No, this video doesn’t show football fans converting to Islam at Qatar’s World Cup

© Observers

Rumours have been circulating online that four football fans that came to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup converted to Islam after watching a presentation by controversial Indian televangelist Zakir Naik, who has publically supported former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Since November 20, 2022, they’ve been sharing a video as “proof”. While the video does indeed show people converting after one of Naik’s conferences, it actually dates from May 2016 and is thus an old video with no connection to the current World Cup.

If you only have a minute

  • A video showing four people converting to Islam has been circulating online since November 20, 2022, with posts in English, Arabic and French claiming that the people in the video are football fans who came to Qatar for the World Cup. One of the posts, in English, garnered more than 140,000 views.

  • The posts featuring the video state that this scene supposedly took place after a conference organised alongside the football tournament by a controversial Indian televangelist named Dr Zakir Naik, who is accused of money laundering and has publicly stated his support for Osama bin Laden.

  • A keyword search revealed that the original video is from 2016. The scene did indeed take place during a conference by televangelist Dr Zakir Naik held in Qatar and a number of people converted after seeing him speak.

  • Several media outlets have reported that Qatar actually invited Dr Zakir Naik to hold conferences alongside the football competition.

The fact-check, in detail

First in Arabic and then in English, the man says: "There is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Prophet Mohammed…”


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