The video of Muslims praying was not made in Paris but in Moscow

Freepik/@ fabrikasimf

Original article (in Serbian) was published on 26/01/2023

Thousands of people praying in the street while an Islamic prayer is heard in the background – this is shown in a half-minute video that is being shared on Facebook and Twitter these days with claims that it was made in Paris. The video is shared and commented on in a negative context, that is, it is suggested that Islam is conquering Christian Europe, and some even rejoice, claiming that France deserved such a thing because of its colonial past. However, we are talking about a video that was made in Moscow. It is not known exactly when it was taken, but judging by the photos that can be found on the Internet, this is exactly how the streets around the Moscow Cathedral Mosque (on the video) look like when major Muslim holidays such as Eid al-Adha are celebrated.

In recent weeks, a 30-second video has been circulating on social networks featuring several thousand people praying in the street while an Islamic prayer is heard in the background. It is claimed on social networks that the video was created in Paris.

“For those who don’t know, this is the capital of France”, claims the post on Facebook.

“In Paris, there are more Muslims out in the streets to pray than the French”, it is stated on Twitter.

The same video went viral in December of last year when it was shared on Twitter by Srpski Info Stab, claiming that only 50 percent of Christians remain in France, and that “the number of atheists and members of the Islamic religion is growing the most”.

“It has been known for a long time, while women in France are getting dogs instead of husbands and children, during that time Islam is conquering Europe and why not when they stick to family values”, wrote one Facebook user. There was a debate on Twitter about why “there are more and more Muslims in the world”.

“Simply: they take care of their religion, tradition, family… Plus, they do not respect and trample on weak nations”, Srpski Info Stab wrote on Twitter.

Many have commented that France and other Western European countries deserve to be “conquered” by Muslims, given the history of colonialism.

The video, however, was created in Moscow, not Paris. The mosque seen in the video is the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, built on the foundations of the old one and opened in 2015.

Clip from video/Photo from Google maps

This is what the streets of Moscow around the mosque look like during the holidays, as evidenced by a photo posted on a Twitter account in 2013 by BBC correspondent Olga Ivsina. Above the photo, she wrote the following: “Moscow. Peace Avenue. Eid al-Adha”.

The objects in her photo, such as the surrounding buildings, correspond to the objects in the video.

Clip from viral video/Photo from Olga Ivšina’s tweet

Publications in the Russian media show that many Muslims in Russia normally gather for this holiday in this mosque, which is also the largest mosque in Moscow, and according to The Moscow Times, due to the limited space in the mosque, people pray in the streets around it.