FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show People Converting To Islam At The 2022 World Cup?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports to show four people converting to Islam at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Verdict: False

The original video shows four people accepting Islam in front of Islamic evangelist Dr. Zakir Naik in Qatar in 2016. The evangelist was not invited to speak at the World Cup.

Fact Check:

Qatar has recently decried the criticism directed at the nation for being hosts of the 2022 World Cup, calling the comments regarding migrant workers and their human rights record “laced with discrimination and hypocrisy,” according to The New York Times. Some have suggested the criticism was the result of racism and anti-Arabian bias, DW reported.

The Facebook video, liked over 160 times, purports to show four people converting to Islam at the 2022 World Cup. “#Fifa_football_cup# few minutes ago… Four people announce their conversion to Islam during Dr Zakir Naik’s first lecture in #Qatar,” the video’s caption reads.

The claim is false. A reverse image search found the video first appeared on YouTube, showing four people accepting Islam as their religion in front of Dr. Zakir Naik in Qatar in 2016. Another YouTube video shared by the same user shows Naik giving a lecture titled, “Does God (Creator) Exist?” also in Qatar in 2016.

Naik is a self-proclaimed Islamic evangelist and both the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation, according to the Financial Express. The evangelist was not invited to deliver lectures on Islam in Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, The Indian Express indicated. (RELATED: Is The Code Of Conduct Poster For The World Cup Real?)

There are no credible news reports suggesting four people converted to Islam at the 2022 World Cup. Likewise, FIFA has neither mentioned the claim on its website nor on its verified social media accounts. The official Twitter handle for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar also has not publicly commented on the purported claim.

Check Your Fact has contacted a FIFA spokesperson for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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