A video where a group of Muslim men are licking utensils and cutlery is floating across social media platforms and messaging applications. It is being claimed that they intend to spread the coronavirus infection.
Alt News has received multiple requests on its official mobile application to fact-check the video.
The message shared along with the video alleges, “14 China Muslims hidden at Bihari mosque has been taken to corona virus test by Bihari police. Erode police has caught Thailand Muslim mullahs infected with corona virus. Today Salem Police has caught 11 Indonesian Muslim mullahs at Salem mosque…”
Old, unrelated video
The video has been shared with a viral message that claims 14 Chinese Muslims hiding in a mosque in Bihar were apprehended by the police and taken for coronavirus testing. Alt News had earlier debunked a similar claim. A video of Kyrgyzstan citizens in Patna was widely circulating with the false claim that they were people from Iran and Italy hiding in a mosque to evade testing.
A keyword search on Google – ‘Muslims licking utensils’ – threw up several results including a Vimeo link from July 31, 2018, which carried the same video. According to the description, these are Dawoodi Bohras licking leftover food from the utensils to not waste even a morsel.
The description also says that the men were following orders of “Syedna”. Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin is the 53rd and current Da’i al-Mutlaq (highest authority in the faith) of the Dawoodi Bohras.
We found that the video shared even earlier, on July 30, 2018, on Twitter where the user wrote, “Bohras eat together in a big “thaal”. This one is from a jamatkhana where on several occasions there is food served. What’s happening here is taking not wasting food at an extreme level.”
Bohras eat together in a big “thaal”. This one is from a jamatkhana where on several occasions there is food served. What’s happening here is taking not wasting food at an extreme level. 🤣🤣 https://t.co/irxJePHlZ3
— Yusuf Unjhawala 🇮🇳 (@YusufDFI) July 30, 2018
Speaking with Dainik Bhaskar, religious leader of the Bohra community in Bhopal, Burhanuddin, said, “It is a custom in Bohra community that not even grain of food is wasted. For this purpose, grain committees are set to teach kids to not waste food. This video is of one such committee where utensils are being cleaned after the meal.”
Therefore, a video of Bohra Muslims licking plates and spoons to not ‘waste’ leftover food has been shared as people from the Muslim community spreading coronavirus infection.
Note: The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in India is over 1,000. This has caused the government to impose a complete restriction on movement apart from essential services. Globally, more than 7 lakh confirmed cases and close to 34,000 deaths have been reported. There is a growing sense of panic among citizens, causing them to fall for a variety of online misinformation – misleading images and videos rousing fear or medical misinformation promoting pseudoscience and invalid treatments. While your intentions may be pure, misinformation, spread especially during a global pandemic, can take lives. We request our readers to practice caution and not forward unverified messages on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.