On March 15, at least 49 people were killed in a horrific massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two days later, a claim started circulating on social media that 350 people have converted to Islam, after the Christchurch massacre, in New Zealand. “Did you know? The terrorist attack in #Christchurch killed 51 Muslims, today approximately 350 people have converted/reverted back to #Islam in New Zealand. Stop fearing/hating Islam, please try to understand it.”, tweeted Zain Khan, a broadcast journalist based in UAE, on March 18. The tweet included three pictures of women wearing a hijab.

Several other individuals and pages have posted the same video claiming that 350 people have converted to Islam after the christchurch massacre.

Fact-check

The video now viral on social media with a narrative that 350 people have been proselytized to Islam in New Zealand is at least 10 years old and unrelated. It was posted on YouTube on September 27, 2009, while the video stated that it dates back to 2007.

Images

Alt News found that the photographs shared as those of proselytized individuals are several years old and are not related to the claim. Using Google reverse image search on the images circulating on social media, here is what we have discovered:

  1. This image pertains to a woman who had designed a ‘rugby hijab’ to support All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team. A caption below the same image published in an article by a New Zealand website Stuff on September 18, 2017, reads, “Rehana Ali and her husband Azam Ali supporting the All Blacks in her uniquely designed All Blacks hijab”.
  2. Nancy Allen, a Christian woman from South Carolina, USA had worn a hijab in support of Muslim women and freedom of religion, according to an article published by an online edition of American newspaper Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on February 14, 2016.
  3.  The image of a woman wearing a blue coloured hijab is generic and has existed on the internet at least since September 2018.
  4. On Facebook, the picture of a woman holding a Quran in her hand was posted on December 22, 2016.

Thus, old and unrelated pictures and video were circulated on the internet as those of people who converted to Islam after the attack in Christchurch. The source of the ‘350’ number was a poorly written blog. While the figure of 350 people converting to Islam cannot be independently verified, there are no references to any mass conversations in any media report.

Courtesy: www.altnews.in

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