FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Calgary Muslims Violating Social Distancing Guidelines During Ramadan?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Canadian Muslims in Calgary violating social distancing guidelines during Ramadan.

Verdict: False

The image, taken in August 2019, actually shows a gathering for a different Muslim holiday.

Fact Check:

In the photo, a large crowd gathers in what appears to be a large tent. The viral Facebook post alleges it shows Canadian Muslims in Calgary violating social distancing guidelines.

“Check out the social distancing from Calgary Muslims during Ramadan,” reads the caption. “In Canada police have ticketed Canadians for walking their dog alone, playing private basketball with their children, but the Liberals’ chosen people remain like Trudeau, above the law.”

The photo, found through a reverse image search, was taken months before the new coronavirus first emerged in China in late 2019. CBC reporter Dan McGarvey took the photo in August 2019 at the Akram Jomaa Islamic Center in Calgary. It shows members of Calgary’s Muslim community gathering to “mark the start of Eid al-Fitr,” per the caption.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, according to USA Today. (RELATED: Does The Australian Government’s COVIDSafe App Track Users’ Locations?)

Large gatherings of more than 15 peoples indoors and more than 50 people outdoors are currently banned in Alberta, the province in which Calgary is located. The restrictions, which apply to places of worship, aim to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

As of May 24, the province has reported more than 6,800 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the Alberta government’s website.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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