FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Qatari News Anchor Expressing Concern Over Religious Freedom In India?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows “Qatari Anchor Fatima Shaikh” wearing a burqa and expressing concern about religious freedom in India.

Verdict: False

The woman pictured is an Afghan news anchor, according to AP Images.

Fact Check: 

A series of clashes between Muslims and Hindus recently occurred in India’s Uttar Pradesh state after some members of the Hindu ruling party made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammad, according to CNN. A post shared on Facebook claims Shaikh, an alleged Qatari news anchor, expressed concern over the state of affairs in India, perhaps in response to the recent violence. 

The post includes an image of a news anchor completely covered in a black burqa. “Qatari Anchor Fatima Shaikh On national TV expressing concern about religious freedom in india,” the post’s caption reads. (RELATED: Did The New York Times Report That The Largest Political Rally In History Recently Occurred In India?)

The caption misidentifies the anchor in the photo and its context. The photo first appeared in May on AP Images, which identifies the woman as Afghanistan-based TOLO News anchor Khatereh Ahmadi.

“TV anchor Khatereh Ahmadi bows her head while wearing a face covering as she reads the news on TOLO NEWS, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 22, 2022,” reads part of the image’s caption. “Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have begun enforcing an order requiring all female TV news anchors in the country to cover their faces while on-air.”

The Taliban began enforcing the order last month, with the Information and Culture Ministry declaring the policy was “final and non-negotiable” for all networks, according to The Associated Press. The policy is similar to another Taliban order that forces all women to wear head-to-toe coverings should they go out in public, the outlet reported.

This is not the first time misinformation involving the current state of Indian affairs has spread online. Check Your Fact previously debunked a post claiming to show an alleged tweet from Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar offering to make Sri Lanka an Indian state.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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