August 2007, which shows 5 Germans converting to Islam. Now that same video has been used to make the claim about 350 people in New Zealand accepting Islam.

A screenshot of the video has been given below as the video may show an error message of ‘not available’ for some users.

Therefore, the claim that 350 New Zealanders converted to Islam after 50 Muslims were killed by a terrorist is fake and no such incident has happened.

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While the date of the recording is not clear, it can be inferred from above conversation that it took place sometime in July.

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