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- Video claiming to show Chinese converting to Islam after the current coronavirus outbreak was published before the first reported case in Wuhan in 2019.
- Muslims can be affected by the disease.
Amid fears about the coronavirus disease, a YouTube video offers a novel way to inoculate yourself: convert to Islam.
"20m Chinese gets converted to Islam after it is proven that corona virus did not affect the Muslims," reads the title of a video posted online Feb. 18. The footage shows a room full of men raising an index finger and reciting what sounds like the Shahadah, a statement of faith in Islam.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
That’s because the footage is from at least as far back as May 26, 2019, when it was posted on Facebook with this caption: "Alhamdulillah welcome to our brothers in faith."
On Nov. 7, 2019, it was posted on YouTube with this title: "MashaaAllah hundreds converted to Islam in Philippines."
Both posts appeared online before the current outbreak of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.
But even if the footage followed the outbreak, Muslims are not immune to COVID-19, as the Facebook post claims.
After China, Iran has emerged as the second focal point for the spread of COVID-19, the New York Times reported on Feb. 24. "The Middle East is in many ways the perfect place to spawn a pandemic, experts say, with the constant circulation of both Muslim pilgrims and itinerant workers who might carry the virus."
On Feb. 18, Newsweek reported that coronavirus "poses a serious risk to millions of inmates in China’s Muslim prison camps."
We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.
World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, visited Feb. 25, 2020
Facebook post, May 26, 2019
YouTube, MashaaAllah hundreds converted to Islam in Philippines, Nov. 7, 2019
BBC, Shahadah, Aug. 23, 2009
The New York Times, ‘Recipe for a massive viral outbreak,’ Iran emerges as a worldwide threat, Feb. 24, 2020
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