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A Russia Today video report went viral on Twitter with the claims that in Belgium, the newly formed Islam Party planned to form an Islamic State there.
In the video, the news anchor mentioned that the party planned to contest the national elections that would take place two years later. The anchor then spoke to a Belgian MP about his views on the matter.
One tweet alongside the video wrote, “If they win elections, Islamic party is demanding to declare Belgium an Islamic country & follow Sharia law. Huge protests have already started.”
The archived version of the post can be seen here.
The India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) found the claim was misleading. This Russia Today report was from 2012. A leader from the party at the time did make such a statement after they won a municipal election in Belgium’s capital, Brussels.
A Google search revealed a longer version of the same video, uploaded to multiple YouTube channels in 2012.
We also noticed that the ticker at the bottom of the news report read, “Deadly superstorm Sandy forces Obama and Romney to suspend election campaigns.”
Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Sandy was a deadly hurricane that affected nearly eight countries from the Caribbean to Canada between October and November 2012.
This confirmed that the video in circulation was nearly 10 years old.
Further searches led us to multiple media reports from 2012 about the Islam Party and its leaders’ statements.
As per a report, the then-newly established ‘Islam Party’ in Belgium, which won two seats in municipal elections in October 2012, vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium. Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch were the two Islam Party candidates who won the election.
“Today our approach is different,” Ahrouch said at the time. “We must first sensitise people gently and make them understand the advantage of having Islamic leaders and laws, to lead why not, quite naturally to an Islamic state in Belgium.” He added, “I am for the Sharia.”
The party however lost both the seats in the 2018 municipal elections.
It is thus clear that the video in circulation is about a decade old and not a recent development in Belgium.
(With inputs from Yash Mittal)
The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.
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